Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He was in East Anglia when he spotted a rare instance of an Evergreeen container ship actually floating.
The house was very quiet when I woke up, and it stayed quiet until Dropscone arrived for coffee and scones. He has just come back from travelling to the far north of Scotland on golfing business, and as he is soon going to the other end of the country to visit his oldest son in Devon, he will have done almost as many miles in two weeks as I have cycled in the last six months. He certainly gets about.
When he had gone, I had a walk round the garden to enjoy the flowers. The sun had come out.
For once, I didn’t hang about wasting time, and it wasn’t long before I found myself in the middle of a cycle ride. This was quite a surprise to me, as it was a vigorously windy day. However, I am not proud and I was on my electric bike so that I could at least make some progress into the face of the brisk breeze without crying. Even with electrical assistance, it was hard work, but at least I could keep a reasonable speed going as I passed a lonely tree in a field at the Bigholms.
I found that I had forgotten to bring my camera with me so I had to rely on my phone for illustrations of the ride.
I had decided to go round the Solwaybank windfarm route, and stopped to look at a fine clump of bistort on the verge opposite a cottage.
The Solwaybank green tunnel looked very inviting . . .
. . . as did buttercup lined roads later on.
In fact, I was enjoying myself so much that I decided to join my two regular routes together and come back from Solwaybank by way of Canonbie. This took me past an impressive display of water dropwort in a ditch . . .
. . . beside the road down to the bottom of the bypass.
My phone took a rather artistic view of the road.
I stopped to enjoy the general greenness of the view from Hollows Bridge . . .
. . . and made a final stop when some lesser stitchwort and bird’s-foot trefoil beside the old road caught my eye.
The stitchwort flowers were tiny, smaller than a fingernail, but they made a fine show with the trefoil.
I had a late lunch when I got home after thirty very satisfying miles.
After lunch I went out for another look round the garden and a lot of frantic tweeting drew my attention to a hungry baby blue tit in the plum tree.
Among a potential clematis, a rose and a developing orange hawkweed, I was particularly pleased to see some very healthy flowers appearing on the bramble that Mrs Tootlepedal is growing against the fence.
Bramble and apple pie beckons.
The spirea behind the greenhouse is doing very well.
Today’s blackbird in attendance was a youngster.
I went in to change out of my cycling clothes and have a shower, and took the opportunity to look out of two windows at a busy feeder.
An adult blue tit looking very much the worse for wear appeared. They can’t eat a whole seed so they trap a seed between their feet and nibble on it. You can see the seed in the picture below.
I had time for one more walk in the garden to see what the bees were up to. The yellow rattle was still working its magic, and philadelphus was a popular destination too . . .
. . . and I could see both red and white tailed bumble bees on the chives.
In the evening, I had an excellent meal of steak and mushrooms to get my strength up, and then my friend Susan arrived and we drove to Carlisle in her car to play with our recorder quartet. It was a most enjoyable session, taken seriously but with enjoyment throughout. We played a varied selection of pieces from J C Bach to Scott Joplin. And there were excellent biscuits afterwards.
The flying away bird of the day is a siskin getting a blast from a fellow siskin to help him on his way.