Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who was on a bus crossing Waterloo Bridge when she came over all Wordsworth and admired the view. (I know, I know; he was crossing Westminster Bridge but that is not far away).
After rain overnight, we had a fine and occasionally sunny day today so Mrs Tootlepedal made the most of it and toiled away in the garden morning and afternoon with a break for a committee meeting after lunch.
I went out for a look around after breakfast and saw Mrs Tootlepedal’s least favourite bird sighting , a sparrow in the vegetable garden looking for vegetables to destroy.
Sometimes when we got out there are twenty or more sparrows lurking about among the plants. This one didn’t stop long though.
I noticed that a young bird was lost in the greenhouse and looking pensive….
…but it found its own way out in the end.
It was quite damp as you can see but it soon dried out and I mowed the drying green and the greenhouse grass rather carefully. We keep the grass there quite long so I even took the trouble to get the grass rake out first and make sure the grass was standing up to meet the mower. In an uncooperative way though, quite a lot of the grass lay down again between me putting the rake away and getting the mower out.
I had a look at the gooseberry bush to check for sawfly….
…and was pleased to find that there were none about. The Solomon’s seal is being eaten by sawfly so the gooseberry may well be next.
I then got some lawn feed out and finished feeding the middle lawn.
While I was at work, our neighbours Liz and Ken walked over to see what was going on and I was telling them about my fern walk yesterday. I lifted up the leaves of one of the ferns in our garden and they were impressed by what lay behind.
So was I.
After all this excitement, I went in and watched the birds.
I saw a blue tit, an infrequent visitor…
…and several regulars too.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went to her committee meeting and I got the new bike out and pedalled round my 20 mile Canonbie circuit.
I checked to see if all the recent rain had put a bit more water into the Wauchope….
…and found the little cascade was busy but not overflowing.
The grass beside the river was full of these little yellow spikes.
Not long after I set off, I became a bit worried about the weather, both behind me…
..and in front…
…but the grey clouds passed me by and I had an enjoyable ride with the brisk breeze being more helpful than not.
When I got into the Esk valley, it was easy to see by the river that it had been raining quite a lot.
I said confidently to a reader the other day that there was lots of yellow rattle about but since then it has been hard to find so I was pleased to find a good sprinkling about beside the old A7 today.
And there was a lot of knapweed there too…
…and a mini meadow of daisies, knapweed and meadow vetchling as well.
Thanks to the helpful wind, I got home in good time and found Mrs Tootlepedal back from her meeting and busy improving the back border.
I mowed the front lawn. It is showing the benefit from the feed that I gave it last week and now definitely has more grass than moss on it. I regard this as a minor triumph considering that earlier in our very wet and cold spring, I was seriously thinking about digging the whole thing up and starting again .
Then I went to sieve compost as Mrs Tootlepedal is using it by the bucket to improve the soil in the back border.
I checked and found that the bees are still finding pollen on the astrantias.
This concluded my outdoor activity for the day except for a few minutes of thinning out the gooseberries. I stewed the thinnings and had them with cream in the evening.
Following my new schedule, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database before tea. I am trying not to take too many photographs so I don’t have to spend so much time looking through them but it is hard.
The flower of the day is a Martagon Lily, taken in the morning when things were still damp.