Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She has visited Paris and thought she would take a picture of the Place de la Concorde as she thinks we all could do with a little concord at this time.
We had another sunny morning here, but once again the day was sprinkled with showers and predicting when they would arrive was tricky.
I went out into the garden in a sunny spell after breakfast and found that the rowan tree was a busy place.
A starling was having a look round…
…and having weighed up the situation…
…it got tucked into the berries.
Other birds looked on…
…and a blackbird got in on the act…
…and soon everyone was at it.
Still, there are plenty of berries to go round.
Rain was forecast for midday so after an early cup of coffee, I set off to do a few miles on my bike before the rain came. Once again, there was a very brisk wind blowing, and as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my slightly suspect knee, I settled for 17 miles with the wind behind me for the section with the most climbing. I didn’t stop to take pictures as I wanted to be sure to be back before the rain started which I was.
As well as the rowan berries, there was more eating going on in other places in the garden. Mrs Tootlepedal, on her way out to a social lunch engagement, noticed that the nasturtiums by the back door were getting thoroughly nibbled and she spotted the guilty party, a cabbage white caterpillar.
While she was out, I mowed the greenhouse grass and then took a walk round the garden to enjoy the colour…
There was more berry action in the rowan tree.
…and I went in and had a baked potato for my lunch as watching all the eating had made me feel hungry.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her lunch and immediately went off for a business meeting and I stayed indoors because one of the forecast rain showers arrived.
By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal returned, the rain had stopped so we had a look at the sky and went out for a walk. We hadn’t gone more that a few hundred yards before it started to rain again. However, we didn’t cry and as it looked as though it might pass quickly, we kept going and were rewarded by blue skies soon afterwards.
We were headed for Meikleholm Hill as there are no cattle or sheep on it at present so I was hoping to find some wild flowers about.
We saw fungus on the way up to the open hill and a rabbit when we got there (it couldn’t keep up with us)…
…and we were soon high enough up to get a good view back over the town. The rain clouds were disappearing over the back of Whita.
My hope for wild flowers was realised and there were scabious…
…and a host of things that might well be hawkbit.
There was any amount of tormentil (which my camera can’t photograph at all well), as well as an interesting pink flower, lots of heather and an occasional fungus.
I took a panoramic view when we got to the col at the back of the hill….
…and a closer look at the Gates of Eden
..before we took the mountain bike trail back down the hill.
The trail was steep and slippery in places, so we had to go very carefully as our days of skipping down hills like mountain goats are long past, but we got safely back onto a good track in the end. As we hot the track, it started to rain and and we expected the worst, but in a few minutes we got the best instead.
As it turned out that the foot of the rainbow was obviously lying smack in our garden, you can expect Mrs Tootlepedal to be keener than ever on digging over the beds.
Once again, we were passed by some light traffic…
…and as we came back down off the hill, there were more flowers and fungus to be seen.
We got back to the house just as it started to rain again.
Although it was only just over two miles, it seemed a lot longer with so much to enjoy on the way and with quite a bit of climbing and descending as well. We felt well rewarded for our efforts.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday visit and Alison and I played a cheerful selection of music while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal sorted the world out.
There are still quite a lot of peacock and red admiral butterflies in the garden, sitting for their portraits….
…but I was pleased to catch a white butterfly in flight and although it is not the sharpest picture in the world, I am still more than happy to use it as the flying bird of the day.