Going green

Today’s guest picture comes from Sandy. He tried growing a wild flower bed beside his house this year, and he is very pleased with the result.

We had another very hot day here, and the flowers are tending to get a bit tired . . .

. . . as are the blackbirds.

Once again we rationed how much time we spent outside in one go. A morning excursion into the garden saw Matilda shooting the shooter as he tried to catch a butterfly.

Her father Alistair took a picture of her taking a picture of me, but we have withheld it from public view as it was deemed too exciting for general publication. The butterflies were present but they were not in a very co-operative mood when it came to opening their wings. Alistair took a couple of pictures of them tucking in to the buddleia flowers. . .

. . . while I caught pair on the top of the bush.

Mrs Tootlepedal has planted quite a few new buddleias, and I like the dark colour of this one which is growing in a vegetable bed at the moment.

A second excursion after coffee saw Matilda focus on another white butterfly and the lovely berries of the rowan tree.

We marvelled at the neat holes which the starlings have drilled into the now mown lawn.

There was obviously a lot of food, whatever it was, down there.

I took another shot of the developments on the hydrangea . . .

. . . which is opening more flowers every day but taking its time to come fully out.

I checked my records to see when the plums should ripen, and found to my surprise that they came out in late August last year. Perhaps I have been too gloomy about them not ripening this year so far. Still, a lot of the plums look like this . . .

. . . and some research seems to suggest that this is the result of stress, possibly caused by too little rain. I am not getting my hopes up too much yet.

Two poppies beside the front lawn have had varying success in attracting pollinators.

I had another outing into the garden after lunch and enjoyed the clover plants in Mrs Tootlepedal’s cover crop in the vegetable garden . . .

. . . as well as seeing a pigeon putting its foot down while another flew off in disgust during a debate.

In the afternoon, Matilda took her parents down to the park to play in the river and in the new play area, while Mrs Tootlepedal finished planting out a third tray of tiny willow trees. In the hope of getting a cooling breeze, I went round my familiar 20 mile Canonbie route on my electric bike.

It was a very still day, so although I created a good breeze by pedalling hard and using plenty of assistance, it was not a cool breeze. It is not often that I wish for a stronger wind when I am cycling but this was one such occasion. However, any breeze is better than none, and I got round without getting uncomfortably hot in spite of temperatures which briefly touched 30°C (according to our local weather station).

It was far too hot to hang around taking pictures, and I only took one, just to show that I had gone out. The heather is enjoying the weather.

In the late afternoon, Matilda lay on the grass on the middle lawn in the shade of a philadelphus and listened to the tweeting of the birds. I came out to sit on the bench beside the patio rose.

Then, when Matilda went in, I rounded up a few dahlias.

The bird feeder was busy again but the bright sunlight is not very sympathetic to photography.

In the early evening we enjoyed a feast of digital communication as Matilda spoke both to her other grandparents and an aunt on WhatsApp, and then to several great aunts and a great uncle on Zoom.

We had green pasta for our tea, cooked by Alistair. He had said that it would be green pasta, and that was exactly what it was, pasta shells coated in a very vivid green sauce. He and Mrs Tootlepedal had picked spinach from the garden and he had made a spinach pesto for the sauce. Mrs Tootlepedal had made some courgette fritters to go with it, so we had a good meal again.

Al and Clare went out into the garden in the cool of the evening as the light was fading and were somewhat disturbed by sinister snuffling in the undergrowth. Once again, research was conducted, and it suggested that it was highly likely to be the sound of a hedgehog. I went out with a torch and there indeed was a hedgehog on the back garden path. The trail camera had produced this last night . . .

. . . so it was good to see one in real life too. I didn’t take a picture.

I rounded off the day by going upstairs in the course of writing this post and looking out of the window. I was looking for the Sturgeon Moon, and there it was, rising behind a neighbour’s chimney pots . . .

. . . and floating clear.

I don’t usually get my timing that right.

The flying bird of the day is a pigeon from the discussion group.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Going green

  1. An other lovely day with the family and lots of flowers and butterflies. Lets hope the plums will ripe…
    Lovely shot of the moon behind the chimney !
    Enjoy the weekend, here we expect 32°C or more for the comming days…. way to hot.

  2. What a delightful array of photographs in this post. Naturally, our sky was overcast – no Sturgeon Moon for us, alas.

  3. Butterflies, moon – especially the first – and flying bird all excellent. I still can’t get over the little girl whose birth I remember already being a good photographer

  4. I enjoyed your selection of fine photos, especially the moon. We have had good nights for moon viewing over here, too. Sturgeon moon – I will remember that.

  5. The moon against the chimney pots is very striking, and the poor wee blackbird looks a bit “fluffled” by the heat. The photo of you being photographed by Matilda as you took a photo sounds like a keeper!

  6. A lot going on as usual. I like the closeup of the hydrangea progress. Magnificent moon shots. Sorry you are stuck in a heatwave, but having so many photographers is encouraging. I am feeling almost guilty about being on the cool, uneventful side of our current front.

  7. Wildflower beds take a bit less mowing once they get going. (Or so I’ve heard.) They might even get by with a bit less watering if need be.

    Oh! that poor wee blackbird… I can sympathize. It’s exactly how I feel if it gets too warm.

    I am so happy to have caught this post of yours (I’ve been missing them!) I very much enjoyed Matilda’s picture of the shooter. Seems you have a budding camera enthusiast on your hands.

    It is frustrating to see the damage created by the starlings; or is aerating the soil or turf considered a good thing? I’m not much of an expert.

    The heather looks ‘happy’. I hope the birds and bugs enjoy that stretch of verge. I wish our roadsides were this lovely to see. Then again, the eyes tend to be drawn westward out to sea for the most part.

    I like the moon behind the chimney pots very much. Thank you for a much needed and enjoyable distraction. I’m hoping my partner tests negative (Covid) tomorrow so we can have the anxious waiting over with by (hopefully Wednesday.

    Thank you for your visits. They are much enjoyed. 🙏

    1. Thank you for finding the time to read and comment. I hope that the test result is satisfactory. Our roadsides provide a lot of interest even of the council does keep mowing them. I haven’t watered the lawns at all this year and they have survived pretty well even if they are not as green as they would have been.

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