Back to grey again

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. He had to wait on his car journey today to let a very big delivery turn off the main road.

Our brief spell of warmer weather came to an abrupt end and we went back to grey, windy and cool conditions today. As a result, I was in no hurry to get going with the day’s activities and didn’t do anything interesting before coffee. I did cycle round to our corner shop but that can’t be classified as being extraordinarily interesting as I have done this almost every day since lockdown started.

It was too cold and windy for garden coffee so we just had ourselves for company indoors. After coffee, we went out into the garden where we looked at the transplanted hydrangea…

…which seems to have settled in well (so far at least).

In between admiring the staying power of the ornamental strawberries and the lamium (which has been flowering since April)…

…and seeing that the little red poppies had been thoroughly visited by pollen hunters…

…while the cornflowers and Lillian Austin are still producing knock out flowers…

…I did some garden tasks of a moderately useful nature. They included dead heading, which as far as calendulas go is never ending, a little shredding and some harvesting of clover, grass and field beans from Mrs Tootlepedal’s mini meadow.

Then I looked at flowers again. Some sunflowers are beginning to fade…

…but at their feet, the dahlias are still doing well and another zinnia has appeared.

There were no butterflies and few bees today but there were small insects enjoying a day out.

Opposite the sunflowers, at the front door the nasturtium tries to pack as many flowers in as it can while the clematis is just happy to still have a flower or two on the go.

Another clematis is less modest.

But the jewel in the garden at the moment, the Crown Princess Margareta, continues to shine, putting out more flowers every day.

We trimmed hedges and picked field beans…

…and went in to lunch.

After lunch, as it was till cool and windy, yet another interesting stage of the Tour de France claimed our attention. I got restless though, and as the riders approached the bottom of the final climb of the day, a huge task, I popped out to see if I could walk to the top of Warbla and back in the time that they took to get to the top of their mountain climb.

They had 14 miles and 5544 feet to climb, I had 2.7 miles and 626 feet to climb and descend.

I might just have done it if I hadn’t had my camera with me. As it was, I was tempted to stop every now and again. There was pixie cup lichen on the park wall…

…yellow sheep to appreciate…

…wild flowers beside the track up to the gate onto the hill…

…a view over the valley of the Becks Burn to enjoy…

…traffic on the track to negotiate…

…not to mention the distraction of a distant view of the new wind farm, with bits of a windmill , possibly the very one that had detained Dropscone, lying on the ground…

…and finally two views from the summit, a distinctly autumnal view in one direction…

…and a frankly disappointing view up the valley in the other.

I didn’t stop at all on the way down but it was no good, the race had finished before I had got back to the park.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that it was actually painful to watch the cyclists going up the final stages of their climb as it was so steep and the effort required was so great.

We had a cup of tea to recover, and then went out into the garden to prepare the soil for the replanting of the irises which had been moved to make way for the new hydrangea. This is hard work as the ground is full of stones from the days when it was a yard, and Mrs Tootlepedal is resolved to dig up as many of them as she possibly can. I have noticed that the ground seems to have got further away when it comes to stooping and digging things out as I have got older.

We had a pleasant Zoom meeting with my three sisters, and I shared some lovely sunny pictures from a holiday we had had with two of them in Marseilles a few years ago, a much needed antidote to the grey weather.

After the meeting, I realised that I had completely failed to watch any birds during the day. The feeder was quiet as all the small birds had gone home to bed by this time so I walked out into the garden to see if any bigger birds could be seen.

A rook sat on an aerial and a pigeon chose a wire…

…while blackbirds preferred our neighbours’ roofs.

The forecast is for sunny weather again tomorrow, and I hope that it is right as I have arranged to play another game of golf with Dropscone.

The flying birds of the day were very far away.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Back to grey again

  1. We had similar weather here today,but at least it stayed dry.
    Your Transplanted hydrangea looks very healthy indeed,and will probably benefit from the cooler conditions.
    Princess Margaret is impressive,and that nasturtium is still one of my favourites,the red flowers against the dark green leaves is a winner.
    I’ve done a few more miles on the turbo trainer,which was pretty painful,and after nearly four weeks of antibiotics with no improvement the only option left unfortunately is to have it incised,which is surprisingly done under general anaesthetic, but from what I’ve read is the only certain way to clear it up.

  2. It looks like the sunflower is going to have plenty of seeds for the birds.
    Though I live in what was sheep country before the industrial revolution I’ve never seen a sheep sleep. I didn’t know they buried their faces in the grass like that, but why wouldn’t they.
    I think the ornamental strawberry has to be my favorite flower today.

  3. Just wanted to report that we actually had a tenth of an inch (0.1 in.) of drizzle today. Hooray!!! But of course I want more. Perhaps it’ll take some more barrels or buckets.

      1. It was enough to brighten my day. The skies are clear and sunny today, though I’m sure the folks inland are still struggling with smoke and fire. At the very least the change in weather should be helping the firefighters.

  4. A very decided drop in temperature here today as well. However, the sky is cloudless and no doubt the mercury will rise. My old knees will be hobbling around our garden again, while her indoors is off to the hairdresser. Once again you packed alot into an ordinary day, but then no day is ordinary. Time to use to the best of one’s ability, hope the game of golf goes well. I tried it once in Northern Irealand with my future father in law, almost put my elbow out? So definitely not a fan. Thanks for my morning read. Cheers

  5. I love the stripey insect on the flower photo and the photos of those ruby orange nasturtiums, purply clematis and the crowning princess in apricot. Those colours brightened up your grey day and mine!

    1. There are stripey insects all over the garden at present which is a very good sign as flying insects when I go out cycling are in very short supply.

  6. I thought you had gone to food delivery earlier in the pandemic. Having a visit to the shop each day must make life seem more normal. I’m getting antsy now, and that’s saying a lot because I don’t mind being home. But I am missing ordinary things like going shopping without precautions and worries.

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