A day of surprises

Today’s guest picture shows a recent sunrise in East Wemyss. It comes from our son Tony who gets up very early in the morning to walk his dogs.

We had no sun here in the morning, but it was warm and I enjoyed a walk round the garden before coffee after having listened to a surprisingly interesting radio programme about Shakespeare’s sonnets.

I liked the colourful leaves on this little shrub . . .

. . . and the bold colour of the Tropaeolum which grows out of our clipped yew.

On the paler side of things, a white campanula has just come it, beating the blue ones to it . . .

. . . and there was only a hint of red about this peony.

It was warm enough for coffee in the garden with Margaret, though a cloud had been cast over the proceedings by the news that there have been several Covid cases in the town, allegedly brought back by people who had gone to London to mix with other football supporters at the recent England-Scotland football match. We were a bit cross, as this sets us back on the gradual road to normality. Our son Tony was going to visit us this weekend, and see an old friend in the town while he was here, but that visit has now been cancelled.

After coffee, I walked round the garden again to cheer myself up, doing some dead heading as I went.

Luckily there were quite a lot of cheerful flowers about. Crown Princess Margareta has come out fully, and she has been joined by the first flower on the Goldfinch.

The sun had come out and persuaded a peony to open up a little.

And the red astrantia was showing off its many mini flowers.

There were no bees visiting though, and as astrantias are normally bee magnets, this was disappointing. All the same, there was a bit more buzzing in the garden than there has been lately, and a Rosa Complicata was a popular spot.

There was quite a spread of different bees and other insects on various plants . . .

. . . but we are nowhere near where we should be yet for this time of the year.

As well as seeing the flowers, I noticed a young dunnock having a drink at the pond.

After lunch, we went back out into the garden, and found that it had turned into a lovely day. Mrs Tootlepedal got busy and I settled down to sieve some compost. It was in surprisingly good condition, and the effort that I had put into to turning the compost recently seemed to have paid off as I got four lots sieved quite quickly. Mrs Tootlepedal put some onto the garden straight away, and I stored the rest for future use.

After I had finished with the compost, I took another look round and noticed that a single rose bush had flowers with three different colours on it.

We are just getting into full rose time in the garden and there are flowers on every side.

And I was happy to see another coral peony waiting to be a sensation.

As it was such a lovely afternoon, we decided to go for a cycle ride. Out of interest, I checked on the weather forecast to see which way the wind was blowing. It came as quite a shock to find that the forecasters were pretty certain that it was going to start raining soon.

We gave up the cycling plan and went for a short three bridges walk instead. This was a wise decision as the temperature dropped, the wind rose and clouds covered the sky in no time at all. We rather scampered round our walk and got home just as it started to drizzle.

On our way we did have time to spot a gull flying, a mallard swimming and a wagtail busily collecting food at the water’s edge.

Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a giant hogweed beside the river.

Crossing the Castleholm, we passed the red horse chestnuts. There were a few flowers left . . .

. . . but there were no shortage of buttercups as we went past the cricket pitch.

Mrs Tootlepedal spotted another wagtail and a dipper as we crossed the Jubilee Bridge, but by this time the light had got so poor that I wasn’t able to take a usable picture of them.

We got home in the nick of time to take the washing in while the drizzle set in for the rest of the afternoon.

I watched the birds through the window and saw the usual regrettable behaviour from a siskin.

The day faded quietly away after that, but as the forecast says that it will be a lot colder and probably wetter tomorrow, maybe today will look like a very good day in retrospect. It is fair to say that we need the rain, so we shouldn’t complain.

We are very sad that we won’t be seeing our son Tony and his partner Marianne this weekend, and we can only hope that contacts of the cases in the town behave carefully so that we can see Tony and Marianne soon.

The (just) flying bird of the day is a goldfinch . . .

. . . and the flower of the day is an understated geranium amidst all the colour.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

42 thoughts on “A day of surprises

  1. I am so sorry for your disappointment in not seeing Tony and Marianne. I hope that the Covid cases in the town soon reduce and you can start to make plans again. I envy you all your roses and that photo of the red astrantia is a corker!

    1. Two of our hotels have now had to close suggesting that the people who brought the virus back to the town when to the pub when they got back from the football outing. Hmm.

