Blown up

Today’s guest picture was kindly sent to me from America by blog reader Gunta. Knowing that I like bridges, she sent me this picture of one of her Oregon examples. It is in Newport, Oregon crossing Yaquina Bay as one travels along the Oregon coast highway.

Our spell of rather cool weather continued today. The rain had stopped but to make up for that, a strong wind was blowing so it didn’t feel much like summer when we were out in the garden.

We had our weekly WhatsApp chat with our granddaughter Matilda and her father Alistair at coffee time and then went out to do some gardening.

I mowed the greenhouse grass, the drying green and the front lawn and then did some shredding as Mrs Tootlepedal was clearing away a vast quantity of ivy from the rowan tree beside the compost bins.

I had time for a look at the flowers before lunch.

Pink peonies are coming out…

…and a pretty iris has arrived as the aquilegias are thinking of leaving.

When the sun shone, it felt quite cheerful and the flowers smiled at me.

After lunch, I took some time to watch the birds. I was surprised to see a pigeon had mastered the art of standing on the tray to get at the seed feeder.

The rooks do this but I hadn’t seen a pigeon try it before. The small birds were rather indignant so I went out and shooed the pigeon away. The small birds were grateful.

The theme of the afternoon was looking.

Everyone was seeking something.

But not always finding it, like this young sparrow hoping for food.

Or this chaffinch who found a dusty welcome.

A goldfinch won the prize for the most elegant searcher.

I left the birds to it and went for a walk, while Mrs Tootlepedal did some computer work for her community land purchase group.

If I had stuck to my lockdown schedule, it should have been a cycling day as I had had a walk yesterday but with heavy and frequent gusts, the wind made cycling unattractive.

I set off up the path beside the park wall. We may not have summer weather but we certainly have got lush summer growth.

I was a bit more interested in taking some vigorous exercise rather than I was in taking pictures after a quiet day yesterday, so I pushed on up the track to the top of Warbla almost without stopping. I say that I pushed on, but it might be more accurate to say that I was pushed on as the strong wind was right behind me and I don’t think that the walk to the top of Warbla has ever been easier.

The morning sun had disappeared and the light was very flat when I looked at the view below… I thought that some foreground interest would be a good idea…

…like the only tree on this part of the hill.

You get good views from Warbla and I was able to look across the town to see the walk along the ridge to Potholm Hill that I had done three weeks ago.

I could also see the new path that I had walked along the side of the hill a week ago.

It was too windy to hang about at the top of the hill so I continued down the other side of the hill…

…taking in the last view over the town before descending into the valley.

I was pleased to get out of the wind and swapped looking at views for looking at things beside the track as I walked back to the town by way of the Kernigal wood.

It looks as though there will be a good crop of wild raspberries this year.

I would like to be able to identify the little yellow flowers and the tiny white moth that I saw but if I ever knew what they are, I have forgotten. On the other hand I can recognise ajuga and for some reason the track up the hill towards the woods was lined with it for about a hundred yards.

The track down through the woods was a different thing altogether. It has been made by mountain bikers so that they can whizz down through the trees at a frightening speed.

It has jumps and berms and sudden dips and rises that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up just walking over them.

I got down safely though, making full use of my walking poles and was grateful that no cyclists were using the track.

Once on the flatter ground, I had leisure to check out the sloes…

…which are looking promising for the gin drinkers.

Once again the paths were showing that it is summer.

When I got back to the park after walking along the river, I found that the grounds maintenance crew had been tidying up the path edges.

Once home, I found that having missed her morning coffee meeting with our neighbours, Mrs Tootlepedal was enjoying afternoon tea in the garden with Margaret instead. I sat and chatted for a while but it was beginning to get a bit chilly so we decided that indoor life was the best thing and ended the party.

Once inside, I relapsed into peaceful indolence, only stirring myself to Zoom with my siblings and eat the excellent meal that Mrs Tootlepedal cooked.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Blown up

  1. Your poor tree looks to be just about clinging on to life,it could do with some friends for protection.
    Your blessed with fantastic views from Warbla.

  2. I like how the tree tells the story of the wind direction. It probably has roots that grow half way to China.
    That’s a fine shot of the greater stitchwort. That’s a flower I don’t think we have.
    It is nerve rattling to have mountain bikes come up behind you on a trail. It happens to me now and then but thankfully I usually hear them coming.

  3. The pigeon at the feeder is similar in effect to the wild turkeys we have in neigbourhood trees occasionally: they are so incongruous it’s like seeing a cow in a tree!

  4. The growth along your walk is very lush. I like the sloes, too – I have never seen one.

    Your feeders and commentary are always entertaining. 🙂 We have a pair of grackles nesting in our trumpet vine now, so I will be unable to cut it back for a while. I am seeing more our own goldfinches now too, and should soon see hungry youngsters wanting parents to continue to feed them.

    We are back to some cooler, wetter weather here today. These oscillations within the general seasonal weather pattern keep one on their toes.

  5. The pigeon looks so pleased with itself and was just waiting for its moment of triumph to be photographed. Seeing all the lovely close up photos of your flowers shows the many ways that they have of attracting pollinators- the foxglove is a favourite. Hope you get more rain soon!

  6. What a very clever pigeon you have. Ours have yet to figure a way to get into our ‘caged’ feeder. At least your foxglove looks much like our wild ones! I must add that I like the new format for seeing your photos a bit larger. It’s easier on these old eyes and much appreciated.

    1. Another reader has suggested yellow pimpernel (Lysimachia nemorum) which I thin is right and a wood avens so I thank you and him for your help and will try to remember the names next time.

  7. Those walks you have close by to your home are excellent, and very inviting. Mountain biking territory is not for me though, they are a silent danger to unwary walkers. I think it is a shame that walkers have to be wary in that way. Cheers.

    1. I don’t think that should mix at all except in town centres where it should be expected that cyclist will go slowly and carefully. Planners seem to have a vision of families pedalling along at 8mph when they envisage cycling provision. Cyclists will have to learn that they can’t go as fast as they like anywhere they like as more and more cyclists take to the roads.

      1. The footpath outside the shop is for mixed use – but the signs aren’t clear and I had a couple of near misses walking to the post office until I learned to pay more attention.

        In my opinion all new developments should feature solar panels and cyclepaths, And all cyclists and drivers of electric scooters should give way to pedestrians.

      2. I couldn’t agree more about new developments. It is a scandal that builders are still being allowed to build energy inefficient buildings. I probably agree about giving way to pedestrians but then pedestrians should not walk four abreast along shared use paths so that no one can pass them, let alone walk about with ear plugs in. Shall we start a political party?

      3. Yes, political parties would be good, because we can ignore lockdown rules and have non-executive directorships. (I’m not exactly clear what one is but someone was being paid £85,000 for one and I quite like the sound of that.)

        I may be on the large side, but I’m no more than two abreast, honestly…

      4. Yes indeed, a few non executive directorships would come in very handy. Also some of these gifts which will not influence our decisions would be welcome.

  8. Newport is the town with my favourite hotel, where every room is named for and decorated in honor of an author (The Sylvia Beach Hotel).

    I love the mossy tree trunks and ferns but would not want to meet a mountain bike on the path. I remember once in Portland Oregon, driving though a park when one hurtled out of a side path onto the road right in front of us!

  9. Your little moth is a micro-moth and is probably a grass-veneer moth of some sort. Maybe a Straw Grass-veneer moth (agriphylla straminella) though the pictures of these look too yellow and yours is pure white.

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