Still tolerable

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. In the course of his walk on a very hot day, he found a shady bench in a wood for a moment of respite.

The sun was out when we got up . . .

. . . and it stayed out all day. At the peak of the day it was over 40°C in the sun in the garden, but it was a lot cooler than that when I went out after breakfast to trim the hedge we share with our neighbour Betty. She had shamed me into action by trimming her side of the hedge, even though she is both older than me and recovering from a recent knee replacement.

The battery powered hedge trimmer made short work of the task, and left me time for a walk about before coffee.

I had my new camera in hand and pointed it a hosta . . .

. . . and the best survivor among our lupins.

I walked over towards the front lawn . . .

. . . which is looking very green considering how little rain we have had and the fact that it hasn’t been watered or fertilised at all this year. The cool weather over the past two months must have helped a lot.

I stood on the lawn and looked at one of the front beds. A ‘riot of colour’ is a fair description I think.

. . . and the violas round the chimney pot are pretty colourful too.

We went over to our neighbour Liz’s house for coffee. Both she and her partner Ken had already been for their cycle rides, sensibly getting them in before the day hotted up. Margaret joined us with a glass of cooling lemonade in her hand.

After coffee, I had another wander about the garden looking for something a bit more subdued like this pink . . .

. . . and nasturtiums and vincas beside the drive.

I looked at the privet flowers at the end of the garden . . .

. . . and was a bit depressed not to hear any bees at all buzzing among them. They should be alive with bees.

The stems of the eryngium made an impressive looking barrier . . .

. . . but I solved the problem by walking round them on my way into the house.

We kept the shutters in the front room shut today to help keep the house cool, so I only had one peek at the birds today. I found a siskin looking as though it thought that it was too hot.

After lunch, I went out into the garden to see if I could find a butterfly. There was a lone white butterfly fluttering about but it wouldn’t settle, so I had to settle for some more static targets with my butterfly camera.

I did catch one flying bird but it was a whirlybird flying high over the garden . . .

. . . and making a terrific racket.

According to our local weather station, the temperature in the afternoon crept up to just under 30°°C (85°°F) at its peak, but our garden thermometer showed a little less than . It didn’t seem uncomfortable, so it can’t have been very humid. There was a brisk wind blowing again, and this gave me feeling that a ride on my electric bike might be quite pleasant, if I took care not to pedal too hard.

I filled my drinking bottle with water and set off with the intention of turning back as soon as I felt that I had been ill advised to venture out. In the event, the brisk breeze and a steady pace on the bike kept me very comfortable, and I went round my familiar Canonbie route (in the reverse direction) without any discomfort at all.

I took care not to stop too often though, as of course there is no bike created breeze when you stop, and you soon warm up a lot. However, I passed a little flock of orchids in shady spot and a Scots pine in another one . . .

. . . and I tried my new camera out on a favourite view just before I got to Wauchope Schoolhouse.

The clouds in that picture seemed very odd to me when I looked at them on my computer, but I worked out that they are not really clouds at all, but the vestiges of aeroplanes’ vapour trails.

I was wearing shorts and a thin top and I got home with the kindly wind having evaporated every drop of my sweat on the way. This of course kept me remarkably cool as well as dry. A cool shower when I got in dealt with the few spots that the breeze couldn’t reach.

I checked my weight out of interest when I was having my shower, and in spite of cycling 100 miles in the last three days in quite hot weather, I had actually put on a pound in weight. It proves the truth of the belief that it is not exercise that loses weight, it is eating less. A steady diet of raspberries and cream has easily outweighed the calories used while pedalling.

My ride today took me over 300 miles for the month, and I noted that I have done exactly half on my road bike and half on my electric bike. A good division of labour.

Our house, which has its back to the sun for most of the day, has kept pretty cool at 21°°C. Mrs Tootlepedal helped by putting up a temporary blind over our back door as the sun came round in the late afternoon. The tea towel was a gift some years ago from our friends Mike and Alison who had been visiting their son In New Zealand.

We battled with technological problems on the regular sibling Zoom in the evening, but we got organised in the end. My sisters in London are having some very hot weather to put up with, but they are being very sensible and have managed well.

I had a last walk round the garden after the Zoom and enjoyed the wispy grass on the no mow lawn.

Our neighbour Liz reported that her daughter had seen two hedgehogs in her garden recently, so Mrs Tootlepedal has put our trail camera out to see if there is any sign of them in our garden tonight. We live in hope, but I am not optimistic.

No flying bird of the day today because of the closed shutters, but a flying bee steps in instead.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Still tolerable

  1. Here in my bit of Somerset my garden thermometer registered 34 degrees for several hours today, and I managed to keep the house to 26, which just about suits me. Agree totally on weight loss. Over a period of a year, some 4 years ago, I managed to lose 2.5 stone purely by cutting out everything between meals, and having smaller portions at them. No additional exercise whatsoever.

  2. The lawn and garden look great. Just like out of a house and garden magazine again. It isn’t hard to imagine how much work you both put into it.
    That was a good shot of the helicopter.
    I like the shot of the sweet pea too. It doesn’t look like you’ll be needing any help with the new camera.

    1. I only put the reasonable results on the blog! One thing that I have liked about it in particular is that it is better at focussing on things right in front of it than the Lumix was. The Lumix was a devil for looking at the grass behind a wild flower. The Olympus seems to know better what I am wanting it to look at.

      1. Once I started using it I liked it so much I just leave the camera on that setting most of the time. If you push the control disc just to the left of the OK button the microscope mode menu will come up. I use the one all the way to the right. It’s macro beyond macro.

  3. The images are nice and crisp with the new camera. I do think the long, cool segue into summer has helped keep things here greener than usual, though the hillsides are starting to brown now. August is just around the corner and the long shadows are falling a bit earlier.

    Contrails can drift into some unusual shapes, for sure. I once noted two that had drifted into the form of a $.

  4. Ooooo….that sweet pea is utterly gorgeous, the color and the way one fades into another. Me, too. I believe that eating less rather than exercising more is the key to a bit of weight loss. I am especially interested in how you cope with your hot blasts. Does the stone house make much of a difference? I use a large piece of styrofoam from some packaging where Mrs Tootlepedal put up the towel≥ It is an excellent heat blockerz

    1. Our stone house kept pretty cool downstairs but we did get hot upstairs right under the roof. Luckily the weather didn’t stay at its hottest for long.

    1. We haven’t been as high as 40 degrees. That was the unfortunate south of the country but 33 degrees was quite enough for us today. I have been pleased with how well the flowers have managed considering the lack of recent rain.

  5. Very impressed with your green lawn, and the riot of flowers around. Beautiful picture of the violas, and I am always pleased to see a sweet pea.

      1. I think it felt worse a few years ago when we had the last heatwave. It has been stuffy but not too hot in the house (where I spent most of my day in front of a fan with a glass of water.)

  6. Glad you are managing to survive the heat. Your new camera is serving you well already – with the “sun” and riotous colors. And the flying bee…

  7. Your house did keep pretty cool. Wonderful! We have found that unless it’s terribly hot, biking is not too bad because of the airflow. Congrats with the mileage.

  8. Amazingly clear and bright photos – even I can tell the difference! Even reading about you cycling in this weather has made me feel hot and tired! Love the flying bee.

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