Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss where the perpetual sunshine has brought his well protected vegetable plot on nicely.
Having had fine weather suitable for June in May, we are back to having cool and changeable weather suitable for May in June. It was a day of occasional showers and no sunshine with the temperature eight to ten degrees C less than last week.
Mrs Tootlepedal was leaning out of an upstairs window when she saw what she thought was a blackbird making a rush for the hedge by our front gate. She didn’t think much of it at the time as blackbirds often dive into hedges, but she was surprised to say the least when she saw the bird still there an hour and a half later.
She took a closer look. I kept well away because although I like to photograph birds, I am rather bird phobic if they get too close to me.
After some consideration, Mrs Tootlepedal decided that the bird was a swift. It was trapped in the hedge as it couldn’t get its long wings into a position where it could turn and take off. Very bravely, in my view, she leaned down and picked the bird up, getting an ungrateful peck for her troubles. It was indeed a swift and when she released it, it flew off at speed. Why it flew into the hedge at ground level in the first place is a complete mystery.
After this excitement, I calmed myself down by a walk round the garden. Not wanting to lie on wet grass to look up, I stuck my camera under a nectaroscordum and took pot luck. The photo editor helped in getting this result.
Weddings may not be allowed at the moment but our Spirea Bridal Wreath is doing its best to look happy.
The first flowers have appeared on a philadelphus….
…and we have a mystery flower waiting to come out. I shall be interested to see what it is.
Some things are doing well, like the thoroughly protected peas showing lots of flowers behind the netting…
…but other things are showing frost damage and the climbing hydrangea has lost of a lot of its potential flowers. There are some which look as though they will come out in time.
In the back border, Mrs Tootlepedal has cut the cow parsley back as it has finished flowering but the honesty is still going well…
…while the alliums are fading away.
There wasn’t a lot of insect action but I did spot a bee busy in a Welsh Poppy. Looking at its pollen sacs, it had found a good place.
We went in to have coffee and a WhatsApp meeting with Matilda and her father in lieu of the traditional Thursday trip to Edinburgh to meet in person. Matilda read us a good story and then we played several games of colour bingo. I am happy to report that we all won.
After the call, I had time to watch the birds. A greenfinch watched me.
Chaffinches lined up for the feeder in a very neat and methodical way, one on the left…
…and one on the right.
A sparrow and a goldfinch played a waiting game.
…while a blue tit, an infrequent visitor, got tucked in.
It was an afternoon for inside work for me, with a light drizzle making life hard for Mrs Tootlepedal while she planted out some leeks. I sat at the computer and added two parish magazines from 1969 to the Langholm Archive Group’s website. Sandy had scanned these and done the OCR and HTML formatting on these so I just had to check them over and upload them to the site.
We have had a slow puncture in one of the Zoe’s tyres. It hasn’t mattered much as we have not been going anywhere, but the car has to go to Carlisle next week for a service so Mike Tinker very kindly came round with an accurate tyre pressure gauge to check that we had enough air for the trip. We did.
He had had an interesting morning as people dug holes in his garden to find a fault with an underground telephone cable. As the fault wasn’t even on his own line but someone else’s, he was remarkably calm about having had to dig up and replant things so that the engineers could dig their holes. At least they had pinpointed and corrected the fault.
It was still drizzling but there was little wind and the forecast promised a gap in the rain, so I set out to pedal round my twenty mile Canonbie circuit for the sixteenth time this year. It may sound a bit dull to do the same ride sixteen times but the weather is always different, the seasons and the willingness of my legs to co-operate change all the time, so the ride is new every time that I do it.
The promised gap in the weather did appear but it didn’t look like a big gap to me so I didn’t stop for pictures until I saw brave men hard at work up the pylon at Canonbie in the drizzle…
…and once more with five miles to go when the looming clouds…
…stopped looming and started to rain quite heavily. I was suitably dressed though, and with the light wind it wasn’t too cold for comfort at 12°C, so I pedalled along quite happily, The rain stopped after ten minutes or so and I got home damp but not soaking.
I had a quick look round the garden when I got in and was happy to see that a pink peony had almost come out.
While I Zoomed with my siblings, Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a very tasty chicken casserole for our tea and that ended the active part of the day.
The flying bird of the day should have been the swift but it was far to quick for me to capture on camera so a chaffinch takes the honour.
Footnote: On our walk yesterday, Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a tiny blue flower on the hill. It is very pretty…
...and it turned out to be a heath milkwort. That is a new flower for this blog. It is very enlarged in the photo.