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.