Today’s guest picture is an interior from Venetia’s visit to the Roman villa at The Newt. They have made a thorough job of the building.
I managed to stick to my plan and do some Archive Group work after breakfast. Then the crossword had to wait as we cycled up to the tree nursery on the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. Mrs Tootlepedal stopped to adjust her saddle on the way, and as it was right next to the river, I popped over the fence and took a picture.
From the look of the ripple in the water, there must be fish about.
We went to the tree nursery because there had been a call for volunteers as a large new delivery of trees was expected. However, when we got there, one of the crew that are working for the reserve at the nursery said, “Didn’t you get the Facebook message?” Alas, we had omitted to check fully before we came out, and thus had not discovered that the session was cancelled. Far fewer trees than expected had been delivered.
Still, no time on the moor is wasted, and as the weather was good, we decided not to cycle straight home, but to cycle on and complete a circular tour of Whita Hill. This involved a couple of rough farm tracks and an intrepid crossing of the Tarras Water by the ford at Perterburn. I sent Mrs Tootlepedal ahead to see if it was safe to cross . . .
. . . and followed on once she had got to the other side.
It was spiritually uplifting to be up on the hill on such a day . . .
. . . and the electric bikes made light of any uphill work.
I took a moment to stop to look at my favourite view up the Ewes valley . . .
. . . before we plunged back down the hill and got home after ten miles in time for a late cup of coffee.
After coffee, a rather depressed looking blackbird reminded me to fill the bird feeder . . .
. . . and then I spent ten minutes roaming around the garden.
The ornamental strawberries have had a new lease of life and are looking very decorative . . .
. . . while the lamium continues to flower unobtrusively as it has done all summer (I took a picture of its first flowers in April).
I was looking for butterflies but there were few about today, so I snapped passing flowers instead.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s chimney is on fire at the moment . . .
. . . and on the back hedge, apples and snowberries are looking better every day.
Although I couldn’t find a butterfly, there were plenty of other insects to be seen. A bee on the phacelia . . .
. . . a big fly on the mint . . .
. . . and many tiny flies on the euphorbia.
After lunch, I checked on the bird feeder and found some serious seed eaters at work . . .
. . . and once again, sparrows were well to the fore.
We are still planning what to do with the no-mow part of the middle lawn next year, and in the meantime, I gave it a going over with the hover mower to keep it quiet for the time being.
Then I left Mrs Tootlepedal to do some light gardening and went off for an afternoon ride on my electric bike. I intended to take things very easily, expecting my legs to be feeling the effect of the long ride on Saturday and the rough tracks of the morning outing. However, once I got going, the intoxicating freedom of the electric bike took hold, and I couldn’t stop myself going as fast as I could round my familiar Canonbie route. My legs loved it.
The result of this was to make me unwilling to slow down to take pictures but one sight did bring me to a halt. There has been a lot of talk in the newspapers and on the radio today about rockets to the moon so I thought that I should show Hollows Tower, where Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, stood on the balcony when he visited this area in 1972 to receive the freedom of the Burgh. Then . . .
. . . and now.
As it is open to the public, the owners have thoughtfully put a railing round the turret. I was sad to hear that the proposed launch had had to be delayed.
I had a cup of tea when I got back, and I took another quick look round the garden. Some sneezeweed called out to me.
Then it was time for the sibling zoom and an evening meal of salmon.
It was a delightful surprise to find that Only Connect, my favourite TV program by far, had returned for its latest run. That rounded off a very good day.
I took several pictures of flying sparrows today, but they were trumped by a greenfinch when it came to choosing the flying bird of the day.