Today’s guest picture comes from East Wemyss where our son Tony spotted a heron going somewhere on business.
We had a day that was not quite as warm as yesterday but whichmanaged to be more muggy. I arranged to have coffee with Sandy and then went out into the garden to see how the flowers had enjoyed a little rain.
They seemed quite cheerful under the circumstances….
…and the peonies which can be a bit sensitive to rain had kept their heads well.
I was happy to see a new flower, the first campanula of the year…
…and I was equally pleased to see that regular dead heading has kept an excellent supply of Icelandic poppies on the go….
…though when it comes to orange flowers in bulk, nothing can compete with the orange hawkweed.
Mrs Tootlepedal has bravely taken down the sparrow defences round the peas in the hope that they are sufficiently well grown to resist the depredations of the little feathered blighters. We are certainly going to get some peas whatever happens.
The Goldfinch rambling rose is filling out every day….
…and there will be scores of them out soon.
Because our days are following a well rehearsed routine at the moment (and for the foreseeable future), there is a certain similarity between one of my posts and the another. You will just have to forget how many tropaeolum pictures you have already seen, and marvel once again the aerodynamic sleekness of the flower.
I marvel at it it, every time that I pass.
Coffee with Sandy was most enjoyable as he has got a very good Sumatra bean on the go at the moment. He has been managing some short walks lately without making his foot sore, so he is very pleased to be getting some real progress at last. I am hoping that he will be able to walk down and have coffee in our garden soon.
When I got home, I was in for a shock. The neighbourhood socially distanced coffee morning was not in the street, it was not in the shade of Margaret’s garage, it was not under our walnut tree. Where could it be? It was in Liz’s garden. All this gadding about is making me quite dizzy.
After we got back into the garden, I had a look to see how the gooseberries are doing.
Pretty well was the answer.
I went in and made some soup for lunch and then we considered our options. There had been threats of rain when I looked at the forecast in the morning, but a check after lunch showed that there was now less than a five per cent chance of a shower in the opinion of the Meteorological Office. We decided to go for a walk so that Mrs Tootlepedal could sample the new track on Castle Hill that I had walked recently.
Mrs Tootlepedal took a rain jacket just in case but I had faith in the forecast.
As we left, I took a picture of a rose in the garden that can only be seen from the road.
We walked up the river, crossed the Duchess Bridge and went round the pheasant hatchery, where I liked this collection of old trees among the general greenery.
It was dry and warm as we walked past the North Lodge passing elderflowers…
…and Pyrenean valeran…
We had just girded our loins for the uphill section of the walk when Mrs Tootlepedal detected a drop of rain. We walked on. Mrs Tootlepedal detected several more drops and soon even I had to admit that in spite of the forecast, it was in fact raining.
We sheltered under a tree, grateful for the good protection the summer leaves gave us. The rain got heavier and the leaves buckled under the strain so we got wetter. We were considering how long we might wait under the dripping tree in the hope that the shower might pass, when the shower turned into a deluge and a burst of thunder made standing under any tree a less than attractive proposition. We headed for home in an absolute downpour and when we got there, Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge showed that an inch of rain had fallen on us in half an hour. There was some very impressive streams running down gutters and off the slopes but I didn’t dare take my camera out of its protective case so you will just have to take my word for them.
I was quite sorry that I hadn’t taken a rain jacket with me but we were both thoroughly soaked when we got in and a warming shower and a complete change of clothes were needed before we could contemplate life with equanimity again.
I contemplated some birds too.
The thunder and lightning hadn’t discouraged them from coming to the feeder.
On the ground, a dunnock crept around…
…and on the pole, our resident blackbird kept a wary eye on the weather.
The rest of the day was a slight anticlimax after walking through the storm (at no time was I alone).
I had received a note from WordPress this morning to say that I have now been blogging for ten years and I see that I have produced 3651 posts in that time so I was hoping t have had time and some nice landscape photographs to produce a better than usual effort today to celebrate this. However, the rain put paid to the photographs and then Adobe thought that this was the night to mess me about unmercifully when I tried to use my photo editor to improve what photographs I had got. As a result I have spent hours grumpily watching the little window that says “updating 50%” instead of cheerfully honing my deathless prose.
All the same, I would like to thank all those who read the blog, with a particular mention to those who comment either online or in real life when I meet you. Your kind words keep me enjoying the task of taking the pictures and writing the words. Especial credit goes to those few hardy souls who have actually read every one of the posts. They have gone far beyond the call of duty. In the course of the ten years, I have written literally millions of words and cycled roughly 40,000 miles so it has been a long journey for all of us.
Here’s to the next ten years.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.
Footnote: I have had a look at the new format for the blog as it appears on mobile phones and I must say that it doesn’t work very well on their small screens. If you normally read the posts on your phone, try them on a tablet or laptop if you can, and you will see the full effect of the changes.