Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline. She was able to enjoy the sunshine on the south coast of England today as she walked through some splendid municipal planting.
By contrast, we had a dull grey day here, but as it was calm and reasonably warm (about 18°C at lunchtime), we were not complaining.
I started my day by noting that the bird feeder was a bit busier than usual with two goldfinches visiting . . .
. . . and then I walked across the newly repaired and opened suspension bridge. It doesn’t wobble nearly as much as it used to before the repairs.
I was going to visit the little market which enterprising people have set up on a Saturday morning each month to encourage life on our High Street. I purchased honey and fresh fish before making my way home by way of the corner shop.
Our neighbour Liz invited us over for coffee, and we spent a pleasant hour sorting out the problems of the world in her well cared for garden.
The blackbirds and starlings have eaten almost all our rowan berries and we caught a blackbird flying out of our garden to have a go at Liz’s berries. They have hardly been touched yet.
Unfortunately, we disturbed it, and it flew off and didn’t return.
After coffee, I had another check on our bird feeder for a couple of minutes. There was plenty of action with goldfinches and greenfinches lining up . . .
. . . and this quick pick and go when there was a spare perch for a moment.
A greenfinch was very unimpressed by the flashy approach of another greenfinch.
Then we went to work in our own garden, where there was plenty of dead heading and weeding to be done. I did a little mowing too while the ground was still dry as there was rain in the forecast.
After a late lunch, I took my camera out into the garden. The buddleia is almost over and a bee and a butterfly had to share the last of a flower . . .
. . . and a red admiral couldn’t find a flower at all.
There have been plenty of white butterflies all summer, and this one had chosen a helenium today.
Mrs Tootlepedal was doing more work on the hedge beside the drying green and I photographed the first ripe blackberry on the thornless bramble that she is growing in the garden, and then I went out and picked as many of the wild brambles as I could before they got taken out in the hedge tidying. It has been a good year for brambles.
There were enough berries for a bramble and apple pie with luck.
I liked the rich colours on a clematis and an orange hawkweed growing near the tame blackberry.
As there seemed to be time before the rain was due to come, I went off for a 26 mile bike ride. I visited Gair for the first time for some weeks. I have been keeping away from it as a closed road nearby has meant extra traffic on a narrow road. I met half a dozen cars even on a Saturday afternoon which made me glad that I have not been using it at busier times.
While I had stopped to let a car past, I took in a view.
Although it was a rather gloomy afternoon, it was very peaceful and the wind turbines were barely turning.
I got to the top of the hill at Kennedy’s Corner and turned to go down to Chapelknowe. On the way down the hill, a curious cow looked at me . . .
. . . as I took in the wide view over towards Criffel in the distance.
As well as the view, I could see several rain showers lining up, so I only stopped for one more picture. This ruined cottage will soon be swallowed up by vegetation.
I tucked my camera away and scurried home as fast as possible (not very fast as it happens). It certainly wasn’t fast enough to beat the rain, which started when I still had seven miles to go. I stopped and put on my rain jacket, and the rain stayed light enough not to be a great trial, so I got home in good order.
What had been a quiet day just drifted away after that, though I did come alive for long enough to enjoy a splendid meal of toad-in-the hole provided by Mrs Tootlepedal.
Owing to the ill judged recent purchase of six delicious cheeses, I have been eating too much and putting on unwanted weight so I will have to try to eat a little less for a couple of weeks. I don’t hold out a great deal of hope though.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow aspiring to higher things.