Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony’s Highland jaunt. They went on a boat trip and saw eagles fishing. He took this picture with his phone.
We had a better day today. I managed to get up and stay up and Mrs Tootlepedal’s cold was much improved.
She had another very busy day in connection with the plans to try to get a community buy out going for part of the Langholm moor which our local duke is selling. She is part of a steering group which is considering possibilities and encouraging local interest. Part of her day involved a visit to the moor with our local expert and as she saw stonechats, meadow pipits, wild goats and a hen harrier in flight, she felt very happy about her day’s work.
I took things more easily and spent a lot of time doing some desultory weeding and dead heading, before some compost sieving. Mrs Tootlepedal has been using a lot of our home made compost recently.
Among this, there was plenty of time to look at flowers both old and new.
It was a day for new poppies to pop up. Expect many more poppy portraits in the days to come.
Owing to having a very twitchy shutter finger in the sunshine, flowers will appear in mostly colour coded panels.
My neighbour Liz called in and was much struck by the beauty of the rosa complicata in the front bed which she said looked exactly like a rose should look like. Who could disagree with her?
Not all he flowers in the garden stand out. I had to peer through the tree peony to find this new lily which is blushing unseen.
Among all the other colour, the little forest of orange hawkweed is still one of the best things in the garden at the moment.
I sat down for long enough to do the crossword and watch the birds. A goldfinch had an interesting slant on things…
…while a sparrow clutched at straws (or in this case, the old sunflower stalk).
I made some lentil soup for lunch and Mrs Tootlepedal appeared in time to have a bowl too.
After lunch, I mowed the front lawn. The moss eating treatment seems to be working but I applied the mixture, which also contains buck-u-uppo, with such a free hand that the grass is growing at a furious rate.
Then, since it was a fine day and my back and feet were not complaining too much, I went out for a cycle ride. As the wind was gusting at 25mph, it was quite a short ride because I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my legs.
I was keeping an eye out for orchids and when a flash of colour appeared in the verge, I stopped to investigate. It turned out to be vetch but still well worth a look, I thought.
I pottered along and turned at this gate on Callister. Like the photographer, it is a bit past its best.
With the wind behind me, I whistled back to the town and out of the other side until I had got far enough to get a view up the Ewes Valley which the low cloud had denied us yesterday.
Satisfied, I pedalled home and clocked up 16 miles. At least I had started the new month with something.
Mrs Tootlepedal was out when I got home. She had been off doing more moorland business while I was pedalling but she soon returned and she noticed this strange object on a nettle while she was getting the washing in.
A search on the internet tells me that it may be a fungal gall caused by rust.
We had a discussion as to whether it was time to try digging up an early potato. After some debate, we resolved to give it a go.
It turned out to be a reasonable decision and we ate a lot of them with our evening meal.
My flute pupil Luke came and I was rustier than him as I hadn’t played a note for two weeks. I will have to put in some practice.
After tea, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk. I was hoping to see something to photograph and she was hoping to nab a few more townspeople to sign her petition regarding the moorland purchase.
She added two more to her total as we crossed the suspension bridge, and I enjoyed the wild flowers beside the Esk. For reasons that may have more to do with economy than deliberate planning, the usual strimming of the banks has not taken place and although many townspeople like the banks to look neat and tidy, I prefer the wildflowers.
The view upriver looked like a painting.
We walked round the new path on the Castleholm and were impressed by the huge size of the cones on the noble fir.
There were insects to be seen on the umbellifers beside the path.
And the path itself was treat on a summer evening like this.
Mrs Tootlepedal added another four names to her petition as we walked along Douglas Terrace and then we dropped in on Mike and Alison (another signature added) where I enjoyed a beer before finally getting home. Mike and Alison’s garden is looking very fine.
I felt better at the end of the day than I did at the beginning and you can’t ask for anything more than that.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin with its mouth full, byt still going back for more.