Settling back down

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He wishes to point out that his local park has adopted a no-mow policy too. As this combines ecological correctness with money saving, I expect that quite a lot of other local councils will be doing this.

We had another very hot day here, but there were definite clouds by the end of the day. This should herald a change in the weather.

It was already quite warm as we cycled to church n the morning. The congregation was a little larger than usual, thanks to some visitors, and there were seven of us in the choir, so it was quite a cheerful occasion.

After church, we had time for a coffee before we got into the car and drove up to Cronksbank where the new tree nursery for the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve is being established. The new trees need regular watering . . .

. . . and while the sprinkler was working, we transplanted another 60 seedlings into a half filled bigger plug tray. I hope to go back with the volunteers twice in the coming week as there is an immense amount of work still to be done. We brought back three more trays for Mrs Tootlepedal to fill with the willow seedlings. She has filled three already so there will be a lot of willows to plant out later on.

It was very hot on the moor . . .

. . . though we did find a little shade to do our work in.

All the same, we were happy to have a rest and do nothing after lunch when we got home.

I did go down to the Co-op on my bike, and on my way back I helped to rescue a man who had fallen over. Luckily Nancy, our Archive Group treasurer, was nearby with her car and she took him home.

Then I went out into the garden to see if I could find any butterflies, but there were none to be seen. This was a bit discouraging as the garden should be full of them on a day like today at this time of year. I wonder if they have been put off by the vast number of sparrows. They are everywhere in the garden.

On the fruit cages . . .

. . . in the rowan tree . . .

. . . and even on the buddleia where the butterflies should be.

Whenever you go out into the garden, great waves of them rise up into the sky.

I took a picture of a starling which stood out among the sparrows.

I waited until the real heat of the day had passed, and then went out for an early evening cycle ride on my electric bike. A cycling friend had told me that the council had resurfaced the Solwaybank road, and I wanted to check if it was fit to ride yet.

It wouldn’t have been much fun on my road bike with its narrow tyres, but the newly gravelled surface was quite tolerable for the small fat tyres of my electric bike. They have resurfaced quite a long section of the road and it should be in good condition now for some time.

Not all the road has ben resurfaced yet though.

I took a few pictures on my way round, including the field of cropped willows which are growing at an amazing rate . . .

. . . an attentive onlooker . . .

. . . and two shots of the turbines at the wind farm, taken ten seconds apart, just to show how slowly the turbines were turning. The ones at the front had only turned about 40 degrees and the one at the back hadn’t moved at all.

In the absence of natural wind, I had to keep my legs turning as fast as I could and make my own cooling breeze. As a result, I got home in good time to enjoy an evening meal of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie.

The house feels very quiet.

The flying bird of the day is one of the army of sparrows.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Settling back down

  1. Not surprised that the house feels quiet. Glad church went well. Most impressed at the work you are both doing for the Tarras Valley Reserve, I wish you and all the volunteers lots of success in your hard work.

  2. I bet the house is very quiet. Glad you were there to help the man who fell. So impressed with the work you and Mrs. Tootlepedal do to plant trees. You might be interested in knowing that Maine is about 80% forested. Lots of trees here.

  3. I hope you won’t have to carry water to all of the willows once they’re planted out.
    We’ve had cooler, more normal temperatures over the past couple of days, so maybe it will blow your way. Still no beneficial rain though. Just downpours.
    I wonder what the sparrows are so interested in. Hopefully it isn’t Mrs. T.s seedlings.

    1. Once they are planted in the wild they will be on their own!

      The sparrows certainly are interested in anything that they can get their beaks on. Mrs T has her seedlings well covered up.

  4. You (and many others) are going to have a great deal of work with those trees, but it’s a wonderful project for the future of the Reserve.

    My neighbour has an e-bike and gave me instruction and the chance to ride his today. I must admit that when I pressed the button that activated the battery, I started grinning like a toddler on a new bike! The sensation of power was surprisingly immediate and I understand why you say you sail along on yours. This bike has a separate throttle and it was very disconcerting – it made the bike speed away so quickly it made me feel like I was on my motorcycle again, except for the small frame beneath me. I think I’d come to grief using that accessory if I had an e-bike!

  5. Well done for all the volunteering – hard work in the hot weather. Good that you and Nancy were around to help the man who had fallen over.

  6. That looks like a lot of willows to plant. I am curious as to why so many willows were selected to plant instead of a variety of seedlings.

    It sounds like you have a lot of sparrows, too!

    It was good you and Nancy were on hand for the rescue.

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