Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony’s Highland holiday. He was up above Applecross on the Bealach nam Ba (the pass of the cattle) on the west coast when he got this splendid view.
It was a fine and warm day here today, the first summer like day of the year and I was lucky to have plenty to do to keep me busy.
I started the morning off by taking Mrs Tootlepedal’s ‘shopping’ bike down to the bike shop to get some maintenance in general, and in particular to get what younger cyclists rather scornfully call the ‘granny gear’ working again. This is the lowest gear on the bike, useful for climbing the steeper sort of hills even for quite young people and essential for older cyclists. It hasn’t been working for some time and Mrs Tootlepedal has found steep hills no fun at all.
Leaving the bike to be worked on, I went back to Langholm by way of the Moorland Project bird hide where I was acting as a fill in feeder filler for friends who were away. I always hope to see a woodpecker or two as a reward for filling the feeders and my hopes were amply fulfilled today.
I drove home in a very cheerful mood.
The garden was in a very cheerful mood too…
…and even the flowers that had gone over were still smiling.
The roses are getting better every day…
…and I will have to get into full dead heading mode from now on.
Mrs Tootlepedal helped to demonstrate why the flowers that are commonly known as ‘Dutchmen’s Breeks’ are also known as ‘Lady in the Bath’
In return, I lent her a hand at getting some order back into the bed in the vegetable garden which had been squashed by the mini digger when the new electricity pole was put up.
The petrol driven tiller is noisy but hardworking.
We are supposed to be getting new planks for the sides of the bed from the power company but we are not holding our breath.
I had a little sit down after being pulled this way and that by the tiller and enjoyed the calm colour combination of these flowers while I rested.
After lunch, I went for a walk with Sandy. It has been some time since our feet have both been usable and there has been some good weather at the same time so this was a very welcome excursion. I picked him up in the Zoe and we drove down the recently repaired road to the Tarras Bridge and went for a short walk along the path beside the river.
I took far too many pictures to show them all here but among the pleasures on display on our walk were numerous different grasses…
…of which this one was my favourite.
There were lots of wild flowers beside the path.
And it is always surprising to walk past the section of the river bank which reveals what is under our feet. There was coal mining in the area for a long time and people have been considering open cast mining quite recently.
The plants were attracting other visitors.
There was a bee in clover…
…a painted lady that looked as though it might need a new coat of paint…
…and a hoverfly getting stuck into the pollen.
We saw several northern marsh orchids but they were not fully out yet which was disappointing.
The hedge roses were in full flower…
…and nettles were being very spiky…
…but my personal pick of the shots that I took along the way was this one of a bird’s foot trefoil looking gorgeous.
We drove home and had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, who had just come back from a meeting, and Mike Tinker, who had dropped in to catch up with the news.
When our visitors left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I put some time in to raising the roofs on the two pea fortresses. The peas have grown very well and one sort that claims to grow to 16 inches on the packet is well over three feet.
I haven’t put a picture of the newly enlarged structures into this post to avoid over exciting readers….and it was very difficult to get a good shot anyway.
There was quite a lot of other garden work to be done and when we had finished we had omelettes for tea with new potatoes and turnips from the garden.
As it was still a beautiful day, I went for a 15 mile cycle ride after we had eaten. Was it a good evening for a cycle ride? It was.
I stopped for a chat with an oyster catcher which was standing one legged on a gate post half way up a hill…
… but otherwise, I pedalled steadily along, enjoying the warmth.
There had been a bit too much warmth yesterday in the town where some people had managed to set fire to one of the unused buildings of the old Reid & Taylor’s Mill.
It is sad to see vandalism like this in our town and this was the only sight that spoiled an otherwise excellent day.
The bird hide woodpecker makes a re-appearance as the slightly fuzzy but quite unusual flying bird of the day.