Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, and shows the harvest ripening in East Wemyss.
We had another cloudy but dry day here today. The wind was light and the temperature rose to 70°F (21°C) in the mid afternoon. As we think that 70°F is a perfect temperature for being in the garden, we were not too unhappy that we weren’t being roasted by a hot sun.
Neither of us slept very well so we had a slow start to the day, but we were happy to be up and about to welcome Margaret and Liz for coffee in the garden.
I checked the birds before we went out and saw that once again we were not short of blackbirds.
Three youngsters gave each other hard stares while picking up the fallen seeds.
And there was time for a quick walk round the garden while the coffee was brewing.
A new flower, St John’s Wort, has appeared . . .
. . . but an old favourite caught my eye too.
There were lots of bees in the garden today which was very enjoyable to see, and I spotted one on a dahlia. The dahlia might have been short of petals, but it was certainly not short of attractiveness to this passing bumblebee.
Liz and Margaret went off with a kohlrabi each, as we are growing more than we can eat. It will be interesting to see what they think of them.
Mrs Tootlepedal had pruned the Goldfinch rose yesterday, and after coffee today, she went to work on the Jacobite rose. I photographed the clematis that had been given space by the pruning of the Goldfinch rose . . .
. . . and then I did some shredding of the pruned Jacobite rose and sieved another lot of compost from Bin D, as well as doing some dead heading and tidying.
I cleared some more of the excessive vegetation out of the pond, and took the opportunity to point the camera at a very pretty water lily.
The Eryngium next to the bench where we had been sitting and chatting while drinking our coffee (and eating biscuits in my case) came in for some praise because of its remarkably blue stems which seem to get bluer every day . . .
. . . and we wondered if there was any evolutionary advantage to be gained from having such bright blue stems. We will be pleased if any knowledgeable reader can shed light on this question.
Everywhere I looked, I could see more bees today. This one was on a melancholy thistle.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes these two phlox together and you can see why.
I think that the dry weather is responsible for the white touches on the petals of the flowers.
I like this Inula, which I find is called Elecampane, Inula helenium, and also horse-heal or elfdock.
It is no wonder that I get baffled when trying to remember the names of flowers when every flower seems to have four or five different names.
I meant to go for a cycle ride straight after lunch but I got distracted by a play on the radio and didn’t get out in time for a longer ride. As a result when I finally got going, I went straight south out of the town down the main road to get a quick start. Interestingly, there was a lot less traffic on the road today, a working day, then there had been when I rode down it on Sunday.
When I got to Longtown, I turned onto to quieter roads and wound my way across country back to Langholm.
In the flat lands I came across a stream with some water in it . . .
. . . but as the water wasn’t actually running, it didn’t really count as a stream.
I also saw a golden field . . .
. . . of barley.
It was not a good day for views. In fact it was surprisingly gloomy considering that it is the middle of summer . . .
. . . so I made do with a blasted tree . . .
. . . and two different bees visiting knapweed flowers beside the road across the hill.
We are still in a butterfly desert though.
Thanks to the good start that going down the main road gives to a ride, I got round my 25 mile jaunt at a good speed, though I had to stop and be a good Samaritan on the way.
A young girl of about ten and her even younger brother were cycling in the opposite direction and when they saw me, they pulled over and asked if they were going in the right direction to get to the Hollows. I was able to tell them that they were going in precisely the wrong direction. Luckily they had not gone too far and I was able to point them to a suitable route to get them back to Canonbie where they had come from. I hope that they got home safely.
I got home safely and found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden again. I walked around with her and admired the latest sunflower to come out.
We had liver casserole with potatoes, turnips and spinach from the garden for our evening meal.
Mrs Tootlepedal did quite a lot of hand watering today in a desperate attempt to make sure it rains soon. The forecast is for rain tomorrow, but then the forecast yesterday was for rain today, and that never happened. Rain and jam seem to have a marked similarity when it comes to tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin . . .
. . . and the flower of the day is a calendula.