Today’s guest picture was sent to Mrs Tootlepedal who passed it on to me. It shows her brother and his wife (and several family members) roughing it on their holiday on Tresco in the isles of Scilly.
We can’t run to palm trees in Langholm but we did have another lovely summer day in Langholm and the temperature had got up to 25°C (77°F) before midday.
I did a little gardening after breakfast but I couldn’t spend long because it was soon time to go to church. Our little choir (18 strong) sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah for the anthem today and it went off not too badly. It was more a rehearsal than anything else as we are singing it again next week at the Common Riding service when the church will be a great deal fuller. The choir should be a bit larger too. Our organist and choir master had been among among the riders on the Benty ride-out yesterday but managed to play very well in spite of some aching muscles.
When I got home, I prepared a beef and mushroom stew for the slow cooker and then spent an enjoyable time showing the daughter-in-law of one of our neighbours round Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden. She has just started a small vegetable garden herself and was impressed by the amount of work that Mrs Tootlepedal puts into her garden.
I did some more gardening when she had left and then retired from the heat for lunch and Tour de France viewing.
After the cycling was over, I didn’t succumb to the temptation to watch more than a bit of Wimbledon or the World Cup final and went out to both water and photograph some flowers.
The zinnia is unfolding more tubes into petals…
…but the beautiful moss roses are folding up and I think that these may be the last two flowers of the summer.
In spite of some constructive neglect, the nasturtiums at the front door are producing more flowers every day…
…and the clematis beside them is doing the same.
I watered them both today so they will probably die now.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s stock of miniature nicotiana are continuing to provide some bright colours in pale pink….
…and shocking red.
The wind had risen a lot during the day as the pressure fell steadily on the barometer but I felt that another day with no cycling would be a bad thing and got my new bike out.
The wind was strong, 16 mph base with gusts of well over 20 mph, but it kept me cool even if it slowed me down a lot. I took 12 more minutes to go round my 20 mile Canonbie circuit than I did last Thursday. If I had been in a race with myself, I would have been more than two miles behind.
I stopped to admire the view back towards Langholm from Chapelhill…
All the clouds behind Whita Hill had passed over the town without depositing a drop of rain on us as they passed.
I rather liked the subdued light.
As I approached Canonbie, I nodded at a couple of old friends.
…and stopped to take a picture of one of the many banks of fireweed that are lining our roads just now.
This weed is one of those photographic oddities where the camera and I see things in a very different shade. To me it is pink or even red but to the camera is is much more purple.
When I got home, I set the tripod up in the kitchen to keep an eye on the birds and a greenfinch kept an eye on me in return.
We are getting regular visits from greenfinches which is very encouraging. In recent years, they have been subject to a deadly disease and numbers dropped a lot so it is good to see healthy looking birds back on the feeder.
Once home, I set about eating the stew and doing more watering (not at the same time). The forecast claims that there is a 75% chance of noticeable rain tonight. I would be much obliged if this turns out to be true but I am not holding my breath.
The flying bird picture of the day shows that even if they are flapping their wings furiously, siskins keep their heads very still as they approach the feeder.