Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He was up so early yesterday morning that he beat the sun to it.
There was no sign of sun here this morning, and it was another grey day as we drove up to Cronksbank to help out at the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve tree nursery. In the shelter of the barns we could see the wood saved from storm felled trees neatly stacked and drying out, and the team of tree transplanters hard at work.
The need for the protective headgear inside was not rain but midges. The warm and humid days that we have had lately have brought the midges out in force. Our leader Kat had some good anti midge spray so we were reasonably protected as we worked at clearing the ground in the nursery outside.
We cleaned turf off the hard standing round the edge of the area and pulled weed suppressing fabric over the centre.
There is a lot more work to be done, but we have made a good start.
There aren’t just trees in the tree nursery, there are small creatures too.
We spent a couple of hours up there, and left just as it started to rain. The garden was quite wet when we got home.
By the time that we had finished our lunch, the rain had stopped. I went out and sieved a barrow load of compost from Bin D before setting off on my road bike for a cycle tour round my familiar twenty mile route to Canonbie and back.
It was pretty humid and it felt warm, so I was in no rush. I stopped to take a few pictures on my way. I thought that Langholm’s answer to Glastonbury Tor was looking quite good . . .
. . .and the belted Galloways were feeding peacefully a little further on.
At Mossknowe, other cattle found it too warm to eat and were on sit down strike.
As I got near the border, I could see that a farmer had found plenty of grass for a second cut of silage.
Although the skies looked quite threatening there, by the time that I got to Canonbie itself, the sun had come out and the river Esk at the Hollows was looking very inviting.
There was the merest suggestion of rain as I got back to Langholm, but it came to nothing, and the garden was back in sunshine by the time that I got home. I found Mrs Tootlepedal in the greenhouse planting out some spinach in the hope of a late crop. I walked round the garden.
The foxgloves are nearly over . . .
. . . but we have yellow flowers in abundance, both restrained and in your face.
There is plenty of colour to be seen . . .
. . . in various forms.
Although Mrs Tootlepedal has been a bit disappointed in the dahlias this year, there are still enough good flowers to keep me happy.
After a cup of tea and getting changed, I went out into the garden again. With the sun out, it was hard to stop taking pictures.
There were even some butterflies about, and a dozen flew up in front of me as I walked about. A couple of peacocks settled on the big buddleia.
As I looked about, I could see several white butterflies and quite a few walnuts on the walnut tree.
Our own sedums are not as far on as the ones that I have seen when out on cycle rides, but they are showing some colour now.
The bird feeder was not very busy today . . .
. . . so I supplemented siskins and sparrows with a young jackdaw on the roof crying for its mammy, and a scavenging pigeon arriving from the walnut tree.
My favourite flower picture of the day was an unintentional dahlia composition shot when I was thinking of other things. Something about it appeals to me.
I managed to to put a part of a week of the newspaper index into the Archive database when I went inside, and then made a nourishing plate of corned beef hash for my evening meal.
We had frozen some gooseberry fool last week, and we unfroze it and ate it for afters today. On this occasion, we felt that it was not quite as good as the fresh fool had been.
We rounded the evening off by watching an interesting programme on Kew Gardens.
The flying bird of the day is another pigeon, launching itself off the walnut tree.