Flat out

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. It shows a dawn dog on the eternally sunny East Wemyss shore.

It was three hours later before I got up after a good night’s sleep. I had to go to the health centre for a routine visit after breakfast, and I said to Mrs Tootlepedal as I left the house, “I won’t need a coat,” Unfortunately, the weather gods heard me, and three seconds later I was back in the house putting on my coat as it had started to rain.

However, the rain had stopped by the time I came home, and I was able to get on with the chief task of the morning, completing the mowing of the no-mow lawn. This was quite a big job requiring strimmer, hover mower, rake, Mrs Tootlepedal’s assistance, and finally the push mower with the box on. All the cut grass has to be removed, as we need to have poorer soil for a meadow than we do for a garden lawn.

The job was finally completed with a break for coffee and another for lunch.

It will be scarified next.

As the long grass beside the back border was removed, the poor perennial wallflower which has been a bit overrun came into view.

I hope that it will do better now.

I saw other things while taking short breathers during the work.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal spotted butterflies on the buddleia beside the drying green. We had red admirals and peacocks today.

I ran into several blackbirds during the course of the day.

They are hard to avoid just now.

I had a walk round the garden after finishing the lawn. The recent dead heading of Icelandic poppies has stimulated new flowers . . .

. . .and the dahlias get better every day.

This is my current favourite. I like the way that the petals seem to have been hand painted.

Leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to do further work in the garden, I took my push bike out, and went for the same ride that I had done on my electric bike yesterday. It was a bit windy, although not as windy as yesterday, but all the same the first three miles were a bit of a battle before I got a wind assisted whizz down to the bottom of the bypass.

I stopped on the way to admire the heather on one side of the road . . .

. . . and a Belted Galloway in the long grass on the other side of the road a bit further on.

I had intended to have a gentle pedal with many wild flower shots, but the verge mowers had been out again and my legs turned out to be feeling a bit competitive, so I pressed on.

The benefits to be got from an electric bike were made clear when my bike computer revealed that if I had been in a race with myself yesterday, I would have been nearly three miles behind myself after an hour today. On the way home up the gentle hill to Langholm, I fell further behind and ended up 19 minutes slower today. Nevertheless, I was very happy to have averaged just over 13 mph today, a good speed for me on the push bike. Riding both types of bikes brings their own rewards.

And to make thing even better, I saw another example of the great willowherb on my way, a very pretty flower in my view.

After a cup of tea, I went out into the garden with my new camera and found another peacock butterfly about. It had a bee friend with it.

It flew off the buddleia . . .

. . . and settled on the ground for long enough for me to get a good look at it.

Mrs Tootlepedal had done a lot of tidying up while I was out cycling and compost Bin A is filling up steadily again. I had another walk round the garden, noting that the nicotianas are coming out, a late rose is blooming, and poppies and ornamental strawberries are still going strong.

My favourite on this tour was a Japanese Anemone.

After I went back inside, I had a look at the bird feeder, but there were no visitors to be seen, so taking my bird camera with me, I went back out to see if I could surprise a bird flying over the garden. It was very quiet out there too, with only a pair of collared doves peeping over the roof to be seen.

I took a photograph of a phalanx of phlox . . .

. . . and went back to enjoy the regular Zoom meeting with my siblings. My brother was tired after a hard week visiting stately homes and fine churches, but he was able to show us a series of excellent photographs from his holiday.

Mrs Tootlepedal put the trail camera out again last night, but it only captured an unwelcome cat prowling about the garden in the dark.

The flying bird of the day is a magisterial pigeon which appeared just as the collared doves left.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Flat out

  1. I enjoyed the selection of photos, especially the butterflies and phalanx of phlox. Your FBOTD does look quite magisterial. That is the most impressive photo I have ever seen of a pigeon.

    I was saddened to find a dead bird in the garden tonight. No sign of foul play.

  2. You have provided a delightful series of interesting and pretty photographs – your magisterial pigeon is a great shot!

  3. You have done a great job of clearing the no mow lawn and making it ready for wild flowers in due course. Your dahlias are a fine sight.

  4. I’m glad the butterflies have returned, and I’m happy to see such excellent shots of them.
    The flowers are all beautiful of course, but my favorite has to be the ornamental strawberry. The Japanese anemone ran a close second though.
    Congratulations on getting that lawn mowed. I know how hard it can be to get through something like that.

  5. We also sport a no-mow-lawn. It is mown only once a year and scarified . Also to lean the soil more we are strewing pure sand on it.

  6. Right off the hop, two of my favourite photos: Belted Galloways and Tony’s happy and very lucky dog.

    As for the scarifying of your newly-prepared no-mow lawn – where are the jackdaws when you need them?

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