Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s visit to Orviedo while he is in Spain. It shows the 800 AD church of St Julian, built in the Byzanto-romano style, which the ruling Visigoths of Asturia liked.
The advance forecast has been rather gloomy about the weather this week, but we got a stay of sentence today and enjoyed a dry day which got better as it went along. I had a quiet morning in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal, involving paying a bill, doing a load of washing and hanging it out, some random dead heading and occasional looks round the garden where I could see blackbirds early in the morning ….
…and, as the sun came out, a full house of butterflies later on.
I spent quite a lot of time making a little spreadsheet of the amount of electricity that we have used charging the Zoe. We have charged the car three or four times while away from home but mostly we have used our home charger and it looks as though we are paying about 3.5p per mile, which is a lot less than we used to pay for petrol for our old car. An added bonus is that our electricity supplier claims to be getting its electricity entirely from renewable sources.
I made some vegetable soup for lunch and ate it with an apple and some cheese and then set off for a short cycle ride.
I didn’t want to go too far from home with the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service unavailable and other friends on holiday, so I went up and down the roads around the town.
The upland country is turning brown and won’t go green again for about eight months…
…but there are still a few flowers in the roadside verges…
…and there is now a lot of interest on walls, with lichen…
…and more lichen to be seen.
From the top of Callister, I looked down past Chapelcross and across the Solway Firth to Skinburness on the English side, with the Irish Sea beyond.
On my way back to the town, I stopped to admire this fine show of hawthorns on the hillside.
I cycled through the town and headed south, stopping to admire Skippers Bridge..
…and enjoying more lichen on the wall at Broomholm.
There is more than a hint of autumn about…
…and I enjoyed this burst of colour at Whitshiels when I cycled back through the town.
I would have gone a bit further but I wanted to look round the garden while the sun was out and I had my flute pupil Luke coming, so I settled for 21 miles, and as this was 21 miles more than I had expected to do, I was content.
I took far too many pictures in the garden over the day so I have put them into panels, mixing morning and afternoon shots together in a haphazard way.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s transplanted nerines are enjoying life among the calendulas.
…and clematis and Michaelmas daisies are doing well too.
It is often easier to take flower shots when the sun isn’t shining as the detail can be clearer. The cosmos and red zinnia were cloudy shots…
…and the orange zinnia and the Icelandic poppy came later.
The garden had a summer feel to it when the sun shone in the afternoon…
…and butterflies tried new flowers.
My flute pupil Luke appeared and we had a really good time playing duets. I am not a very good flute player myself so I have to practise quite hard to keep up with him. It does me a lot of good.
I am spiking the middle lawn with a garden fork and brushing sand into the spike holes in an effort to improve drainage and keep moss at bay (ha ha) but because I am having to take care of my feet, the work is proceeding at snail’s pace. I did two rows across the lawn in the course of today and I will be lucky to finish before winter comes.
I was hoping to get a genuine flying bird of the day today and spent some time lurking in the garden with my camera at the ready. Starlings were keen to help…
…and a co-operative bird flew over the garden at a modest speed…
…but in the end, I couldn’t go past a delightful white butterfly in mid flap, a shot that I have never managed to take before. Not quite a flying bird of the day, but quite satisfactory all the same.