Good timing

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He looked out to sea and saw a family of eider ducks swimming in the distance.

We had another cool, grey day here with more brisk winds and temperatures only reaching 15°C at midday. It made a sharp contrast with my sisters in London who were sweltering with temperatures in the high twenties.

I had a stroll round the garden after breakfast, while Mrs Tootlepedal was doing some proper gardening. The hostas are still doing well and we have one with light green leaves with dark edges . . .

…and one with dark green leaves with light edges.

You can see from the leaves that it had rained overnight and this was very welcome.

I went out to look at the poppies behind the house and got distracted by our neighbour Liz’s fine yellow irises on the other side of the bridge.

Near the front gate, a euphorbia is offering a fine show of claws.

The melancholy thistles in the back border are looking uncommonly cheerful and there are more waiting to come out very soon.

(I had a look on the internet and it tells me that they got their name from being used to treat melancholia in times past.)

Spireas are perking up after a very quiet time in the cold spring. Some flowers are appearing on the bridal wreath spirea . . .

. . . and the foliage on its neighbour is attractive.

We had coffee indoors with Margaret as the wind was very unfriendly, and then I paid a visit to the shop for supplies.

I nearly did something useful in the morning, but somehow lunchtime came round before I actually did it.

After lunch, I watched the birds for a while from inside. The sparrows were having a lot of fun.

Then I went outside to sit on the bench by the kitchen window to get a different angle on proceedings. Birds obligingly posed for me.

When I went back in, a greenfinch joined the gallery.

Without thinking about anything very much, I got changed and went out for a cycle ride in the brisk breeze. This turned out to be a good moment for a cycle ride for two reasons. Firstly, the wind wasn’t quite as bad as I had feared and the the afternoon was warmer than the morning, and secondly, I missed Scotland’s first match in the European football championship. I hadn’t deliberately meant to miss the game, but it hadn’t aroused any enthusiasm in me as I found the preparatory press coverage exceedingly overblown. As they lost the game 2-0, I was far better off in the open air on my bike getting happy, than sunk on a sofa getting depressed.

I went round the Solwaybank windfarm loop, and it took me a long time to cover the eight miles to get to the far end of the loop, battling into the breeze and going over Callister. The rest of the twenty mile trip was much kinder.

Having kept my head well down as I was cycling into the wind, I was able to lift it up as I passed the field where the willows were recently cropped. New growth is already well under way.

This is a quick turnaround crop. It looked like this when I passed it in March this year.

I whizzed along past the windfarm and stopped on the road through the trees to record a fine crop of yellow rattle along the roadside . . .

. . . and admire an old oak on the other side of the road . . .

When you can find wild flowers and not white lines in the middle of a road, you know that you are definitely out in the country . . .

. . . but it is generally a well looked after road . . .

. . . and it is always a pleasure to cycle along it.

Having battled the breeze on the outward trip, I did the last five miles home in 17 minutes and arrived back in a very good mood. Even the news of the poor result in the football couldn’t dampen my spirits.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden planting out dahlias when I got back, so I had a wander about and spotted a shy poppy peeking out of the greenhouse door to check what life in the real world was like.

The garden is full of birds and their young and we enjoyed watching a blackbird showing its youngster how to get a drink from the pond. The youngster looked most put out when its parent moved on.

The active day finished with a sibling zoom as I didn’t go to play trios in the evening evening because unfortunately our pianist had had too much on her plate during the day to be able to play at night.

The flying birds of the day are a whirling swirl of sparrows (or perhaps a swirling whirl) . . .

. . . and the flowers of the day are a bunch of chives making a lovely colour combination with their stems.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Good timing

  1. Sorry about the euro result but I can’t help smiling slightly at the post match reporting. Seems as a nation you have now cancelled optimism…its very obvious to me that our country has a good dollop of Scottish blood in the mix. Our sports teams tend to go from hero to zero in a flash, too 😁

    1. The reporting takes away a lot of the pleasure of the game. It would help if the sports pages had less about football and more about other sports on them.

  2. Your description of the poppy puts me in mind of an episode of the BBC kids show “Bill and Ben”
    Only us over 70s will remember it.
    Your deserted winding road complete with wild flowers does indeed look a restful road to cycle along.

  3. Euphorbia flowers are busy little things. I hope the insects appreciate the effort.
    The poppy is beautiful and so are the chives.
    You were very lucky to miss out on doing something useful. That’s in my play book for after retirement.

  4. The flower stripes on the road are very original :-). The last twoo days we had temperatures between 25 and 30 °C and plenty of sun. Rain is predicted for friday and that will be good for nature. I enjoyed all your pictures 🙂

  5. Those are splendid irises. I have been wanting to use “splendid” all day but am banned from using it on eBay by the boss. Also superb and excellent. For some reason he is becoming more modest with his claims… Thank you for the chance to see the splendid iris, the superb country roads and the excellent chives (which are both decorative and delicious).

  6. Love the hostas especially as they haven’t any holey leaves- you must have well trained snails! The bird portraits are very good and all elegantly posed- maybe you had to bride them with more meal worms! The patches of plants in the road way is my favourite photo though- it just says life in the country is wonderful.

      1. The absence of slugs is obviously doe to the presence of your prickly gardenpolice. their primary diet is slugs and snails.

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