Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent. She set herself up with this splendid view with the intention of enjoying the Red Arrows display team as they flew towards her. Unfortunately, owing to a failure of communication, they appeared from behind her and were past before she could get a good shot. Still, the countryside is lovely.
We had dawn till dusk sunshine today (with the occasional cloud) and as a result, I spent a lot of time outside.
I was going to go cycling in the morning but Mrs Tootlepedal had asked if I could clean the tray which catches the fallen seed below the bird feeder so while she went off for a meeting, I did that. Bird poop and soggy seed are difficult to get off so this took me some time.
Mrs Tootlepedal returned and it was such a fine day that it seemed like a really good time to dig up the remaining potatoes and let them dry before storing them.
There were quite a lot to raise.
Some of them were definitely not small potatoes.
And the haulms needed chopping up and putting into the compost bin.
And I couldn’t spend time in the garden without looking around a bit.
And after all this, it was suddenly time for lunch and I still hadn’t gone cycling.
After lunch, I checked on the butterflies. There were a lot about and as the buddleia blooms are going over, it wasn’t surprising to find a peacock and a red admiral sharing one of the ones that is still out.
I finally got cycling and soon found out that although the sun was out, there was a brisk wind to go with it so it was warm but hard going. I set off to go over Callister but found that the loose gravel merchants had been at work there very recently so I turned back and took a diversion. At one stage, this entailed going along a narrow road with a very poor surface, gently uphill and straight into the wind. I was pleased to take a rest and nibble on a bramble in a hedge…
…and make up for the recent lack of gates in the blog.
I passed several farmers in the process of getting a second cut of grass for storage.
They must be pleased because when the cold wet spring was followed by a drought, things didn’t look very promising.
In spite of the constant verge cutting, some (short) wild flowers are showing again beside the road as I pedal along.
For one reason or another, my legs were in a very uncooperative mood and the wind was coming from a rather unhelpful direction so my progress would have made a snail feel quite comfortable.
I needed a few stops to let the legs recover and I took one of them at this small bridge over a little burn a few yards from the border with England.
It was a pretty spot…
…with a lot of Himalayan balsam about.
I took my last breather, about three miles from home and was impressed by the seediness of the area.
In spite of my lacklustre legs, I managed 43 miles and found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy while I was out. She had collected up the potatoes…
…and sorted out the bed.
I checked on the butterflies and saw five peacocks at once….
…and then went in for a cup of tea and a look at the birds among the plums on the plum tree.
Mrs Tootlepedal was preparing a home made pizza for our tea (our breadmaking machine makes a very good dough for pizza bases) and while she was doing this, I had another check on the butterflies….
…before going off for a shower and coming down to eat the delicious pizza.
We are taking a keen interest in La Vuelta (the Tour of Spain cycle race) and I was very envious of the beautifully surfaced roads that they were cycling along today though I was happy not to be going down the final hill with them at 76 kph. My nose starts bleeding at 48 kph.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow threatening the position of a greenfinch.