The guest picture of the day is another teapot spotted by my brother Andrew. He has a knack for finding big teapots although he tells me that he thinks that this one is a bit of a Mickey Mouse affair.
My day can be summed up very simply: got up, saw a butterfly, went for a cycle ride, saw another butterfly, mowed the lawns, had tea, went to bed.
I saw two butterflies after breakfast.
The buddleia is working hard.
As you can see, the sun was shining and as the forecast suggested a dry day, I left the butterflies behind and headed westward into the wind. The first twenty five miles took me two hours and eight minutes. The next thirty took me two hours and three minutes.
The verge mowers have been everywhere so I didn’t stop for a picture until I came across a patch of yellow flowers that are not dandelions. Each one came with its own insect.
As I was on a longish ride, I stopped frequently for a stretch and a drink but wild flowers were hard to find so I settled for a lichen encrusted twig instead.
I took a picture of the old main road near Lockerbie to show the state of the verges.
Very neatly mowed! The white line on the left marks off a cycle lane. As you can see, on a Saturday this is a pretty quiet road considering it used to be the main western road between England and Scotland but it is busier on a weekday and the cycle lane is welcome.
I was stopped in my tracks by this bright red burst of berries, sticking out of a hedge all by themselves.
I crossed the River Annan twice but waited until I got to the town of Annan itself before taking a picture of a bridge.
A party of goosanders was cruising up the river nearby.
Passing through Annan, I stopped a few miles later for a fruit scone and a coffee at a museum in Eastriggs.
It celebrates the story of the largest munitions factory in the world during the First World war. They manufactured cordite there and this accounted for the size of the factory which was spread over several miles of deserted sea coast. (You can find out more by clicking this link.)
I didn’t go into the museum but had my coffee outside beside an impressive flower pot.
When I got to Gretna, I was going to go down to the sea shore to take exciting pictures but when I looked…
…I saw that the sea was out so I turned and headed for home.
My route was planned to make the most of a friendly wind on my way back westwards and you may be able to tell that all the leaves on these trees have their backs to me…
…so the plan worked out well.
I did worry for a moment when some threatening clouds loomed up when I was about ten miles from home…
…but they blew away and the sun was out when I got back to the garden.
And so were the butterflies.
I only saw peacock butterflies today but there were a lot about…
…and the buddleia was heaving with them.
I mowed both lawns and then, since I thought that they were looking quite neat, I went round the edges with the strimmer too.
Next, while Mrs Tootlepedal did some ‘neatening up’ in the vegetable garden, I dead headed poppies, mallow and calendula and took a few pictures.
One of the new lilies looks right at home among the phlox, zinnias and mallow.
The buddleia may attract butterflies but the dahlias are a treat for the bees and it is rare to pass them without finding a bee about.
And I like the poppies.
I was taking the dead headings to the compost bin when I noticed that the snow berry which grows behind the bins is out. It is a bit of a pest but I like it.
If the blog stops appearing and there is no sign to be seen of the Tootlepedals, it is most likely that we will be found buried under a great heap of courgettes. The supply is never ending at the moment.
I had courgette soup with potatoes for my tea.
I sadly neglected to take any bird pictures today so the flying bird of the day is the giant flower pot at the Devil’s Porridge Museum.