Shooting the breeze

Today’s guest picture is another from Irving Bell. He tells me that he often sees this fox, but never when he has a zoom lens to hand.

We had another lovely sunny day today, and though it seems to be rude to complain about it, it got almost too hot in the sun as the day went on. And of course, we could do with some rain, but perhaps not until next week when our visitors will have gone home.

In the garden today, the chief excitement was the arrival of more butterflies. There were not a great many but definitely more than we have seen so far. I went out after breakfast to look at flowers . . .

. . . and got a bonus of a peacock butterfly on an inula . . .

. . . and another one on the big buddleia.

I took a picture of the multi coloured berries on the perennial nasturtium . . .

. . . and of a large white (or possibly cabbage white) butterfly . . .

. . . before going off to join Matilda and her parents at the new play area in the Buccleuch Park. We stayed there for quite a while until it got too hot in the sunshine to be comfortable any more.

When we got home, I had another go at underwater photography. I had hoped that I would be able to put the camera in the shallow water of the dam and get my phone to set the shutter off. Although the phone spoke happily to the camera in the kitchen, it wasn’t so keen when the camera was under water, so my plan to set the camera up and wait until a little fish swam past was foiled. I took a couple of pictures anyway.

I don’t known what those curious things in the second picture are. I will have to go back and check.

As a consolation, I saw a couple more butterflies when I went back into the garden, a red admiral which soon flew off . .

. . . and a peacock which stopped long enough for a picture.

I had hoped for a picnic beside the river in the afternoon, but it was voted down on the basis of excessive heat after the morning in the park. While the rest were happy to stay in the cool of the house, I went out and created my own cooling breeze by cycling the 26 miles round the Crossdykes windfarm on my electric bike. The electric bike was important because it kept my speed up, even up hills, so I had a good breeze in my face all the way round, and never felt too hot at all.

You quickly get hot if you stop so I rationed my pictures. It was a lovely day as I cycled up the Esk valley . . .

. . . and the cows which sometimes block the road when you are cycling past the turbines . . .

. . . were sitting quietly some way away from the road today.

I like the way that the turbine towers seem to come straight out of the ground.

Half way down the valley of the Water of Milk to Paddockhole, I stopped to look back, one of my favourite views . . .

. . . and across the valley to the south.

Once I got to Paddockhole and turned for home, the wind was behind me, and between it and carefully selected electrical assistance on the uphill bits, I fairly whistled back to Langholm, averaging just under 20 miles an hour for the last five miles back down into the town.

I found a very competitive game of Ludo going on when I got in.

When the game finished, Matilda came out into the garden to take her six flowers. These are her choice today.

Readers who are paying attention will note the bee and realise that one of her flowers is a butterfly.

There were quite a few butterflies about and I turned my bird camera onto them.

Then I sat on a bench while Matilda did cartwheels on the lawn and Mrs Tootlepedal gardened. I enjoyed backlit flowers.

Our son Alistair prepared us a delicious curry for our evening meal, and as it was followed by Mrs Tootlepedal’s sticky toffee pudding from Nigella’s recipe, a good day could hardly have ended better.

The flying bird of the day is a poor effort to catch a jackdaw heading for the walnut tree.

Footnote: Matilda learned a new note on the recorder today. She looked at me as we picked up our instruments and said, “A recorder is a good thing, Grandpa, isn’t it. You don’t have to turn it on.” Wise words.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Shooting the breeze

  1. Well I’ve had my ebike for two months now and only used it twice..
    My body tells me an ebike makes perfect sense,but my mind says it’s somehow cheating and not the object of the excercise.
    I think I’m going to need some psychiatric help to sort myself out haha.
    I note that you interchange between your ebike and conventional cycling without any trouble,so if it works for you it should be good enough for me.
    Some great shots from todays ride.

    1. Using the electric bike certain;y does not impair one’s enjoyment of the push bike in my experience.

      You certainly will need psychiatric help if you think that taking some wonderfully enjoyable outdoor exercise on a lovely day is in some way cheating. It may not give me bragging rights in the bar but I feel that having reached eighty, I can cycle along without having to brag about it any more. It may depend on the e-bike. Mine is a great pleasure to ride.

  2. Very wise words for a young person of today. But sometimes things you have to turn on are handy, like electric bicycles, digital cameras, or computers for zoom sessions.

    I wonder about the recorder lessons. If I were teaching a young person to play the recorder, I think I’d use a soprano recorder and probably start with G, A, B, and then C, going up a scale. But I’m not sure, as I’ve never had the opportunity to start someone young, and I can’t remember how I got started.

    1. We have started on a descant as I call a soprano recorder, and we have indeed started on the left hand notes G to D. She is a quick learner and as a dancer, she has a good sense of rhythm so that has helped a lot.

  3. So many butterflies this time πŸ™‚ They found your lovely flowers now.
    Maybe the strange under water objects are just leaves of a plant, I don’t think it are whales…. ha ha ha
    Cycling is a good option on a hot day, I do it also but without e-support.
    Have a lovely day.

    1. I go so slowly on my push bike these days that I can get quite hot pedalling up a hill on a sunny day. I agree about the monster probably being a plant. πŸ™‚

  4. Wise words indeed – particularly applicable in South Africa, where we experience load shedding far more often than not! I enjoy seeing your butterflies and again congratulate Matilda on her fine photography.

  5. Enjoyed Matilda’s panel of six including bee and butterfly.
    Glad you had a sunny day and managed to have a ride without getting too hot.
    Amazingly good under water shots, and how clever when the phone will talk to your camera.

  6. I’m just catching up, but am having trouble believing that anyone would put a new camera in water. As for the phone talking to it . . .

    I still view digital photography as magic – the rest is beyond me. Matilda is developing a fine eye for photography. Good to see the butterflies.

    1. The phone talking to the camera can be really useful but you have to have patience and foresight to make the most of it, so naturally I hardly ever use it.

      1. I like to think that I have some competence having been the proud owner of a Spectrum ZX81 but they keep on changing things and wrong footing me.

      2. A friend of mine used a Spectrum to develop a scheme which would enable him to break the bank at Blackpool Casino. It didn’t work, but it was the system, I think, not the computer. I resisted technology for many years afterwards.

      3. I was asked by a friend to use my Spectrum to devise a system for recording log sales. I pointed out that a large sheet of paper was all that he needed. He was grateful.

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