A poor effort

Today’s guest picture comes from my Highland correspondent Jenni.  She went even further north from Inverness for a cruise and found herself in Alaskan waters.

alaskan cruise

We had an uncharacteristically dull day here both as far as the weather went and my level of activity.  Mrs Tootlepedal was up and at it early with a trip to Carlisle and back by bus before lunch but drizzly rain and a brisk breeze discouraged me from doing much more than a little garden tidying and a trip to the corner shop in a dry spell.

I didn’t even get my camera out until after lunch.

The dahlias don’t seem to mind the rain much…

yellow dahlia

…but a hellenium…


..and a rudbeckia appear rather depressed.


The small sunflowers make up in numbers what they lack in height…

short sunflowers

…and both the plums…

crowded plums

…and the apples can’t be accused of any lack of effort.


Indeed, I have thinned the plums several times already and took off another twenty today without making any noticeable difference to the crop.

The Christmas tree, which is having its summer holiday in the vegetable garden, doesn’t seem very sure about which way it is going at all.

christmas tree august

I had some fun trying to photograph a fine red poppy.  It was exposed to the breeze and after several complete failures…

red poppy in wind 1

…I finally managed to catch it at the top of its swaying motion.

red poppy in wind 2

This little excursion completed my outdoor work for the day and I went in to put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and have another unavailing round in my battle against the recalcitrant printer. Printer 4 Tom 0.

A gloomy afternoon was improved by the arrival of Luke for our weekly flute playing efforts and I got a couple of new studies from the internet for us to play.  The internet is an endless source of free flute duets and I put that in the balance against the greed and manipulation of the big internet companies.

Our good spell of weather looks as though it has finally come to an end, with cooler temperatures and rain forecast for every day this week until the weekend.  I will have to remember what it is like to bicycle in less than perfect conditions if I am not to fall behind my schedule again.

For some mysterious reason, there have been hardly any birds in the garden for the last two days after a very busy spell so the flying bird of the day is a solitary siskin sitting down.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A poor effort

  1. I can relate to the difficulties you had while trying to photograph the poppy, it doesn’t take much wind to make photographing a flower a tough proposition. That’s what makes your blog special when it comes to flowers, you always manage to get a good photo!

  2. My photo doesn’t do the landscape justice ,it was beautiful , we saw glaciers, whales bubblenet feeding, white headed eagles , many more whales from the ship, which itself was fantastic, only 382 guests perfect.

  3. How do you manage to arrange the raindrops just right? I concur with the Internet being an endless source of free music. We found our flute and piano piece for the Spring Music Festival on the Internet and as much as I wanted to buy the piano part, it wasn’t for sale. The only drawback to free music is figuring out how to turn pages.

  4. I like the shot of the wet helleniums. They seem more colorful.
    It looks like there will be plenty of preserved plums and apples to see you through winter.
    Nice shot of the wind blown poppy. I just went through the same thing yesterday with cardinal flowers.

  5. Your plums and apples look like they are coming along nicely. Blackberries are ripening now, just in time as the blueberry bushes stalled in the heat. I am looking forward to our own plums and apples soon.

    Your poppies are colorful and gorgeous, as always.

  6. The apples and plums look fabulous,.and that Christmas tree cracks me up. Certainly has a mind of its own.

  7. We too have strange periods when no birds appear to be interested in the seeds I put out for them; when bird song is absent. Then, just when I am wondering if the apocalypse is on its way, they come back in droves. I would love to know where they go in the interim.

    1. I suppose that on windy days there is a cost benefit analysis done by the head birds who check whether the energy used flying into the wind is more than can be got by eating the seeds when they get there.

  8. Worth the wait to get that poppy photo. Obviously the Christmas tree has been totally confused by the weather…as we all have…and doesn’t quite know which way to grow! Can see you’ll be very busy soon with lots of eating and baking with that wonderful ‘glut’ of fruit….hope the wasps stay away!

  9. I envy your apples. I miss the ancient apple trees I had at a previous house. They were so delicious picked fresh off the tree, all crisp and slightly tart. (Now you have me wondering about placing commas!) Oh well. I don’t suppose you’ll complain.

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