Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who spotted this. She tells me that she had not touched a drop.
We had a sunny day from dawn until dusk and the garden was once again filled with butterflies…
…but I let them get on in peace today and when I wasn’t having coffee and treacle scones with Drospcone, I walked round the garden dead heading as much as I had patience for and otherwise looking at flowers. Dropscone and his daughter Susan are going on holiday in the North of Scotland next week so I hope that one or other of them will be able to send me a guest picture or two.
The flowers are still worth looking at.
…and I enjoyed the play of light and shade…
…the bright colours….
…and the occasional piece of serendipity like these anemones poking their heads up through an azalea.
I haven’t been dead heading the Welsh poppies with any great regularity so I am always pleased to see one smiling at me as I pass.
The garden was buzzing with bees and hoverflies.
…and Michaelmas daisies were favourite insect haunts.
I tried to get as close as possible to a butterfly having a snack on a daisy…
…but I need a steadier hand to get a good result.
This is what they were all looking at.
Crown Princess Margareta has appreciated the sunshine and the Rosarie de l’Hay was in a welcoming mood.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning of meetings so I made some soup for lunch for lunch. and when she came back, we enjoyed it with some bread and cheese. Fortified by this, I went out for a cycle ride.
The fine weather has let the farmers go on cutting grass for winter feed longer than usual, and there were fields of cut grass all along my route.
The farm here stands on a little promontory between two small streams and is know as Between the Waters, a very appropriate name.
The wind was light and the day was pleasantly warm without being too hot so I pedalled along in a happy mood at a modest pace and without stopping for too many pictures on a familiar route.
I recently put some English road side pine trees into a post so I thought that I ought to put one of my favourite Scottish roadside pine trees in to keep things balanced.
I stopped for a drink of water and a short rest at twenty miles and needless to say, I looked at the wall that my bike was resting on.
A bit further along the road, a small herd posed artistically for me.
I wasn’t feeling very adventurous or energetic as Mrs Tootlepedal has kindly passed a bit of her recent cold onto me, but it didn’t stop me adding another 31 miles to my total and I was pleased to have been able to make some use of a perfect cycling day.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal peeled some of our apples and between us we made another tarte tatin in our smart new tarte tatin pan. Mrs Tootlepedal had cut the apples into very neat shapes and on this occasion I didn’t overcook the caramel sauce and the result of this was a great improvement on our first two efforts.
I have made a note to myself reminding me that if I want to make tarte tatin, it is a really good idea to get the frozen puff pastry unfrozen before you start and not to have to resort to desperate measures to defrost it in a hurry.
We have got a lot of apples to eat, so I will get a chance to remember that soon.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their last Friday visit for a while as they are going to see their granddaughters in New Zealand next week. Alison and I enjoyed some farewell music, and once again Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal put the world to rights.
When Mike and Alison had gone, Mrs Tootlepedal and I ate quite a lot of the tarte with some vanilla ice cream. It was good. (We did offer Mike and Alison some, honest.)
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow that had flown up into the rowan tree to grab a little shade.