Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia. It was taken by a friend who saw her kindly trying to cheer an old fellow up at RHS Rosemoor.
We woke to a sunny morning and I might have gone cycling but I received a better offer. Mike Tinker had suggested a walk to look at some early summer ferns so after breakfast I walked round to his house and started by meeting some of the ferns which he has in his garden.
He is a real fern enthusiast and as you can see, he has some interesting specimens.
He has many more than I have shown here but I am trying to keep posts shorter than usual for a while.
We set off round the Scholars’ Field and up the track along the river. We were looking for ferns but saw other things of interest along the way.
Research tells me that this might be a Chinese Character moth, cilix glaucata with the brown markings supposed to look like bird droppings and put off predators. I would be happy to be corrected if I am wrong.
But we did see a lot of ferns and it is always interesting to turn a fern and see what is on the other side.
There was no shortage of ferns to see.
We passed the Duchess Bridge and took the path up through the woods.
Mike kept an eye out for wild flowers to show me.
I saw ferns that I never knew existed.
We looked at the back of more ferns.
When we came out onto the road at the end of the path, it was not hard to spot a maidenhair spleenwort or two…
…and evergreen polypody ferns of the sort that we had seen on our earlier walk.
We walked back along the road and saw more wild flowers.
Mike is an excellent guide and knows a lot about ferns and wild flowers and I would have liked to have spent more time and tried to take better pictures (the low light under the trees made things tricky) but I had made an arrangement to take my new bicycle down to the bike shop in Carlisle for its post sales service and as I wanted to take it home with me, I needed to be there in good time.
Mrs Tootlepedal came down with me and we enjoyed a light lunch and did some heavy shopping before picking up the bike again and heading home.
There was enough time when we got back for Mrs Tootlepedal to do some gardening and I did think of a short bike ride but the brisk breeze, uncooperative legs and the need to keep on track with my archive work sent me inside to put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.
I did emerge in time to thin some of the hundreds of gooseberries from the gooseberry bush. I stewed them and had them with custard as a pudding for my evening meal (Mrs Tootlepedal had rhubarb and custard). Considering that the gooseberries were like bullets when I picked them, they softened well and tasted remarkably good so I may well thin some more tomorrow.
There isn’t really a flower of the day today but I was pleased to see that the bumble bees share my fondness for astrantias.