A late stroll in the sunshine

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She ventured over the border into Wiltshire to find this fine gate at Courts Garden in Holt.

After a brief effort over the last few days, the weather gods stopped even pretending it was summer here today and dropped back into very cool temperatures and occasional rain again. It was ‘jumpers on’ for coffee in the garden.

Luckily our neighbour Liz still had her gazebo up so we met in comfort in there. We were chatting away when in a rare outbreak of reverse scone radar, Scott the former minister of the parish turned up. He was not looking for scones but bringing a bagful with him. We made him very welcome.

After coffee, we went back into our garden. I had received a letter from Lillian Austin’s representative to say that my suggestion in yesterday’s post that she may be past her best is irresponsible defamation. I am therefore happy to print this picture of her appearance today to show that I was quite wrong in what I said.

The first hint of yellow in our sunflowers was spotted today….

…but there was no sign of any peacock or tortoisehell butterflies at all, and I had to make do with a white butterfly on a clover flower.

When the butterfly moved on, I took a closer look at the flower.

It is amazing to see what goes on in the garden that you might never notice if you didn’t have a camera in your hand.

I couldn’t help noticing the fine crop of Sarpo potatoes that Mrs Tootlepedal collected when she dug up the first of our main crop potatoes.

There is something essentially very satisfying about planting a single potato and getting this many back.

After lunch, I had time for a good look at the birds and I enjoyed watching a variety of visitors.

A young blue tit persuaded a siskin to leave without even having to kick it.

While an older blue tit was amazed by a chaffinch’s poor table manners.

Another siskin wasn’t so easily scared by a sparrow, and showed it just where to go with a nonchalant wave of its wing.

It was good to see plenty of chaffinches about as they have been a bit scarce for a while. They were very busy.

And it is always a pleasure to see a greenfinch, birds which were badly hit by a disease for a time but which seem to be recovering in our area at least.

It was another day of unreliable rain showers and having decided to keep the washing hanging out when a smattering of rain arrived just before lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal was relieved when it stopped after a few minutes, and was very cross when the washing got soaked in a sudden downpour half an hour later.

We left it hanging in the rain and drove off to Longtown to hand back a tool we had borrowed from the bike shop and visit the recycling facilities at the community centre while we were there. Needless to say, the rain had stopped by the time that we were three miles out of Langholm. On the plus side, the sun was still shining when we got back, and the washing had dried significantly.

I had been bothered yesterday evening and today by a mystery twinge in my upper arm, so I was quite easily able to persuade myself to have a quiet time in when we got home and I occupied myself by doing a simple drawing for the sibling Zoom challenge. Since I am chronically unable to draw, this task filled up all the time to the Zoom meeting.

After the meeting and our evening meal, which included a couple of Mrs Tootlepedal’s potatoes, I went for a walk. It was a lovely evening by this time, sunny and calm.

I did look at a couple of wild flowers, ivy leaved toadflax and wild geranium on my way…

…but mostly I just enjoyed looking at trees and lush greenery as I strolled round Gaskell’s and Easton’s walk.

Even the wider views involved trees.

It was a time of light and shade as the sun crept down towards the hills…

…but it was still sunny enough to give me a grand view of the suspension bridge framed by trees when I got to the park…

…and the lone tree left in front of the church stood proudly for my final picture of the walk.

My day of rest seems to have had a good effect on my sore arm and as it is due to rain all day tomorrow, I may well get another chance to let it fully recover before I do anything silly to aggravate it. A case of every cloud having a silver lining perhaps.

The flying bird of the day is one of the chaffinches.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A late stroll in the sunshine

  1. The chaffinches are beautiful and I am glad to hear the greenfinches are making a comeback. And your arm is coming back as well. It sounds like you are having similar weather to Chicago, chilly in August indeed.

  2. The bird feeder photos and commentary are always entertaining! I am glad to hear the greenfinch population is recovering. What was the malady that infected them?

    Gaskell’s and Easton’s walk looks very pleasant, and full of interesting things to see. You are fortunate to have many such places near you. Your Lodge Walk photos are some of my favorites.

    We harvested potatoes, and onions, too. There is nothing like a good soup made from one’s own potatoes, onions, kale and lovage.

    It was hot and dry here again today, now peaking around 86 degrees as the afternoon fades. I am envious of your rain. A new sizeable fire is currently raging down in California. Those poor folks have been hit with enough, including corona virus. They don’t need this too.

    1. The fire has made into our news.
      The greenfinch disease is Trichomonosis and I don’t know about national recovery but we are definitely seeing more in our garden.

  3. I am struggling with the fact that it is August and yet I have a woodland sunflower that is telling me otherwise with a nice yellow bud getting ready to pop. Time marching on without me…

  4. An evening walk with those lovely views and sights is just the thing to end another August day…even if it did rain a bit! I joined my first Zoom last evening- an art workshop by a well known artist…his subject…roses. Lillian Austin could have been his model…beautiful photo.

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