Two short walks

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who met an ugly customer when he was walking in the woods today.

We were blessed with a genuine summer day here, warm from start to finish, and with plenty of sunshine to be going on with.

I took advantage of the good weather to put a coat of decking oil on the old bench before coffee, and it was so warm by coffee time that we had to find some shade to sit in while we sipped and chatted.

After coffee, the garden beckoned. While Mrs Tootlepedal did useful things, I mowed the front lawn. It is by no means in top condition yet but when I looked at it from an upstairs window, it was certainly looking a lot better than it did a month ago.

I try to cut it in a different direction every time that I get the mower out and today was a diagonal day.

I had a look at flowers after I had finished mowing. Once again, I found it impossible to pass the peonies without giving them a glance…

…or two.

The unusual orange potentilla is thriving and getting more flowers every day….

…and the tropaeolum is threatening to overwhelm the yew bush.

By contrast, the alliums are all but over, although they are going out in style.

After another lunch of healthy soup, I went out for a short walk. It had to be short as I needed to get back for the virtual choir practice of our Carlisle Choir. This was a bit of a pity as it was a lovely day for a stroll in the sun. I started off walking along the river bank and was impressed by how rich the grasses there are now…

…and how patiently an oyster catcher posed for a photo.

I was nearly deafened by the loud calls of a bird in the trees above my head as I watched the oyster catcher family. Hoping that it might be an interesting bird, I was a bit dashed when it turned out to be a chaffinch,. It was quite upset about something.

The Kilngreen was far busier than it has been for months, with a substantial but socially distanced queue waiting at the ice cream van and people enjoying fresh air and fun.

I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked on to the Castleholm. I have been keeping an eye out for the first flowers on the red horse chestnut trees beside the cricket pitch and I was pleased to see that they had come out today.

The flowers are hard to miss!

There was a good selection of grasses about too….

…and a modest jungle of nettles beside the path.

When I got home, I was greeted by two roses, neither of which were doing very well but at least they offer promise of more to come.

Having made sure that I was back in time for the virtual choir practice, I was rather disappointed to find that it had been cancelled for ‘technical reasons’. I thought of dashing our for a quick cycle ride before the Zoom meeting with my siblings but I made the mistake of starting to watch a YouTube video made by an interesting art restorer, and two hours later it was time for the Zoom meeting. They shouldn’t make these things so interesting.

I had a quick look round the garden while tea was cooking.

The dark pansy was looking gorgeous.

But an outburst of noise made me look up at our neighbour Irving’s holly tree. A starling was flapping everything that could be flapped.

After our evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a walk to the monument, so we drove up to the car park at the White Yett and walked up the hill. We hoped to see the short eared owl out hunting and we did catch a distant glimpse of it but the bird that sang to us and posed for us most was the ubiquitous meadow pipit.

There wasn’t a moment in our walk when we couldn’t hear the pipits calling.

It wasn’t a day for great views but it was extremely peaceful as we sat on the bench at the monument and looked up the Esk valley.

Down below us in the town, the church, freed from its surrounding trees, stood out as it hasn’t done for many years.

The surprise encounter of the walk was this red admiral butterfly which we met at the top of the hill.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk, and although the walk was not long, it was very satisfying.

I didn’t manage to get a flying bird of the day today but the birds had an excuse. It was just too hot for flying

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Two short walks

  1. The flowers are beautiful! The allium looks like a fireworks display, and the grass panel of for makes a nice study in shades of green and grey-green.

    We’ve been eating nettles here, stir-fired into various dishes. They are quite good.

    It is a little warmer here today, and I have had the windows open for some fresh air.

      1. My grandma Curtis used to make nettle wine, and soup. Then elder flower and elderberry wine, and she showed me how to make tea wine, could make use of everything, so many skills gone these days. Cheers.

      2. They add a high nutritional content to the dish as well. One has to use gloves to separate the leaves from the stems, but I find them worth the effort. A little fresh lovage cooked in with them is even better.

  2. The lawn and gardens look great as always. That’s a nice view from the upstairs window.
    We would call that rich purple grass orchard grass here but yours is much more colorful than ours.
    I didn’t know that potentillas came in orange. Orange is not an easy color to find in a summer flower.

  3. Oh my gosh, You ditched the side bar. It looks so different. The archive by months appeared at the bottom when I went to comment, so I am glad that it not gone. The photos look amazing. I miss the sort of white paper shadow border that they used to have, but the detail on the photos is much greater with the bigger size. I had better not get rid of my sidebar, though, because my photos are not as sharp!

    I am reminded of when Horticulture magazine dropped their cover style that had the cover photo framed within a border. I loved that look and was startled when suddenly they changed it to a photo that took up the whole cover.

    I love the garden overview. As always. And that blue pansy.

  4. My laptop is ablaze with colour as I read you posts via your new publishing tool, making it an even greater pleasure. We had lots of rain here yesterday, but it was still warm. I should make time for going out walking, now my Pioneer is in the repair shop, but so many other things stand in the way. Keep pedalling and walking, cheers.

  5. The photos are really wonderful with their depth of colour and their variety of subject. Lots of favourites but the meadow pipit, the butterfly and the pansy are the standout ones for me!

  6. Mr. T, how, oh how, do you get your edging between grass and border so neat? I’m an American gardener who is perpetually jealous of the excellent British lawns.

    1. We use an electrical strimmer which turns up on its side especially for lawn edging. I use an old push mower with a roller to get the grass looking neat.

      1. It’s a good tool. I see that they are sometimes referred to as grass trimmers. There a lot on offer. We have a battery powered one.

      2. In doing some googling, it looks like that might be the same thing we call a weedwhacker. 🙂 I’m also looking into electrical “edger/trenchers” which may be what I need. Thanks for the advice!

      3. Haha, in talking with you and my googling, I’ve realized how truly American “weedwhacker” sounds. 😀

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