Two enjoyable outings

Today’s guest picture goes to show that if we see one butterfly in Langholm, our son Tony sees two in sunny East Wemyss.

We had another dry day here today, sunny at first but cloudy later. I took advantage of the early sun to go out after breakfast and look at the garden.

The roses are enjoying having days without serious rain and don’t seem to mind the cool temperatures too much. The moss roses in particular are looking much more cheerful…

…and the Queen of Denmark is looking more regal.

But the star of the morning show was undoubtedly The Wren.

The poppies are still attracting bees and this one was taking in customers before it was fully open.

As we are allowed to travel more freely after our local lockdown has been lifted, we decided that a visit to the garden centre near Longtown would be in order. Mrs Tootlepedal has cleared some old plants out of various beds and she felt that some imported colour was required.

When we got there, we found that the garden centre had an elaborate one way system in operation but the manager said we could ignore it as there were only two other customers on the premises. Mrs Tootlepedal wandered around picking up plants while I noticed a small tortoiseshell butterfly sunning itself in the car park.

Our usual garden coffee drinkers were otherwise engaged today, so we had coffee quietly indoors by ourselves when we got home, before getting busy in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal planted out her new plants and spread some farmyard manure which she had brought in big bags from the garden centre, while I mowed the front lawn and did another section of hedge trimming and shredding.

Of course there was time to look around as well. The rambling roses on the fence are looking better each day.

It is a pity that we will not see such roses in the crown on Common Riding Day. Our most important ceremony of the year has been cancelled because of the virus.

The flowers on the privet around the new bench are coming out and it will not be long I am sure until the sound of bees will be heard there.

I went looking for bees on the astrantia and found a wasp instead.

Then I went in and made some soup, using some of Mrs Tootlepedal’s home made chicken stock. It made for a tasty lunch.

I had looked at bird tables at the garden centre, as I am planning to buy a new one to stop the seed falling on the ground, but the only models there were both too small and too expensive, so in the meantime, I just filled our present feeder and watched the birds for a while.

Life was quite peaceful today…

…although when there are siskins about, there is also almost always some shouting.

After a poor cycling experience a couple of days ago with tired legs and failing spirits, I decided that I ought to have another go to see if things had got any better.

I chose a more entertaining route than my usual Canonbie circuit and set off, travelling hopefully (but still expecting to arrive). For one reason or another, but most likely because the wind was much lighter today than it has been lately, I really enjoyed my pedal, kpet up a reasonable average speed, and stopped to look at quite few wild flowers on my way.

There is a lot of this bright yellow stuff about at the moment. I think that it is Ladies Bedstraw.

I kept an eye out in a certain spot where it usually grows for Great Burnet, an unassuming plant when seen from a distance….

…but a little cracker when looked at closely.

I like its Sunday name of Sanguisorba Officinalis.

The most common flower in the verges at the moment is meadowsweet which goes from this…

…to this.

I cycled along roads lined with it today.

Some of them had neat beech hedges too, recovering from that damaging frost.

I noticed some very large and cheerful clover at one point, much bigger than the usual wild clover…

…and Mrs Tootlepedal suggests that it might be lucerne, probably sown in fields by farmers.

The gently and kindly wind blew me home and when I arrived in Langholm having done twenty seven miles, my legs actually encouraged me to add the extra three miles to bring the total up to a neat thirty miles. They felt so good that they would have been ashamed to do less they told me.

I had a moment to admire Mrs Tootlepedal’s newly acquired sea holly…

…before going in for a cup of tea and the now traditional sibling zoom. Both my elder sisters were very happy because they had been able to go to the hairdresser today for the first time for three months. In fact, they were positively light headed!

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious meal of liver and onions, with potatoes, beans and a (tiny) carrot from the garden on the side. As we followed that up with raspberries from the garden and cream (from John’s shop), we felt that we had eaten like kings.

With three more fine days to come, according to the forecast, we are very cheerful tonight.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin. I didn’t have long to look out of the window and this was the best that I could do.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Two enjoyable outings

  1. Good 30 miles today,excellent avg speed,are you still on the shopping bike.
    Your blessed with some very inviting flattish traffic free roads,ideal for us older cyclists.
    My area isnā€™t quite so inviting ,with more traffic since the easing of lockdown.
    Your rambling Rose is is looking superb.

  2. We’ve had many important events cancelled too. It’s not an easy thing to see happen.
    I like the great burnet. I keep hoping to see it here but I never do.
    The sea holly is another I’ve never seen but I can see why Mrs. T. chose it. It’s an unusual plant that will probably be the topic of many a conversation.

      1. The numbers are low in New Hampshire and much of the rest of New England. I think that’s because here in NH we have an excellent Governor who got out in front of it quickly, closing schools and businesses before it got out of hand. He also had news conferences every day and that gave us a sense of leadership.
        But not all states have done the same and the virus is really getting out of control. I heard yesterday was the first time the governor of Arizona was seen in a week, which to me is unacceptable. Many politicians seem to have forgotten that they are there to protect and serve the people.

  3. Finally could catch up on the week I lost because my left eye had to be repaired. Sorry the Riding had to be cancelled. After all it’s the culmination of Langholms traditions. That sanquisorba is quite a show. We call it meadow button.

    1. It is always good to find a new name for a flower. I shall think of it as a meadow button now.

      I hope that your eye operation works well and you can continue to read.

  4. Your flying bird of the day is a fine shot. He looks like the Concorde coming in for a landing.

    I enjoyed the assortment of flowers, and butterflies, birds, bees and wasp. Wasps do make good pollinators, and we see many at work here.

    I saw an odd pair of robins in the garden last night, what appeared to be the father and one newly fledged offspring with open beak. He couldn’t fly well yet, but father bird was taking him to an area I water heavily. Good worms can be found there, but he seemed more intent on being fed by his parent.

  5. I remember the Wren from last year’s photos and it’s a stunner this year as well! How we underestimated meadow sweet and Great Burnett…they’re beautiful when studied closely..thank you! Happy day when you have an enjoyable cycle ride.

  6. I very much liked the closer look at the Great Burnet. A plant I’m not familiar with. Flowers so often reward us when given a closer look.

  7. I love sea hollies and sanguisorbas. As you know, I have that Lilac Squirrel sanguisorba that looks like pink feathers. It is a wonderful thing these days to be the only customers at a garden shop!

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