Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Richard, a distinguished former member of our Carlisle choir tenor section. He noticed two poplar hawk moths doing what they can to ensure the continuation of the species.
We had a less confusing day today here as far as the weather went. It kept dry all day, though once again, it was rather cool for the time of year and the sun only put in a fleeting appearance.
We had garden coffee with our neighbour Margaret without the need of umbrellas or sunshades and when I looked around I could see a new dahlia waiting to come out…
…and a zinnia lurking in the shade of a border.
I was a bit restless and while Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret chatted, from time to time I popped up for a look round while the sun was out.
The new roses are doing very well….
…and an old clematis is thriving too.
As I sat back down to join in the conversation, a calendula caught my eye.
A bit of sun cheers everything up.
After coffee I mowed the middle lawn. Non lawn loving readers may wonder why I mow the lawns so often, but a quick mow when the grass is short enough to leave the cuttings lying on the lawn doesn’t take much time and keeps the lawn looking good and easy to mow. I try to mow a lawn every other day if the weather permits. It is very little trouble and takes me about ten minutes.
Beside the lawn, a bee was visiting the ligularia.
After I had mowed the middle lawn, I finished off the task of trimming the hedge between us and Betty…
…in perfect time to be able to admire the all electric Tesla car of her grandson who was visiting her. I didn’t get a picture though, as he drove off to take a tour through the countryside.
When I had finished shredding the hedge clippings, I had another look round before lunch. The rose panel shows Bobbie James and the Wren and Lilian Austin all looking at their best…
…while it looks as though Special Grandma will come out with perfect timing to celebrate our granddaughter Evie’s first birthday tomorrow.
I had a close look at another verbascum today. There are some flowers which make it very hard for a photographer to get a sharp image.
After lunch, we settled down for a Zoom chat with our other granddaughter Matilda and her parents. It is very sad that we are not able to visit Matilda and Evie in person but we are keeping in touch thanks to digital wizardry. Matilda was in very good form and kept us entertained by reading an informative book on weather to us. We now know where weather is to be found, where it comes from and what it is like when it gets extreme. We shall try to avoid being caught in hurricanes and thunderstorms.
We had many good laughs during the meeting and ended it feeling quite upbeat in spite of the prolonged absence of person to person contact.
After the meeting closed, I watched the birds for a while. A chaffinch hadn’t been completely looked after in the paint shop….
…and you may think that this sparrow was just passing the feeder on its way to somewhere more interesting…
…but it was plotting a sudden attack…
…which the siskin was more than ready to rebuff.
The part needed to repair my road bike has still not arrived so I got the shopping bike out once more and headed up the main road north out of the town without much expectation of enjoyment.
However, once again the good Dr Velo worked his magic, and I soon found myself pedalling along at a steady rate and in good spirits. The power company people have not finished installing all the new power lines yet and there were signs of work all the way up the valley. At the head of the valley, a smart new bridge and road have been installed to supply access to some pylons.
The view on the other side of the road is undisturbed.
When I got to the top of the hill at Mosspaul after ten miles, instead of turning for home I pushed on down the other side for a few miles. The road here is beautifully surfaced, and it seems like a crime not to pedal along it so I went as far as the good surface lasted and stopped when the bumpy section appeared.
The change in surface doesn’t look too bad but it is a bit gravelly and remarkably uncomfortable for a cyclist, especially one with a solid back tyre. I was very happy to turn here and head for home.
The wind was light with only occasional gusts and it was one of those days when a crosswind seems to help a bit both on the way out and the way back. As a result, I achieved a very respectable average speed for the shopping bike and arrived home in a much better state of mind than I had been in when I had set out.
A look at some nasturtiums lurking under a bench….
…and a second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s brisket of beef with delicious new potatoes, followed by a dish of raspberries and cream, helped the day to land firmly on the credit side of the great ledger of life.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch keeping its head very still as it comes into land.