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.