Flower power

Today’s guest picture is a one off. It shows two elderly people having a quiet sit down while visiting their granddaughter in London. It was taken by the granddaughter’s mother.

We had another pretty hot and sunny day today as the jet stream continued to hold the Atlantic low at bay. At its peak, the thermometer hit 26.6Ā°C in the afternoon, just under 80 Ā° F.

It was cooler in the morning, so we got out into the garden after breakfast and pottered about doing useful things slowly until coffee with Margaret under the walnut tree gave us a break. I did take a moment put to cycle up to the Archive Centre to check on one of the fiche readers. A data miner had told me that it wasn’t working properly but it seemed OK to me.

I had resolved not to take too many pictures in the garden today, but events were against me. Thanks to visiting insects, bathing blackbirds and the sheer power of the flowers, I took far too many. They are going to appear in galleries so that readers may either skip through them or click to get some detail as the mood takes them. I’ll cut the commentary down to the minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves.

I start with the visiting insects. There were more of them about today and an actual queue formed at the red poppy. The large red damselfly on the lily leaf is a first appearance on this blog.

A set of of flowers with attitude follows. The flower in the chimney is a calibrachoa.

More white verbascums have appeared uninvited in the garden and Attila the Gardener is going to let some of them stay for a while to keep the photographer happy. The yellow verbascum has pulled itself together and straightened up a bit.

As the Common Riding, Langholm’s great day, which is always held on the last Friday in July, has been cancelled because of the virus, I thought that I should show how well the rambler roses which are used to make up the ceremonial crown each year are doing.

The crown will still be made even though there won’t be a mounted procession through our streets and I hope that one or two of our roses will be included.

I noticed a blackbird perched on the lilies in the pond and when I went back later, I found another one having a thorough going wash and brush up.

It was very hard to get a lot of work done as I kept on being distracted by more flowers.

(Yes, you are right. That is another phine phlox phlourishing.)

We read an alarming article in the weekend paper about a man who accidentally but not fatally poisoned his whole family with home grown courgettes. We are going to take care when we eat ours.

I had more goes at taking the perfect snapdragon picture. The results are getting better, but there is still work to do. (They also appear in today’s header picture.)

Two flowers get solo billing.

I like the way that the pale blue clematis beside the front wall has a very sympathetic colour relationship with the wall behind it.

And I like the look of the alstroemeria in the shade of the plum tree.

I had filled the bird feeder and there was a steady stream of siskins to eat the seed. I caught one perching on the fake tree after lunch.

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been working hard all morning while I messed about with my camera, sensibly settled down for an afternoon siesta. I am still way behind my monthly cycling schedule so I got my bike out, filled my water bottle to the brim, and set off to do a few miles. Not having had a warm up walk today, it took my legs a while to get into the swing of things, but once I was over Callister, they started to enjoy their work.

I went through Gait and stopped at the top of the hill overlooking the Solway plain. I was struck by the sight of the Gretna wind turbines below me. It is not often that you see them in a straight line like that.

As a bonus, there was a good looking orchid in the unmowed verge just beside me. It might be a common spotted orchid.

This marked the end of the hilly part of my ride and I was soon in flat farming country, where almost every view has a pylon in it.

Although I had already taken enough pictures for two days, I kept an eye out for wild flowers. It didn’t take an expert to spot them.

This collection is between the old and new A7 roads. It had meadowsweet and lady’s bedstraw with knapweed, daisies, clover and other things beside.

I had done 24 miles by this time and was happy to see the slopes of Whita ahead of me, showing me that I was not far from home.

I got home in nice time to have a cool shower and be ready to join the regular family zoom meeting. In spite of the warm weather, my brother and sisters had been out and about and we shared an interesting collection of pictures from our various adventures.

There was a special treat for our tea as Mrs Tootlepedal had been growing kohlrabi for the first time. The seeds were a gift from our friend Nancy, and they have done very well in the vegetable garden. Mrs Tootlepedal dug one up . . .

. . . and roasted it in thin slices. It was very tasty and we look forward to eating another one. The trouble is that they take up a large amount of space in the bed for quite a small end product, so we are never going to get very many.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

There have already been too many flowers of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Flower power

  1. I didn’t know there were red damselflies, so that was interesting.
    It’s too bad such a looked forward to event as the common riding was cancelled. Isn’t this the second year it has been?
    I’ve never had kohlrabi even though I first heard of it more than 40 years ago, I think. It has an interesting shape and color.
    I think our friend Zyriacus might be right about the snapdragons. The header shot of them is excellent.

  2. Love the guest picture; you look like youre having fun! Kohlrabi is a bit of a staple here as it seems to make itself available just when I am wondering what on earth our dinner will consist of. Everything is looking gloriously summery at your place!

  3. I am surprised you got anything done with so many beautiful flowers to photograph! It is pleasing to see so many insects visiting, since you have commented on a dearth of them before.

  4. Two of your photographs really caught my eye today for the colour combination and the beautiful shape of the flowers, the pale blue clematis and the bright colour of the alstromeria. They were a treat to look at.

  5. The blue clematis should be on a card – wonderful framing and colours.

    You meet the loveliest people in a London garden!

  6. As always loving the colourful photos and enjoying it all. Great photo of those “old” but incredibly energetic and do-a-lot folk, excellent start to the blog. Stay well, and yeah, the heat, but that does make the veg patch grow and the tomatoes turn red…

  7. Love the header photo and the photo of the two heads below. Stunning collection of flower photos and good to see such a fine variety of flying creatures enjoying your flowers too. Pylons and wind turbines are blending in well with the landscapes these days- just getting used to seeing them!

  8. Have to say this was a post full of wonderful photographs and following the link to the poisonous courgettes gave me the phrase “toxic vegetables”, followed shortly after by a mental picture of politicians . . .

  9. I so very much enjoyed the Portrait of the Artists! Bookends with the mirrored poses. Seems to indicate you maybe think alike?
    You have my deepest sympathy for that tendency to take far too many photos. But then we’d have missed the damselfly and flowers with attitude!
    A pleasure to see progress in the snapdragon photos. I haven’t seen those in real life in ages. The pink one is delightful!
    Thanks for taking me along on the bike ride. I do like your countryside very much. It’s a bit more serene than our neighborhood.
    Somehow I never manage to cook the kohlrabi, but peel and slice it up and eat it raw. It makes me think of eating a radish, but without the bite. These days we don’t have room in the garden for them either, but the farm provides them.

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