Today’s fine guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She was luckier than us and was able to enjoy the eclipse of the moon last night. We were clouded over.
Although I had promised myself a bike ride in the morning before forecast rain arrived, I was not at my perkiest when I staggered out of bed this morning, and I allowed myself to be persuaded by the Met Office website that the rain would pass and I would get a cycling opportunity in the early evening instead.
It was all too easy then to waste a lot of time doing the crossword, drinking coffee, making a loaf in the bread maker and wandering aimlessly round the garden. Though to be fair, I did take aim from time to time.
I couldn’t decide whether this was the poppy of the day…
…or this, so I took them both.
The salvias look better every day.
I like the stachys which are probably the furriest plants in the garden….
..and the calendulas which are the sunniest.
The nectaroscordum is going over in a very dignified way, looking like the ruined turrets on some fairyland castle.
On the vegetable garden fence, Bobbie James is flourishing…
…and the first of the Ooh La La clematis flowers has appeared.
My neighbour Liz passed the front gate and while I chatted to her, a blue tit rested on the wire cage that Mrs Tootlepedal has put up to protect her plants from marauding pigeons…
…while the delphiniums stood up very straight…
…and a bee visited a hosta.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I took the pea fortress off one of her rows of peas and picked a good handful for our lunch, and then I checked out the ligularia which was sticking its many tongues out at me…
…and we went in for lunch with peas, beetroot, lettuce and potatoes from the garden on the menu.
And then it started to rain so I watched the birds.
As soon as I topped up the feeder, siskins started to arrive..
…but there was a good selection of other birds too, including this chaffinch which missed its footing as it flew in…
…and a greenfinch being rather careless with its eating habits.
A blue tit looked down on the feeder from above…
…and another youngster tried out the nuts.
I put a wet afternoon to some use by putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database and practising a song that I am trying to learn for my singing teacher.
Then I gave up any pretence of activity and sat down to watch the last 50km of the Tour de France Stage. It ended in Toulouse, a city through which Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled on our way from St Malo to Carcassone about thirteen years ago.
It is surprising how easily a few drops of light rain can persuade you to watch other people cycling rather than actually going out and pedalling yourself when you reach a certain age.
All the same, my plan was to go for a pedal when the rain stopped, but as it didn’t stop, I didn’t go.
Mrs Tootlepedal picked some carrots and I picked some broad beans and we ate them with a second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie for our tea.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow. A fortuitous setting of the shutter speed shows just how still a bird can keep its head and body even when its wings are flapping like mad.