Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia, my Somerset correspondent, who got the chance of a ride in a hot air balloon. Her picture shows how far I would have gone on the journey before finding something else to do. I don’t like heights. She was very brave and has put lots of pictures from her flight on her blog.
It rained again here….
…but once again only very lightly and not enough to register on the scientific rain gauge.
I had time to put in a load of washing and do a little gardening after breakfast before a visitor arrived. It was Murray, an old university friend . His wife was working for the day in Carlisle so he took the opportunity to come up for a coffee. He brought some very nice biscuits with him and Scott the minister’s finely tuned biscuit radar must have been working well because he arrived not long afterwards. As Murray is an ex church organist and from a family of ministers, he and Scott and plenty to talk about.
Scott says that his chickens are enjoying the coconuts and as our birds don’t seem to like them, I think that the coconuts will soon be returning to the manse.
Murray, who has spent most of his working lifetime in the theatre, went off to inspect the Buccleuch Centre before going back to Carlisle, promising to come again soon when he and his wife return to the area.
I had the bird watching camera up both before and after the visit (but not during it, of course).
The birds got stuck in early today…
…and were still at it when the evening came…
…though some wasted time in shouting…
…when they could have been eating.
A sparrow concentrated on the important thing in life.
There were plenty of insects about in the garden, some more welcome than others.
The stachys is going over but it still has enough flowers to make it attractive…
…to all and sundry.
There are still no coloured butterflies about but I did catch a moth, which obligingly stopped right in front of me.
(The general whiskeriness of plants when you look at them closely continues to delight me.)
For a cloudy day, there was plenty of sunshine about…
…and the zinnias would brighten any day.
After another bowl of nourishing green soup for my lunch, I went to hang out the washing before going cycling and, of course, it started to rain.
However this was another false alarm and it soon stopped and I got the washing hung up and my new bike out.
It was windy again. The new cooler weather pattern is bringing winds from the Atlantic across the country and while the relative coolness (18°C) was most welcome to me, the wind was less so.
It was strong enough to make me concentrate on cycling so I didn’t stop for many pictures but the mass of meadowsweet near Wauchope Schoolhouse did stop me in my tracks.
And I like the little carpet of birds foot trefoil beside the cycle track at Hagg on Esk.
I stopped for a breather, a drink and a wildflower check at Irvine House before the final push back to Langholm.
I have passed a lot of these over the past few weeks without recording them.
And I managed to find an umbellifer without a red soldier beetle on it.
We have had another new bench delivered from our local benchmaker and it provided a handy place to sit down and rest when I got back after 32 miles.
In spite of several hundred miles in the sunshine, my legs refuse to acquire a cyclist’s tan and remain as peely-wally as ever. It is embarrassing.
As the sun had come out by this time and there is still no rain in the forecast, I set about doing as much watering as I could bear before going in to make my tea.
The usual beans were accompanied by fresh carrots today.
I think Mrs Tootlepedal may have won this year’s battle in the eternal war against carrot root fly. (Fingers crossed)
Mrs Tootlepedal returns later this week so some serious time will have to be spent tidying up before she comes, both indoors and in the garden. You just don’t realise just how fast weeds grow until you are personally responsible for them….and the same applies to piles of dust.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.