Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. On another hot day, I thought we needed refreshment, so a few rain drops from East Wemyss are very welcome.
In spite of our recent good spell of weather, the garden has not been full of bees and butterflies, so I was very pleased when Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out a small tortoiseshell on an allium after breakfast.
The sun is bringing out the azaleas too. This is not before time…
…and the star of the show is the Japanese azalea, which is a real eye popper.
The rowan tree is a little more restrained.
New flowers are arriving all the time, and today’s batch included honeysuckle and viburnum from the roadside hedge, and sweet rocket and sweet woodruff from the back borders.
The clematis at the front door is on a mission to fill all the available space with flowers and is piling them on top of each other…
…while the garage clematis is finally getting its act together and producing leaves and flowers over the garage doors.
There is growing excitement on all sides…
…and my favourite orange geums are bursting with life.
The garden was a busy place this morning, with first Sandy arriving for coffee on his electric bike prior to going off a cycle outing, and then Margaret arriving for coffee before going off to lunch at the day centre.
On both sides of the social element, watering was required in the flower borders and the vegetable garden, compost was sieved and plants came out of the greenhouse and into the ground.
As it was 75°F /24°C by this time, I found that I couldn’t stand the heat in the garden so I had to go into the kitchen. Our stone house may be hard to heat in winter, but it is blessedly cool on a hot day in summer.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal found that she had been somewhat affected by her hard work in the morning heat and opted for a sensible siesta. I hadn’t worked anything like so hard, so I opted for a walk. It was pretty windy, and that combined with the heat suggested that I might enjoy a walk more than a cycle ride.
I did enjoy my walk of just under five miles, taken at a suitably leisurely pace for the weather. I am doing my back exercises diligently and this has had a beneficial effect on my sore knee so I tested it out on some gentle hill work.
I went up the Lamb Hill…
…stopped to enjoy the view…
….followed the road to Hillhead and the lonesome pine…
…and then came back along the hill…
…to Whita Well where I took advantage of a well placed bench to have a drink and a snack.
I left the bench and headed along the quarry track. The hill is pretty dry again but there are still some damp patches here and there, and I noticed that when I got to a damp patch, there was often a small brown butterfly flitting about. I resolved to try to take a picture of one if it would stand still long enough. This would have been possible if I had not left my camera on that bench.
Some time later, I arrived at the wet patch again and the butterfly did stand still for long enough…
…and I have paired it with a white butterfly on a bluebell which I passed later on in the walk.
The little brown butterfly is a small heath I think. There were a lot of them about today.
I wisely didn’t stop at the next bench that I came to, but headed over the stile and down the hill until I was able to drop down to the Round Tower and then Skippers Bridge. I kept taking pictures as I went along the hill…
…and took more on my way down through the various woods.
I did sit on the bench beside the river when I got there for a moment of reflection.
I took a picture of a pretty geranium on the old railway line and wondered why the result looked a bit fuzzy. Looking at it later on my computer, I solved the riddle.
The camera sees a lot more than I do these days.
The wild geums beside the bench show how clever the plant breeders are who produced the orange variety in our garden, but I always enjoy looking at the wild flowers that I meet on my walks.
When I got to the riverside walk back to the park, the only wild flower in the game was the wild garlic.
…but the river and an oystercatcher on the church wall provided alternative views for the camera.
In spite of the brisk breeze, it was hot enough that I was glad not to have attempted a longer walk, and I was happy to let the rest of the day subside into peaceful idleness, broken only by the family Zoom and a second helping of the sausage casserole for my evening meal.
The flying bird of the day is a jackdaw, keeping an eye on the garden from above…
…and I have taken the liberty of putting in a flower of the day, because I like the clematis at the front door so much.