Not swinging in the sunshine

Today’s guest picture comes from another of Venetia’s garden visits. She was at Coleford House (in the village of Coleford in the eastern Mendip Hills) when she came across this unusual ball boy on the tennis court.

We had a day of weather about which there could be no possible complaint today.

The sky was blue from start to finish, the wind was light and the temperature just perfect.

Mrs Tootlepedal was confined to the house after breakfast to attend a Zoom meeting for the Langholm Moor buy out group, but I was able to roam the garden.

Once again, the sun had brought out the butterflies in force….

…and many flowers received their attention. Once again though, the red buddleia was the most popular in the morning.

My personal favourite is the peacock butterfly, so it gets a picture to itself.

It was a delight to be out on such a day in Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden.

A rather badly painted blackbird was out enjoying the sun too.

The little red poppies are multiplying and I counted seventeen of them today….

…and I was happy to see that they had tiny visitors, as did many others of the flowers that I looked at.

You could almost say that the garden was a hive of activity, except that we don’t have any hives.

As it happens, I was offered a hive of bees today when I met Ray, an old friend, on my way back from getting milk from our corner shop. I actually stopped to ask him about running as he is a couple of years older than me and still running regularly and I wanted to seek his advice. It turned out that he keeps bees and was looking to reduce his number of hives. I couldn’t take a hive but as he and his wife don’t actually like honey, he gives his produce away and we are now the happy possessors of two jars of his homemade honey. I got some running advice too.

Mrs Tootlepedal came out of her meeting in time for coffee with Margaret and me. I had to leave early though as I was going to play golf with Dropscone at noon and I wanted to get a little practice in first.

The practice went well but my actual golf with pretty terrible with only one of two good shots among a series if awful efforts. In my defence, my back was not in a very reliable mood after some heavy work in the garden recently, and my attempts to persuade it to produce a smooth swing were mostly met with twitches and groans.

Still, it is was good to be up on the golf course again after many years without playing….

…the course was in as good condition as it could be at this time of year…

…and the company was excellent.

I am going to have a final nine holes with Dropscone if the weather permits and then put my clubs away again. I will try to make sure that my back is in better fettle.

While I was a looking for a ball, I spotted a fine toadstool in the rough…

…and Dropscone told me that field mushrooms do grow on the golf course as well, but they are always picked by early risers before the poor golfers can get their hands on them

When I got home, I joined Mrs Tootlepedal in following yet another excellent stage of the Tour de France. It had interesting racing and beautiful scenery and we will have a big gap in our life when it ends this weekend.

After the stage finished, I watched the birds for a while. It was a quiet day at the feeder. The visitors were busy tucking in to the seed.

One siskin was rather shocked by the vulgar noises his friend made while eating.

A chaffinch kept its eyes on the business in hand, or rather, claw.

And a siskin posed for a portrait.

Then there was just enough time for me to nip out for a 15 miles bicycle ride of my own.

The days are getting shorter now and the sun is getting lower in the sky…

…and all around the world is gently turning brown….

…but it is still a pleasure to be out and about on a fine evening.

The turbine builders had been busy today.

Mrs Tootlepedal had harvested leeks and potatoes from the vegetable garden and when I got back, she went out to collect some chard to go with a lamb stew which I had prepared for the slow cooker after breakfast. The leeks had gone into the stew.

I checked on the nerines….

…and then we went in to enjoy the stew with new potatoes and chard. We had some of the field beans which we had picked yesterday too, and the whole meal was very tasty. The slow cooker is hard to beat when it comes to lamb stew. I cooked some rhubarb to have with ice cream for afters.

We are promised more good weather tomorrow. I won’t try to play golf though!

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

16 thoughts on “Not swinging in the sunshine

  1. It can be hard to function well with a backache in any situation. I find that walking helps more than anything else so maybe walking the golf course will have done it some good.
    The hills look beautiful even if they are a bit brown.
    You’re getting some fine insect shots. I wonder if they were pollen eaters.

  2. Bees are a lot of work to maintain, but it is good you received 2 jars of honey and some good advice.

    The photos are always outstanding, and I agree the peacock butterfly on the buddleia is a especially lovely. They are particularly uplifting today.

    The rains started in at 3:00 AM today, and will help with air quality and fire suppression. Our Level 1 Evacuation order was lifted and now we have life-giving rain. Progress has been made in containing fires over here. Percent containment varies from fire zone to fire zone. We were lucky this time. My thoughts and prayers are with those still under siege or who have lost. There has been loss of life – people, pets, livestock, wildlife.

    1. I am very pleased that you have got through unscathed. It must have been a worrying time.

      I hope that your grapes have survived well enough to benefit from the rain when it came.

      1. It was a worrying time, for sure.

        Grapes are tough plants and survive most things. They throw roots 5 or 6 feet down. We are eating table grapes at this time, and hoping the pinot noir gets ripe enough for winemaking before the birds and insects get it all.

  3. Thank goodness for the blue sky and sunshine for you. The sunflower looks particularly happy and the butterflies and stripeys look even happier. I wonder that anyone hits a good golf ball on that course I’m sure everyone gets distracted by that beautiful scenery. Those red poppies are amazing.

  4. I neglected to mention the fine wheelbarrow of compost a couple of posts after this, and to say I too am in a waiting spell for some usable compost, although I have high hopes for bin two. 🙂

    Today, the chaffinch photo struck me as a particularly fine bird portrait.

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