Taking a chance

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, who grew this fine flower in his garden.

We had another showery day here today and unlike yesterday, there were no sunny intervals, just times when it was raining and times when it wasn’t raining.

One of the side effects of lockdown seems to be unfortunate typos creeping into my text and I have recently had to correct putting in mooning for morning and pants for plants. Astute readers will notice a trend here, and will doubtless wonder whether watching Boris Johnson is affecting my brain. I can assure them that it certainly is.

Those who came to the posts after the corrections were put in can ignore that paragraph entirely.

A rain shower put paid to today’s neighbours’ coffee meeting but I sneaked out later and got a soggy walk round the garden. Not liking the weather, one of Mrs Tootlepdal’s favourite coral peonies was staying firmly shut all day.

Other flowers were out but wet.

I was pleased to see that one of the only two plums left on the tree is doing well as is the only philadelphus to be wholly unaffected by the late frost….

…and the roses are quite happy so far, though the Queen of Denmark looks a bit squished as it is coming out. There was even a bee on a Goldfinch.

A new clematis is always a treat…

…and when I looked around, I found another one out, along with a courgette flower, as well as fine displays of blue from delphiniums and violas.

Evidence of yesterday’s visit to the garden centre was visible in the chimney pot.

I did a bit of dead heading and on my way back in, I passed a colourful selection of Sweet Williams along the drive…

…and a Martagon lily.

I went back in, and then looked out of the window.

It is not a good picture but I thought that this shot of a diminutive siskin booting a much larger greenfinch off a perch….

…might explain the subsequent siskin perch monopoly….

…with only other siskins to worry about.

After lunch, I suggested a walk to Mrs Tootlepedal but she cast a sceptical eye on some light drizzle and thought that she could find better things to do. I went off by myself.

I was relying on a forecast of a gap between the rain showers big enough to let me have a decent walk, but all the same, I chose a fairly boring low level road and track route, put on a rain jacket, and bustled along.

It has to be said that a this time of year, a fairly boring road can look quite inviting even on a grey day….

…and when the drizzle stopped and I got onto a quiet side road, I took my rain jacket off and started to look about.

I was particularly excited by this plant in the verge before I got to Milnholm. I thought at first that it was a fern…

…but a closer look shows that it is probably some sort of grass….

…and suggestions as to what it might be would be received gladly.

It wasn’t only the only strange plant that I saw.

I came across this object growing in a very shady spot in the woods later in the walk. This time, I thought that it was a grass at first but now I am not so sure. Once again, suggestions are welcomed.

In between strange plants, I walked past a field of potatoes…

…and along the track from Potholm back towards Langholm.

There was quite a brisk wind blowing most of the time, which was why I wasn’t cycling, and when I came to take a picture of some Pyrenean Valerian, turned white with age, near the end of my walk, the wind blurred my picture.

As a consolation, a shorn sheep stood very still on the Castleholm…

…and a pied wagtail posed for me on the sawmill brig.

That was most unusual.

It was pretty gloomy by the time that I got back to Langholm, so I didn’t take any more usable pictures. This was just as well as I had plenty already.

A cup of tea and some ginger biscuits revived me enough after my five mile walk for me to be able to put a Parish Magazine for March 1969, scanned and prepared by Sandy, on to the Archive Group website. Our set covers nearly the whole of the sixties now.

Then we had an early evening Zoom with my siblings. They had been up to all sorts of things (visiting the dentist, buying croissants).

Afterwards, I made baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our tea. Mrs Tootlepedal appears to have a never ending spinach mine in the vegetable garden. This is fine by me as I love spinach.

The flying bird of the day is one of the combative siskins.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Taking a chance

  1. Such a lot to enjoy, the colour in your garden, the posing pied wagtail and the green of your walk. I had a nice time scrolling through being amused by your text as I went.

  2. I like that dark wine colored clematis, and that lily too.
    The unknowns look like grasses but I’m not completely sure.
    You were lucky to have rain. We’re so dry now the woodland plants are wilting and the lawns are burned up.

  3. I have enjoyed the visual fruits of your walk. Those tracks and roads disappearing into deepening green certainly are inviting! They are photos I could step right into. The pink Martagon lily is quite striking with those large anthers.

    We’ve had a cloudless sunny day here, warm with a cooling breeze, not too hot. Tomorrow the heat is being dialed up again.

  4. The track from Potholm back towards Langholm looks very much like some roads (tracks) we have around here. Still, I envy you all those paths and tracks to take for quite a bit of variety to suit the weather no less!

  5. Oh how I had to restrain myself from commenting on the unusual material on sale at the garden centre the other day, and I missed the woke (the’s the in-word these days isn’t it? though I’m not sure I know what it means) potato field until I read derrickjknihjt’s comment…

  6. Love the Vulcan bomber siskin- they are very feisty birds! A wagtail photo with a still tail is one to keep along with that beautiful clematis flower. Your son’s flower is lovely too. If someone does name the grasses/plants can you put it in your blog please in case I miss the comment. Thank you.

  7. I am sure your second strange plant is a grass – Smaller Cat’s-tail (Phleum bertolonii). Your first strange plant was more difficult to identify as most ID photos don’t have a picture of the grass in full flower. However, I believe it is Crested Hair-grass (Koeleria macrantha).

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