Today’s guest picture shows Tony’s dogs enjoying some of that eternal sunshine in East Wemyss.
After our mini heatwave, we returned to more sensible temperatures here today. If the sun had shone, it would have been perfect, but it turned out to be cloudy all day and we had to have a jumper on for coffee in the garden with Margaret.
After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal got busy in the garden and I went off for a routine visit to the Health Centre. I couldn’t walk across the suspension bridge so I cycled the long way round over the town bridge and stopped to do some shopping on the way back.
I had time for a walk round the garden when I got back. We have been a bit worried that the walnut tree might have been badly affected by the long frosty spell as it seemed reluctant to show any leafs. However, in the last few days leafs have been appearing . . .
. . . and we think that things may be all right after all.
Currently the Japanese azalea is definitely the king of zing . . .
. . . but when it comes to sheer volume, the cow parsley carries off the crown. It is now taller than me.
Fresh volunteers have arrived to join our small army of flowers in the shape of fancy dicentras . . .
. . . and a host of flowers on the frost damaged white potentilla.
The Veronica is shooting up boldly…
. . . and the back path is a sensory treat.
Of all the plants in that picture, Mrs Tootlepedal is currently most pleased with the red potentilla which is doing far better this year than it has ever done before.
The whole bush is good and the individual flowers are lovely.
I didn’t have any time to do anything useful in the garden this morning though as I have been volunteered to produce a newsletter for the Langholm Initiative as the usual editor has moved on to another job. Rather surprisingly, everyone who was asked to provide a contribution has provided it on time, so I had no excuse to delay.
The newsletter is produced on a program that also mails it out and uses a preset template. It took me some time to find out how everything worked. The previous editor had sent me some comprehensive instructions so after a while I began to get the hang of it and started to add content. It is a few years since I have done something like this, and reading instructions always makes my head hurt these days, so I was happy to break off and have coffee.
After coffee, I had another walk round the garden to put off the moment when I had to go back to the newsletter.
I had been sitting beside these alliums as we sipped and chatted.
The azaleas are coming on a bit more every day . . .
. . . and Mrs Tootlepedal noted that one has made new shoots from the base of the plant and they are flowering too. This is a bonus.
In spite of the red and white potentillas being well out, we have only just seen the first flower on the common yellow flowered bush.
There were too many other flowers for them all to get a frame of their own.
I went out to talk to two dog walkers who had stopped at the dam, and we wondered whether there were any tiddlers about. When we looked, we saw that there were dozens swimming against the current just above the bridge..
Back in the garden, our plastic heron was keeping an eye on the tadpoles in the pond.
I did a bit more work on the newsletter and then we had lunch.
After lunch, I went cycling. I should have gone in the morning when it was less windy and brighter as I had a real battle to get up the road against a very gusty wind, and there was a hint of rain in the air to make things even less welcoming.
My original route plan would have required me to cycle ten miles straight into the wind. As I couldn’t even average ten miles an hour, I gave this idea up after three miles and turned left and headed down to Canonbie, finding the wind now across at worst and sometimes quite helpful.
I think we are pretty well at peak cow parsley and the roads were lined with silver which brightened up a dull day.
The open moor at the Kerr was covered in bog cotton . . .
. . . so in spite of the grey weather, it was quite a cheerful ride.
The farmers have been quick to use the week of good weather to get their silage cut and stored, and I found only one field where the grass was still on the ground. A tractor was putting it in rows ready for baling as I passed by.
On a narrow road near Glenzierfoot, I had to stop to let a car pass, and then I had to stop again a moment later and stand in a ditch as it backed up towards me to let another car past in the opposite direction. Since I don’t usually see any cars on this road, this constituted a major traffic jam.
While I was in the ditch, I found myself standing beside some horsetail.
The way back was better than I expected. The wind was very kind and I actually went slightly faster back up the hill to Langholm than I had come down.
There was a continuing hint of rain in the air so I didn’t stop, except to take a picture of that drawback to life as an asthmatic cyclist in the early summer, grass pollen.
When I got home, it just in time for a cup of tea and a review of the last few kilometres of the Critérium du Dauphiné bike race on Mrs Tootlepedal’s tablet. It was a most exciting finish to the stage.
Then I had a final go at the newsletter for the day and made good progress. I have found out how to add pictures! I am hoping that I will be finished tomorrow.
The chief excitement of the day was kept for the evening. Mrs Tootlepedal heard mysterious snuffling sounds in the corner of the garage when she went to shut the door for the night. Further examination revealed not just a hedgehog hidden behind a mound of plastic sheeting, but a nest of little baby hedgehogs too. How the hedgehog got in there when the door is shut every night is a mystery, as is the questions of what it is living on. Mrs Tootlepedal has put down food and water and we hope that we haven’t disturbed the mother too much
The flying bird of the day is a siskin . . .
. . . and the flower of the day is a cornflower.