Today’s guest picture comes from sunny East Wemyss. Our son Tony spotted a bumble bee in his garden enjoying life on the Fife coast.
After quite an energetic day yesterday, I had plans for a pretty gentle day today, starting with a late breakfast and an idle time over the newspapers. Things were going splendidly to plan when our neighbour Liz dropped in with an invitation for coffee across the road. This galvanised me into action, and I got dressed, cycled up to the town to buy birdseed, and visited the corner shop on my way home. I arranged to have the birdseed delivered, as carrying a 20 kg bag was too much for me even on my electric bike.
I had just enough time to scoot round the garden before going for coffee.
Bright flowers were the theme of the day.
I found the last of the old fashioned roses . . .
. . . the second of the bushy topped dahlias . . .
. . . the right light for a blue salvia.
. . . the coreopsis doing well . . .
. . . and the first Michaelmas daisy out.
I had put the last of my existing stock of seed into the feeder and I took a siskin portrait. I don’t know if this is same bird that appeared in a recent post, but I would like to think that we have loyal customers.
Then we went for coffee. Both the coffee and the company were good.
After coffee, we went back across the road, and while Mrs Tootlepedal got busy writing a short article for a magazine, I picked two pounds of gooseberries, topped and toed them, and put them on to stew with a covering of water. While the gooseberries were stewing, I went out again and picked the last of the raspberries.
Coming back in, I found that the gooseberries had softened nicely, so I tipped them into the new jelly bag that Mrs Tootlepedal had recently made out some surplus net curtain material, and left them to drain.
By now, it was time for lunch.
After lunch, I spotted a greenfinch on the feeder, and like the siskin in the morning, I wondered if it was a regular visitor.
There were plenty of other birds about.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal took a break from her literary endeavours and we had a walk round the garden in the sunshine. We did some dead heading and tidying up as we went, and I took a picture or two.
The sun brought out the best in a flower on the Wren rose . . .
. . . and it made the hosta flowers look pretty good too.
Although there are still very few butterflies about, there is a small but steady supply of bumble bees.
More dahlias are coming out each day now . . .
. . . and I noticed a little flower which I could not put a name to.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is a helenium (an helenium?).
It was very pleasant strolling around the garden, but the open road called me. It was another fine day for cycling. After yesterday’s slow and strenuous ride, I went for faster but easy today and whizzed round the 20 mile Canonbie route on my electric bike, making good use of the power assistance.
I had intended to go round quietly, stopping for wild flower pictures on the way, but I was foiled, first by my legs feeling extraordinarily frisky, and secondly by the fact the every verge along my route has been recently mowed flat.
You can’t argue with your legs when they are in a frisky mood (quite a rare thing these days), and the verges really were flattened. I got on with pedalling and forgot the photography.
I stopped to note a field cut for silage for the second time this year . . .
. . .and thento record a piece of verge cutting vandalism.
This was packed full of wild flowers, and being on the junction of a little used road and a dead end, it did not need to be cut at all. I found a lonely seed head nearby to represent the loss.
When I got home, I found that Mike Tinker, back from a holiday in Oban, had dropped in for a cup of tea and a catchup. He had had a good holiday.
When he went on his way, I trimmed the hedge along the road and sieved a load of compost, before going in to host the regular Zoom meeting with two of my sisters and my brother. (The third sister was away enjoying a matinee at the theatre.)
I took a picture of the garden when I came in from trimming the hedge, This is what a passer by would see from our front gate at the moment.
Mrs Tootlepedal used the raspberries that I had picked to make a delicious Pavlova for dessert at our evening meal. I would have shown a picture of it but someone ate it before I could get a good one. This was the first time that she has made a Pavlova but I certainly hope that it won’t be the last.
When the table was clear, I made four jars of gooseberry jelly. I don’t know yet what the jelly will taste like, but it can’t be faulted for colour.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow cramming on the brakes at the last moment when finding a perch already occupied.