Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Sharon. She was out last night to see the town being painted red. Well, not exactly painted, more all lit up. It was a message called ‘Light it in Red’ . The Buccleuch Centre was illuminated by Centre Stage Theatre to bring attention to the current plight of venues and those in the event and performing arts sector. A worthy cause in my view.
We had a day that waited until the later afternoon to get lit up by the sun. When we got up, it was grey and cool, but as it was dry and the wind had dropped a bit more, we weren’t complaining.
I did the crossword and then got ready to go for a pedal as it looked that there was more chance of rain later on than before lunch. I was slightly delayed by a small tortoiseshell butterfly…
…and a moth that Mrs Tootlepedal noticed. It may well be a Large Yellow Underwing.
Then I was distracted by the first flowers on a buddleia this year….
…some St John’s Wort…
…and a very red poppy.
Then I had to make a start on cleaning the tray that lives under the bird feeder as Mrs Tootlepedal rightly pointed out that it was evil smelling to say the least. (This is where my poor sense of smell comes in handy a a foul smell doesn’t bother me so much.)
And then, just as the ladies were sitting down to coffee, I finally got going.
To be honest, I didn’t really get going today. My legs were sullen, my heart wasn’t really in it, I was missing my road bike and the wind wasn’t at all helpful. I went round the Canonbie circuit very slowly and a bit grumpily, an unusual state for me when I am on a bicycle. Still, even cycling grumpily is better than not cycling at all and I did see a large flock of birds that settled in a tree.
They were quite far away so I wasn’t certain what they were, but a look on the computer when I got home confirmed that they were starling families.
I didn’t have to duck when I passed under the fallen tree at Byreburnfoot today…
…but I was disappointed to find that someone had been along and picked all the ripe raspberries from the bush near by.
I noticed that there was orange hawkweed at the Hollows Bus Stop again this year…
…but as the bus hasn’t been running during the lockdown, it was not surprising to find the bus stop looking a bit neglected.
Because I was tired, I was happy to have another stop at Irvine House to check if the umbellifers were still proving attractive. They were.
Some of these plants are impressively tall and I had to look up above my head to see this one.
I made myself a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for my lunch, and felt refreshed enough to go out to cut and shred another section of the hedge.
When I got bored with that, I looked at the delphiniums closely.
Mrs Tootlepedal came out and set about using disinfectant and a fierce scrubbing brush on the bird feeder tray. Although it wasn’t perfectly clean, it was passed good enough to go back in place on condition that I clean it much more frequently. I need to pick a day of the week and start a cleaning habit rather than leaving it until it gets intolerable.
The birds were grateful for the return of the feeder and later in the evening, after the sibling Zoom, I took a moment to watch them.
A little bird was an early arrival. At first, I thought that it was a siskin but a glimpse of red on the head made me look closer and the kind bird even dropped its head to make sure that I could see that it was a well named redpoll.
I think that this was a female and a moment later she was joined by a male, saluting the world as he arrived on the feeder.
While tea was cooking, I went out for a last walk round the garden. I haven’t given enough credit to the lovely Bobbie James, climbing high up the electricity pole stay wire.
At the other end of the scale, lowly nasturtiums were enjoying the evening sunshine.
Mrs Tootlepedal came out to join me and remarked on a lovely poppy…
…and her favourite calendula, ‘Indian Prince’. She likes the colour of the outside of the petals when they first show…
…and how they open out.
The local lockdown in Langholm and the surrounding district was lifted today as the authorities think they have got a grip of the small outbreak that caused it, so the world is our oyster tomorrow….if we could just think of somewhere that we wanted to go.
A siskin is the flying bird of the day.