A very welcome sight in the garden

Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon. After the easing of the lockdown, he has been able to get back to his regular employment of working at sports events and he found this splendidly twisted tree on a golf course.

It is my policy only to use pictures taken on the day in these posts, but owing to being slightly doited, I failed to put the best pictures that I had taken into yesterday’s post, and so I am sneaking them in illicitly here today. A bee browsed on a lamium right at my feet as we were drinking our coffee.

We had a disturbed night with dazzling lightning, loud thunder and the steady pounding of rain interrupting our sleep. When I walked down to the river after breakfast, I expected to see a lot of water flowing, but things were relatively quiet…

…and Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge had only recorded an inch of rain overnight in spite of all the noise and drama.

After the commotion of the night, it was a lovely morning and the dam, with Kenny’s gardening on the right was looking at its best.

It was basically warm and sunny, but a very heavy shower more or less out of the blue made everyone a bit nervous. All the same we had our coffee outside in Liz’s garden and we enjoyed the conversation and sunshine in equal measure.

We especially enjoyed one of Liz’s roses and I have put it in a panel with another of Sarah Raven’s dahlias which Mrs Tootlepedal grew from a tuber.

It was very humid today and generally it was not a day for excessive action so I confined myself to pottering round the garden doing some dead heading, though I may have missed a poppy or two, due to being distracted by a peacock.

I went in for lunch and a look at the birds. During the day we had successive waves of sparrows, greenfinches and goldfinches with the occasional mixed bag.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy moor buy out group day with a Zoom meeting in the morning and contact with an interested party in the afternoon, so I went for a walk after lunch. With the temperatures getting up to 80 degrees F and the humidity high, it was a slow walk with lots of time to look round as I went along.

I was struck by the strengthiness of the nettles beside the park wall. This one was taller than me…

I headed up the track to Warbla and enjoyed some wildflowers and wildlife on the way.

It was good that there were plenty of interesting things to see beside the track because in the hazy weather, the views weren’t up to much.

After the rainy night, there was a fair bit of water running here and there…

…but the track was surprisingly dry underfoot and I was soon able to look over the hill towards the new turbine that I had visited yesterday….

…and pass my favourite tree on this walk, one that demands a pause for a click when you go by it.

I had seen some sunlit fungus at the bottom of the hill and to my surprise I saw a different kind on the very top of the hill.

Usually, when I get to the top of Warbla, I will hang around to enjoy the views but it was still hazy when I got there today…

…so after giving the zoom lens a stretch to look down at the river and the Kilngreen a mile away…

….I went off down the other side of the hill without much delay.

I hadn’t taken my walking poles with me because there was still a threat of thunderstorms so I had to keep my eyes firmly fixed on the rough ground as I went down the hill and didn’t get my camera out again until I got to the bottom of the steep slope

Well, I did make an exception for a pretty bit of bell heather on the hill on the way down but the rowan was on the flat at the bottom.

As was a good patch of umbellifers which were notable both for the interesting insects on them….

…and for the beauty of the plants themselves.

I stopped for a compulsory pause and click when I got to the river..

…and then walked home along the riverside path. There were a lot of wildflowers along there too.

There is a fashion in the town for sticking unwanted bicycles out in the streets and decorating them with flowers in the summer and tinselly stuff in the winter. I don’t entirely approve of this as I don’t think that any bicycle should be unwanted or used as a flower holder. All the same, I have to admit that whoever is looking after the bicycle garden at Skippers Bridge is doing a grand job.

I was quite happy to get home from the walk without having melted away and I got a very pleasant surprise when I got there. I was going to get something out of the greenhouse when I saw that we had a guest in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s hedgehog was standing outside the greenhouse. When it became aware of me, it put its best foot backward, skirted round the greenhouse and walked down the path to Mrs Tootlepedal’s hedgehog house…

…and went in.

I thought that it might have come out to get a drink of rainwater from the plant trays at the greenhouse so I put out a bowl of water nearer its home.

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been out on business, was delighted to find that it probably is the hedgehog that has been eating the hedgehog food which she has been putting out.

I looked around and was pleased to see the only small tortoiseshell of the day in the garden…

…and took in some flowers as well….

…including the first nicotiana of the year. My poppy dead heading had obviously not been very thorough in the morning. The colourful berries are on the tropaeolum.

The threat of thunderstorms seemed to have receded and we did think of a late excursion but somehow the rest of the day drifted quietly away. I blame the heat.

The flying birds of the day are two fierce greenfinches, or maybe the same greenfinch being fierce twice.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A very welcome sight in the garden

  1. Your pictures have an artistic quality that are delightful to look at again once I have read through your post. I particularly like the poppy seed-heads today.

  2. A hedgehog in your garden, what a delight. Loved the misty views of the valleys, and the giant nettle was amazing.

  3. It is indeed a splendidly twisted tree. How could this have happened?
    I’m puzzled by the expression ‘slightly doited’. I’m guessing it’s an expression in use locally.
    As for bicycles used as decorations down here they vary from battered bikes strung with Xmas lights above pub verandas to classy racing bikes in cool cafes. Many cool cafes closed under our current Covid lockdown.
    Flower of the day. The beautiful dahlia.
    Alphie

    1. Bikes on the walls of cool cafes are just about acceptable but bikes should be for riding not hanging up. Doited is a good Scots word meaning slightly impaired usually by age.

  4. I enjoyed all the photos, especially that very handsome hedgehog!

    I learned a new word, “doited”. I would never consider you doited, and was pleased to see the bee panel, complete with bee tongues out and preparing to feast on nectar.

  5. One of my favourite posts of yours to date – the beautiful, varied photos just kept coming ๐Ÿ™‚ I particularly liked the little mountain stream – all of our streams are dry at the moment.

  6. Your compulsory pause and click was such a nice composition. Very soothing to the eye. I was also happy to see Mrs T’s little friend! I’m a bit envious.

  7. You are hitting a rich vein of form with your photography and the bee is particularly good. That tree picture is the closest I’ve ever seen to a tree tying itself into a knot – you are very fortunate in your guest photographers.

  8. I love your canal and dam. But oh the hedgehog is the most thrilling thing! Its feet! So cute! how I wish we had hedgehogs.

    I also forgot to praise the overview of your splendid garden in a subsequent post.

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