A scone with a story

Today’s guest picture is another from Bruce’s stay in Northumberland and shows a colourful view from the bridge over the River Breamish which appeared in a previous post.

river breamish view

The strong winds of yesterday continued overnight and were still blowing this morning so I was happy to stay in and welcome Dropscone for a cup of coffee though I had time to go out into the garden and see what hadn’t been blown over first.

icelandic poppy June

Dropscone arrived with a story to tell.  Thanks to an accident when he was piloting a golf buggy while he was refereeing at a big golf event on the east coast last week, he had had to have an involuntary visit to hospital over the weekend.   He was interested to discover that he was not the only person in his ward to have come off worse in a contest with a golf buggy as another patient had also lost an argument with one.  Dangerous things these golf buggies.

Luckily for me, this had in no way diminished his ability to turn out tasty scones and as he had had to drink very indifferent coffee during his stay in hospital, we were both pleased to see each other.  He was in very cheery form but still has to go back for a check up tomorrow to see that he hasn’t suffered any lasting harm.

Just as we finished our coffee, an ace reporter from our local paper appeared to ask us questions about the little white electric thingy as the paper is doing a feature on ‘green’ issues.

When she had left, I walked round the garden again.

The early lupins are nearly at their peak

luopins nearly there

…while others are just coming out.

close up lupin

In the vegetable garden the chives thrive…

chives looking good

…and the peas progress behind their anti sparrow fortifications.

pea fortress working

The wind and the rain have taken a toll on the azaleas and there are many more petals lying in heaps on the ground than on the bushes.

fallen azalea petals

I went in to make soup for lunch and watch the birds.  The soup kept me busy but there was very little bird action.  The artificial tree was home to three hopeful young sparrows…

three young sparrows

…who were waiting for father to come back with some food…

adult sparrow

…but both adult and children got fed up and flew off and no other birds came to take their place.

After lunch, I decided that my need for a bike ride was greater than my dislike of pedalling in 30 mph winds so I got my bike out and went for ride.  I was helped in this decision by the appearance of some sun, so at least it was reasonably warm even if it was very hard work pedalling into the brisk breeze.

The sun brought out the colours of the red campion and wild geraniums in the verge as I cycled up the hill out of town.

wildflowers

…and everything was cheerfully green under blue skies.

I skulked about in the shelter of the Wauchope valley and only went four miles before turning back to get a whoosh home with the strong wind behind me.   I was so encouraged by the pleasure of downwind cycling that I went back up the road  and gave myself a little diversion to enjoy the views.

green view from Bloch road

The local estate has been busy selling land to forestry companies so that there is a danger that all our hills may be covered by blanket forests like the one in this view but this particular farm has been given a temporary reprieve.

looking to cleuchfoot

I cycled a little further up the road on my second lap but as I started to climb up the hill at Callister, I found myself being blown dangerously about by the strong wind so I abandoned thoughts of going to the top of the hill and turned for home after five miles.

Once more, I experienced the joy of downhill, downwind cycling.  Pedalling along a flat stretch at 25 miles an hour makes an old man feel young again, at least for a moment or two until he has to clutch nervously at the brakes as a sharp corner comes up.

I did stop to take a picture of one of my favourite views, not least because it is all downhill to home from here and on this occasion, wafted by a favouring gale, the three and a bit miles back to Langholm took me ten minutes…

view from above Wauchope schoolhouse

…not including the brief stop for a final picture of a very green corner.

green corner

When I got back to Langholm I was seized with decimal madness and cycled once round the New Town to bring my distance up to a neat 20 miles, a very reasonable distance for such a windy day in my view.

Since the sun was still shining, I took the opportunity to mow the middle lawn and then give it a neat edge with the strimmer.  If it hadn’t been so windy, I might have sat down on the new bench and admired my handiwork but instead I went in and hoped to see some birds.

Once again, there weren’t many to watch.  It is hard to say whether this was because of the strong winds or because the jackdaws have frightened them away.

jackdaw on peanuts

A lone redpoll did appear and after perching anxiously on the sunflower stalk…

redpoll on stalk

…it spent a little time on the seed feeder..

redpoll on feeder

…but it was the only small bird that I saw.

I just had time for another look at the garden, where I saw these clematis seed heads…

clematis seed head

…and a quizzical blackbird…

blackbird sideways look

…before my flute pupil Luke came.

We had another good session and it is good to see steady progress being made.

When he left, I sieved a little compost and mowed the drying green before we had our tea.

In the absence of any opportunity to take a flying bird of the day picture, the quizzical blackbird kindly consented to have its photograph taken to act as standing bird of the day.

full blackbird portrait

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A scone with a story

  1. Shame on me, I did a slight double-take on ‘When she had gone…’. How does one train the mind not to have a stereotypical mental picture?

  2. The views of the blanketed hillsides look very much like here with all the tree farms. A friend from back east visited us some years ago and remarked that they seem to cut forests here like they harvest hay back there. The clear cuts on the hillsides do look that way.

    That is an outstanding patch of lupines!

  3. I hope Dropscone comes through as good as new. We have a golf cart at work that I ride in occasionally and I’ve never trusted it.
    We’ve had strong winds here too for many weeks. They make flower photography much more difficult.
    The views are beautiful. I hope they don’t let all the hills become forested like ours.

    1. Strong winds are a real pain and it is my view without hard evidence that we are living in windier conditions than we were. Still day are few and far between. I’ll get an update on Dropscone later in the week.

  4. Good to see your views on your bike ride and to read your pleasure in going downhill…wonder if you take your feet off the pedals! Love the poppy, lupins and blackbird photos.

  5. Best to Dropscone! Wonderful that you and your electric car will be the feature of an article in the paper. “Be the change you wish to see.” This has been attributed to Gandhi, but there is some question about whether or not he really said this. Wise words, no matter where they came from.

  6. The lupins are stunning – so lovely and architectural. Also like the lineup of fluffy wee sparrows! Is your local paper online? If so, I must look up the story about the famous little white car.

      1. I don’t know whether it still publishes the whole edition on line as it used to now that it is a community owned company. It may not have the resources.

  7. I’m impressed by the lupine, the wild ones that grow here are very colorful, but don’t look as neat and tidy as the domestic ones do in your garden.

    Those golf buggies are dangerous things, I never rented one unless forced to, I prefer to walk, but some courses demand that you use them to speed up play. One reason that I gave up the sport of gulf, I wanted to relax and enjoy the day, not rush around like a madman trying to complete the round as quickly as possible.

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