Surprisingly cheerful

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She went for a walk this morning, hoping to get thoroughly soaked by a welcome shower of rain. Sadly, she was disappointed, but she took a fine picture of the canal lock in action while she was out.

I start today’s post with a picture from yesterday. When I went out into the garden in the dark to see if it was raining, I heard the tell tale snuffle of the hedgehog. My new camera comes with a built in light which picked up the flowers but failed to show where the hedgehog was lurking.

It was a grey day when we woke up, but it stayed dry all day so we were able to cycle up to the new tree nursery on the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve on our electric bikes to do some more potting on of rowan seedlings. We were the only volunteers to join our leader Kat today. We potted on 350 trees before we left Kat on her own to finish off the task.

On our way back, I stopped to record a scabious beside the road.

We had had to leave Kat on her own because we were due to go to the funeral of a friend.

As he had died at a very young age, leaving a wife and three children, it might have been expected that his funeral would be a sad affair, but Angus had always been the life and soul of the party, and his family and friends provided a service of remembrance that celebrated his life as much as it grieved for his death. I would say that everyone at the service left the church feeling better than when they came in.

We had a late lunch when we got home, and then I went out into the garden. I started by mowing the front lawn which had been a bit neglected during the recent visit of Matilda and her parents. It hasn’t really recovered from the pecking that the jackdaws gave it in the spring, and it would have needed warmer weather and more rain that it has got this year to look at its best. All the same, considering that it has had no weedkiller or fertiliser put on it, I am quite pleased with how it has turned out. (If you don’t look too closely.)

After I had mowed the lawn, our friend Mike Tinker dropped by for a cup of tea and some conversation. When he left, I took a moment to wander about, doing some dead heading and taking some pictures.

The nicotiana are thriving, bringing good smells to the evening garden.

The first spots of colour are showing on the sedums. Perhaps some butterflies will appear when they are fully out.

Lilian Austin has produced some late flowers, with more ready to appear of the weather stays kind.

White hostas and campanulas are set against the reds of St John’s Wort berries and the hips of Frau Dagmar Hastrup

The very pale pink lily has got less pale and more pink.

There are salvias all over the garden and the coreopsis and Icelandic poppies are flowering cheerfully.

My new camera is not very good for catching insects unless they sit very still as it hasn’t got a zoom lens. The insects tend to fly off as I approach. Two sat still for me today.

I turned my attention to the potatoes that we had dug up yesterday. They had been lying in trays in the garage overnight and they were ready for packing away today. They all went into two bag which quite surprised me. I kept a big one out and had a baked potato for my evening meal.

Then I took my bird camera out into the garden and had a look about. The roof of our house was busy, with a pigeon, a collared dove, and two jackdaws all in residence.

The pigeon on the ground in the top right of the panel above, appeared at the feeder. It is very different from our normal pigeons as it is a homing pigeon stopping for a snack on its way home. You can see that it has a green identifying ring on its leg.

We had the usual customers at the feeder, like this siskin . . .

. . . and lots of Mrs Tootlepedal’s friends, the sparrows, too.

A less frequent visitor was a starling.

I am going for a walk with Mark and David tomorrow, so I hope that the much needed rain doesn’t arrive until Thursday at least.

The flying bird of the day is a passing swallow, high in the sky.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Surprisingly cheerful

  1. What a pretty front yard, as we would say here. Sorry about your young friend, but what a lovely service that must have been. Hope the rain holds out for you tomorrow. Then may it come down.

  2. The lawn and garden look beautiful, considering how dry it has been.
    I love the pink lily. I wish I could smell it.
    That’s a great shot of the insect’s eye. If you were speaking about the Olympus, it does have a zoom function but it isn’t very good because it isn’t an optical zoom.

  3. I looked closely and your garden and lawn still look marvellous and I like the idea of the homing pigeon dropping in on his way home…like McDs drive thru…no, I have to correct it: drive through

  4. I am looking forward to the arrival of the swallows; some have already settled into the northern part of the country. The view down onto your garden is lovely.

  5. Your summer is putting on a colorful show. I especially like those views from the upper floor that show the whole garden.

    I am sorry to hear your friend Angus passed on. May his family find peace.

  6. Your garden looks spectacular – flowers and lawn.
    Sorry to hear of the death of your young friend but lovely that there was such a sense of celebration at the service.

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