Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Simon, who is in Sandwich in Kent, helping with the preparations for the forthcoming Open Championship at the golf club there. He was much struck by the flint walls in the town.
We had another very calm day here today, and this made an otherwise rather cool and cloudy day feel pleasantly warm. We cycled to church to sing in the choir and found that as there were only three members present, we weren’t required to do anything more than sing the hymns.
On our way home, Mrs Tootlepedal dropped in on a friend and was invited to stay for coffee. While she was there, I had a lonely cup of coffee, did the crossword, cleaned the bird feeder tray, clipped a short hedge between us and a neighbour, and put a lot of rhododendron prunings through the shredder.
And took a picture or two in the garden.
After seeing the very striking melancholy thistles beside the river yesterday, I had a look to see how ours are coming on. Not too badly was the answer . . .
. . . though they are not quite as impressive as the riverside crop.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes foxgloves, and the white ones in particular. We have some very white ones in the garden.
I like our pale lupins . . .
. . . and the large clover that we have too.
They both seem to have an interesting internal life.
More roses are coming out every day.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her coffee, she got busy in the garden and I mowed the front lawn and then turned all the compost in Bin C into Bin D. The compost is progressing well and should be ready for some sieving soon.
I had a moment to look at a blackbird resting on its tail.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some shopping.
This took us up to lunchtime.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal offered me the chance to go with her to a local garden centre, which she was almost sure would not have any of the things which she wanted in stock.
For some inexplicable reason, I turned down this opportunity of a lifetime and went for a walk instead.
I didn’t have long as I needed to be back in time for the Carlisle Community Choir virtual practice, so I went round the Becks and came back by Gaskell’s, an easy walk of just under three miles..
There haven’t been enough gates in the blog recently so I rectified that . . .
. . . and I looked across the valley towards Warbla, the hill which I walked up yesterday.
There was plenty to look at at as I walked along. I saw a busy bee on a geum . . .
. . . a white wild rose on one side of the Becks Burn . . .
. . . and lots of red roses on both sides of the burn. I saw these ones beside the road once I had crossed the bridge.
I hardly needed the bridge today, as the water levels are so low that I could have hopped across the burn without much difficulty.
As well as a profusion of wild flowers, there is a lot of grass about. This is the curiously named Yorkshire Fog.
As I walked down to the Auld Stane Brig, I liked the bank of daisies on a corner . . .
. . . and Cat’s Ear in the hedge near the bridge.
When I got to the bridge, another obliging wagtail posed patiently on a rock in the river until I had got a shot.
I wondered if it was the same one that I had met on the top of the hill yesterday. But to tell the truth, all wagtails look pretty much the same to me, so I wouldn’t know if it was or was not the one.
I got back at much the same time as Mrs Tootlepedal returned from the garden centre. It had had everything she needed, as well as a clematis which had accidentally fallen into her shopping trolley.
I helped her get some bags of farmyard manure out of the car, and went in for the choir practice.
The practice, the last of the current season, was enjoyable as we sang along to videos of the choir singing favourite songs, listened to a short recital from an excellent soprano, and then watched a preview of our latest virtual performance. It is going to be officially published tomorrow, and I hope to be able to provide a link to it soon for any interested reader.
After the practice, we did think of taking up another suggestion from Mike Tinker of interesting flowers to visit, but the sun came out and it turned into such a perfect evening for cycling that we put off the flower viewing until tomorrow, and I went off to do twenty miles round my familiar Canonbie circuit.
Although it was great to be out in light winds with just the right amount of sun, there were some ominous looking black clouds about, so I didn’t hang about and only stopped twice for pictures on my way.
The first time was to note that much of the cow parsley has faded away, and many verges have turned from white to green . . .
. . . but in contrast, the green field in front of Hollows Tower has now turned reddish brown.
Mrs Tootlepedal had bought some raspberries from the Co-op this morning, so while I made a liver casserole for my evening meal with one hand, I made a couple of jars of quick raspberry jam with the other. Of all the jams, raspberry is the simplest to make.
This brought the active part of a useful day to a close.
The flying bird of the day is a very pale siskin . . .
. . . and the flower of the day is a developing pink peony.