Suspense

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who, after his otter yesterday, met an European eagle owl today. It is very exciting living in East Wemyss.

We had a calm and cloudy day here today, but we didn’t get wet when we cycled to church this week.

We had an extremely select choir of five but less choral chaos than last week. However, the sight of our organist creeping around mid service issuing new sheets to sing from did not inspire a great deal of confidence. All the same, we are starting midweek practices next week and our organist is encouraging more people to come and sing, so things make be looking up.

We had coffee and went shopping after church. I took a couple of dahlia pictures in the garden . . .

. . . and then we had lunch.

The seed in the bird feeder was going down very slowly today, but when I looked after lunch, there was a short burst of action. A small flock of greenfinches turned up and a lone siskin got a look in too.

There was a modest amount of bad behaviour.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a meeting in the afternoon, while I checked on the garden flowers and found poppies and astrantia lasting very well, the last remaining contestant in the last rose of summer stakes, and some up and coming yellow crocosmia . . .

. . . as well a few good rose hips.

I only wish that more of our roses would take the hint and get hip too.

Then I went for a cycle ride.

As it was Sunday and the main road should be quiet, I started off by going south out of the town along the A7. The traffic was indeed quiet and the combination of a kindly wind and the gentle downhill gradients got me ten miles down the road at a very speedy 16mph.

Here, I turned off onto quiet back roads and began the process of heading back home into the wind and up the slope. As you can see from the route map and elevation chart . . .

. . . the climb from the lowest point of my ride up to the highest is pretty steady and my my average speed went downhill as my bicycle went uphill. However, with the wind coming from the north east, I was only heading straight into it for two brief spells so I enjoyed my outing a lot.

I stopped on a little bridge to show that the water underneath the bridge is so low and slow that pond weed is growing in mid stream.

. . . but the dry weather has let the farmers get on with their work.

As I came back across the hill towards the Wauchope valley, I spotted a buzzard sitting on a pole beside the road. Inevitably, it spotted me just as I got my camera out, and flew off to a much more distant pole where it hid.

Having taken a broader view of the heather beside the road on the last occasion that I came this way, I took a close up today.

It is odd that the individual flowers always look a lot more pink than the famously purple whole plants look from a distance.

The rowans have enjoyed the weather as much as any this summer and my journey was dotted with bright berries.

I was greeted by a very odd looking pigeon at our front gate when I got home.

A look at its legs showed me that it was a homing pigeon, perhaps trying to hitch a lift from a passing motorist.

Mrs Tootlepedal had got back from her meeting before me, and we watched the last few kilometres of the Vuelta stage on catch up while I had a restorative cup of tea and a slice of toast.

Although the late afternoon was rather gloomy by this time, I had a last look round the garden where the flowers did their best to cheer the day up.

Sometimes, plant breeders make flowers so fancy that they don’t attract bees any more, but this cheery dahlia . . .

. . . definitely has pulling power.

I couldn’t see any bees on the dark dahlias though, even though they have come out of hiding.

Some pink phlox has escaped the chop from Attila the Gardener . . .

. . . and the snapdragons keep producing more and more flowers.

Mrs Tootlepedal is already reading the seed catalogues as she thinks of next year in the garden, and snapdragons and dahlias are on her mind.

As far as we could understand him, the minister seemed to say in church today that a fault has been found in one part of the suspension bridge and it still needs repair. Perhaps it will not be opening tomorrow after we all. We will just have to wait and see. Perhaps that is why it is called a suspension bridge.

I didn’t get a very good flying greenfinch of the day today . . .

. . . so I have called up one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite dahlias to finish this post off. It shines even on a dull day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Suspense

  1. I should be interested to know more of the circumstances in which that Eagle owl was seen…
    As for rose hips, aren’t you the world’s champion dead-header?

  2. Fantastic shot from Tony of the rarely seen. Eagle Owl..
    I’ve only ever seen one,and that was a captive bird,although I believe they are more common in Scotland?
    Superb dahlia shots,and the birds will soon be feasting on those Rowan berries .

  3. The header of the bales is beautiful. I also much enjoyed the close-up shots of bees burrowing right into the flowers – they look like they’re having a whale of a time when they’re covered in pollen. This summer I watched a bee dig its way into a tightly closed zucchini blossom – a chore to be sure, but the wee bee wiggled and jiggled until it disappeared!

    1. After a slow start in the cold spring, bumble bees seem to have done very well this year which is most heartening. I like seeing them disappear into the snapdragons.

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed all these colorful flowers, countryside and birds. Mrs. Tootlepedal looking at seed catalogs for next year has the ring of impending autumn soon to be followed by winter about it. Our scarlet runner beans did not do well, but I can’t judge certain garden plants, especially for the first time, because of the extreme heat. I will try them again next year, and also plant our old standby, Black Creaseback, which has purple blooms and a lot of luscious pods. The purple and red should look good together on the trellis.

    I have not seen any quail here this summer, which is odd. I hope to spot one eventually.

  5. That Eagle Owl snap is amazing! Such a beautiful bird. I got to handle one during a falconry course I took a number of years ago while visiting Scotland and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. They have quite a grip.
    And that last dahlia really does shine. Since my house is in the woods where it’s too shady for such beauties (and the deer eat everything I attempt to grow anyway), I live vicariously through your garden photo tours.

  6. That’s a great shot of the owl. I’ve never heard of an eagle owl but it reminds me of our great horned owl.
    I’ve heard that rose hips make a good, vitamin C rich tea but I’ve never tried it.
    It’s easy to see why that is Mrs. T.s favorite dahlia.

  7. Some dahlias definitely have the wow factor and the means to attract the bees….I’m like them just going for the bright and gaudy! Looks like rather a steep climb in your cycle ride. Love the eagle owl photo.

  8. Tony’s shots from East Wemyss had me finding it on a map. Seems he’s another lucky soul living in a delight-full part of the world. Close to water and a bit on the wild side.
    For some strange reason our farmers wrap those round hay bales in white plastic (the machine that creates them does it somehow.) I often think of gigantic marshmallows whenever I see them. A bit overdone to smother them in plastic. Seems as though there might be a better solution.
    Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite dahlia simply took my breath away!

    1. Our first silage cut does get wrapped in plastic but this later crop gets this more open treatment.

      You are right about East Wemyss, it is a good place to live.

    2. They wrap them in plastic here, too. Big white blobs, not picturesque. When I was little, I used to be sure that the hay bakes were giant loaves of bread in the fields.

    1. He is safe enough as there are several attractive little harbour villages further along the coast and that is where everyone wants to move to.

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