Garden party

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia, who if it had not been for the virus would have been visiting us this month. She has a fine crop of daisies in her garden.

The temperature warmed up a bit today and thanks to the slight relaxation of the lockdown, we were able to have our morning street coffee meeting not in the street, but in our garden, seated at a suitably socially distant distance.

In pleasant sunshine, we sipped and chatted and Mrs Tootlepedal was able to dig up and pass on some allium bulbs to both Liz and Margaret.

We were sitting beside a lovely anemone which has produced a fine comeback after a rather straggly start to the season.

After the meeting was over, Mrs Tootlepedal set to work in the garden and I wandered around, enjoying the flowers.

Then I went in and made a batch of Garibaldi biscuits.

They may not look fantastic but they taste delicious.

After lunch, I mowed the front lawn and scattered a little buck-u-uppo on it as it is not looking too perky. I put the sprinkler on to wash the fertiliser in and then, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to turn the water off again, I went for a quick three bridges walk in the hoping of seeing some waterside birds.

I saw a show of daisies on the bank of the Esk…

…but as you can see, the water is still very low, so low in fact that a giant weed is growing in what should be the bed of the river.

I did see an oyster catcher on a rock in the middle of the river…

…but thanks to the sunny weather, there were children playing beside the water at the Town Bridge, and people encouraging their dogs to swim in the river at the Kilngreen, so my chance of seeing any more interesting birds was nil.

I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked along the new path round the bottom of the Castleholm. I looked up and down….

…passed sheep safely grazing…

…was excited by new growth on a noble fir…

…and dazzled by huge clumps of crosswort, which have loved the odd weather this year…

…and recorded some of the less showy plants beside the path as I crossed the Jubilee Bridge and headed home….

…in time for a virtual choir practice with our Carlisle Choir, courtesy of Zoom.

45 members had logged on and we had a short but entertaining time reminding ourselves that we are still part of the choir even if it can’t meet for the foreseeable future.

Then there was time for a cup of tea and several Garibaldi biscuits (they are very small) and another walk round the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal had drawn my attention to the first flower on the perennial nasturtium (it appears in the nine flower panel earlier in this post) but I think that I might like the buds before they turn into flowers even more than the flowers themselves.

We can’t go past the stand of blue and white lupins outside the greenhouse without marvelling at how well they have done this year. We have never seen them stand so tall and grow so uniformly from bottom to top as they have done this spring.

Now that the flowers have opened up, the bees are enjoying them too.

During the traditional Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters, we were surprised to hear that my eldest sister Susan had actually caught a bus in London today. As she had been the only passenger and didn’t touch anything while she was on the bus, she felt that she had been pretty safe.

After the meeting, Mrs Tootlepedal and I drove up to the Langholm Moor in the hope of seeing a hen harrier or a short eared owl in flight. We saw them both, though they were both quite far away.

The hen harrier was hunting down in the valley to our right…

…while the owl was flying to and for above a ridge to our left.

Something, probably the owl, disturbed a curlew and it flew off in a flurry of noisy indignation, far too fast for me to catch it as it went.

It was a beautiful evening on the moor…

…whichever way you looked.

I hadn’t had a moment to watch birds during the day so I had a quick look at the feeder while Mrs Tootlepedal was preparing our evening meal when we got home.

But nothing beat the sight of the owl on the moor so I have cropped a shot heavily and it appears as the fuzzy flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Garden party

  1. I am reeling at Susan’s exploit, but understand her frustration at not being able to move around more. She was fortunate to find an empty bus.
    I have visitors to my garden tomorrow. One is even going to bring her own seat, by way of caution. And all will bring their own drinks.

  2. The nasturtium buds remind me of futuristic hood ornaments (bonnet to you, I suppose!). Lovely, regardless. Susan did remarkably well to avoid touching anything on the bus.

  3. I was hoping one of the birds in the wild would be the flyer of the day. Well done. What a difference a few months has made to your water levels. When Jackie read out this sentence – “After the meeting was over, Mrs Tootlepedal set to work in the garden and I wandered around, enjoying the flowers.” she asked me if it reminded me of anyone πŸ™‚

  4. The photos of the less showy plants are quite beautiful, too. Many of these plants underfoot are quite interesting when captured by a photographer and displayed well as you have done here.

      1. I have been remiss at getting the back lot mowed again, and am now reluctant with all the wildflowers coming up back there. I’d like to look at them, at least for a little while. I do need to get in and eradicate the poison oak I see coming up though.

  5. those Garibalidi biscuits look delicious. I love the lupins. WE saw so many of them growing wild in Norway last year. They were all colours – white, blue. pink and purple.

  6. An elegant bee on an equally elegant lupin – lovely photo. Another fun filled day with all those interesting things to see and enjoy especially the owl. Those biscuits look good enough to eat!

    1. In real life the hen harrier was the more interesting of the two moorland birds as it was swooping up and down as though it was on a roller coaster. The biscuits turned out to be quite good enough to eat.

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