Tart(e)ing up

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony and shows a resident of a well established property on the coast at East Wemyss.

Our spell of excellent summer weather continued here today, a fraction cooler to give us more comfort, but still mostly sunny.

We are expecting an important visitor later in the month so Mrs Tootlepedal felt that it would be good to get the gates which should sit at the end of our drive out of the garage and have a look at them. Having looked at them, it was apparent that they needed a bit of TLC, so she set about painting them and by the end of the day, they were in place and looking pretty smart.

While she was working away, I was offering moral support and wandering round the garden, dead heading clippers and camera in hand.

It wasn’t hard to find something to look at as I went round.

A perfect calendula…

…a smiling inula helenium or elfdock…

…a newly out Clematis Jackmanii, with a rich deep colour….

…a hosta, (which I find is a plantain lily and a member of the asparagus family and not the lily family these days)….

…and finally a coreopsis.

We had a very pleasant coffee meeting in the garden with Margaret (Ken was out cycling and Liz was walking), and then Mrs Tootlepedal went back to gate painting and I cooked a tarte tatin. Sadly I had to buy apples to make it, because our apple crop was entirely wiped out by the late frost. It felt a bit like cheating, but either the tarte tatin pan was going to lie unused all year, or it had to be shop bought apples.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal painted the hinges on the gate while I offered more moral support and took more flower pictures…

…and then we went for a walk.

We went through the park and walked along the riverside path. Mrs Tootlepedal is not fond of this path as she thinks that many of the trees along it may be less firmly committed to the ground than would be ideal…

…but we got along it, treading over several very tiny landslips on our way, without being crushed by falling trees.

As we were going especially to let Mrs Tootlepedal see a recent landslip near Skippers Bridge where big trees fell across a road, it is evident that her worries are not groundless.

We crossed over Skippers and walked on past the recent landslip. We met a man who was considering the wall he is building beside a new road.

He told us that he is building the wall himself, although he is not a wall builder to trade. All the stone is sourced from the cutting that was made for the road and he handles the bigger stones with a mini digger. He is going to build the wall on the other side of the road next. We took our hats off to him. It is an amazing piece of work.

We walked on and took the path up through the wood beside Jenny Noble’s Gill. The ancient oaks surrounded by young birch trees are always a delight.

And the track back to Langholm past the Round House is a wonderfully refreshing place on a sunny summer’s day.

I looked around from time to time as we walked and saw innumerable tormentil flowers speckled in the grass.

This is an amazing little flower. It seems to have been flowering for months and you find it everywhere, in woods and on the open hills. It seems to be too small for the sheep to eat so it is sometimes the only flower to be seen on the hillside when sheep are grazing.

There were signs of autumn coming…

…and interesting insects.

When we got home, we walked through the newly painted gates….

…and got our strength back with a slice of tarte tatin…

…and a cup of tea.

I wandered around the garden in the hope of seeing a butterfly or two before the regular sibling Zoom meeting.

I saw insects great and small on a dahlia…

…and finally found a lone peacock butterfly having a late snack on a buddleia.

The lack of butterflies is getting worrying.

The sibling meeting went off on schedule and my London sisters reported that they were very pleased that the temperatures there had finally dropped to a level where they were able to live normally.

I had time for a quick look at the bird feeder after the meeting. There were not many birds to look at though, and the seed in the feeder hardly went down all day. I took pictures of the few that I saw and liked the way that the chaffinch on the feeder was waving to his mate on the fake tree.

I left the birds to it and drove up on to the moor with Mrs Tootlepedal in the hope of seeing interesting raptors and blooming heather. It was one of those days when the light was not quite as good as you hope, there was a complete lack of interesting birds and the heather was not quite out enough to make for a good picture. We didn’t stop long.

On our way home we saw our only flying bird of the day as the visiting helicopter took off from the rugby ground just as we passed.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Tart(e)ing up

  1. Your tarte tatin looks scrumptious,it’s one of my favourites too.
    You’ve done a great job on the gates,all in all a busy old day.
    Today’s star has to be the green track back to Langholm with that little bench setting it off nicely 🍄
    A day off the bike? What’s wrong with you..haha.

  2. That is a very impressive wall. Several of my family have followed that trade and I do like to see a good drystone wall. There is nothing wrong with buying apples if your crop fails. I too asm concerned about the lack of butterflies, though I did consider last year to have been excellent for them.

  3. I envy the wall builder. It’s a terrible lot of work but there is little that is more satisfying. He’s done a fine job of it.
    The calendula really is perfect and it goes so well with the color of the clematis.
    The gate looks fine but won’t it be a lot of extra work to have to hop out of the car to open or close it?

  4. Im excited about this guest that requires the property to be secure. The gates look have quire the palatial air, the clematis Montana is postively regal, and the tarte tartina a meal fit for a king. Hmmm…may have overdone things there and I nearly forgot to mention the stone wall: amazing!

  5. I enjoy the tranquility (and all that green!) of your scenery as well as the cheerfulness of the flowers. The first two photographs are outstanding! Hats off to both Mrs T for getting the gates looking so smart and to the drystone-waller – what a task he has taken on to do on his own! Stone looks so in tune with the environment: if you had not provided an explanation I would have thought it is an old wall being repaired!

  6. You’re a good man Mr Tootlepedal, offering so much moral support, it has payed off, the gates look amazing.

  7. Top marks for the artisans -one creating that beautiful wall, one making a tired gate come alive again and another cooking a splendid tatin! Jennie Noble must be very important to have a gill named after her! Lovely photos of your walk through the summer glade, the insects on the flowers and the posing birds.

    1. The tarte tatin tasted OK in spite of the rather bland shop bought apples. I’ll have to look around for some more flavourful ones for the next go.

    1. We have had lovely weather and we are all the more grateful for it as we usually get worse weather than everyone else! However, looking at the forecast, the next week looks very poor.

  8. I enjoyed all these lovely photos from your day.

    The stone wall work is amazing. I knew a family back east when I was growing up. They had a good chunk of land and built their own stone wall, the father and sons. It was a lot of work for them, and they were not stone workers, but they did a fine job.

    The bench in the woods was a particularly restful scene. Was a nice track to walk down!

  9. I doubt Mrs T could accomplish any of her wonderful accomplishments without your moral support. :-). The gate view of your garden is interesting, especially since I don’t think I’ve see that angle before.

  10. How lovely a flower that smiles. I thought they only made US smile. One thing that didn’t make me smile was a deer attacking our fuchsia bush. Your image of yours brought back that painful memory. Seems I interrupted the deer in mid-demolishment and we put the fence back around it. Luckily it seems to be making a comeback. Nasty deer!!!

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