Definitely summer

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, and shows sea bathing at East Wemyss yesterday.

We had a lovely summer day here from dawn to dusk. As a result we spent a lot of time in the garden, including having our coffee with Margaret while we were seated in the shade of the walnut tree.

We did pause from time to time in the morning to look at the swifts skimming over the garden, and in the evening, when we were sitting out again, we looked up to see house martins doing the same. They are both hard birds to capture because they fly so quickly, but I tried nevertheless.

A jackdaw feeding its young on our neighbour’s chimney was an easier shot . . .

. . . and it is hard to miss the blackbirds, whether they are sitting on the fence . .

. . . or doing their daily dozen.

The strong sun came with strong shade, and it gave my problems when I was looking at the flowers. I liked the brightness all the same.

I walked along the back of the fence between the vegetable and flower gardens and noted the flowers poking through it and hanging over it as I went along.

The verbascum, which was like a crook yesterday, had straightened up a bit in the morning today and by the early evening, it was trying to get straighter still.

Having remarked over coffee that there were very few bees about, we did see a few more as we gardened. The eryngium was a draw for bees all day. I tried and failed several times to get a good bee picture but my pocket camera couldn’t come to terms with the contrast between the bee and the flower.

I had a slightly more interesting result with my bird camera when I was trying to photograph the house martins in the early evening.

I also saw what I think is a wood carder bee on a leaf in the morning.

I took two final lily pictures before lunch . . .

. . . and went in for a sit down after a busy morning.

The birds at the feeder were busy too, with a goldfinch telling a sparrow what was what before flying off and nearly crashing into another bird.

The siren call of the Tour de France had its usual effect on me in the afternoon, but on this occasion, as soon as the stage was over, I managed to get out for a bike ride of my own. It was rather windy and I had had a busy morning gardening, so I took my electric bike out for the familiar twenty mile circuit through Canonbie.

I didn’t idle about though, and pedalled as hard as I could both with and without assistance. As a result, I averaged 14.5 mph and felt twenty years younger when I got home.

Because I was really busy pedalling, I didn’t stop for many pictures but I did include two symbols of power . . .

. . . and a selection of wildflowers beside the old main road.

When I looked at one of the pictures that I had taken of the umbellifer in the bottom left corner of the panel above, I found not just a red soldier beetle but another unknown (to me) beetle as well.

After an excellent evening meal of venison burgers with courgette fritters and new potatoes, courtesy of Mrs Tootlepedal, we went back out into the garden where Mrs Tootlepedal showed me some phacelia which she has planted as green manure in a vegetable bed. It has a pretty flower . . .

. . . which she tells me will look very interesting as it develops.

While we had a sit in the sunshine, we spotted a row of starlings on a wire. It was a family outing.

It looks as though we might be in for spell of warm and generally dry weather over the next week. The warmth will be welcome, but we could do with some overnight rain as well. We had to do quite a bit of watering today.

The flying bird of the day is one of the swifts sweeping round the end of our house this morning.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Definitely summer

  1. I noticed martins flying high above my house this evening – it didn’t even occur to me to try and capture them ‘on film’! Quite a feat you pulled off!

  2. That verbascum really is an odd one. I’ve seen them tower over my head but never bend down like that one. The flower stalk must have been weakened somehow.
    I look forward to seeing how the phacelia develops.
    I’m glad you had a nice summery day. I’m sure the garden flowers loved it.

  3. I had to look up green manure as I’d never heard of it, but it turns out I had – under the guise of “cover crops”. Odd how a ‘common’ language can be so different! 🙂

    The water lily is absolutely beautiful.

    A final note – the first church seems to have a relatively empty graveyard. Is that unusual for such a large and seemingly old church?

  4. The phacelia has a beautiful flower- must go and look it up! I like the composition of the two ‘power’ properties both being protected by a solitary tree in front. Great photos of the swifts and bees and can it be called a murmuration of starlings when they are all standing on a wire?!

    1. I don’t think that it can. Especially as when starlings are chatting to each other, murmuring is the last word that you would use to describe the racket. 🙂

  5. S​o much to enjoy here, but I do like the bee shots on the eryngium. The plant looks like a prettier version of our artichokes. What a charming churchyard along with what looks to be a rather crowded graveyard. The old main road must, of course, go past the guardhouse… complete with flags and other symbols of power. ​Or just remnants of a long distant past? Oddly enough we have phacelia growing wild here. My favorite sort of flower. The pollinators love it.

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