A curious connection

Today’s guest picture is the newt that Bruce was seen going to great lengths to photograph in a recent guest picture of the day. The newt prefers to remain anonymous.

We had another very hot day by our standards today, with the thermometer well over 80°F in the afternoon. A weather station in the town recorded a maximum of 87°.

Certainly by the time that I had walked up the short but steep hill to Sandy’s for a cup of coffee in the morning, I was absolutely jiggered and was only revived by a generous slice of his birthday cake.

After a good chat, I tottered back down the hill to find our street coffee morning strategically parked in the shade cast by Margaret’s garage. Even there everyone was getting slowly cooked, so it soon broke up.

I had a walk round the garden.

Thanks to the lockdown, mid summer day has come and gone with scarcely a ripple in our consciousness, because for three months one day has been remarkably like another. However, it can’t be denied that we are now on the downhill path to autumn and winter, and the orange hawkweed knows it, even if we haven’t noticed.

On a brighter note, the tiger lily has got a friend…

…and the roses are saying “Summer” in a loud voice.

You might think that this is a little pixie castle…

…but it is only nectaroscordum seed heads.

Although it was hot, walking round the garden in the sunshine is always better than walking round in the rain, so I lingered for a while and kept looking round, doing a little deadheading and weeding as I went.

I like the way that the clematis at the front door chimes well with the wall behind it….

…and I was quite excited to find potatoes and runner bean flowers in the veg garden, and very excited to see that one lonely apple has survived the frost massacre.

Noting that the Goldfinch rose could hardly have any more flowers if it tried…

…I went in for lunch. Mrs Tootlepedal cooked delicious grilled mushrooms stuffed with bacon, cheese and spinach.

After lunch, I watched the birds for a while and found them very calm today…

…and then, because it was too hot to do anything else, I went out and sat on our new bench and watched pigeons doing pigeon things on a wire.

…and while I was there, I considered the contrasting fortunes of shrubs. A philadephus which came out after the frost, is covered with flowers…

…while behind it, our climbing hydrangea which should also be covered with flowers, was caught and has hardly a flower to be seen.

Mrs Tootlepedal was sensibly in the relative cool of the garage mending a dining chair and I drifted slowly in that direction, passing irises….

…brightly lit foliage….

…mini campanulas…

…and a host of orange hawkweed showing that they are not all dead yet.

Strangely, Mrs Tootlepedal was doing very well without any help from me, so as the sun had dropped a little in the sky, I got out the shopping bike and headed down to Canonbie, going down towards Tarras first to add a bit of variety to my usual Canonbie circuit.

It is an up and down route at the start and luckily I was on an up section when some ragged robin caught my eye. I thought that they might make a good subject for a picture and stopped to look but found myself staring at about a dozen fine orchids a few yards further on instead.

I cycled on and went through Canonbie and down the old road to the bottom of the bypass. As I pedalled up the bypass, another patch of ragged robin caught my eye and to my surprise, there was another set of orchids nearby.

Further along the bypass, more ragged robin and yet more orchids…

…made me wonder if this was more than just a coincidence. I will have to keep an eye out.

I got home after eighteen fairly hot miles and was able to have a cup of tea and still be just in time for the regular sibling Zoom meeting. My brother had an interesting tale of meeting drunks in a Tesco’s at half past ten in the morning.

We had our evening meal after the meeting and then I took the shopping bike out for an evening twelve miles to bring up thirty miles for the day.

It was another beautiful evening for a bike ride…

…though the shadows were lengthening as I headed back to Langholm.

The thirty miles for the day took me up to my basic target for the month of 375 miles. It sounds more impressive if I say that that is the same as 600km.

The weather is due to change tomorrow, with rain every day until the end of the month so I did well to do my cycling today in spite of the heat.

The flying bird of the day is one of the fretful pigeons.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A curious connection

  1. 600 km sounds very impressive to me; congratulations! Your zoom meetings sound wonderful – especially if they include stories like that and the croissant buying adventure you recently hinted at and one I have since heard in full.

  2. I had to look up nectaroscordum. It is a beautiful member of the allium family. That was a nicely composed seed head photo! I enjoyed all your photos from the day.

    I am sorry your weather was so hot there, and you have the humidity to go along with it. The sun looks golden and bright on flower and foliage.

    That is a fine newt from Bruce.

  3. Your weather sounds like ours has been for well over a week. Happy belated birthday to Sandy. Maybe his birthday wish was for cooler weather.
    That’s too bad about the climbing hydrangea. They’re beautiful when they bloom but many of them never do here.
    Of the two ragged robins that I know one was mowed and the other was dug up, so it’s nice to see yours. And the orchids too.

  4. I am so very envious of all the lovely routes you can cycle around Langholm. There’s beautiful prairie countryside here, but as for roads, there’s a choice of gravel roads or busy highways – it would be more than my life is worth to try to cycle for any distance on them. Some do – but I’m not that intrepid.

    The pixie castle is a lovely structure! And I agree – your house is a perfect backdrop for the clematis.

  5. 87 degrees Fahrenheit is hot even for me in the Covid-19 capital of the USA, that is Los Angeles County. Saw some beach pictures at Bournemouth. Some time ago when they wanted to close the beaches in LA County, they closed all the parking lots and restrooms. That worked well.

  6. Congratulations on the amount of exercise you got in on such a day. I once ran the Bolton Marathon in 88F – but I was almost 30 years younger then. 🙂 You did well with the pigeons.

  7. Cycling in all that heat must have been exhausting but if you hadn’t been on your slower bike and maybe slower due to the heat ( I presume a shopping bike is slower than your whizzing bike) you may not have noticed those beautiful orchids! Lovely views too.

    1. The shopping bike has a more upright riding position, few gears and no toe clips so it is slower than the whizzy bike, you are right. I wouldn’t have been going very fast up the hill in that heat even on my other bike though. 🙂

  8. I try not to think about the days getting shorter once again. Thus far our summer has been pleasantly cool, so I have no complaints about the longer sunny days at all. The orchids were certainly a beautiful find.

  9. We are not allowed to have orange hawkweed here….it’s “noxious”. Your photo of it Makes me want some. I did have it in a public planter from a wildflower mix once, and had to pull it, more’s the pity. But we can have nectroscordum. I love the flowers but you make me appreciate the seed heads just as much.

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