  2. I share your dissappointment with the cancelled visit with your family. This has happened to me too. And how frustrating that while we follow the rules for the greater good, others do not.
    Better times are coming. And how lucky we are to be able to potter in our gardens.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that you still have new covid cases in town. I don’t understand why anyone would refuse to be vaccinated. Or maybe they were and caught it anyway. In any case, I hope it doesn’t spread and cause a shutdown.
    Giant hogweed being found in a town causes great alarm here. It was found in a nearby town a few years ago and I did a blog post about it. That single post had nearly 40,000 views, which shows how seriously it is taken here.
    That last shot of the geranium is very beautiful. It should win a prize at any photography event.

  4. Do you have to report sightings of Giant Hogweed? If it’s the plant I think featured in an episode of “Rosemary & Thyme”, it’s a nasty piece of work and one you’d think they’d go out and eradicate whenever it’s spotted.

    The cream-edged red leaves of the wee shrub are very pretty.

  5. You have convinced me to get a compost sieve. I love the Dunnock capture. But I am so sorry your Covid numbers are increasing. I suspect we are embracing a false sense of security. Love the bee photos… I get excited over a much smaller number of pollinators.

    1. The compost sieve is a bit of a luxury as you could just the leave the compost to rot down for much longer instead of using it, but it wasn’t expensive and it works well.

  6. Your peonies are a triumph! It is strange how the Covid rules seem to be so different for football fans; just a little more patience and we’ll all be able to get back to “normal” much faster.

  7. I agree about that final geranium. It is wonderful.

    It’s sad about the new covid cases in town. I hope all goes well.

  8. VIbrant colours are a joy to see. I empathise with Tony cancelling his trip – for a good rreason. We are waiting on tenterhooks to see if current conditions will allow the long-anticipated visit from my daughter to take place next month.

  9. I am sorry about the new cases of Covid in your town. Our county over here is still considered high risk.

    I so enjoyed all these colorful flowers and their insect companions. That peony is outstanding. I wish our double peony had been able to open fully before the weather hit.

    The birds are always a treat. Your dunnocks seem like serious little birds.

  10. Sorry to read about the cancelled visit of your family. It is very discouraging to know that the virus is hitting back again. More wonderful photos from East Wemyss will cheer everyone up. Beautiful photos of peonies and roses in your garden and a good selection of flying insects but the star, as you infer, is that sweet little geranium.

  11. I think it is disgraceful that football should be allowed to spread this pandemic. Today Wales will play Denmark in Amsterdam, Welsh “fans” were told to stay away yet some have managed to get there? Why are they allowed to get away with it? Then at the end of the game the players will clap them for turning up??? So many double standards from our government, the European Union, the FA. None of it makes any sense. Then we come to the local pubs, where once the booze is in no local distancing or obeying any rules will be maintained. When I think of my sister having to be locked up in a very dubious “care home” for months on end not being able to see her family or friends to obey the “rules” in her very sad confused state, and die. What was that for? So these football idiot fans can throw the gains made by all those who had to suffer like my sister and have them thrown down the pan. We live in a very selfish age where self gratification is the be all and end all.

    1. I agree entirely with you. Not much makes any sense just now. At least the involvement of Welsh fans in the football should have come to an end now.

      1. Sadly, they’ll continue to watch the rest of the Euro soccer games, and once the drink is in they will be mixing as if there were no pandemic to worry about. On the rugby side of things that will be the same. Then we have the tennis! None of it is about sport, but money run by the big gambling consortiums from all around the world. The rich and famous, the royals all allowed to criss cross the world at the drop of a hat. NZ had the right idea to seal off the country. Why couldn’t thr UK do the same? Sorry, I’m off on a rant again. Apparently, Neath is one of the most infectious hotshots for the new variant. It’s not going away! Cheers.

      2. We are getting more cases reported every day here and we are getting quite nervous. Not so much about catching the virus but of having to self isolate for ten days by finding ourselves near an idiot. We have just spent a fortune on train tickets to visit our granddaughter.

      3. It seems making plans could be a waste of money for some time yet. Sitting tight maybe the best option.

  12. Foolish, careless, selfish people to bring Covid home. We have the same sort here, who refuse to get vaccinated.

    My grandmother had a giant hogweed as an ornamental in a corner of her garden! Fortunately we were not susceptible to the sap or whatever it is that hurts some people so badly. This was before it was outlawed!

    Love your astrantia. I keep mail ordering astrantias but they don’t do well for me.

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