You may think that I have been going on too much about the lack of rain but today’s guest picture of one of our town bowling greens is worth a thousand words. It was taken by our friend Bruce.
It was pleasantly cool at breakfast time but even with the sky covered in high clouds, there was no sign of any rain so I pottered about watering, weeding and dead heading.
I even went as far as mowing the drying green and the greenhouse grass to make things look a little tidier. I am trying my best to keep the garden in a state where Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t actually burst into tears when she comes homes and sees it.
There is plenty to enjoy at the moment. The bees were very busy today.
The roses are still the pick of the crop but I focussed on blue.
The delphiniums have never looked better and I had a closer peer at them.
It almost looked as though they were peering back at me from under their eyelashes.
It was cool enough in the house for me to spend an hour putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database. I have slipped behind schedule and all the time the data miners are piling up more work. Must try harder.
After lunch, I gave up the chance to lounge about watching the Tour de France and went for a bike ride instead.
I varied my route and took the main road out of the town to the north. I hoped that the traffic would not be too bad and it turned out that my hope was justified and I had a very peaceful ride considering that the A7 is a trunk road. The benefit of riding up a main road is that the maintenance is carried out by a national government agency and not our local council. As it is government policy to starve local councils of money and keep it all for themselves, this means that main roads tend not to have any potholes. The road contractors have been hard at work recently doing some resurfacing so for much of the ride, the going was extremely good.
The views aren’t bad either.
The skies were cloudy but the wind was light and at 20°C, conditions were near perfect for pedalling.
The hills ought to be at their greenest just now but they too are feeling the drought.The dark green patches are bracken.
There is a lot of meadowsweet around and I liked this pool of plants nearly smothering a wall at Mosspaul.
I left the main road for a very small diversion to Carlenrig where Johnnie Armstrong met his end. He was either a great local hero or a notorious gangster, depending on your point of view. A rather gloomy notice board is to be found…
…where a stone marks the spot.
Nearby is a little church…
I took another little side road for about a mile and came to an attractive ford…
…with an alternative bridge if the ford is running too high.
I didn’t cross the ford or bridge and turned for home down the main road back along the flat bottomed Ewes valley…
…and by this time, the skies had cleared a little and it was another beautiful day.
I took the picture above while I was beside an interestingly named farmhouse.
Unlike the farm, I was very thankful for the good weather and the light breeze that blew me home.
It was a most enjoyable 30 mile outing.
I got back in time to do a little more watering and gooseberry picking before it was the moment for tea.
I watched the birds as I prepared my meal.
The scruffy blue tit was back again.
And I noticed that one of the siskin visitors had been ringed.
If no birds arrived at the feeder, I looked at poppies instead.
After tea, I managed to get the best of both worlds by watching the end of the Tour stage on the evening highlights programme and then wasted an hour watching the second half of the France/Belgium semi final in the world cup. There was plenty of skill on show but not as much excitement as I would have liked.
The flying bird of the day is a traditional chaffinch.