Rained off

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia.  She got down to sea level in Madeira and brilliantly caught this Atlantic spotted dolphin in mid leap.

Atlantoc spotted dolphin

Our spell of great weather is coming to an end but we are being let down gently before rain and gales blow in tomorrow night and we had a calm, warm but rather grey day today.

The iron pills have not worked their magic yet and I am still feeling a little tired so I was happy to spend a quiet morning doing a little business and paying bills after breakfast and then doing some aimless wandering around in the garden.

I said to Mrs Tootlepedal the other day that we seemed to have a lot of philadelphus in the garden and she rather thought that I was exaggerating but when she looked round, and counted, she found that there are at least nine…

philadelphus panel
A small selection

…and as they are pretty well all out, the garden is full of blossom and delightful aromas too.

I kept my eye out for new flowers and spotted the first of many Martagon lilies.

martagon lily

Mrs Tootlepedal is getting very excited by some small but perfectly formed blue alliums which are just about to come out.

blue allium

I was pleased to see a couple of red tailed bumble bees back on the chives.  They are very striking and an ornament to any garden.

red tailed bumble bee

I pulled myself together after a cup of coffee and set about putting some liquid fertiliser on the front lawn. The front lawn is still very mossy and I thought that what grass there is needed some encouragement.  As the fertiliser is applied by watering can, it is a labour intensive activity and kept me happily occupied for some time.  I did a bit of the middle lawn too.

I took time out to do the crossword and watch the birds.  The feeder was quite busy today.

A few greenfinches turned up…
flying siskins
…but mostly it was siskins and some goldfinches again

I was thinking about a gentle afternoon pedal but a few drops of rain put me off the idea and I went for a walk instead.  It seemed like quite a time since I had been up a hill so I went up our nearest one, Meikleholm Hill.

The rain held off as I walked up the track to the hill, admiring the many grasses on the way.  There was a splendid variety…


…but the star of the grass show when I looked at them on the computer later on, was this colourful spray with added visitors.

grass with insects

Just before I got to the gate onto the open hill, I noticed a few rabbits in the field beside the track.  Most of them scampered away but one remained, pretending to be a blade of grass.

rabbit in grasses

I always like this gate just before the top of the track…

Meikleholm gate

…but I was glad to be finally out on the open hill and looking back across the town towards Whita Hill on the other side of the valley.

View of langholm from Meikleholm

Even on a grey day, it is a view to lift the heart.

There were plenty of wild flowers to look at as I followed the track which curves up round the side of the hill…

tree on meikleholm

There was a lot of tormentil which I failed to record properly and quite a bit of bird’s-foot trefoil and various hawkbits too.

trefoil and hawksbit

I was hoping to see some early orchids too and wasn’t entirely disappointed as there were a few small flowers to be seen.


There are sheep on the hill and I don’t know if they will nibble off the orchids or not but there should be a lot more flowers as the summer goes on.

They sheep probably won’t eat these marsh thistles though.

marsh thistke

I was considering an extended route when I got to the top of Meikleholm Hill but a look to the north….

rain over Potholm

…and the south….

clouds over solway

…persuaded me that the straight route home might be the best bet.

No sooner had I made up my mind than the rain started and I had to skip down the hill as fast as my creaky knee would let me.

I did stop for one last photo opportunity as the racecourse on the Castleholm looked very attractive but that was the only stop as I was getting quite wet and didn’t have a coat with me.

racecourse castleholm

The rain eased off without entirely stopping as I got down to the town so I was happy to get home without getting soaked through.

That was my last excursion for the day, though I did get as far as the back door later on to take a final picture of the day.

colourful corner

Mrs Tootlepedal finds colours and textures in flowers, grasses and shrubs and mixes them all together in a most harmonious way in my view.  I am very lucky to be the beneficiary of her skills.

In the evening, she went off to the Buccleuch Centre to watch a screening of Swan lake performed by the Royal Ballet.  I stayed at home because although I admire the wonderful skills and fitness of the dancers, I keep waiting for something interesting to happen and as nothing does, I get easily  bored.

The flower of the day is one of our foxgloves.  Some gardeners may turn up their noses at these common wild flowers but I am glad that Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Rained off

  1. Every one of your posts is a treat for the eyes, the flowers, the landscapes and the birds add their own little part of the whole. It’s no wonder that you’re feeling a little tired all the time, with all that you pack into a day each and every day, but I do hope that the iron pills work their magic soon.

  2. A blue allium…look forward to seeing that! Love the view of the garden looks just like a tapestry…clever Mrs T. Great guest photo of the dolphin too.

    1. The blue allium is proving rather slow to come out so we are hoping that it survives the bad weather. It looks a bit fragile to stand up against the very strong winds that are forecast.

  3. What a lot to enjoy today. I loved that Martagon Lily and the final garden view with that great mixture of colours and textures. Venetia was very clever too.

  4. I could never turn up my nose at foxgloves. They are not at all common in Maine, and certainly aren’t considered wildflowers. Mrs. Tootlepedal has a flair for color and texture.

  5. We call Philadelphus mock orange because of its orange blossom like scent, and there is no such thing as too many.
    Great shots of the grasses and the rabbit hiding behind them.
    I’m glad the orchids have started blooming. I found one today that is showing a lot of promise.
    Mrs. T. should have been a garden designer.

  6. What a charming view of the town from the top of the hill. Turned up noses might fit quite nicely into the foxgloves. 😉 They grow wild around here. Even though I’m on a bit of a crusade to try to have mostly native plants, I can’t quite bring myself to eradicate the foxgloves. I can’t help but admire Mrs T’s gardening skills, she certainly puts my rather untidy efforts to shame!

  7. I just planted 3 more foxgloves and I think I’m spying some startings from last year. Hooray. We’re getting into hot, humid again after a lot of rain and cold-cold enough to pull on the winter coat. Crazy weather we’re getting! Your walk is pumping up your health, sorry it’s not as well as you hope, but slowly slowly and please know, you are one active man! More active than so very many people!!!

  8. Another stunning guest photo – Venetia, you’re really raising the bar! The close-up shots of the flowers certainly do emphasize the amazing structures and colours that appear in nature. How lucky for us that you’re wandering around with a zoom lens!

      1. Stupidly windy! The temps have settled into the mid to low 20s lately, with occasional 30s thrown in to keep the power bill high from running the AC. We did have just over an inch of rain about a week ago, but could use more now. Luckily for us, there is a well at the garden site. And that’s far more than you needed to know, I’m sure!

      2. No pump, but this year we have a line from the well that splits into four lines that go round the perimeter of the garden. From there we have 18 pulsating sprinklers on posts, one hose with a wand for the tubes by the tomatoes, and one other hose with an oscillating sprinkler that we move if an area isn’t getting covered. All sprinklers are on valves, so we just open the main lever on the well head, then open valves to turn on the water where we need it. It’s a good system and sure beats hauling hoses around. Also helps when your husband is a handy genius who can listen to your ideas and make them happen!

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