Winding down

Today’s guest picture is another of Laura’s from St Joseph, Michigan.

We got up to some heavy showers and strong winds here today. It wasn’t the best weather for the last day of Clare, Alistair and Matilda’s stay with us, but we made the best of it.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning taking the minutes at a Zoom meeting, so Matilda and I entertained each other. We played Ludo, clearly a game requiring great skill, Snakes and Ladders, clearly a game of pure luck with no skill involved, and did a most enjoyable jigsaw puzzle.

By the time that we had done all this, the rain had stopped, and although it was still grey and windy Alistair, Claire, Matilda and I went to the park where Matilda cycled about vigorously, Alistair stretched his legs, and I walked down to the water’s edge to see that the river has now got a lot more water in it.

Just beside the path, there is a very large tree . . .

. . . under which Alistair, Claire, and Matilda had sheltered during a very wet walk earlier in the week. They told me that they had remained completely dry in the heavy rain, and you can see that the ground under it was pretty dry today. There should be more trees like this about.

I had a walk round the garden when we got back. The roses are almost over but one or two are hanging on.

There were plenty of bees about, even on a gloomy, windy day. This one was feeding on the last of the melancholy thistles.

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these cheerful flowers . . .

…are heleniums. They are putting on a good late show.

I went in to check on the birds before lunch. It was all action.

After lunch, we played hide and seek, and then we went for a walk. I had time for another stroll round the garden before we left.

The tomatoes are looking better every day.

Although this crop of potatoes may not look very special as far as numbers go . . .

. . . the potatoes are enormous. The biggest one weighed over a pound. That is not small potatoes.

There are still hardly any butterflies about apart from the whites, so the buddleia is only being used by bees.

Our walk took us for a last visit to the ice cream van on the Kilngreen. It was still very windy but it was dry and reasonably warm.

We passed two young black backed gulls and an adult.

While Matilda was finishing her ice cream, Alistair and I walked along the river and under the second arch of the Sawmill Brig. The water may have risen but it still has a long way to go. I liked the small forest growing out of the bridge.

Matilda and her parents took the direct route home as they were going to visit friends on the way. Mrs Tootlepedal and I strolled round the new path on the Castleholm, looking at trees . . .

. . . and listening to the anguished cries of a young buzzard who had been left to fend for itself by its parents. It settled in a pine tree and continued moaning.

By the time that we had crossed the Jubilee bridge, the sun had come out, and it had turned into a very nice afternoon.

I found another white butterfly posing in our garden when we got back.

We all arrived home at about the same time and preparations for departure were made.

We had an early tea to give Alistair plenty of time for the drive back to Edinburgh, and just before the meal, I checked on the feeder to find that the sparrows are rearing yet another family.

The garden is full of birds at present, and there was set of starlings sitting on the holly tree taking in the sunshine when we went out to get ready to wave our visitors off.

Our guests departed, and we got a message later on to say that they had arrived safely in Edinburgh. Their tomatoes have thrived on two weeks of neglect and are looking very good.

It will be very quiet in the house tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin, reminding me strongly of Woodstock from the Peanuts comic strip.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Winding down

  1. Your tomatoes are looking very good. Those potatoes obviously loved the ground they were planted in. Glad the visitors got home safely it will be quiet without them especially Matilda.

  2. That Matilda is quite a girl. I enjoyed her photos very much, and I’d guess she’s going to want a camera of her own soon.
    Your photos have also been a treat. I especially liked that dragonfly and Mr. Grumpy trying to be a duck.
    That looks like a great crop of potatoes and the tomatoes aren’t bad either.
    I’m glad the rain has filled your rivers once again.

    1. We had three inches of rain but the ground in the garden is still very dry and when Mrs T digs up the potatoes, the soil a few inches down is not wet at all.

    1. In spite of the cold spring and the following lack of rain, the potatoes have done very well and we have had no trouble with slugs either. Thank you

  3. That was a fine jigsaw puzzle. Your potatoes are a triumph.
    Glad your visitors found their tomatoes doing well when they got home.

  4. That is a very fine tree to shelter under when the rain starts. I love to stop and shelter if the rain starts hammering down while out pedalling. Under trees, thick hedgerows, bus shelters and canal bridges. Something, I feel is quite primeval, being able to keep me ( and my bike ) dry. Linked, probably, to the way we used to love to build dens when we were children, and tents no doubt. Not so good if I’m shivering though. Great Post. Cheers.

    1. I prefer if possible not to be out on my bike when it get really wet as it raises the possibilty of skidding to beyond what I think is acceptable. I am really a fair weather biker these days. My knee surgeon issued terrible warnings to his patients not to mess about on bikes!

  5. That’s a splendid jigsaw- lots to look at and enjoy! Love the butterfly on the flower and the bees on their flowers too. The family holiday has passed quickly and it’s been lovely seeing all Matilda’s photos and sewing skills whilst with you.

  6. Your little siskin does remind me of Woodstock! I particularly like the tree growing out of the bridge stonework. I have always been impressed with trees and their ability to find a toehold just about anywhere.

    I am also impressed with Matilda’s wish to share her treats with her friends. Adults everywhere have much to learn from such wise and thoughtful children like her.

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