Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He cycled from Derby to Belper (about 10 miles) to enjoy this slice of joy in the book cafe there. Then he cycled home again.
We had a generally sunny day today and I tried to make the best of it.
I started off by putting a load of washing on before breakfast and hanging it out before going to church to sing in the choir. By chance, we had a lot of very sunny hymns to sing so that fitted very well with the day. There were only five of us in the choir so I don’t suppose that we made a lot of difference but I enjoyed the hymns.
The washing was almost dry by the time I got home. I left it on the drier and went for a walk round the garden.
I looked up at the very tall sunflowers and thought that I ought to go and see what they looked like out of an upstairs window, the only way to see them properly. It was a bit of a disappointment.
I came back down and had a close look at a geranium and an argyranthemum…
…and a wider view of some nicotianas and Mrs Tootlepedal’s latest mustard crop. (She’s very keen on mustard, as I may have mentioned before.)
My favourite was this poppy.
In spite of the sunshine, there was a flurry of rain and I worried about the washing. The flurry came to nothing though and I was able to cut the greenhouse grass and get the washing in without any bother.
In spite of the sun, it was a bit cooler than it has been so the butterflies needed to spend as much time as possible getting some warmth as well as feeding and they were spread out all over the place on any convenient flat surface.
I was able to sit out on the garden seat and have my coffee and the last iced bun, but I had to shift the butterfly which is bottom left in the panel above before I could sit down.
Although they are nowhere near fully out, the sedums have enough flowers open to attract traffic already.
It always seemed touch and go as to whether we were going to get wet as you can see from this picture showing sun on the rowan and very dark clouds just behind.
In the end, the wind turned out to be in just the right direction to send the rain clouds past us and not over us, so all was well.
Readers may wonder if I am managing to look after myself in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal who is living the high life in the south, so I thought I would use a picture of my lunch to show that I am not starving. (Home made soup, home made bread, butter from a farm and a cheerful cheese board, with a small side dish of beetroot from the garden.)
I will survive!
After lunch, I checked the forecast and ignored its warnings of the possibility of rain and went out for a walk. I did take a waterproof jacket with me.
I drove a couple of miles before I started my walk and walked up through some woods just in case it did actually rain. This chestnut tree, possibly afflicted by a disease of chestnut trees, gave an early warning of the seasonal changes to come.
The recent rains have brought life back to the mosses and encouraged fungi.
I walked up through a birch wood…
…and then came to an oak wood. The sun persuaded me not to take the short route back to the car through the oak wood…
…but to walk on past this butterfly enjoying the sunshine…
..and take a track along the open hill. When I looked back along the track, all was fine…
…but out of the blue, a shower of rain started up. I put my rain jacket on but I hardly needed to have bothered as the shower only gave me gentle kiss and didn’t embrace me at all.
I walked on under sunny skies, happy to see a few elderberries and some rose hips. Hooray.
As it looked set fair for a while at least….
…I walked up this road to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland bird feeders…
…and watched a very busy collection of small birds at the feeders while I rested my feet.
I saw great tits, coal tits, blue tits, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins, a robin, blackbirds and a nuthatch (which unfortunately saw me at the same time as I saw it it, and flew off before I could get the camera up), but no woodpeckers or pheasants today.
A buzzard flew down the clearing and all the little birds disappeared as if by magic so I left the hide and walked back down the road to the car.
The countryside was looking at its best…
…and there was a lot to look at as I went along.
My route took me down this road which used to be lined by sombre conifers. They were felled for timber though and the road is now a different place.
Half way down the hill, I came to my favourite mossy wall, home to ferns, mosses and lichens.
I managed to stop taking pictures in the end and arrived back at the car after a walk of under two and a half miles, a short walk but one which had offered enormous variety on my way.
When I got home, i was pleased to find a starling keeping an eye on things.
Under its supervision, I mowed the middle lawn, edged the front and middle lawns and trimmed a small hedge. Then I made a sausage stew and prepared a small loaf for the bread making machine. While they were cooking, I got out my borrowed bike and cycled to the top of Callister and back. As I had already taken over seventy pictures, I resolved not to take any more on my cycle ride unless I met something really interesting like, say, a charging rhinoceros.
Rather disappointingly, charging rhinoceroses were thin on the ground so my camera stayed in my pocket while I battled uphill against a brisk wind, and whooshed down the hill back home.
The stew turned out to be OK and I followed with it stewed plums and custard for a pudding so in the end, I probably didn’t take nearly enough exercise during the day to offset all the eating.
There is a genuine flying bird of the day today but not a very good one.