Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew and shows a suitably loyal bit of post box yarn bombing in Derby on the occasion of the royal jubilee.
Just in time for the start of the meteorological summer, we got a warm and fine day. It was windier than we would have liked so I was happy to give up the idea of cycling and spend some useful time in the garden instead. There was no call for a jacket or even a jersey as the day went on.
Mrs Tootlepedal was planting out dahlias, saved indoors over the winter months, and I mowed both lawns and the greenhouse grass. I mow access to the clothes drier whirligig,and the mini meadow is coming along most promisingly.
Later in the day, Mrs Tootlepedal planted some poppies which she has been rearing in the greenhouse among the yellow rattle.
A blackbird explored the part of the middle lawn which has not been mown this year yet.
As well as mowing, I strimmed the wild flowers/weeds that have been growing beside the car at the end of the drive. We are trying to strike a balance between wilderness and neatness.
I also sieved some more compost and I am getting near the end of the material in Bin D.
In between times, I took a lot of flower pictures.
The roses are coming on and the latest of our rhododendrons is looking good too.
The star flower of the day was a peony.
There were some bees about and I was hoping the at sun would have brought some butterflies out but there was only the very occasional white butterfly to be seen. There must have been pollinators about though because plums and apples are coming along nicely.
Probably because there was a lot of work going on the garden, there was only light traffic on the bird feeder, though I did spot a siskin having a drink in the pond.
By mid afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal when had finished her planting out and had edged the front lawn, and I had shredded material to go on the compost, we thought that it was time to take a break from gardening. Mrs Tootlepedal retired indoors to read a book, and I went for a walk.
I had only intended to do a short three bridges walk but it was such a lovely afternoon that I went round the pheasant hatchery and ended up doing three miles. There was lots to keep me interested on the way.
I saw a gull near the suspension bridge and a wagtail near the Sawmill Brig.
I was trying to take pictures of an oystercatcher and its young when my eye caught a glimpse of brown among the stones. I had to use the zoom of the camera to see what it was. Can you see it in the top two pictures in the panel below? It is there in both pictures.
My camera has much better eyesight than me, and it could make out a sandpiper standing beside the oystercatcher. Sadly it flew off before I could get a good picture of it.
I could hardly miss two most unexpected animals having a rest on the grass at the Kilngreen . . .
. . . but all was explained when I noticed the caravan resting in the car park nearby.
It was a day for enjoying the surroundings and as I continued my walk past the cricket ground . . .
. . . and up the Lodge Walks, I drank in the fresh green of the trees on all sides.
There were wild flowers to look at all the way round . . .
. . . but it was the treescapes that made me take the most pictures. Looked at across the field . . .
. . . along the low road . . .
. . . from the low road . . .
. . . across the river . . .
. . . along the track round the pheasant hatchery . . .
. . . with additional cattle . . .
. . . and getting near to the Jubilee Bridge.
I took my final tree picture at the Jubilee Bridge . . .
. . . but decided not to cross that bridge when I came to it, but to go round the new path at the bottom of the Castleholm, and return by way of the Ewes and the Esk to see if I could see the sandpiper again.
I didn’t see the sandpiper but I did get a very good look at an adult oystercatcher and its youngster, so I was happy enough.
I got home in time for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit before the regular zoom with my brother and sisters.
I read an article recently saying that our Scottish government is making plans for dealing with a possible water shortage this summer. I hardly like to say it on such a nice day, but we really do need some serious rain. It is going to be warm and sunny again tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a black headed gull seen on my afternoon walk,