A day of two halves

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found a curious woolly creature in a garden in Ashby de la Zouche today.

It was raining in a rather discouraging way when we got up this morning, and it kept at it until midday. Under the circumstances, we had a quiet morning in, brightened by the arrival of our neighbour Margaret at coffee time. Fortunately, the rain had almost stopped by the time that she left, and it totally stopped not long afterwards, so I was able to cycle round to the shop in the dry.

I filled the feeder and had a look at the birds when I got back. A goldfinch was the first to arrive . . .

. . . but we were soon back to sparrows again.

I had a damp walk round the garden.

As I walked along the drive, I was very surprised to find a late flower on the clematis beside the front door. The last flower had appeared in mid June.

The cotoneaster against the wall of the house should provide rich pickings for blackbirds later in the year.

At the end of the drive, the front gate is fighting a losing battle against the tide of nasturtiums.

It wasn’t really a day for taking flower pictures . . .

. . . so after looking at a soggy verbascum . . .

. . . I went in and made some potato and carrot soup for lunch.

A look at the forecast after lunch suggested that the rain would be going past us to the north, so I put my wet weather cycling gear on just in case and went for a quick pedal on my e-bike while the going was good.

The thermometer told me that it wasn’t very warm for the time of the year, but oddly enough it was one of those days that felt warmer than it actually was, thanks to a moist and friendly breeze from the south. I enjoyed my outing.

I passed a field so full of clover among the grass . . .

. . . that I think that it must have been sown by the farmer to aid fertility and cut down on fertiliser use.

I have been a bit short of bridge pictures on my cycle rides, recently so I stopped at Between the Waters to take a picture of the bridge over the Kirtle Water. I could almost spot it behind the lush vegetation.

Mrs Tootlepedal is adamant that autumn has begun, and looking at the river bank, I couldn’t help but agree with her. Autumn fruits abounded.

With the wind beginning to help, I pressed on towards the Solwaybank windfarm, keeping an eye out for a patch of sedum which I had seen last year. It was back again.

. . . with a patch of knapweed beside it . . .

. . . cheerful enough to brighten even a day as dull as this one.

As I passed the windfarm, a crowd of spectators followed my progress.

With the wind now behind me, I pressed on and only a fine crop of cones was noticeable enough to delay me for a moment . . .

. . . as I whizzed along at a good speed and got home in time for a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker who had dropped in.

When Mike left, I had another look at the bird feeder. It had taken the sparrows only four hours to polish off the seed.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been clearing off the broad bean plants while I was out, and I shredded the tough stalks and added them to the compost.

I was hosting the sibling Zoom today, and after that it was too gloomy to go out again so I took a picture of a pot of African violets in the house to round the day off.

The flying birds of the day are two contradictory sparrows.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “A day of two halves

  1. Though I’ve learned over the years that Mrs. T. is almost always right I have to plug my ears when she speaks of autumn in August, even though I’ve never seen a summer fly by as fast as this one has.
    You’re very lucky to have sedum growing alongside the road. I’ve never seen it outside of a garden setting here.
    I don’t recognize the cones but it’s hard to beat the beauty of the Korean pine, which I think might actually be a fir.

  2. The sedum and knapweed look like small fireworks exploding. They are very colorful, especially on a grey day. The African violet is a beautiful specimen. I have four here that have been cloned from leaf cuttings down through the years from one mother plant purchased in 1993.

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