Today’s guest picture come from our sonTony in East Wemyss. Not only do they have apparently perpetual sunshine there, but they also have free apples for passers by. It is a demi-paradise.
We had another cool and cloudy morning here and, typically, we had just got settled down to coffee in the garden when the rain started up and we had to move on. The weather gods have got their eye on our socially distanced neighbours’ coffee mornings at the moment. They like nothing better for us to get sat down before they throw in some light rain which stops as soon as we have packed up.
Luckily we had an excellent Zoom meeting with our granddaughter Matilda and her parents to keep us entertained.
After zooming, I made some lentil soup and while it was cooking, I went out for a brief visit to the garden to find something cheerful to look at.
There is a bunch of poppies in the vegetable garden. They are finding it hard to keep their heads up under the frequent rain showers….
…but they are flowering very well all the same. You can see by the wheelbarrow in the background that Mrs Tootlepedal has been doing more tidying up of things that are past their best.
I looked around for more cheer…
…and took yet another picture of the developing dark dahlia…
…before going in to eat the lentil soup.
After lunch, I spent some time trying to improve my picture framing skills on Photoshop without much success. I have been forced by Adobe to move to a new version and on the way I lost the little macro which makes frames from my panels and I can’t remember what I did when I first created it. It is very frustrating.
Then it was time for our Carlisle Community Choir virtual choir practice. We are going to try to produce one of these composite choir performances made up of individuals singing at home, so our leader thought that we ought to devote some time to practising the song we are going to sing. With great technical skill, she divided the choir into two separate ‘rooms’ and she and the accompanist took two sections each. It was useful, but quite a lot of home practice will still be required.
When the choir practice had finished, there was time for a look at the birds. Goldfinches were playing ‘bookends’…
…and a redpoll took sole command of the feeder at one point.
The weather had brightened up a bit so I made another quick excursion to the garden where a zinnia putting up an ornamental fence round its internal garden caught my eye.
I was back inside, cooking some beetroot, when a bird smacked into the kitchen window and then tried a couple more times to get in. I went out to see how it was doing and found a young greenfinch standing stunned on the windowsill.
It wasn’t too badly hurt though, as it flew off under its own steam a minute or two later.
Mrs Tootlepedal had cooked some delicious minced beef for our tea, and we ate this with carrots, beetroot and potato from the garden. The broad beans are finished for this year so Mrs Tootlepedal has planted some more beetroot in the hope that we get sufficient good weather for it to grow quickly enough for us to be able to eat it. I hope so, as beetroot is my favourite.
After tea, I was considering a late pedal but the wind was strong and my will was weak and I went for a walk instead.
I walked through the park past the war memorial and down the Murtholm track to Skippers Bridge with a view to seeing whether the fallen trees had been cleared from the Tarras road. On my way I passed a pheasant hiding in the long grass…
…lots of vetch…
…and a good number of hazelnuts.
When I got to the Tarras road, the trees and rubble had been efficiently cleared away. The landslip had left a very visible scar.
If you look closely at the picture above, you can just see a fence on top of the rocky outcrop. This fence is there to help elderly walkers get up to the old railway track and it helped me today.
I did worry slightly about walking up beside a recent landslip but I felt that I was on solid rock rather than halfway down a muddy slope like the trees on my right.
The sun had come out as I was walking and it had turned into a pleasant day. I walked up through the oak and birch wood…
…to the Roundhouse, an old stone built gazebo now completely sealed in….
…and enjoyed the view over the town.
I took the path down from the Roundhouse…
…and made my way home, passing a sunlit foxglove….
…some lugubrious lichen on a wall…
…and a patch of invasive Himalayan Balsam…
I had to interrupt the preparation of this post at ten o’clock to go out with Mrs Tootlepedal to see a ‘son et lumiere’ project at the parish church organised by members of a local youth theatre group. They were lighting up the church to the accompaniment of recorded music. The performance was due to last for an hour and the church looked quite striking as various lights played on it.
…but the midges were so bad that Mrs Tootlepedal and I were driven off by the little biting blighters after about ten minutes. We left the church in all its glory…
…and got away as quickly as we could. If this post seems more disjointed than usual, it may be because I have been scratching my head literally as well as metaphorically as I wrote it.
The flying bird of the day is a serious sparrow.