Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent. She has taken advantage of the new latitude allowed in England to visit Lytes Cary Manor where she found a doorway of infinite promise.
I have been fiddling about with the new editor and have settled on this layout at least for the time being. I hope that it is acceptable to readers, especially as it may not be possible to go back to the old layout easily.
Unfortunately, it was a grey and windy day today with occasional drizzle so perhaps it was not the best day to try to enter the new dream of putting in clearer pictures.
It was windy enough to cause the morning neighbourly coffee meeting to be cancelled and there was not much work done in the garden bar some wind protection schemes in the veg garden by Mrs Tootlepedal and a quick mow of the middle lawn by me.
I did have a look around while I was out.
In spite of the chilly conditions, there were bees about, and this one was clever enough to find one of the few azalea flowers left by the frost.
Hostas are filling out well, but I noticed that a faddy eater has been picking a few holes in this one.
A dunnock was upset about something and filled the garden with piercing cries for some time.
I soon went back in and turned my hand to making some soup. We have decided to try to eat a bit more healthily, so I roughly followed a recipe out of a book involving leeks, chick peas, tomatoes and spinach. I was a bit worried as the recipe provided enough soup for several meals but it turned out to be quite tasty. This was a relief.
As it had been so windy, I was considering going for another walk even though it should have been a cycling day, but when I looked out of the window after lunch, the wind had dropped a bit. I rushed to put my cycling clothes on and set off for a ride before it picked up again.
The wind may indeed have dropped a bit but it was still pretty vigorous and it blew me up the road to the top of Callister in fine style. I noticed that even the sheep thought that some shelter was a good idea in the conditions.
I didn’t want to go too far with the wind behind me, so I turned back when I got to Megsfield after six and a half miles….
…and set off home into the breeze.
I adopted a policy of using a low gear and keeping my head well down and managed to get back down to Wauchope Schoolhouse quite happily. Here I took a two mile diversion up and down the Bloch road as a break from pedalling into the wind, and then puffed my way back to Langholm.
As I cycled through the town, I found a wild rose growing beside the Esk.
In order to add a few miles to my trip, I went out of the town and up the main road north for a couple of miles. This was straight into the wind and was hard work, but it did give me two splendid wind assisted miles back home to round off an unexpected twenty mile addition to my monthly total.
It had been drizzling sporadically during the second half of my ride so I took a walk round the garden when I got back in case it started to rain more heavily later on. I often take pictures of individual flowers and I thought that I might put some of them in context on this occasion.
There should be more peonies to marvel at soon as the ones on the middle lawn are nearly out.
The astrantias are looking very healthy….
…as are the little yellow alliums moly.
A Polemonium was at a bit of an angle…
….but all the lupins seemed to have enjoyed the rather odd weather this year and are standing up very straight….
…and the yew bush is getting covered by the Tropaeolum.
I went in and went upstairs to change and have a bath in the hope of easing a few of the aches and pains that come with having had too many birthdays. When I checked, I found that I still had my camera in my hand, so I opened a window and looked down on the bird feeder.
A little greenfinch and sparrow drama played out before me.
Scene One: greenfinch ignores sparrow:
Scene Two: greenfinch tales exception to sparrow:
Scene Three: what was that all about?
A chaffinch landed with great elegance…
…and a greenfinch adopted the usual greenfinch threatening manner.
The bird being threatened is a goldfinch but I think that it must be moulting as it has lost its head colouring.
Refreshed from my bath, though even a good shot of Radox can’t heal the all the ravages of age, I came down in time for the Zoom with my siblings. My sisters have all been caught out by being enrolled unwittingly in Amazon Prime but they were very pleased to report that they had all managed to extricate themselves from the net. A triumph.
Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious chicken casserole for our tea and that ended another day that didn’t deserve to be classified as a summer day at all, no matter what the date is.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch at full stretch.