Today’s guest picture is another from my cello playing friend Mike’s trip to the north. His wife Anne has kindly sent me some pictures which she took on the holiday, including this one of Abraham in the biblical garden of Elgin Cathedral.
It was another pointlessly drizzly morning here today with just enough rain to annoy but not enough to do any good.
It was quite warm though so I was happy to get my new bike out after breakfast and go for my regular 20 mile circuit to Canonbie and back.
I had to put my rain jacket on shortly after I left home but I was able to take it off again three miles later, though there wasn’t much opportunity to take shots of the wonderful views while I was stopped because there weren’t any views at all.
It brightened up a bit as I went round and by the time that I got to Canonbie…
…it was a cloudy but pleasant day. My good mood was greatly enhanced by a friendly wind which let me cover the last fifteen miles of the route in exactly an hour of cycling time.
Steve, the man who makes our benches, has also provided us with a new bridge for the pond. He delivered it today and Mrs Tootlepedal and I installed it. I selflessly gave Mrs Tootlepedal the honour of testing it out.
It held up very well.
I didn’t have time to do any gardening so after a quick smile from my favourite sunflower…
…I picked up my other camera and set off to walk up the Kirk Wynd onto Whita Hill.
There were plenty of wild flowers to give me an excuse for a stop on the way up the hill…
…and I was particularly pleased to see some heather out.
I needed the wildflower stops because, as you can see, it is quite a steep walk up from the town.
I wasn’t alone on the hill though, because not long after I found a good place to stand, the cornet and his right and left hand men came cantering up the Kirk Wynd and onto the hill too.
It was the last Saturday before the last Friday of July so it was the day for the Castle Craigs ride-out.
I liked the fine horse that carried Stuart, the right hand man, up the hill.
The ‘front three’ were soon joined by other riders….
…and there was a general gathering for a moment’s rest…
…which gave me an opportunity to admire this beautiful horse…
…before the cornet led the cavalcade off up the hill…
…twisting and turning over the many hillocks and dips…
…before disappearing over the shoulder of the hill on their way to the Castle Craigs and Cronksbank.
Other eager pedestrians were following the horses on foot but I had had enough exercise for the day (and no lunch) so I headed back down through the town, got home, collapsed on the sofa…
…and let the heroes of the Tour de France take my exercise for me for the rest of the afternoon.
When the stage had finished, I went out into the garden to find that it was a lovely evening. I noticed that a professional weeder had been at work…
…and my scientific rain gauge had been put to good use.
Mrs Tootlepedal was doing some work in the vegetable garden and was surprised by just how dry the soil in the beds is. The soil in the top six inches is basically dust if you turn it over and under that, there is a layer of hard, dried, fissured earth. It is amazing that there any flowers thriving at all.
But there are.
They must have deep roots.
We were able to supply the evening meal with many good things from the vegetable garden.
There was a scarcity of birds when I had a moment to look at them and I was rather taken by this siskin which was much more interested in posing for the camera than eating seed,
Both I and Mrs Tootlepedal have been watering and there seems to be no immediate end in sight for this task as we have no rain in the forecast until the last day of the month, ten days away.
We are singing the Hallelujah Chorus in church again tomorrow so I had a final practice before settling down to write this post. It will be good to have Mrs Tootlepedal back in the choir.
The flying bird of the day is half a chaffinch (the best that I could do)