Today’s guest picture comes from Gunta, a blog reader who lives on the west coast of America. She has combined two of my favourite things, a flying bird and a fuchsia, in one fantastic picture.
We had a perfectly nice, almost summer day here today with the temperature at a very acceptable 15 to 17°C which is not too hot and not too cold.
I was able to go out after breakfast and enjoy the garden. No flower has done better recently than the Wren which seems to put out more beautiful roses almost every day.
A yard or two away, and given exactly the same tender care by Mrs Tootlepedal, Lillian Austin, after a promising start, has struggled to put out more than one half decent flower at a time.
Why this should be so is one of those intriguing mysteries that make gardening so much fun (or drives gardeners mad).
More cornflowers are appearing as the days go by.
The only fly in the ointment on the weather front was a marked tendency of short rain showers to appear at inconvenient moments. Once came as we were having our garden coffee and conversation and cut the meeting short. Annoyingly, once again it stopped almost as soon as we had broken up and gone our separate ways.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I went back out into the garden. I was on a butterfly hunt and found a peacock butterfly on the buddleia. I didn’t have time for a good picture though, as a small tortoiseshell arrived and knocked it it off the flower. I have never seen this behaviour before. There were plenty of other flowers on the bush available for landing.
Both the butterflies disappeared quite soon afterwards and were replaced by white butterflies.
I did the usual dead heading and helped Mrs Tootlepedal clear old flowers from the back of the house along the dam. We pruned the old wood from the blackcurrant bush and I picked some gooseberries for stewing. It rained on us from time to time.
Although the butterflies had gone, there were plenty of other insects buzzing around the garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been growing Bulgarian red carrot chilli peppers but they haven’t turned red yet. As she has been advised that they are less hot if you pick them when they are still green, I picked one and used it in a lentil soup which I made for lunch. It was quite hot enough for our tastes so picking it green was probably a good decision. It gave the soup a good flavour.
While the soup was cooking, I went back out into the garden and found a mixed bag of butterfly and bee…
….took in the combination of lupins and poppies outside the greenhouse…
…noticed a blackbird on the new bench among the fallen privet flowers…
…and enjoyed a burst of sunshine with the dahlias.
I had scrubbed the tray under the bird feeder and filled the feeder with seed earlier on so when I went back in, I had a look to see if any birds were grateful. One chaffinch was checking things out carefully before having a nibble…
…but soon there was a good crowd there and I was pleased to see a fine colour mixture as a redpoll and a blue tit shared the seed with a yellow siskin.
I was even more pleased to see a robin as I haven’t seen one in the garden for a long time.
After lunch, I went out to mow the front lawn and when I was about half way through the job, it started to rain again. Once again, it was only doing it to annoy and it soon stopped and let me finish the mowing while Mrs Tootlepedal came out and trimmed the lawn edges.
I just had time before the usual Carlisle Choir Zoom rehearsal to nip out and take a picture of the parish church bell tower for my friend Mike Taudevin (who was wondering if there was any visible evidence of new cracks in it), and on my way home, I stopped to take a picture of a very pretty flower which our neighbour Charlotte has planted beside the bridge over the dam.
The choir practice was as much fun as singing by yourself instead of with eighty other people can be, and when it finished, I went out for a late cycle ride. Following the pattern of the day, there were quite a few dark clouds about so I took a rain jacket with me. Luckily, I didn’t need to put it on and I had a slow but enjoyable pootle round my regular Canonbie run.
Belted Galloways were hiding in the long grass as I passed…
…and on the other side of the road, three trees stood out against some dark clouds which were fortunately going away from me and not towards me. The breeze that was rustling the leaves on the trees would soon be behind me.
My friend Gavin had been very impressed by the daisies on the Canonbie bypass when he had driven by them this morning and I stopped to show that he was right to be impressed.
When I got home, I sat for a moment on the new bench to admire the freshly mown and edged front lawn in the evening sunshine…
…and had another look at the delightful combination of nasturtium and clematis beside the front door…
…before going in to have an evening meal of roast ham followed by stewed gooseberries and cream.
So, all in all, in spite of the occasional rain, not a bad day at all.
A chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.