The guest picture of the day comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She recently took a break in the Highlands of Scotland where she saw this lovely little tree creeper.
The forecast was for sunshine and light winds in the morning and rain and strong wind in the afternoon. As I was hoping to have coffee with Dropscone to find out about the state of his health, this meant that I would have to be up early and be well organised to get a bike ride in before coffee time.
To my own astonishment, I managed it.
It was a lovely morning for a pedal…
…but as I didn’t have a lot of time in hand, I pressed on without looking for cows or wild flowers in the verges to photograph. I couldn’t miss Canonbie Church though.,..
…or the ‘leaping poodle’ tree…
…and the beauty of the River Esk at Irvine House called me to a halt too.
I got back after twenty miles in good time to get changed and grind the coffee before Dropscone arrived.
He has been given the all clear by the hospital after his golf buggy accident, but he will have to take things easily for a couple of weeks. As he had just got his golf game working well after some months of poor form, he feels the accident was very badly timed but he is bearing up well and went off with some of Mrs Tootlepedal’s surplus runner beans to plant.
When he went, Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a walk round the garden. Just as the sensational white clematis flowers to the left of the front door are fading away, a new set of blue ones has arrived to the right of the door.
Elsewhere in the garden, the flowers were reflecting the sunshine with bright colours…
…and more subdued ones too.
Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out the first of our melancholy thistles…
…and it was hard to miss the bright Sweet Williams which are beginning to make a splash.
Other flowers were to be seen…
…and once again, there were a lot of bees about.
I put down the camera and got to work mowing the front and middle lawns. As I was able to do this without having to use the box to collect the grass cuttings, it was an easy and pleasant task. Cutting lawns every day or every other day is the secret of a happy life….and leads to good looking lawns.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy clearing nerines away from the base of the chimney pot outside the kitchen window. Now that the bird feeder has been moved, she has plans for creating a little colourful spot to please the eye of the cook or washer up when he or she looks out of the window.
At the moment it is a blank canvas.
I dug holes ready for her to plant the nerines in a different bed and then edged both lawns, shredded some hedge cuttings and sieved some compost.
By this time, we were both ready for some lunch and a sit down!
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal, who had had a very heavy morning in the garden, went off for a siesta and I did the crossword and then looked at the weather.
In spite of the forecast, it didn’t look as though it was going to rain so I went for a walk. I have cycled 100 miles in five lots of twenty gentle miles over the week and my feet and Achilles tendon have survived very well so I thought that I would see if some pedestrian exercise would help too and went for a two mile walk ’round the Becks’.
I went up the road first and passed under this very interesting tree with leaves within leaves.
As I was going slowly enough to stop easily, I kept my eye out for wild flowers…
…but to tell the truth, I didn’t have to look very hard to find them….
…as they lined my whole route from start to finish.
It was good to be out and about after not doing much walking at all for a month and I enjoyed the views even if the sun had gone in and the blue sky was disappearing.
I crossed the Becks bridge when I came to it…
…and very much enjoyed the little sunken buttercup meadow on the far side.
I haven’t had a good gate on the blog for some time so I thought that i ought tor repair that omission today.
I could have stopped for a picture very few yards but I didn’t want to get caught in the rain so I pushed on as fast as my feet would let me. All the same, there were things to see on every side, slow worms at Pool Corner, moss recovering after the dry spell….
…hawthorn flowers turning pink as they go over and the first hedge roses of the year.
Two miles was as far as my feet would let me go, but the walk doesn’t seem to have made them worse and rest doesn’t seem to make them, better so I will try walking again as soon as weather permits. The hills beckon.
When I got home, I had a look at the feeder in its new position. Business was quiet with just a few sparrows coming and going…
…so I went off to practise the songs for our forthcoming choir concert and the hymns for church on Sunday.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round. They had brought a bottle of white wine with them and this provided fine lubrication for music and conversation.
Altogether, it was a full day, both useful and enjoyable. The forecast is for a mixture of sunshine and showers in the week to come so I hope to be able to keep cycling and walking if my feet permit.
The flying bird of the day, taken when the sun was long gone, is a sparrow.