All my own work

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He and my two oldest sisters are on an East Anglian jaunt, and were in Constable country today.

We had a quiet and dry day today, which got pretty sunny and warm by the afternoon (70°F, 21°C). It took some time to warm up though, and it was an unremarkable morning when I had coffee with Gavin and Sandy. Gavin’s arrival was related to some Archive Group business, so we combined business with pleasure. Sandy tells me that he is going to try to have a ride on his electric bicycle soon, and if this goes well, we hope to get put for a pedal together. I am also trying to arrange another walk with Gavin, as I really enjoyed the last one which I had with him and his regular walking companion, Mike Tinker.

When they left, I had a walk round the garden. There was quite a lot of buzzing going on, with a snowberry being popular with bees and wasps.

I keep dead heading the Icelandic poppies, and in return, new flowers appear every day.

That is no surprise, but I was surprised to see that a snapdragon had survived from last year and was looking good.

The Roseraie de l’Hay is flourishing this year.

Mrs Tootlepedal puts the present good performances of the roses down to her skilful use of specialised rose fertiliser. As the Lilian Austin . . .

. . . is also looking very good, she may well be right.

The philadelphuses (philadelphi?) are doing well too. There are lots of them all round the garden and I collected a selection of them into a panel.

Everywhere I went, I could hardly avoid tripping over blackbirds.

After lunch, I had a look at the bird feeder . . .

. . . and then went out to see what other birds I could find in the garden. A sparrow was sitting on the fence wondering which of Mrs Tootlepedal’s green vegetables it might go and vandalise.

Further along the fence, a parent wondered if he would ever find enough food to satisfy his offspring.

I left the sparrows to it and got my push bike out. After 88 miles on three rides with the electric bike earlier in the week, I wanted to make sure tha,t I hadn’t forgotten how to pedal under my own steam. I had a good ride of 43 miles but as it got quite hot, the wind was against me coming back, and I hadn’t taken enough to eat on the way, I found the last few miles hard work.

I stopped for some photos on the way round. The farmers have been very busy making silage during the good weather, and I passed a lot of bare fields.

There was blossom in the hedge beside these fields which looked as though it might be blackberries . . .

. . . and on the other side of the road, I could see the site where they buried the ogre in the sixteenth century and left his hands sticking out of the ground.

I cycled down buttercup lined roads . . .

. . . and passed a bull with a view.

Near Chapelcross, I came across silaging in progress . . .

. . . where a team of men with tractors and trailers were collecting the grass in relays. They looked to have had a good crop of grass to collect.

Once I got down to the coast and turned for home, I had to put my head down and concentrate on cycling into the breeze so the camera stayed in my pocket except for a moment when a stop for a snack coincided with two sparrows on a lichen covered gatepost.

In a reduced version of the route over much the same countryside, I managed to do very much the same speed today as I did on my electric bike trip a few days ago, but there is no doubt that when pedalling into the wind, the electric bike gives you more time to look about as you go along. Between the two bikes, I have done 180 miles in the last eight days and my knees are hoping that it is going to rain steadily tomorrow as the forecast predicts.

I did see a green finch on the fake tree when I got home . . .

. . . but otherwise, I had a very quiet evening in.

The flying bird of the day is a pigeon, swooping down to collect fallen seed from the feeder. Whoever designed pigeons didn’t quite get the proportions right.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “All my own work

  1. Liked your bull with a view,and the freshly cut fields of grass.
    Close up your greenfinch is quite a colourful bird.
    180 mls in 8 days is quite an achievement,well done .

  2. With all the mock oranges (Philadelphus) blooming together your yard must be heavenly scented. I love their citrus smell.
    I’d love to smell all of that fresh cut hay too.
    Lilian Austin is a much bigger rose than I thought. It’s also beautiful.

  3. Pigeons do tend to look as though they were designed by a committee. The two sparrows on the fencepost, on the other hand, are a cute wee pair.

      1. I can understand why. For the first time we are having bird issues in the big veg garden. As fast as I re-seed corn the birds pull it out when it germinates, and it’s too big an area to cover with netting. Argh.

  4. Had a giggle about your ogre joke! The countryside looks beautiful no wonder the bull is relaxed and happy living in such sweet surroundings. Love the photo of the two sparrows and love snapdragon plants too. Wish I’d grown some from seed this year as 1 small pot at a garden centre is £5!

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