Washed out

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair in Edinburgh. He caught a shadowy glimpse of a heron taking off from his local loch.

We had a grey, cool and calm morning here today, and in a perfect world, I would have been up early, off on my bike for twenty miles, and back in time to have coffee with Sandy. In the real world, I just managed to be up and ready in time for coffee with Sandy, never mind the bike ride.

He was in good form and we were joined first by Mrs Tootlepedal and then by Margaret, so we had quite a social time.

After they left, I cycled round to the corner shop for supplies, and then had a look round the garden. A three year old azalea has flowered for the first time this year . . .

. . . but Mrs Tootlepedal does not think that it is in a happy place. so it will probably be moved to a better spot.

Although we have not had much rain, it has also been rather cool for weeks, and the summer is sneaking up on us unaware as a result. The sight of rosebuds reminded me that it is only three weeks to the longest day.

A fallen twig from the walnut tree gave me the chance to enjoy the xanthoria parietina lichen that flourishes above our heads.

New flowers are to be seen. Big daisies are coming out . . .

. . . Rodgersias are producing promising shoots . . .

. . . and comfrey is appearing too.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s plan to grow a lot of yellow rattle to prepare for her mini wild flower meadow on the drying green is going very well. There is a forest of yellow rattle there now.

I amused myself by taking pictures of flowers that I like. Apart from the allium . . .

. . . the others were rather delicate.

I went in and watched the birds for a while. Traffic was slow, with a lone siskin on the feeder

. . . and a lone blackbird underneath.

Having looked at the weather forecast and found that no rain was on the menu, I developed a moderately ambitious plan for the afternoon. I would go round the 20 mile Canonbie run on my road bike, and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I would put the electric bikes in the car, drive up the road, park, and do a ten mile round bike trip from Enzieholm to Eskdalemuir via Bailliehill and the Shaw Rig.

I noted a well fed rook . . .

. . . and put my cycling plan into action.

It was a good plan as far as it went, and it went as far as five miles round the Canonbie circuit. At that point, some very dark clouds, which I had hoped might just be passing over, decided to stay put and rain on me. It wasn’t too bad to start with, but when I first found myself cycling through some patches of hailstones lying across the road, and then through many rivers pouring across the roads, I decided to cut my losses and take the quick way home. I got thoroughly soaked, and was a bit cross to find that it had hardly rained at all in Langholm while I had been out.

I assured Mrs Tootlepedal that the rain had passed now, and that our trip to Eskdalemuir would be all right, but she wisely didn’t believe me. We didn’t go, and it rained on and off for the rest of the day.

The bird feeder wasn’t much busier in the afternoon than it had been in the morning, but a siskin and a sparrow found something to talk about.

Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea in the middle of a shower.

Just to be annoying, the sun came out in the early evening, and the garden looked very inviting . . .

. . . but a look around showed that this happy state of affairs might not last long.

I hope that the weather is a bit more predictable tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a pigeon, looking as though it has got more wings than is usual.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Washed out

  1. The thundery skies behind your rooftops are quite striking, although I can understand you wouldn’t be overly impressed by them. Quite the wondrous looking exploding pigeon!

  2. I didn’t know that Jacob’s ladder (polemonium) had gotten so beautiful. I’m going to have to look into getting one. That color is amazing.
    I like the allium too. I don’t see a lot of them.
    I’m glad you didn’t get caught in the hailstorm. That happened to me once when I was on my motorcycle and it hurt, even though I slowed to a crawl.

    1. I have been pinged by hail before when out on a bike ride. It is not fun at all. I was exceedingly pleased to arrive just after the hail had stopped.

  3. A variable weather day lent itself to some beautiful photos. I like that rook with the full crop that reminds me of a chicken wattle!

    I especially like the anthoria parietina lichen. That makes a very nice composition.

    It will be a bit before we see comfrey bloom here. We did have a nice day in the lower 70s after a chilly morning start of 45 degrees.

  4. Enjoyed Alistair’s picture of the heron and it’s shadow.
    Sorry about the soaking. You were wise to avoid the evening ride in view of those threatening clouds.

  5. As we dodged unexpected showers in the car yesterday we speculated about how Tootlepedal would get on doing this on his bike. Two good louring cloudscapes.

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