Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, He found a butterfly very successfully pretending to be a leaf.
The forecast had suggested that it would be cooler today after the excessive heat of the past couple of days. It was cooler, but as it was only a couple of degrees cooler and the sun shone all day, we were not quite as grateful as we might have been.
Mrs Tootlepedal was out in the garden early but we wasted some of the coolest part of the morning by sitting inside and watching the end of the men’s road cycling race from the Olympic games. As it turned out to be a very exciting race, we didn’t mind too much.
Soon after the cycling finished, we went out into the garden and the sound of horses’ hooves on the street reminded us that the Castle Craigs Club had organised a small ride out as a token gesture on what should have been a very big day in the run up to the Common Riding. Small groups of riders were to set off on a short ride over the hills and back to the town. I went to see the first group of riders come up Jimmy’s Brae, and then I walked up behind them as far as the wonderful wild flower garden at the top of Holmwood.
We had to wait for some time until the next group arrived and it was bigger than we expected. I took some pictures of both groups.
It was good to see riders in action and to hear the clatter of hooves in our streets, even if it wasn’t the excitement of the gallop up the Kirk Wynd that should take place on Castle Craigs Day.
After the second group had passed, I went back home. As I got near, I saw a horse being led down our street, ready to be a part of the final group. As it passed our front gate, it did what horses do. Mrs Tootlepedal rushed out with a shovel and added valuable material to our compost heap.
As it happened, Margaret was coming up the road for coffee in the garden just as all this was going on, so we made sure that we left the road looking as neat and tidy as possible.
After coffee, we worked away in the garden and I took yet more pictures of dahlias.
The yellow dahlia is unusually tall.
Some new flowers are out, like this astilbe . . .
. . . and another sunflower is showing its face.
During the day, I took a couple of broader shots to show that in spite of the lack of rain, we are still looking reasonably green and colourful . . .
. . . but Mrs Tootlepedal, who was improving the planting in one of the beds, says that the soil is bone dry and dusty as far as she dug down. I watered some of the vegetables using a watering can.
The potatoes seem unaffected so far, and Mrs Tootlepedal dug up a good crop from a Vivaldi, one of our second earlies.
Lots of flowers looked good enough to warrant a picture I thought, even if they have appeared on the blog before (many times).
I thought a snapdragon deserved a solo billing.
Although we are not seeing any coloured butterflies in the garden at all, there are several cabbage whites fluttering about. Mrs Tootlepedal is not so happy too see them looking for places to lay eggs in her vegetable garden as I am.
After lunch, we went to the Co-op in the car to do a little shopping, and when we got back, Mrs Tootlepedal retired for a well deserved siesta, while I alternately watched the siskins on the feeder . . .
. . . snoozed at the table while not listening to the radio, and poked my head out into the garden from time to time, where I saw a jackdaw . . .
. . . and found a stem of Lilian Austin roses looking just about as perfect as a stem of roses could look.
Mrs Tootlepedal came down from her siesta and we had a cup of tea. Fortified by this and a large banana, I finally got up the strength to go for a cycle ride. It was still pretty warm at 23°C, but the sun was past its peak and was much less fiery than it had been earlier in the afternoon.
I rather boringly went round my familiar Canonbie route once again, and found the wind strong enough to keep me cool but not strong enough to make a nuisance of itself as I cycled against it. It was a glorious day as I cycled through the gentle farmland towards the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass . . .
. . . but I was not tempted to stop a lot for pictures and only took a view of the new Canonbie wastewater treatment works . . .
. . . which have a lot more going on underground than appears on the surface, and one other picture of Gilnockie or Hollows Tower . . .
. . . which I thought that I ought to take after showing a picture of the memorial to Johnnie Armstrong on a recent post. Johnnie Armstrong came from Gilnockie and had a tower here but not this one. His, which has been demolished and disappeared, was a few hundred yards away. This tower currently houses a Clan Armstrong museum and is well worth a visit.
I managed a reasonable speed and got home on good time for my evening meal, which included some of those Vivaldi potatoes.
The forecast now says that it not going to cool down until Tuesday, and the promised rain is looking more doubtful by the day. I can see that I will soon have long arms from lugging the watering can about.
The flying bird of the day is an oystercatcher flying over the garden this afternoon.