Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline who found a quiet moment in a visit to a cafe to reflect on things. Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .
We had another lovely day here today, though at times when the sun was fully out, it was almost too hot, a good complaint to have at the end of August.
Once again, I did a little butterfly hunting in between dead heading and having coffee in the garden with Liz and Margaret. It didn’t require a lot of skill to spot the butterflies. Indeed it was quite hard to find a buddleia flower that didn’t have two butterflies on it . . .
. . . though red admirals were in short supply among the peacocks and tortoiseshells.
However, my eyes did open a little wider when I spotted a less common visitor, a painted lady . . .
. . . and they popped open wide at the sight of a totally unfamiliar shape and colour. This turned out to be a comma butterfly.
I did look at other things in the garden, not just butterflies . . .
. . . though I see that another butterfly sneaked into the panel. The pretty white flower in the top left corner is a new addition to Mrs Tootlepedal’s wild flower mini meadow. She thinks it might be some sort of flax.
I also found a moment to look at the birds when there were birds to look at, a happy coincidence. We had a good selection of visitors today.
After lunch, I went out to see if I could catch birds eating the rowan berries. Although there were one or two starlings in the tree . . .
. . . they weren’t in a peckish mood and flew off without picking a berry. I turned my attention to a jackdaw on the lawn instead.
It seemed a bit too hot for a comfortable cycle ride, so in the afternoon I went for a walk up Meikleholm Hill and then to Timpen to get my daily exercise.
I was impressed by this bunch of thistles just as I got to the open hill.
There are no sheep or cattle on Meikleholm Hill at the moment, and as a result, my walk was blessed with many wild flowers. Among quite a selection, I saw yarrow, scabious and eyebright . . .
. . . which were not hard to spot . . .
. . . as I walked along the track that takes a circular route to the top of the hill.
There were clouds about which gave me some relief from the hot sun and added contrasts to the views when I got up the hill. I took this one before leaving Meikleholm Hill and climbing up to the trig point on the top of Timpen.
It is a short but steep ascent and I was happy to stop and look back at the town and across to Whita Hill on the opposite side of the valley.
When I got to the top, I looked down to Craigcleuch house and the Esk . . .
. . . and across towards Milnholm and the hills of the Ewes valley beyond.
I decided to take a new route back down the hill, and walked down along the top edge of the steep slope until I got to the wall that divides Meikleholm and Timpen Hills. I then followed that down.
As I went along, I got a splendid view of the walk ’round Potholm’ which I sometimes do. You can see the Longfauld track on the right and the road back on the left with a glimpse of Potholm farmhouse among the trees at the far end.
I also met some pretty harebells . . .
. . . and a sheep with a view.
When I got to the bottom of the wall, I had to keep my camera in my pocket and my eyes firmly down while I followed a rough and narrow track along the side of a steepish slope to get to a point where I could get down onto the road back to Langholm. I was very glad that I had taken my walking poles with me as they kept me upright more than once.
Still, it was good to explore a new route, and I got home in good order. Mrs Tootlepedal was kind enough to make me a refreshing cup of tea, much needed after a strenuous effort on a warm day (I had climbed and descended 990 ft in my 3.3 miles outing.)
I might have had time to walk a little further if I had not spent time after lunch listening to radio commentary from a very exciting test match at Headingly. Mrs Tootlepedal and I watched the highlights later in the evening.
The only test match that I have ever attended in person was at Headingly in 1977. With Boycott at the crease all day, it was a very dull affair compared with today’s excitements.
After the regular Zoom with my siblings, our son Tony’s cabbage provided a third tasty evening meal when combined with bacon and potatoes. All the same, I will be quite happy to have a change of diet tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a starling, popping off the top of Irving’s holly tree . . .
. . . but the real flying star of the day is a butterfly.