A quicker walk

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony’s Highland holiday.

We had a rather cool day here, but curiously, once the temperature had struggled up to 15°C (58°C), it stayed there for the rest of the day, and it is still about the same now as I type these words in the evening. It was unremittingly grey, and it always looked as though it might be going to rain.

It stayed dry though as we cycled to and from church, where there was a small choir and a small congregation. We are still waiting for the repaired organ to be reinstalled.

We had coffee when we got home, and then had a walk round the garden to see if there were any new flowers out. There were several, a nasturtium, a day lily, a martagon lily and a fine courgette flower.

Roses and peonies caught the eye.

And there was plenty of other colour about too. There were very few bees though and the one visiting a foxglove was a rarity.

Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that the weigela in the top right corner above is the oldest shrub in the garden. It is showing its age in spite of a good show of flowers this year, and Mrs Tootlepedal intends to take a cutting from it to start a new bush.

I took pictures to show that some of the garden has a quite subdued colour palette. We are very pleased with the way that the self heal is creeping across ever more of the unmowed part of the middle lawn.

When we went in for lunch, I took a look at the birds. Today’s blackbird was seen through the front window.

The seed in the feeder is going down quite quickly each day, and siskins are by far the most frequent visitors to the feeder. A goldfinch had to cling on to a willow twig in the brisk wind while it waited for a spare perch.

There was a steady stream of birds trying to persuade the sitting tenants to move on.

In spite of a few tentative rain drops, it was still dry by the time I had finished my lunch, so I opted for a quick walk, hoping to get back before the rain began.

It all started well, with wild flowers beside the Esk . . .

. . . and parent and child oystercatchers a little further upstream . . .

. . .but I wasn’t so happy to see a giant hogweed at the Kilngreen.

This is a noxious plant and its favoured position by the banks of rivers allows it the perfect opportunity to expand as it sends its seeds into the water to be dispersed by its flow. Each plant can produce 30-50,000 seeds each year and colonies can quickly overtake a habitat, crowding out native plants. We are hoping that our local council will take prompt action to deal with several on the banks of our rivers.

Further along the Kilngreen, I found unusual visitors in the Ewes Water . . .

. . . and a wagtail dotting about on the grass in pursuit of food.

Light rain began to fall so I increased my pace as I headed towards the shelter of the trees of the Lodge Walks.

The beech trees were laden with mast.

The rain got heavier and heavier as I walked up towards the pheasant pens, and my walking got quicker and quicker as I got wetter and wetter. I don’t like to get my camera wet if I can help it so it stayed in my pocket for the most part, only coming out to record some good looking hedge woundwort, which is growing all over the place now . . .

. . . some newly fallen trees . . .

. . . and some cheerful ferns.

Other than that, I scuttled home, and changed my wet trousers before going off with Mrs Tootlepedal to the last meeting of this session for our choir in Carlisle .

Our new choir venue is quite close to a large supermarket, so we paid an exploratory visit to it before the singing. It is vast, and we realised that we would have to leave more time if we are going to visit it again when our new choir term starts in September.

This really was the final appearance of our long time conductor, Ellen. She is going to London to further her career as a solo singer, and we wish her well. We had a good practice, so at least we ended her tenure on a high note.

It was dry as we drove home, but still rather cool. We hope for a glimpse of sunshine again tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is an impatient goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A quicker walk

  1. Nice to see the nasturtiums making an appearance again,and the Lodge walks always look inviting.
    Enjoyed your abundance of wild flower shots recently.
    We had the threat of rain all day but it stayed dry..I am hoping for rain soon to fill my water butts to water my many pot plants. They’ll have to make do with tap water for the foreseeable future I’m afraid.

  2. Your summer looks further along than hours with all the colorful blooms. That yellow flowered plant down by the Esk, do you know what it is? It was good to see the Lodge Walks again, too, and the birds are always a treat. Most of the visitors have stopped coming to our feeder now. I have not seen the quail at all this year. Usually a few stop by to get the seed on the ground.

    It is headed for the mid 90s here this afternoon. I watered the garden this morning.

  3. It looks like that might be more hogweed on the bank above the horse riders.
    I’ve never started weigela from cuttings but it seems like it wouldn’t be too hard.
    I never see beech seeds forming like those. They must be too high up in the trees.

      1. Not with weigela but I’ve done it with rhododendrons and it works well. I just made a cut about a third of the way through a stem and buried it for a year. Once it rooted I cut it off and planted it. Of course the stem has to be close enough to the ground to do it this way.
        You can also put soaked, coarse sphagnum peat around the cut stem and then wrap it in plastic and cut it off once you see roots through the plastic.

  4. Good luck with the weigela – I once grew some by layering though I don’t know if it offers advantages over taking cuttings. I just saw it in a book and thought I’d try it. It worked. 🙂

      1. You may be right. She is thinking that she maybe cannot wait for the five years it will take a new plant to grow. She might just buy a new one.

  5. Also here the Kilngreen is starting to flower…. a dangerous plant but let’s admit, it look great and is quite impressive to see him grow.

  6. Lovely picture of the wildflower by the Esk.
    Glad you had an enjoyable time at the Carlisle choir. Hope all will go well with the future plans of your regular conductor.

  7. The ferns are indeed cheerful! The Lodge Walks is a delight to see at any time of the year. The beech nuts look quite different to the ones around here…ours haven’t got the hairs!! I was hospitalised after being in contact with hogweed- huge blisters, temperature etc- really hope it is removed from the river banks promptly.

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