Hot work

Today’s guest picture is another from Bruce’s visit to the woods yesterday. He came across this ancient tree, affectionately known as the King of the Kernigal.

It was another hot day here, and a rather muggy one too making anything more than gentle work seem quite hard.

It was an easy crossword day so I was out in the garden before coffee, having a look round to see if things caught my eye. They did of course.

I was particularly pleased to see a good flower on the rosa moyesii (bottom right in the panel above) as the bush had been looking very promising until it was hit by the late frost which affected it badly. New flowers are coming though now and that is very cheering.

There were quite a few bees buzzing about and the geraniums were an attraction today, whether open….

….or closed.

A small bumble bee had a good whirl round in a Welsh poppy.

We had our coffee meeting in the shade cast by Margaret’s garage. Liz reported that the close heat had made her morning walk hard work so we all resolved to go gently for the rest of the day.

I did mow the middle lawn after coffee but I did it a really steady pace and then wandered round the garden and along the dam even more slowly.

The big red poppies along the dam may have lost most of their petals but there are more to come so there will be more big red photos soon. The buds themselves are not without interest to a photographer.

More roses are starting to come out which will be welcome after the failure of the azaleas, as the garden could do with more colour.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s current favourite is still the beautiful iris.

After enjoying the grasses that I met on my walk yesterday, I had a look at some of the grasses in our garden today.

I took many pictures but only three came out well so I had to make up the panel with some daisies.

No birds were coming to the feeder today for some reason so after lunch, I didn’t waste any time watching them, but got on my cycling gear and went out for a ride.

The sky had clouded over, so although it was still warm, it wasn’t too bad for a pedal. I headed north out of the town towards Bentpath, and as this meant starting my ride with a couple of steep climbs, I took things very gently and kept an eye out for excuses to stop and take a photo.

I saw this wild iris near Bentpath…

…and on the other side of the road, a nice mixture of daisies and red campion grew in front of a wall.

I stopped in the village to take the traditional picture of the church and bridge…

…and again a little further on to note the clover which had appeared in the verge for much of the trip so far…..

…and two red hot pokers which came as quite a surprise to me.

At Enzieholm Bridge, I turned left and headed up to Bailliehill. There has been a lot of recent forestry work here. In the old days when we first came to this area, the forest floors were left covered in brashings after felling. Nowadays they take clear felling literally, and nothing is left after they have scrieved the hillsides.

I turned left again when I got to Bailliehill and stopped to record the small city that has been built as part of the work involved in creating a new windfarm, at Crossdykes.

And they haven’t just built a city, they have constructed a brand new road across the hill from Corrie to bring the turbines in.

This is a big undertaking and you can see the new road winding across the top of the hill in the distance.

When I got to Paddockhole and turned left again (perceptive readers will have noted correctly that I was going round in a big circle), I found that I had the wind in my face and the ten miles home, with a steep climb over Callister in the middle, were hard work.

I was pleased to stop half way up Callister to have a breather and record the view towards Kirtlehead.

I liked these trees beside the road up the valley.

You can see wind turbines in the pictures above. They belong to the Ewe Hill windfarm, the fourth that I had passed on my ride. There was one more to go on top of Callister, although like Crossdykes it is still waiting for the turbines to be delivered. I think that five windfarms within twelve miles of Langholm is probably enough but there is a proposal for another big installation with huge turbines that will dominate the Ewes valley. I hope that the powers that be see sense and turn this down, as it will irreparably change the nature of our countryside.

I stopped again before I got to the top of the hill when a flash of blue appeared in the verge.

I thought that it might be something exotic but in the end, I think it is just a very pretty vetch.

I had planned to add a little extension on to my 25 mile circle but over two hours of pedalling at a modest pace at well over 70 degrees F was enough and I stopped as soon as I got back to Langholm.

After a shower and our standard sibling Zoom, I stood in the garden while Mrs Tootlepedal completed the planting out of a dahlia which she had begun in the heat of the afternoon but wisely paused. We just got back in before some very heavy rain started. There were rumbles of thunder too but in the end, the rain didn’t amount to very much and the threat of a thunderstorm passed.

I mentioned before that the birds weren’t coming to the feeder. This was strange because it had plenty of seed in it. I had a look at the feeder and found out that it wasn’t as strange as all that because the bottom fitting had moved and the access to the seed had been completely blocked. The poor birds must have thought that I was teasing them.

I thought that this would knock any chance of a flying birds of the day on the head, but when I looked up at Irving’s holly tree while Mrs Tootlepedal was planting her dahlia, I could see a starling or two…

…which were soon joined by a few more….

….and then more and more arrived…

…until the whole tree was outlined with starlings….

…and finally, as suddenly as they had arrived, they all left, perhaps seeking shelter from the impending thunderstorm. Anyway, I was spoiled for choice when it came to flying birds in the end today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Hot work

  1. The King of the Kernigal is a beautiful, venerable old tree. Do you know its species? The leaves look somewhat ash-like.

    The flowers are delightful, and I agree with Mrs. Tootlepedal on the favorite iris. Our own irises have finished blooming, and the daylilies are now raising their orange trumpets in a joyful noise as the annual parade of summer flowers marches on.

    The poor birds must have felt very frustrated with the blocked seed access! The gathering of the starlings before the thunderstorm made interesting photos. Humidity is something we don’t generally experience here in summer. Our summer heat is generally dry. Being from the east coast, what people out here in this part of the west call humidity would not get much notice from folks back in New England.

    1. I think the the king is an oak. We are awaiting our first lilies. We had some heavy rain today which was not a surprise as it has been quite humid.

  2. Not everyone likes starlings. I think they’re great – full of character, and very beautiful when seen close up.
    That city – is that accommodation for workers? I’m sure you’ll be keeping us in the picture as to developments on this no doubt controversial and marmite project. (Did you hear that there’s a shortage of Marmite currently? Its manufacture needs the dregs of yeast left over from the brewing process – and there’s much less demand for beer at present because of lockdown.)

  3. Your photographs are so big and clear in your new style of posting I was nearly knocked over by the daisies, are they daisies, at the top of the post.

  4. I don’t know if it is a quirk of my pc or of the new layout but other then habitual the guest photo now comes second.

  5. The King of Kernigal is very impressive. I think to have five windfarms in your vicinity is over the top. As you know I am not a big fan (no pun intended), we have far too many blighting the beautiful Neath valley.Those poppy buds reminded me of something from the film Alien, I’m just glad they are not welsh poppy buds lol Cheers

  6. Love the sequence of starlings photos- your very own mini murmuration! Hope they don’t build too many more of those monster turbines to blight the views and spoil your outstanding countryside. I’m with Mrs T…and think that the silver edged iris is the tops!

  7. You must be the bee whisperer. Incredibly beautiful close-ups, and the poppy buds are fascinating, something Georgia O’Keefe might have wanted to paint. It took a few seconds for the King of the Kernigal to load. I can see why it’s famous.

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