Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who came across these interesting flats built inside old gas holder frames while she was on a walk beside a canal.
We had a pretty miserable sort of day here for the middle of July. It stayed cool, just creeping over 60°F/15°C at its peak. The sun didn’t put in an appearance at all and if it wasn’t raining now, it was going to rain soon. On the plus side, if it was raining now, it was going to stop raining soon. But with humidity at 90% it wasn’t a day for gardening as everything was extremely damp and soggy.
…but the dahlia is still developing every day and looks good in any weather.
New flowers have appeared in spite of the continuing coolth, a verbena…
…and a starter blossom on a coreopsis, the first of many I hope.
Instead of gardening, Mrs Tootlepedal did painting the sitting room ceiling both in the morning and the afternoon. Instead of our garden coffee morning, I went to have coffee with Sandy, taking him some old photographs given to me by our neighbour Irving. Sandy will add these to the Archive Group’s collection. I was glad to hear that his foot is still improving and that he was able to walk a mile recently.
In our garden, in between bits of rain, I saw several things to cheer me up when I got home after coffee.
The dark pansies were looking as alluring as ever…
The roses on the fence have never looked better.
The alstroemeria was sticking close to the plum tree for shelter.
And white lupins are hanging on for the moment.
Having seen Sticky Willy on my walk yesterday, I was interested to find some in the garden today (Mrs Tootlepedal may be not so pleased about this). A close look showed why it might be sticky.
I had time for a brief look at birds. This was a dunnock seen while I was in the garden…
…and this was a typical busy feeder scene with siskins on the go and a goldfinch trying to keep out of their way at the back of the feeder.
After lunch, following a well worn pattern of behaviour, I left Mrs Tootlepedal doing useful work and went off for a cycle ride. In an effort to persuade the weather gods that there was no point in raining on me, I wore a heavy rain jacket and my peaked helmet (which keeps the rain off my glasses and lets me see where I am going). This was reasonably successful and I only had a few light showers to contend with, but the down side of wearing such gear on a muggy day was that I was probably more wet underneath my clothing when I got home than I would have been if I had been exposed to the rain.
Still, I enjoyed the ride, taking my time after yesterday’s walk and looking about as I went. It was not hard to spot wild flowers at the speed that I was going and they are pretty visible anyway just now.
It didn’t take an eagle eye to notice the roadside clover, agrimony and great burnet and I couldn’t miss the new flush of daisies on the Canonbie bypass.
I went along less travelled roads…
…under occasionally threatening skies…
…which I am happy to say were going away from me rather than coming towards me. I didn’t rush down the road towards them, and so I took time to stop to admire the small forest growing inside this old ruin.
I was a bit alarmed to see birds sitting on power lines when I got near to Canonbie. Surely it couldn’t be time for swallows to get ready to, go however miserable the weather was? I was relieved when a closer look showed that they were starlings.
When I got to the bike path where I had seen the orchids on my walk yesterday, I stopped to consider why I hadn’t noticed them on previous rides. I parked the shopping bike and looked at the question from two angles, first the direction that I cycle in….
…with not an orchid in sight.
And then from the opposite direction, the direction in which I had been walking yesterday.
I don’t feel so bad about missing them now, as looking backwards while cycling is not recommended. for wobbly old gentlemen.
I managed 27 miles in the time that I had available to me and was pleased to get out of some very soggy cycling kit and have a shower when I arrived home.
Mrs Tootlepedal had put a first coat on half the ceiling while I was out. Like me, she is taking things at a sensible speed.
There was an unexpected bonus from the painting. While she was moving furniture, Mrs Tootlepedal came across a camera case which I had thought that I had lost while on a walk.
I now have a case for each of my little cameras, the ‘good’ one for the garden pictures and scenic views, and the one that I got repaired, which I now take on my cycle rides (and walks if it looks like rain).
The cases are supposed to be useful at keeping the dust from your pockets getting in the zoom lenses and causing them to stick or give up the ghost altogether.
While I was cycling, I composed a haiku for our sibling Zoom meeting. I know that an experienced haiku writer sometimes reads these posts so I hope that he won’t be offended my my first effort at the genre. I don’t know if you are allowed to illustrate a haiku but I thought that one of today’s garden pictures went well with it.
Sweet rain from above
Brings new life to the garden
Gift from the gods.
We are going to try to compose a Clerihew for our next meeting.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin in the rain.