In the garden

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who was taking some refreshment in Russell Square when she noticed that she was being watched.

Susan's owl

We had a day of almost uninterrupted sunshine and light winds, ideal for pottering about the garden so this is what I did.  I thought of going for a bike ride from time to time as it was also a perfect day for cycling but by the time that I had pottered about the garden all morning and a bit of the afternoon too, the heat of the day had rendered me too melted to pull myself together enough to go cycling.

Through the day, flowers caught the eye, both singly…

four bright flowers

…and in clumps…

four bright clumps

…and they caught the eyes of insects too and the garden was loud with buzzing.

bee and hoverfly on poppy

In the face of hot competition, this was my favourite single flower of the day…

calendula

…though for a knock ’em dead effect, it was hard to ignore the phlox…

phlox phlurry

…which is phlourishing greatly.

another phlox phlurry

I kept an eye out for butterflies while I was picking beans and digging potatoes in the morning.

We had a good selection today:

A red admiral…

red admiral butterfly

…a peacock…

peacock butterfly

…a painted lady…

painted lady butterfly

…and a small tortoiseshell…

small tortoisesgell butterfly

…and lots of plainer butterflies too.

white butterfly

There were several of each variety and it was hard to miss the butterflies as they flew about the garden.

It was pretty warm in the sun so I had to go inside from time to time just to cool down.  Not being able to stand the heat outside at one point, I went into the kitchen and made some soup for lunch using potatoes, beans and an onion from the garden.

Later, I spent some time inside watching the birds and was pleased to see a few goldfinches about.

goldfinch sparrow siskin

The number of siskins has decreased lately so they must be moving on but the goldfinches still had to wait for a free perch…

goldfinch perching

…. because there are a great number of sparrows about and they are very boisterous…

sparring sparrows

…very boisterous indeed.

squabbling sparrows

Mrs Tootlepedal had been at a series of meetings in the morning but she buckled down to some serious gardening in the afternoon and only paused when these three wise men appeared at our gate.

three old men

Gavin, Mike and Charlie had been out on the hills checking on one of the Langholm Walks routes and replacing marker discs on the guideposts where necessary.  Their voluntary work is valuable as the walks bring many visitors into the town.

I mowed the front lawn and then I did some compost sieving.

As I found that I had emptied Bin D when I had finished, I shifted the compost that hadn’t gone through the sieve and which had been resting in Bin C back into Bin D and then, after a short sit down, I shifted the contents of Bin B into Bin C.

This is exciting work but I needed another sit down after it so I took a camera in hand and sat on a chair beside the front lawn.  I was greatly entertained as I rested by the persistent demands of a young blackbird to be fed by its long suffering parent.  One worm was never enough.

blackbird feeding young

Then I went in and made incessant demands of my own until Mrs Tootlepedal made our evening meal.

I haven’t done much walking lately, as I am trying not to make my feet worse but it was such a lovely evening after tea, that it seemed a crime not to go for a short walk, so I went.

A reflection in the dam caught my attention as I crossed the bridge when I left the house.

dam reflection

The park and the river beside it were full of children swimming in the river and cycling round the park so in Langholm at least, the idea that all children these days spend their time sitting inside staring at their screens is obviously not true.

The park was looking at its best.

 

Buccleuch Park

Several of the poplar trees along the river bank had to be cut down in recent years but the ones that remain look good on a day like today.

Poplars in Buccleuch Park

I walked nervously past two monsters…

two monsters Buccleuch Park

…and through the wood until I got to the Murtholm.

murtholm

It was such a lovely warm night that I was tempted to walk along the river bank to Skippers Bridge and back on the far side of the river but good sense prevailed and I turned back and walked home along the track on the top of the bank above the river.

easton's walk

This is the last post for some time in which birds on the feeder will appear, as the warm wet weather and the tendency of siskins to spill seeds when they eat has made the feeder area too smelly for comfort and I am pausing the feeding for a while.  There is plenty of other food for the birds about.

So the flying bird of the day today is a farewell sparrow.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “In the garden

  1. It’s the jackdaws and starlings that knock the seed onto the ground in my garden. Sometimes I think the starlings do it deliberately for their friends below. Anyway it all gets hoovered up, in the last resort by the badgers.

    1. The jackdaws do knock the seed out of ours too but it is mostly the siskins as they really do make a mess when the a lot of them. The seeds are too big for their tiny beaks. Needless to say, we don’t have helpful badgers.

  2. What a colourful post today! The calendula is a favourite flower of mine and the butterflies and all the other flowers have cheered me after a difficult day. Thank you. Tom.

  3. The flowers and butterflies would make me just want to sit in the garden all day.
    The photo of the poppy with a bee and hoverfly is great enough to make me wish I’d taken it.
    The tree monsters are a surprise. I’m surprised they aren’t in some kind of museum.

    1. The monsters were carved where the tree fell and are an ornament to the park rather than just being deadwood.
      I agree that sitting in our garden on a sunny day is no great hardship.
      Thank you for the compliment about the poppy picture. Coming from you, it is a good one.

  4. Very impressed by your range of butterflies. A tribute to the gardening genius. Many commiserations on the frustrations of your physio appointment. Hope another comes at least before brexit.

  5. Three great characters- bet they have good advice to give over the fence about….everything! Lovely bright colours especially the butterflies and flowers but my favourite is that cool leafy lane…so inviting.

    1. A buddleia was here when we moved in, but it seems to be of the type that does not produce seeds. It does start up readily from fragments of root, however.

  6. Such a colorful and active garden. I enjoy looking at all the effort that went into making such a beautiful place to sit and watch the birds, blooms and butterflies.

    I love the carved log monsters! I should photograph the tree stump at the other end of town here that someone carved into a sasquatch.

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