Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent., She did not have to go far to find some interesting wild life, as this Jersey Tiger Moth was on the outside of her bedroom window.
We were correctly promised frequent showers for today by the forecasters, and the trick was to try to avoid them and still get the occasional breath of fresh air. I surprised myself a great deal when I found that I was pedalling up the A7 north of Langholm before breakfast in an attempt to cycle the 10 miles to Mosspaul and then get back again before the next shower came. It wasn’t a day for hanging about taking pretty landscape shots . . .
. . . as it was hard to see any hills behind the low clouds.
A friendly wind pushed me up the hill at a good speed, but then of course, it slowed me down on my way back, and I wasn’t quick enough to avoid the rain. It wasn’t a heavy shower though, and it didn’t last too long so there was nothing that a bacon butty and a cup of tea couldn’t cure when I got home.
After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled to church in pleasantly dry conditions. Owing no doubt to a bit of a rush to find out what new hymns the minister had chosen for us to sing, the choir started the introit on two different verses of the hymn at the same time. I wasn’t sure whether to keep singing the correct verse with Mrs Tootlepedal or join the strongest voice in the choir who was singing the wrong verse. In the end I compromised, and sang the the first four lines with Mrs Tootlepedal and then switched to the variant for rest of the verse. I don’t suppose that the congregation noticed anything amiss.
When we left the church, the rain was pouring down, but although we got soggy bottoms from sitting on wet saddles, once again the rain didn’t last, and it had nearly stopped by the time that we got home.
The weather gods were having a feast of fun.
Alistair and Clare told us that it had been brilliantly sunny while we were in church. They had just been getting ready to go for a walk when the rain had started.
After we had had a cup of coffee, and I had had a walk round the garden . . .
. . . we went to do a bit of shopping, passing this nasturtium at the front gate as we left.
It started to rain again as we came out of the shop. However, as we had prudently taken the car, we got home dry enough.
Just before lunch, I found another dry moment to have look round the garden. We have got a set of dahlias which are a bit short in the petal department for some reason, but a late flower on the Lilian Austin is fully formed.
It started to rain again after lunch and we were resigned to an afternoon in when the rain unexpectedly stopped and I suggested an outing. The suggestion was received with surprising enthusiasm and the younger members got dressed for a visit to the park in typical Langholm summer weather . .
. . . while Mrs Tootlepedal and I, armed with large umbrellas, went off to go round Gaskell’s Walk.
Even on a gloomy day, there was a lot to be seen as we walked round Pool Corner and up the road to the Auld Stane Brig, including a lichen, a slow worm and hoverfly . . .
. . . and a ripe and tasty bramble, out much earlier than any other bush that we passed on our way.
As we got on to the path through the wood back to Langholm, the weather took a turn for the worse . . .
. . . and it got so bad at times that this was the full extent of my view.
It started to really pelt down and we sheltered under a tree for a while. I did manage to peer out from time to time when we got going and the rain eased off.
The most unusual flower that we saw was near the end of the walk. We found that the Impatiens Noli-tangere (touch me not balsam) near the park had got a flower or two out already.
This is quite a rare flower and I will try to get a better picture on a better day.
In the park we saw two crows with white feathers. They looked to be part of a family group and I have put them in here in spite of the poor quality of the photos as they too are quite unusual.
When we got back to the garden, the topiary chicken seemed to be drowning in flowers rather than rain.
As far as birds went, I saw a jackdaw on the lawn on my garden outing before lunch . . .
. . . and siskins on the feeder when I went back indoors.
Later in the day, a greenfinch visited in the rain.
It kept raining, sometimes heavily, on and off, and I see that we now have two inches of rain in our rain gauge, collected since our dry spell ended at the beginning of this month.
We were alright indoors though, because Mrs Tootlepedal cooked us a delicious evening meal including sticky toffee pudding.
The (just) flying bird of the day is a very soggy goldfinch. Of all our garden visitors, they always seem to be the most bedraggled in heavy rain.