Today’s guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew’s wife’s Australian cousin Janet who found Andrew hard at work on his son’s mower making hay while the sun shone.
After yesterday’s outing to Beamish, I had a plan for today: in the morning I would put the pictures from Beamish on the blog, mow a few lawns, make soup for lunch and then in the afternoon, I would go for a cycle ride.
Everything went entirely to plan until I got up. Shortly afterwards, I went back to bed again with a very sore back and an outbreak of being strangely tired. As I didn’t get up until noon, the morning part of the plan was shot.
I took a quick look at the garden flowers when I had risen and found a lot of Sweet William that I thought was worth recording.
The first day lilies have arrived.
And ever more irises are appearing.
I like the last of the lupins to join the garden show.
I found another Philadelphus flower.
And my favourite rose, Lilian Austin was looking at her best.
She has been joined by a burst of moss roses.
Then I went in and watched the birds for a while.
Although the weather was good, it was pretty breezy and birds had to hang on to the feeder.
And when they did get settled, it wasn’t long before someone else came along and booted them off.
I had a cheese and tomato toastie for lunch and fortified by this, I went out and mowed the lawns. This was a bit of a kill or cure experiment with my back and I am happy to say that the result tended much more to cure than kill and I felt a bit better for the rest of the day.
I noticed a flash of colour and dashed in for my camera and for once a butterfly kindly stayed in place for long enough for me to get a picture. It was a red admiral, the first that i have seen in the garden this year.
Looking around, now that I had my camera with me, I was impressed by the growth on the delphiniums…
…and by the pertinacity of the aquilegia which are still growing through a box ball.
I spotted the first calendula of the year…
…and enjoyed the dancing feet of the martagon lilies in the sun.
The two clematis on either side of the front door are at very different stages of development.
Mrs Tootlepedal has a bit of a cold and had had a very busy morning, so while I was pootling about in the garden, she wisely had a siesta. When she came downstairs, we decided to go up to the Langholm Moor and look for interesting bird life.
Our timing was off. The sun had gone and light rain and low clouds had beaten us to the top of the hill.
The wind was strong too and the bog cotton and grasses were being blown about.
Altogether it wasn’t the best day for watching birds on the hill. Still, it is always a pleasure to be out and about and the roadsides were full of wild flowers…
…including a large patch of orchids.
However, it was too wet and windy to take satisfactory pictures or see much so we didn’t stay out long and came back to the garden where I spotted a new clematis in the drizzle.
Although we welcomed the rain from a gardening point of view as things were a bit dry, the birds didn’t look very happy, either up above…
…or down below.
Our fake tree of twigs nailed onto a fence post is a popular stopping off point for birds on the way to the feeder.
The rain and the brisk wind put paid to any idea of cycling, though I did put in a few minutes on the bike to nowhere in the garage just to get my legs moving. Then I buckled down and put 90 odd pictures into a post about the trip to Beamish yesterday. (Sandy has put some of the ones that he took on his blog too and those interested can see them here.)
All this took some time and although there was a glimpse of sun later in the evening, my day had ground to halt by then and I ate a meal prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal and watched Countryfile on the telly.
I hope that my back and the weather are more co-operative tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin in the queue for the feeder.