The calm after the storm

In lieu of any new material, I have returned to Venetia’s  trip to Madeira for the guest picture of the day.  Somewhere between the mountains and the sea, she passed through this narrow gap.

Madeira

Being Friday, I had made an arrangement to have coffee and treacle scones with Dropscone.  The forecast for the afternoon was rather dubious so I had made a vague plan with myself to get up early and go for a bicycle ride before coffee.  I didn’t have any great confidence in the plan but much to my amazement, I did in fact get up early and cycled 20 miles before breakfast.

The wind had dropped since yesterday but there was still quite enough of it (and from an unhelpful direction) to keep my head down so I didn’t see a lot more than the road in front of my nose.   However, just at the highest point of the trip, I was going so slowly that I had time to notice a good crop of yellow rattle…

yellow rattle

…and stopped to take a picture.

Mrs Tootlepedal had also got up early and was hard at work in the garden when I got back, tidying up unruly plants and picking up debris from yesterday’s strong winds.

I lent a hand by shredding what I could of the material and then and took the opportunity to admire a couple of yellow roses.

Crown Princess Margareta
Crown Princess Margareta, a long time resident of the garden
golden wedding rose
And a newcomer.  This little rose came in a presentation pot from a friend as a present for our golden wedding and has now found a home in the garden.

The coffee and scones were well up to standard and Dropscone was very cheerful because he had been part of a golf team which had recently come second in a competition.  He went off to play more golf and I mowed the middle lawn and took more pictures.

There were quite a few bees about but they were concentrating on a few plants, the hydrangea, a martagon lily and nectaroscordum.

bees

The nectarosordum proved very popular and there were still bees visiting it several hours later.

It was pleasing to see that the peonies had survived the wind and the rain very well indeed.

peony

New flowers have come out to join them.

clematis
Another clematis by the front door.
campanula
The first of many campanulas
moss rose
A moss rose
perennial nasturtium
A perennial nasturtium

Although it is not new, I couldn’t pass by the pale astrantia without clicking the shutter finger as it was looking superb.

astrantia

Over lunch, I took time to watch the birds.  The feeder was busy….

busy feeder

…and I had to fill it twice today.

busy feeder (2)

Doves and pigeons came to cast their beady eyes on fallen seeds.

dove and pigeon

And sparrows flew this way and that.

flying sparrows

There was more shredding to do after lunch as Mrs Tootlepedal had kept busy and then I mowed the front lawn.  The forecast rain stayed away so I went off for a walk.

There were lots of wild flowers (and a rabbit) to look at as I went round Easton’s and Gaskell’s walks.

Eastons and gaskells
I would welcome suggestions as to what the very small yellow flower is

The wind had torn a lot of leaves from the trees and you can see in the top right panel above that one section of the walk was carpeted by the results.

The summer growth is in full swing on Gaskell’s Walk…

gaskell's

…and I found geums, hawkbit with friends and ragged robin beside the path.

wild flowers

There was reedy grass and the first bramble flowers too.

grass and bramble

I wasn’t unobserved as I walked past a field at the Stubholm.

watching sheep

Several days ago, my neighbour Liz told me a story about finding a host of flies on the gate at the end of Gaskell’s Walk.  I didn’t have an opportunity to check the gate out and had forgotten all about it until I came to the gate today…..

flies on gaskells gate

…and found the flies were still there.  They were quite alive and flew off when I got too close.  You might wonder what they would find so attractive on the metal bar of a gate.

I was just going to take a truly wonderful picture of the Auld Stane Brig when my camera battery unexpectedly gave up so you will just have to take my word about the picture and for the fact that I passed two unicorns on my way home.   It was a bit annoying as I had put in a fresh battery before I set out and can only assume that I had failed to switch the charger on.

The sun was out and it was a very nice afternoon by the time that I got home and Mrs Tootlepedal and I sat on the new bench and enjoyed the sights and smells of the garden before going in for a cup of tea.

I watched the birds again and saw a young greenfinch falling off its perch at the feeder.

greenfinch

You don’t often see birds falling off a perch.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a healthy meal with spinach and broccoli for our tea.  I am eating so much iron rich food that if it rains a lot, I feel I may be in danger of going rusty.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal chatted, Alison and I played music.  Several of the notes were in the right place, at the right time and in the right key.  We enjoyed ourselves.

The flower of the day is another of my favourite peonies.

peony (2)

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “The calm after the storm

  1. I like the shot of the yellow rattle. There’s something appealing about it that I can’t put my finger on. And the same is true for the perennial nasturtium photo.
    Maybe the sun warms the metal of the bridge and the flies are after the warmth. I’ve noticed when I’m on a tractor at work many insects are attracted to the heat of it, including butterflies and dragonflies. Some will land on it and ride along.
    I like the colors of the new clematis and Crown Princess Margarita.

    1. I wondered if something tasty was dropping onto the gate from a tree above. The gate is in a very shady spot and wouldn’t be particularly warm.

  2. It sure looks like everyone survived pretty well, storms do take their toll. We just planted a Princess Margareta or two to climb up and over an arch, so it’s still on it’s slow start and new young stage. I hope in a few years ours will look as beautiful as yours.

  3. Even your “bad weather” days this spring have been relatively good compared to the past few years. It’s too bad about the battery going dead, I’d have loved to have seen the bridge again. I’m also sure that you’ll see the unicorns again soon. As far as the flowers, I’d have a hard time picking between the pale astrantia and either of the two roses, although the peony is spectacular in the light that you shot it.

    1. I agree that one or two bad days are nothing much compared with the persistent miserable weather of the past two years. I haven’t made a good job of the roses yet but I will keep trying.

  4. Pleased it was only a greenfinch that fell off its perch and not someone we know! That fly has rather handsome wings. Love the perennial nasturtium and the roses but the peony is just so pretty.

  5. The small yellow flower is Wood Avens also known as Herb Bennet (Geum urbanum). The flowers don’t look much like Water Avens (Geum rivale) but the leaves are similar and so are the seed pods.
    I have never seen Yellow Rattle in the wild and I am most envious!

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