Baffled by the lack of rain

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He came across this field of crops heavily damaged by the recent bad weather in his area.

In contrast, we had a very fine day here today with lots of sunshine. After the recent showery weather, it took some getting used to. At one stage, Alistair got the washing in on the general grounds that it was bound to rain soon. Not long afterwards, Clare hung it out again as it plainly wasn’t going to rain.

An early look at the bird feeder showed that we were being visited by a family of blue tits today.

We had a quiet morning, including a cheerful coffee in the garden with our neighbours Margaret and Liz, and quite a bit of throwing and catching of a tennis ball with Matilda and her father on the lawn. Mrs Tootlepedal gardened and I lent a hand with dead heading and carrying stuff to the compost bin.

It was a treat to see the sun shining on the flowers.

I took pictures of some new arrivals (and an appropriate late flower on the Special Grandma rose).

As you can see, it was hot enough when the sun was fully out to make a blackbird pause for a breather. On the down side, the Japanese anemone and the snowberries are real signs of the year creeping on.

Mrs Tootlepedal was very pleased to find wild cornflowers coming up in her mini meadow on the drying green.

I spent quite a lot of time looking for coloured butterflies, convinced that the sunshine would bring them into the garden, and even catching flashes of colour from time to time. They were hard to find though. White ones were ten a penny.

By haunting the buddleia, I finally caught a glimpse of a peacock and a small tortoiseshell.

The plum tree was pollinated rather spasmodically thanks to the cold weather at blossom time, but the branches that have got plums on are heavily laden.

When I went in at lunch time, I kept an eye on the bird feeder. There were plenty of the usual suspects about, and the occasional blue tit too.

After lunch, Clare, Matilda, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the Kilngreen to buy ice creams from the van, while Alistair waited for a delivery to arrive.

It was still a very fine day . . .

. . . but in spite of the recent rain, the rivers were still pretty low.

As we ate our ice creams, we could hear wagtails making a lot of noise on the far river bank, and we could see grey and pied wagtails popping up and down as they caught insects. I tried to take pictures but couldn’t come up with much that was any good as they mostly stayed just out of range.

I took some slightly better pictures of gulls. Some were flying very low . . .

. . . and some were getting a lit bit higher.

One wasn’t flying at all.

After the delivery had arrived, Alistair came across the bridge to join us. Mrs Tootlepedal and I left him with Clare and Matilda on the Kilngreen., where there is a play park suitable for seven year olds, while we went off to complete a three bridges walk.

We walked up the Lodge Walks . . .

. . . across the Castleholm and then went back home by way of the Duchess Bridge.

It is obviously going to be a good year for hazelnuts.

On our way back through the town we saw two butterflies in Maureen’s garden and honeysuckle berries in our hedge. In our own garden, I liked the sun picking out a late poppy.

In the early evening, we put the tent up on the lawn and Matilda and Mrs Tootlepedal spent some time inside it. Matilda gave it the ultimate accolade by declaring it to be very cool. Mrs Tootlepedal had a nice nice snooze.

Alistair cooked us another delicious evening meal and that rounded off a very pleasant day.

The flying bird of the day is a rook at the Kilngreen.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Baffled by the lack of rain

      1. A friend of mine just gave m a detailed weather report from his week in Devon. It was grey. All week. Some days were warm and grey. Some were hot and grey. Generally though, it was grey. I will let him know that it is sunny in Scotland.

  1. What a fabulous photo of the rook – nicely framed by the leaves and the diamonds on the water. It rather looks like its on a bombing run. I do like the line of its beak – rooks and ravens are such strong looking birds.

  2. Those are beautiful, sunny panels, and it is always nice to see the Lodge Walks. I love the photo of the blackbird enjoying the sun. He looks quite pleased.

    Your plums are faring much better than ours. Large, shallower rooted trees here are having trouble with the heat now.

      1. We got very few from the purple plum tree. The young yellow plum trees that sprouted from the roots of the old parent tree that blew down a number of years ago did a little better.

    1. Considering that he ate nothing but unhealthy foods when he was young (and all the same stuff day after day), it is a miracle that he has turned into an adventurous and skilful cook. We give thanks for it.

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