Keeping in trim

Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie. It was her daughter Evie’s first birthday today and our sorrow at not being able to be there was compounded by the sight of Annie’s home made cakes that we missed.

We were really sad not to be at Evie’s birthday party and only hope that it will not be too long before we see her again.

As a consolation, we at least got a day of decent weather here. The forecast suggested that the wind would be very light early in the morning and quite brisk late in the day. Obviously, a sensible person would have been up early and out on his bike while the going was good. Equally obviously, I footled the morning away and only just emerged into the garden at coffee time.

The dahlia had developed a bit since yesterday…

…and I am looking forward to seeing it fully out soon.

A blackbird was feeling nearly as lazy as I was and tried resting here for a bit…

…and then found a better spot to sit while we were drinking our coffee.

The poppies and calendulas are thriving and I took a shot to show some of the netting Mrs Tootlepedal has in place to keep them secure in strong winds.

After coffee, I mowed the front lawn, washed the tray which sits under the bird feeder and trimmed a couple of the short box hedges. This was the result of trimming the hedge behind the pond.

I felt a bit of fellow feeling for the chives which are turning old and grey…

…and then went in for lunch, and a WhatsApp meeting with Evie who was getting ready for her birthday lunch with her other grandparents who live just across the road.

After lunch, I checked on the bird feeder. I found greenfinches looking suspiciously around for incoming siskins…

…and then I went for a quick three bridges walk before the regular Zoom rehearsal meeting with our Carlisle Community Choir.

I didn’t see much of interest on my walk but I had had the forethought to put a little money in my pocket so that I was able to buy an ice cream from Pelosi’s van on the Kilngreen, my first nougat wafer of the year. The ice cream vendor told me that he was very happy to back at work as he loved his job. He was also, he told me, doing a brisk business.

I looked back across the river towards a busy Kilngreen as I walked round the new path on the Castleholm.

I noticed that there were a lot of docks beside the path…

…and I enjoyed the trunks of the pine trees in the sunshine.

There was a wasp on an umbellifer…

…and three spikes of rosebay willowherb pointing the way home.

I took the hint and got home in time to look at the roses…

…with this pair my favourites of the day.

When I went in, I noticed a siskin trying to sneak onto the feeder unobserved…

…and then enjoyed the choir practice, which was useful and interesting this week.

After another WhatsApp birthday chat with Evie, who was entertaining friends in the garden for tea by this time, I went out for a cycle ride.

I paid the penalty for not going out in the morning when the wind was kind by having to battle up the road straight into 20mph gusts. Although it was warm and a theoretically lovely day for a pedal…

…cycling into the wind on the shopping bike is hard work and I was glad to stop to take pictures of my favourite tree…

…and orchids on the Wauchope road and the Canonbie bypass…

…just to get a breather.

It was not all bad though, as the views were very clear over the Solway…

…and the wind blew me home.

We are very pleased to see that the walnut tree has got a good show of leaves now and they were casting pretty shadows on the lawn when I set out for my bike trip.

I am going to pursue the bike shop next week to see where the new part for my road bike is. I have done three hundred miles on the shopping bike since the old part broke and I feel that that is quite enough miles on it for the time being.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow making a handbrake turn to get to the feeder.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Keeping in trim

  1. Your certainly building up the miles,20 mph headwinds are hard work but at least you were on a lovely quiet pleasant road.
    Your hedge looks like you used a spirit level,very professional indeed.

    1. Sheer luck on the level hedge. The miles are going well but I need to have a good reserve in the bank for when the winter months come and cycling is blown, flooded or frozen off. 🙂

  2. The blackbird is acting like a pet. It seems very relaxed and comfortable.
    The road you biked on has a beautiful view. I’m glad you saw orchids.
    The lawn and garden look perfect as usual. The walnut is very lucky that it was chosen to shade them.

  3. The wee blackbird looks like it’s melting into the ground – and you must have been on the ground yourself to get that second shot. The view across the Solway is magnificent – as are Annie’s cakes. I’m so sorry that you are missing out on so much of Evie’s first year (and a bit, more than likely). Hopefully the Zoom meetings will keep you familiar until you can travel to see her.

  4. Happy Birthday to Evie! Annie’s cakes look luscious; I am sorry you and Mrs T weren’t able to be at the party. I like the photos of the sun-bathing blackbird and the ‘handbrake turn’ sparrow!

  5. That tree is not only your favorite tree but mine too! It’s Gorgeous. Excellent composition. 🙂

  6. Wishing Evie a Happy Birthday! The cakes look very tasty. I hope you will get to see everyone in person before too long, but I am afraid this pandemic is going to go on for a bit.

    Your bird photos brought a smile, especially the suspicious siskins and sparrow making the turn. That was a particularly interesting capture!

    I am glad the walnut tree recovered, and will provide shade and nuts.

    How are the tadpoles faring these days?

  7. A whole year old …’s flown by! It’s sad to miss these birthday milestones but looking forward to when you can meet up will make the visit to see Evie even more special. Your daughter might even make you a cake to celebrate. Such a relief to see leaves on your walnut tree as they cast such delicate shadows over your perfect lawn. Good idea to use netting Mrs T …will copy that idea! Love the comment and photo of the handbrake turned sparrow!

    1. We were worried when the walnut lost all its early leaves to the frost so we were very pleased to see the later growth. We can but hope that we will see Evie before too long.

  8. Despite no party to go to you made great use of the day, whereas I’m sat here waiting for some goods to be delivered to get our back garden into shape. I have to sit here in case the deliveryman knocks the door, if I go out the back and I miss him he will just put a card through the letterbox saying “sorry we missed you”. Her indoors will skin me alive if that happens. Cheers

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