Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He abandoned the delights of East Wemyss to sample the new St James Quarter in Edinburgh. The St James Quarter replaces the old and unloved St James Centre which was recently demolished. He met a curious being while he was there.
We had another cool, grey and windy day here today, with the wind being very gusty in the morning. I took a walk round the garden before coffee and was pleased to find several new flowers out. They included a blue campanula, a moss rose, a calendula, a potato and a Lilian Austin rose. I couldn’t find a sixth new flower so I have padded out the panel below with a weigela, the oldest shrub in our garden.
There were plenty of other flowers worth looking at and I particularly liked the curiously golden insect on the clover.
Margaret came for coffee and went away with rhubarb and some of the greenhouse poppies cut for a vase.
I turned my attention to mowing the front lawn, and then dealing with the compost. I sieved enough compost to get the big bucket nearly full
A reader had noticed that a white foxglove on a previous post had not got any markings to draw in pollinators on its flowers. After I finished with the compost, I checked several white foxgloves and found that some white plants had flowers with no markings and others had flowers with markings. All the pink ones were well marked.
The chives, orange hawkweed and rosa complicata are all doing very well, but the star of the show today for me was the Butter and Cream iris. It even had an additional insect.
After lunch, I watched the birds for a while. There was plenty going on as usual, with sparrows, siskins and goldfinches all in action.
I was going to go for a walk as it was too windy for relaxed cycling, but Mrs Tootlepedal was watching the first stage of the Tour de France and I made the mistake of looking over her shoulder for a while. Somehow I found myself sitting in a comfortable chair for the next couple of hours as the stage unfolded with two gigantic mass crashes and a thrilling finish. Watching top class cycle racing is definitely addictive.
Then I did manage to go out for a rather shorter walk than I had intended.
Once again, I went to take a picture of the Kirk Bridge to show just how low the Wauchope is running, and this time I wasn’t put off by a grey wagtail. It doesn’t feel as though we are in a drought because it hasn’t been hot and sunny, but it certainly has not rained very much lately.
I crossed the Town Bridge and walked down the other side of the river to see how the patch of melancholy thistles was doing. I saw a rosebay willowherb on my way and found the thistles still in good shape, and well worth a second look.
I looked down the River Esk, tucked in among the trees . . .
. . . and saw another giant hogweed.
A reader asked if these noxious plants should be reported. They should, and luckily there was a lady near by doing some community gardening who told me that this one had already been reported. I told her about the one at the Kilngreen, and she said that she would check to see if that one had been reported too.
I crossed Skippers Bridge and walked up the track that leads to the Kernigal wood. There was some self heal growing beside the track.
I stopped to talk to a friend whom I met walking the other way down the track. She told me that she had been out for three hours and that I was the first other walker that she had met. We wondered where everyone had gone.
I left the main track and followed a minor path up on to the open hill. It wasn’t much of a day for views . . .
. . . but the sun did make a feeble attempt to come out and light up the other side of the valley, which would be my route home.
. . . but it didn’t come to anything and I continued my walk in grey conditions.
As was the case yesterday, there were a lot of the tiny white flowers to be seen.
I had to duck under a recently fallen tree on my way off the hill . . .
. . . but I came down safely to the Auld Stane Brig . . .
. . . where I crossed the Wauchope Water and walked up the Becks road on the other side.
The red and white wild roses beside the road are enjoying the weather.
I wasn’t finding it too bad myself. It wasn’t warm but it wasn’t cold, and a brisk wind was keeping the midges away. I had promised Mrs Tootlepedal that I would be back by half past six for our evening meal, and the clock was ticking so I couldn’t stop for too many more pictures once I had crossed the Becks Burn.
The umbellifers were bee and beetle free again today, so I was happy to finally see an insect on a flower, even if it was only a fly.
I got home at 6.28 and just had time to look at the newly mown front lawn before I went in.
It is recovering slowly from the terrible pecking that it got from the jackdaws. I am not using any fertiliser or moss killer on the lawns this year, so although it doesn’t look too bad from a distance, it is better not to inspect it too closely.
The evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal’s casserole of brisket of beef with vegetables, was well worth being on time for.
If the forecast is to be believed, we will enjoy considerably warmer and less windy weather from tomorrow for a week. This will be very welcome. There is wild talk of sunshine.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin . . .
. . . and the flower of the day is some meadow vetchling encountered on my walk, and taken with the macro function on my phone camera.