Today’s guest picture comes from our older son Tony. As he was busy house hunting, he sent me this charming squirrel portrait in lieu of a Father’s Day card.
The Muckletoon Adventure Festival had a better day for their events today. The road cyclists were offered 30, 60 or 90 mile sportives and I would have liked to have had a go at either the 60 or the 90 but there were too many steep hills involved for the well being of my tin knee so I got up promptly and went for a gentle 45 mile ride instead.
I chose quiet and gently contoured roads for my trip…
…and once again slipped into England before crossing the border on my way home.
It was a grey, cool and breezy day and I needed to be home for cooking duties so I didn’t stop to take any more pictures on the way.
Mrs Tootlepedal was home from church when I got back and needless to say, was hard at work in the garden.
I had a look round and the sun came out to brighten up the roses.
I went in to make a stew for the slow cooker and kept an eye on the birds while I did so.
Once again, the feeder was busy….
…and there was keen competition for perches.
After lunch, a small flock of greenfinches turned up.
It may have been a family because there was certainly at least one youngster in the plum tree looking for food.
…and occasionally getting it.
Mrs Tootlepedal did a little more work in the garden while I looked for new flowers…
…and found this blue campanula.
The hydrangea seems to have an endless supply of pollen because it was still buzzing with bees today.
We didn’t spend much time in the garden though as I wanted a walk and Mrs Tootlepedal wanted to go somewhere different so we got into the car and drove over the hill to Newcastleton. We went through the village and up the hill on the opposite side of the river where we found a Forestry Commission car park. We parked the car and went for a walk in the forest there.
There was a selection of routes to choose from and having made out choice, we strode bravely off along this track…
…which turned out to be the wrong direction.
However, more by luck than good judgement, we managed to finally get back on the right track and had a most enjoyable stroll.
We passed spacious forest planting…
…some very impressive ferns…
…and any amount of wild flowers.
Many interesting creatures
And several mountain bikers.
There are some well used mountain bike routes in the forest and the Forestry Commission has gone to some lengths to provide good facilities for cyclists and walkers, planned so that they don’t get in each others’ way.
The second half of our walk, once we had found the right way to go, was on a neatly mown grass path.
And this led us safely back to the car.
We will definitely return to this area as it was a pleasure to walk there.
Our timing was good too as we got back to Newcastleton village in time for a cup of tea and a fancy at the Olive Tee cafe. Our more usual outing policy is to arrive at cafes just after they have shut.
The drive home over the hill wasn’t quite as good as the rest of the outing though as it was raining and the cloud was so low that we had to put on our fog lights on the single track road. No chance of any scenic views.
Still, we made it home and the slow cooked stew went down very well so it was a good day all round.
The flower of the day is a Martagon Lily, still carrying a little of yesterday’s rain.