I am deluged with potential guest pictures at the moment so apologies to anyone who has missed out in the rush. I am very grateful and I will try to use lots of them in time.
Today’s comes from my brother who paid a visit to Shugborough Hall and was impressed to discover that they have two differently coloured Chinese bridges in the grounds.
I had rather an unexciting morning as it was grey and occasionally very lightly drizzling. On top of that, I had to wait in for the possible delivery of a parcel as Mrs Tootlepedal had to go out to visit the dentist and the Buccleuch Hall.
I looked at some damp flowers…
…and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database. An entertaining crossword helped to pass the time and I looked at the brods whoihc had returned to the feeder.
It took them a bit to arrive and the first visitor was a siskin who posed very soulfully…
..before flying off without feeding.
Others did not hold back.
I was just taking a studio portrait of a greenfinch enjoying a light snack….
…when I (and it) was rudely interrupted.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came back, I had an early lunch and set off for a pedal.
It was grey but warm and dry and I even saw a wild flower which had escaped the mowers.
A roar of noise while i was looking at the flower made me look up and a convoy of motor cyclists passed me by at speed.
Mrs Tootlepedal often observes that we very rarely see a lone motor cyclist. They seem to like to cling together in little social groups. As a cyclist, I am not very fond of them as they tend to approach from behind without giving an aural hint that they are coming and then roar past me, giving me a nasty turn.
My route took me over Callister and down into the flat lands of the Solway Plain along one road where the verges had been so tightly mowed that they looked as good as a lawn.
Somewhere along the way, presumably on one of the many bumpy bits of road, my water bottle must have bounced out of its cage and disappeared without me noticing. I was probably hanging on for dear life and hoping to avoid hitting a pothole at the time.
It was a water bottle that had been discarded beside the road by a professional cyclist as the peleton passed by on an occasion when the Tour of Britain came through Langholm so it was a good age and had cost me nothing. I had been thinking of replacing it on health grounds so I didn’t go back to look for it and headed for Longtown and the bike shop there instead…
…where I bought a new one. In fact it was so cheap that I bought two. The new one looks quite smart on my bike…
…and picks up the colour of the maker’s name.
A bonus of going to Longtown was the keen following wind that blew me home up the hill at comfortably over 15mph. Good route choice again.
I had intended to do a few more miles than the 32 that I managed but I didn’t want to go too far when I discovered that I had lost my water bottle and the wind behind me was too tempting not to use straight away once I had a new bottle.
This left me with enough energy to mow the front lawn when I got back and take a view of it from an upstairs window.
After a slow time during the drought, it is much better supplied with flowers round it now.
Some late sunshine had brought both bees and butterflies out.
Mrs Tootlepedal kindly stood under the very tall sunflower to give a sense of scale.
Did I mention that it was big?
It was a day for finding flowers in a circle…
…and a flower with deep, deep colour…
…and another with virtually no colour at all. The hosta has the whitest flower in the garden at the moment.
In the late afternoon, my neighbour Ken came across and borrowed my slow bike as his is in the bike shop at Longtown not being repaired because they can’t find the correct tool for the job. In spite of the solid back tyre and the unfamiliar belt drive, he quite enjoyed a leisurely twenty miles on it.
Mrs Tootlepedal made good use of the largest courgette by calling it a marrow, cutting it into cylindrical sections, stuffing them with cooked mince, topping them off with breadcrumbs and baking them in the oven. It made a tasty dish.
The chaffinches find it hard to get a seat at the table when the greenfinches are around so by way of an apology, I have made one the flying bird of the day.