Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found a big football supporter in Nottingham.
We had another fine summer day here today.
On these hot days, Mrs Tootlepedal’s plan is to be busy in the garden in the morning, and relax in the afternoon. I take the opposite view, and take the morning easily and try to find something active to do in the afternoon. Following this scheme, I drifted around the garden after breakfast, enjoying the colour.
There were more flying insects about today than there have been, but the garden is still much less buzzing than it should be.
The Butter and Cream irises are irresistible.
We had an extra social morning as first Sandy came down for a cup of coffee, and then we were joined by Margaret. We sat in the shade of the walnut tree as the bright sun made it too hot to sit in comfort in the open.
When the coffee drinkers had departed, I cycled round the the shop to top up our supplies, and then took another walk round the garden. I had given Sandy a garden tour (and some rhubarb) after coffee, and he had been very taken by the coral peony.
Peonies have a lot going on.
The orange hawkweed had attracted a couple of hovering objects. I don’t know what they are and would welcome suggestions.They are very good at hovering in one spot before flying on to a flower
A rosa complicata had different insects on different flowers . . .
. . . but my favourite astrantia, usually a bee magnet, had no visitors at all.
The Goldfinch rose is yellow when it first comes out but then changes to white. This one is transitioning.
Between drinking coffee, chatting, looking at the flowers and watering the vegetables and soft fruit, the morning passed pleasantly by, and a crossword filled in a spare moment before lunch.
After lunch, I was going to watch the birds, but a flying visit from a sparrowhawk put paid to that, so I went out and sieved some compost instead While I was out, I mowed the drying green and the vegetable garden grass as well.
Narrowly avoiding being sucked in by today’s stage of the Tour de France, I then went out for a cycle ride of my own in perfect conditions. The winds were very light, the temperature was 25°C, and some light cloud cover meant that I wasn’t being scorched by the sun. As I had started a bit late in the afternoon, I chose my familiar Canonbie route and the lovely weather meant that I recorded my quickest time this year for the 20 mile trip.
I did stop on the way.
What might well be the most delightful wild rose that I have ever seen was my first pause . . .
. . . and then buttercups to be seen in today’s header picture stopped me again. I whisked down to the bottom of the by-pass at an average of fourteen miles an hour, and then had to work quite hard to try not to lose too much speed on the way back up to Langholm.
I stopped at the three bridges over the Esk on my way to show just how low the river is.
In between the bridges, I kept an eye for insects on umbellifers and saw one fly on one flower head.
There will soon be a lot of knapweed out and this was the first that I have seen beside the road.
I thoroughly enjoyed my outing, and when Mrs Tootlepedal told me that I had missed an exciting finish to the stage, we were able to run the programme back so that I could watch the last few kilometres and in this way, I got the best of both worlds.
I also got an opportunity to look at the birds and saw siskins behaving as siskins do.
Then it was time for our regular family Zoom and evening meal.
I thought that I would end this post in a traditional way with a slightly dull flying siskin . . .
. . . and a far from dull flower of the day in the form of two pale pink peonies . . .
. . . but while I was writing the post, my neighbour Liz rang up and told me to look out of the window. I looked, Mrs Tootlepedal looked, and we were amazed.
Sadly, my camera and my skills were not up to the task, but this is an approximation of what we saw.
It wasn’t raining as far as we could tell, but the sinking sun had created a fabulous rainbow in the thin cloud over Whita. The colours were magical.
As we watched, swifts flew past the window to complete a marvellous moment.