Staying close to home today

Today’s guest picture comes from my walking friend Mark. His dog Henry took him to the top of Skiddaw in the Lake District earlier this week.

I was pleased to find that I was in more or less full working order when I got up today. This is a tribute to the fine qualities of my Van Nicholas touring bike. It is a pleasure to ride. All the same, I was quite happy to have a quiet morning doing nothing more energetic after breakfast than wandering around the garden, and then having coffee (and a custard doughnut) with Mrs Tootlepedal.

I took my camera out into the garden after coffee, but organised a little watering in the vegetable garden, before I pointed it at the sole water lily in the pond.

They may not be everyone’s favourite insect, but I love the shine on a greenbottle. At the moment, there always seems to be one on an astrantia if I look.

There are big and little campanulas about, a new clematis has appeared on the fence, and the Rosaraie l’Hay is producing new flowers every day.

I made a start on thinning out some of the apples.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to visit the garden centre at Longtown, and while she was away, I did some shopping, and then and I mowed the middle lawn before going in for lunch. I had a look out at the birds on the feeder while I was indoors. Siskins were busy eating the seeds, and I had to refill the feeder later in the day as the bottom right picture in the panel shows.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I got our electric bikes out. At her suggestion, we pedalled down the back road towards Canonbie. Just after Claygate, we turned down the Fairy Loup track through the Byreburn wood, and at the bottom, we went along to the Hollows on the old road before using full power to swoop back up the hill to Claygate again. We returned to Langholm by the way we had come.
The verges were full of wild flowers, and if we had stopped to take good pictures of them all, we still wouldn’t be home yet.

We kept an eye out for Ragged Robin, because when you see Ragged Robin, you often see orchids too. We saw Ragged Robin, and hey presto, we saw an orchid too. I think it is a common spotted orchid as it had a spotted leaf which you can see in the picture.

In fact, in the course of our ride, we saw lots of orchids.

We saw that yellow flower again, which I think may be hawk’s beard and not English hawkweed, along with meadow vetchling, any amount of lovely dog roses and lots and lots of clover.

And along the Fairly Loup track, we found ribwort and hedge woundwort. If you look closely, you can see that the hedge woundwort has got an interesting visitor.

When I looked at a geranium, I saw that it too had a visitor, but you have to look even harder to see it. Mrs Tootlepedal drew my attention to a guelder rose on the other side of the track.

There was a mass of grasses in the verges, but Mrs Tootlepedal spotted this sedge by way of variety. I might easily have thought that it was just another grass.

We stopped as we went up the hill to Gilnockie Station when Mrs Tootlepedal spotted an interesting flower in a wood beside the road. It was a yellow pimpernel or Lysimachia nemorum. At the top of the hill, we found a crop of yellow irises.

It was a very hilly eleven mile ride, but the electric bikes helped us to enjoy going up the hills as much as we enjoyed floating down them.

When we got home, I got out the hover mower, and mowed the green house grass and the vegetable garden paths. I nearly mowed the front lawn too, but luckily I ran out of time and joined the regular family Zoom instead. I might have had time to mow the lawn if I hadn’t been distracted by the fuchsia at the back gate . . .

. . . and a bee on another astrantia . . .

. . . and if I hadn’t wasted time looking at the birds again, where I found a goldfinch making itself scarce in the face of an oncoming siskin.

I took too many pictures as usual so I have had to pair a rose taken in the morning with potentilla flowers taken in the late afternoon.

There are so many of them dotted round the garden, that I sometimes overlook the Sweet Williams when it comes to taking pictures. I shouldn’t, as they are very striking and colourful.

I had a final look at a greenfinch on the feeder . . .

. . . before Zooming.

It was cloudy today, but it didn’t rain, and as the temperature got above 20°C (70°F) in the afternoon, it was a good day. It might get a little too hot tomorrow, if the forecast is correct, but as it is going to get cooler again after that, we won’t complain.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin, arriving before I had refilled the feeder.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Staying close to home today

  1. You’re so lucky to have orchids growing alongside your roads like you do. We have to search high and low for them here and still we rarely find them.
    You saw lots of interesting flowers on your ride. The woundwort reminds me of motherwort, which is white.
    Those are great shot of the bee on the astrantia and the shine on the bottlefly.

    1. I don’t know what makes the bottlefly shine like that but it is very remarkable when the sun strikes it. I hope to see many more orchids on future rides.

      1. We are hot and dry – again, like last year. No rain in the forecast, and when a chance is forecasted it fizzles out before it reaches us. I share your angst.

  2. I enjoyed the assortment of photos. The green bottle fly is quite detailed. Flies do provide a lot of pollinating services. The wild orchid are among my favorite flowers you find along your walks and rides.

    The water lily reminds me of a friend’s yard growing up. Near the woods was a large pond, with lots of water lilies. We skated on it in winter, too.

  3. I’m glad to hear you’ve not had any ill effects from the long ride yesterday.

    I got a little confused reading the text today. First, let me quote part of a simple sentence, “Mrs Tootlepedal spotted an interesting flower”.

    Now I’ll quote the part where I got confused (or rather where i entered into a state of confusion of my own doing): “We saw Ragged Robin, and hey presto, we saw an orchid too. I think it is a common spotted orchid as it had a spotted leaf which you can see in the picture.”

    At first I though you were saying that it is a common orchid that is often seen because you particularly noticed it’s leaf. Silly me. When I got it sorted out, I had to laugh at myself.

  4. Glad you had such an enjoyable ride and saw so much of interest.
    The Sweet Williams are lovely, I would like some in my garden.

  5. Love all the wild flowers and names and so fortunate to see and photo all those lovely orchids. The Sweet William flowers are stunners- great vibrant colours and all those little flowers in one mop head- perfect!

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