Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia who visited the very impressive flight of locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon canal.
We had another fine and sunny day today, with the temperatures well up into the mid twenties (80F) so it was quite pleasant to go into the cool of the church to sing with the choir in the morning. The service was led a Langholm man who has led a remarkable life both in Britain and America. He gave an interesting address and chose excellent hymns, so I enjoyed the whole thing.
When we got home, the garden was awash with butterflies. We could count about forty on a buddleia at one point but curiously, they all sat and sipped with their wings tightly closed as you can see in the shot below.
What was most surprising, as we are used to seeing the butterflies with their wings spread out, was the unanimity with which all the butterflies behaved. I couldn’t get a decent open wing shot at all. It doesn’t matter so much for the painted ladies who look quite nice with the wing shut or open….
…but the other butterflies are very dull when closed. Luckily, there were other insects to watch, like this moth on the red buddleia…
…and the mint was covered with small flies of a colourful nature.
I wish that I had a steadier hand to do these little charmers justice.
There was a good variety.
I didn’t do a lot of gardening, just some quiet dead heading and wandering around looking at sunny flowers.
It was just too hot to do much and like this dahlia, I often went in to get a bit of shade.
The dead heading is worthwhile though and if you dead head the Icelandic poppies, they keep coming for the whole summer and beyond…
…and the calendula repay a bit of attention too.
There are still some flowers to come and I liked this low hanging spray of fuchsia showing promise…
…and the sedum is warming up too.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun was getting lower in the sky, I finally got out on my bicycle for a short ride.
I was very pleased to see a metaphor come to life as I passed a farmer making hay while the sun shone. (In fact he was making silage but I shall ignore that.)
I like the way that this bull, in a field covered with grass, chooses to stand in a muddy patch. It is a creature of habit, I suppose.
I cycled up to the far end of Callister and when I stopped and turned, I recorded the new road surface which makes cycling so much more of a pleasure than bumping along worn and potholed roads.
I had a friend with me as I cycled back.
When I got to Langholm, I took the road along the river bank. Birds were standing on either two legs or one leg as the mood took them.
I clocked up a modest 17 miles but as it took me over 300 miles for the month with a few days still in hand, I wasn’t unhappy….and I was quite hot enough as it was.
Mrs Tootlepedal had gardened sparingly through the day but she had attacked a patch of wild growth and brought another metaphor to life as she had firmly grasped the nettle. In fact, quite a lot of nettles.
She also cooked a delicious meal of pasta alla norma for our tea.
We were able to watch the totally unexpected highlights of a dramatic cricket test match in the evening and this rounded off a pleasantly warm and gentle day. Looking at the forecast, this might well have been the last day of summer.
I spent quite a lot of it wrestling with the intractable prize crossword and in the end I had to ring up my sister Mary for help. She was very helpful and between us we have got down to the last clue. It will have to wait.
I did find a single peacock butterfly kind enough to open its wings and pose for a moment…
…and the flying bird of the day, a young starling, is ruminating on life among the rowan berries before taking to the air again.