Wired up

Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon who noticed these interesting additions to a pylon when he was out and about near Canonbie. They are going to renew the cables.

We had another beautiful day here today. As this was the first day of summer, there is a slight worry that summer can only go downhill from here on. It will be hard to get a better day day than this.

We had our morning street coffee off the street today, tucked round the corner beside the dam where two of our number could sit in the shade of Margaret’s shed, while Liz and and I sat in the sun holding umbrellas to provide our own personal shade. Passers by, used to finding us in the street, were amazed to find us on the grass looking for all the world like an impressionist painting by Monet.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal did some work in the garden while I wandered about looking for new flowers. There were new flowers to be found.

The wiegela has started flowering.

A red geum has come to join the geum flock.

A new lupin is probably my favourite lupin now it has come out.

Both the red and white astrantias are not at their peak yet but full of promise.

And the stars of the show today are the silver lined irises.

Mrs Tootlepedal is pleased with the progress of the vegetable garden and I was able to snip some leaves from her cut and come again lettuce patch to have in a lettuce and marmite sandwich for my lunch.

After lunch, I looked at the feeder through an open window and saw a goldfinch there…

..and in the distance, I could see Mrs Tootlepedal putting the new bench to the very use it was designed for on a sunny afternoon.

it seemed to be a couple of degrees cooler than it had been yesterday, so I decided to mark the start of the summer months with a cycle ride. Wanting to avoid the Wauchope road where the tar was melting last time that I went that way, I headed south out of. Instead of crossing the river at Skippers Bridge, I kept on going down the east bank of the river and then crossed the Tarras and went through Claygate towards the Hollows.

This route is quite hilly and I was concentrating so hard on pedalling sensibly and not getting too hot that I forgot to take any pictures until I got to the shade of the old road at the Hollows.

I headed down to Canonbie, hoping to see the pylon devices that Simon had photographed but instead of the devices themselves, I saw workmen on another pylon getting ready to install them.

I heard a man on a news programme recently complaining that young barristers could only expect to earn as much as an electrician but I think that these super electricians deserve every penny that they get.

Away to my left, Canonbie Church looked at its best.

I pedalled on south and joined the main road for a mile or two at the end of the Canonbie by-pass. The traffic was still light and nowhere near back to pre-lockdown levels.

After a very unpromising winter, farmers must have feared the worst, but things have improved a lot recently as this field of waving barley near Longtown shows.

I left the main road here and turned up towards Milltown of Sark, crossing the border back into Scotland on my way. The last tree in England is also the last to get its leaves.

I looked back at the tree after I had passed it and you can see from the direction that the Gretna turbines are pointing that the wind was helping me up the hill here. I was grateful for the help but having the wind behind me and not blowing in my face meant that it was hot work for a mile or two.

Readers may have noticed how completely weed free the field of barley that I passed earlier was. I worry that this is part of the reason for the drastic drop in the number of insects about, so I was happy to see an uncultivated field full of buttercups further along my journey.

The wind continued to be helpful all the way home, and I arrived back after 26 enjoyable miles in perfect time to have a shower, a cup of tea (and a ginger biscuit or two) and join in the evening Zoom meeting with Mrs Tootlepedal and my siblings.

After the meeting, I watched the birds for a bit. Mrs Tootlepdal’s fake tree may not have any leaves but it is still a useful spot for birds waiting for a perch at the feeder to have rest.

We needed to have a queuing system as the feeder was busy.

I had time for another wander round the garden before scrambled eggs for tea and found another new flower out. This is the first of many foxgloves to come.

And I feel a bit guilty that I usually show the garage clematis en masse when the individual flowers are very pretty in themselves.

But if the silver lined irises were the morning stars, the evening star was Lilian Austin, a really lovely English rose.

The scrambled eggs (on toast) brought the first day of summer to a satisfactory close. I hope that there are many more like it as far as the weather goes, but mixed with overnight rain from time to time of course. We need rain badly.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Wired up

  1. The astrantias really are beautiful flowers but so is that Lilian Austin rose. I hope we see lots more of all of them.
    Over here the men who work on the electrical grid usually get up there by helicopter, which for me just adds a new dimension of height fright to the whole thing.
    Mrs. T. looks like she’s found her own little slice of heaven.

  2. So many gorgeous flowers all in one garden! The silver-lined blue iris is a real unusual beauty. The field of shining golden buttercups is also a visual treat.

    I agree, Mrs. T’s bench looks like a heavenly spot to take a nap on a warm sunny day.

    Electricians have a high risk job. They deserve their pay.

  3. The silver lined iris is beautiful in a very regal way. I hope Mrs. T. can relax on the comfy bench, and not be distracted by plans for more garden renovations!

    1. I am not a nut fan in general which is lucky as I don’t think we will be getting any walnuts from our tree this year thanks to the late frost.

      1. That is a shame, would love to see them. Tell them your readers are clamoring for a photo. πŸ™‚

        The iris is a beauty indeed.

        It’s good to see Mrs T taking time for a lie down in the garden. That is rare for a hard working gardener.

  4. Loved your post this morning, up very early after my night shift, because it’s hard to sleep with this heat. The picture of the hollows road looks idyllic, very similar to some of the cycle paths in this area. I just wish I had a few as alternate routes to my signal box. As I said, yesterday, traffic in this area is back to pre lockdown levels, and all the extra cyclists make for even more impatient drivers, attempting to squeeze by where they shouldn’t. Do you see many more cyclists there in the borders? That bench looks perfect in your beautiful garden. I should not have drawn her indoors attention to your garden. Because, now, questions are being asked why our back garden is like a tip. Sadly, I am not a fan of gardening or DIY for that matter, but it seems I am going to have to bite the bullet, and give it a go in order to maintain matrimonial harmony. Cheers.

    1. Is she not a gardener? That is the secret of my success as you might point out. I haven’t seen any more cyclists round here except for quite a lot of families cycling together near the town.

  5. The silver lined iris is a star …out of stock in nurseries everywhere- not surprised! If you had links to nurseries from your post you’d make a fortune! Lovely photo of the church, the birds, the pretty rose and the even prettier Hollows road- a grand start to the summer! Thank you!

    1. I hope that the rest of the summer is as good. I’d like to think that I could make a fortune but I would need a few more readers first. πŸ™‚

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