Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle Correspondent, Fiona, who is in Amsterdam. She thought that I might like this cycle repair shop sign.
It was another day of frequent showers, mostly quite short but often quite heavy. My scientific rain gauge is measuring over three inches of rain for the week and it is a tribute to our long dry spell that ground has still not got soggy.
I had a quick walk round the garden after breakfast.
Things we were wet after more overnight rain…
…but the sun was out and Mrs Tootlepedal’s cosmos were looking very cheerful…
..as was the Japanese anemone.
I didn’t have time to hang about though as we had to set off to Dumfries where Mrs Tootlepedal was having a second cataract operation. Her first one, a few years ago, had been very satisfactory so she was pretty calm about the whole thing today and everything went well and we were able to go to a nearby garden centre for lunch afterwards.
We had a walk round the plants after lunch and for the life of me, I cannot fathom what attracted her to these geraniums.
Maybe it was the colour. Anyway, she bought one.
We had driven through a very heavy shower on our way to Dumfries, almost but not quite hard enough to make driving impossible, but the journey home by a quieter route was very peaceful. It started to rain again soon after we got back but not before I had had the chance to do some dead heading and have a look around.
The heleniums are starting to look a bit more as though they mean business…
…and nearby, a new astilbe is adding colour to the scene.
The rain doesn’t seem to keep the bees away and the dahlias had attracted them again.
The weather came and went and in between showers, I watched the birds. I put out some more fat balls and they pulled in a good crowd of jackdaws.
Jackdaws take life seriously…..
….and they find perching on my feeder pole a bit of a tricky problem.
While they were about, the sparrows waited discreetly in the plum tree…
…but as soon as the jackdaws went, the sparrows got stuck into the seed feeder with gusto.
Mrs Tootlepedal was having a sensible rest so I took the chance to put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and then cooked the tea.
A glance out of the window after tea showed that the weather had cleared up and as it looked set fair for a while, I went out for a short walk just to stretch my legs.
There was enough water in the Esk to bring all three arches of the town bridge into action…
…and to tempt some local fishermen into trying their luck just above the bridge.
It was a beautiful evening for a walk.
I kept an eye for interesting things and enjoyed this very sturdy fungus at the end of the Kilngreen…
…a small moss and lichen garden on an old tree stump…
…and a banded snail on another stump.
The evening sunshine was warm enough to raise little drifts of mist from the wet trees.
The corydalis on the wall at the end of the Scholars’ Field was as pretty as ever.
I met the Archive Group treasurer Nancy on my way home and we fell into conversation. She has a small allotment and like us, the good season has produced far too many vegetables for her and her husband to eat themselves and she tells me that people now swerve aside when they see her coming in case they find themselves loaded with courgettes, beans and other vegetables before they can escape.
I realise that in an ideal world, all this surplus would be pickled or other wise preserved and set aside for the depths of winter but that requires time, patience and skill and one or other of these qualities may not always be available. Or in my case, none of them and I don’t like pickles anyway.
We have to go back to the hospital again tomorrow for a check up so if the weather is at all sympathetic, I will try to visit some photogenic spot on our way back.
The flying bird of the day is a jackdaw trying to get a purchase on the fat ball feeder.