Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s walk today. The sun was shining and appropriately enough, he found a farmer making hay.
We had a fine day here from start to finish. It got a little too hot perhaps when the sun was high in the sky for our pale northern tastes, but we weren’t really complaining.
After breakfast, there was great excitement as Mrs Tootlepedal once again cycled up to the moor. After appearing on local TV on Monday as ‘interested bird watcher #2’, she was helping to provide more background colour today, this time for a photographer from the Guardian newspaper who was getting some visuals to go with an article on community land buy outs. Mrs Tootlepedal appeared as ‘interested naturalist #1’ on this occasion.
I had some excitement myself as I went to our local health centre to get my regular vitamin B12 injection. It had been delayed for three months by the pandemic but I had taken no harm as a result.
I walked round the garden when I got back.
The sun had brought the coral peony out.
And a new rose, ‘The Wren’ was enjoying the warmth too.
There were plenty of bees and other insects about…
…and plenty of pollen for them to gather.
After the frosty failure of the azaleas, it is pleasing to find that the roses are bringing colour back to the garden.
I like the fact that Mrs Tootlepedal has a good selection of different sorts of roses for me to look at.
There are clematis coming out, though one is overwhelmed by the Goldfinch rose and another looks as though it ought perhaps to be hiding a bit more. The bees are enjoying the Goldfinch roses.
I filled the bird feeder and took a moment to watch the birds. After yesterday’s mayhem, I went for quieter pictures today with some individual portraits.
Finally, I had a look out of the back door to see the last of the oriental poppies beside the dam.
Then it was time for our garden coffee meeting and in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal up the hill, it was held in Liz’s garden. Margaret and I heard graphic accounts of Liz’s adventurous morning walk with her daughter and we followed that up with a lively discussion of the politics of the day.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back safely from the hill, having been impressed by the well organised and pleasant manner of the photographer.
After lunch, I decided to go for a cycle ride on my shopping bike. I had rung up the bike shop about my gear changing problem on my road bike, but they were far too busy selling other people new bikes to get back to me. If I want a ride in the immediate future, it is going to be on the shopping bike. Because I don’t use it for long rides, it takes a bit of getting used to the riding position but I raised the saddle a centimetre or two today and found it more comfortable than yesterday’s test ride. All the same it was pretty hot (80°F/ 26°C) so I thought that it would be wise not to go too far in one go and I settled for twenty miles round my usual Canonbie circuit for my first outing of the day.
A light breeze helped to keep me cool and I was pretty happy as I went past my favourite tree at the Bloch.
I like it because it looks just like a tree if you see what I mean.
When I got to Hollows Bridge, I could see that the recent rain has at last put a bit more water in the rivers…
…and I believe that the fishermen are getting quite excited at the prospect of actually having some fish swimming up stream at last.
The bird’s foot trefoil is on the way out and the knapweed is on the way in, but there are plenty of both to be seen by the roadside.
When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal busy mending one of our old dining room chairs. We have had them for well over forty years and like the owners, they are showing signs of wear and tear.
After a cup of tea and a biscuit, I went out into the garden to take a picture of another new arrival. After seeing Statchys silvatica, the hedge woundwort on our walks, it was good to see that our own Stachys byzantina has come out. It wins the prize as the woolliest plant in the garden.
Having taken The Wren in the morning, I thought that I should take it in the evening too.
The new purple clematis looked better in the evening I thought, though a change of camera might have helped too…
…but the clear winner of the session in my view was the Butter and Sugar Iris.
I was very surprised to see that a calendula has come out…
….as this seems quite early.
After an enjoyable Zoom with Mrs Tootlepedal and my siblings (my older sisters are very excited by the prospect of going to a hairdressers soon), I went for a second outing on the shopping bike before my evening meal.
I stuck to a simple twelve mile out and back course and found that it was a perfect evening for a cycle with a gate…
…and the view of the road home….
…to prove it.
The government were keeping a close eye on what I was doing.
I was very happy with my divided thirty two miles and if all goes well, I may do something similar tomorrow. It won’t be until tomorrow though that I find out if my legs enjoyed the new saddle height as much as I did. These things take time to work through.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow, catching the sun in its wings.