Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who was swanning around today.
It seems to be getting a little hotter every day at the moment, and for a brief moment this afternoon, we touched 85°F (which is just under 30°C) according to our local weather station. This led to some rationing of how much time we spent outside. Matilda came out for long enough to take a picture of the Golden Syllabub rose . . .
. . . and feeling that she probably couldn’t top that, left it as her only flower picture of the day. This meant that I had to take pictures for the six flower panel. Because of the very bright sunlight, I brought the exposure of the camera down a lot and then tinkered with the results in the photo editor.
The starlings were out pecking the lawn again after breakfast . . .
. . . and they left very neat holes in the no-mow lawn unlike the jackdaws in the spring. It is only the now mown no-mow lawn that attracts them.
Mrs Tootlepedal popped another hundred willow seedlings into a plug tray during the morning and I gave the yew bush a haircut.
Matilda and I made an excursion to the dam behind the house to see if we could see any fish. We saw lots and lots, each about the size of my finger or shorter. It is quite hard to make them out in the photo that we took, as they all have shadows on the bottom of the shallow stream to confuse you.
After lunch, we went for a walk. Our primary destination was the ice cream van on the Kilngreen. Being prudent, we were well supplied with umbrellas to provide ourselves with portable shade.
Having obtained and eaten our ice creams, we sat under the shade of our brollies while Matilda paddled in the river. I noticed black headed gulls . . .
. . . signs of the turning of the year . . .
. . . and the beautifully clear water in the river.
There is a row of small rocks across the river at one point, and as the gentle flow slipped across them, the sunshine drew beautiful patterns on the stones beneath the water.
While Matilda paddled and built stone towers, Mrs Tootlepedal kept a grandmotherly eye on her.
With our portable shade, it was very pleasant sitting beside the rippling water, and we stayed for some time before making our way back home across the Castleholm. We got to the Castleholm by crossing the Sawmill Brig, but Matilda got there by fording the river like the cornet on Common Riding day.
We all met up, and Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda took the direct route home past the cricket club, while Alistair, Clare and I went round the new path. I append some scenes from our afternoon outing.
After an interval to recover when we got home, I went out into the garden to see if there were any butterflies about. Disappointingly, there were hardly any, and none that would pose for me. I went to sit down on a shady seat to wait for some to come, but once again, a feathered friend had got there before me.
I sat on the bench under the walnut tree and took a consolation photograph of the fine phlox instead.
No butterflies came, but a set of swallows did arrive, and perched on the power line above the garden. First two, then three. and then four . . .
. . . and then they flew away again.
Mrs Tootlepedal came out to sit in the garden for a while, and we admired the sunflowers beside the bench.
We went in to cook pizzas for our evening meal and I finally saw a posing butterfly on my way in.
By the time that the pizzas were cooked (the bread machine makes excellent pizza dough), the day had cooled down enough to make the idea of eating pizzas in the garden seem very attractive. We ate them under the shade of the walnut tree. It was perfect. As we sat there, more swallows arrived on the power line, so I went in and got my big lens out and had a look at them.
The forecast says that it is going to be even hotter tomorrow. There is no sign of any rain to come and Mrs Tootlepedal says that everything in the garden is beginning to wilt. We are spot watering some plants but we really need some proper rain soon.
The flying birds of the day are two departing swallows. It is not a good picture but it is very rare for me to get any picture of flying swallows, so I have put them in for the novelty.