Successful synthesising

You can’t have too many East Wemyss dawns in my opinion so today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony. It was taken yesterday.

I had a slow start to the day but I managed to squeeze a couple of pages of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, the first for 1904 for me, and I filled the bird feeder and watched the chaffinches behave badly . . .

. . . before Sandy came round for coffee.

He has been doing a lot of hard work on the Archive Group index and we will soon have completely cleared the backlog. The data miners are still hard at work though, so there will be plenty of work to do in the dark days of winter.

Our neighbour Margaret joined us, and the conversation over several cups of coffee ranged widely over both local and national news.

It rained as Sandy left but it cleared up again as Margaret went home a little later. We went out into the garden and I looked around.

The dahlias are quite resistant to the rain and it didn’t take long for insects to get going.

It has been a very odd year for the runner beans. They have grown well and thrown out a lot of flowers but hardly any beans at all. Now, at this late date, it does look as though we might get some beans to eat at last. Mrs Tootlepedal is also growing some promising looking spinach in the greenhouse as a late crop. There may be greens on the dinner table.

As it got towards lunchtime, the sun came out, and I went out to take a picture of Crown Princess Margareta who has made a welcome reappearance.

When I went back in, the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a robin under the feeder, and a little later it paid a brief visit to the feeder itself. Although the sight of a robin in the garden is an indicator of the turning of the year, they are always welcome.

When I looked again after lunch, the robin had vanished and chaffinches . . .

. . . an angry siskin and a sparrow had turned up.

As you can see , it was quite sunny by this time, but the forecast had bad weather warnings. The BBC suggested that it should be fine for an hour or so and then it would rain; the Met office suggested that there might be heavy thunderstorms now for a couple of hours with better weather later. This was a dilemma for an intending cyclist. In the end I made the brilliant decision to combine both forecasts and get the BBC fine weather now, and the Met Office fine weather later. Perfect for cycling.

I set off to go round the Solwaybank windfarm on my push bike, and looking back towards Langholm after five miles, it seemed that my plan was going well.

I stopped to take a picture of the bridge over the Kirtle Water on the other side of Callister . . .

. . . before heading on to Gair and then Solwaybank.

The wild rose hips in the hedgerow are wonderful this year, and I was just in time to catch the wild sedum beside the road before it goes over.

The road along the far side of the windfarm is picturesque but undulating . . .

. . . and when I got to the top of hill beside the windfarm, I could see some black clouds ahead of me.

As the wind was blowing from right to left and from slightly behind me, I was reasonably confident that wherever it was going to rain, it wasn’t going to be on me. I cycled onward with a blithe heart.

I stopped on the newly surfaced road a little further on to take another picture, this time of a bridge over a tiny tributary of the River Sark which would in time form the border between England and Scotland. Here it was in the middle of nowhere.

There is a fine beech tree beside the bridge.

The new road surface is welcome as it means that there are no potholes . . .

. . . but the gravel is still a bit loose, so cycling over it is hard work, and you have to be careful as corners can be slippy and sudden braking risky. However, I met no traffic today and pedalled along serenely, especially when I got to the final undulation of this section of the road . . .

. . . and found that the dark clouds had retreated into the distance, far beyond Tinnis Hill, seven and a half miles away.

It was a lovely day as I cycled down into Wauchopedale and the last four miles home.

To be fair to both forecasters, we got some heavy rain later in the day so they were not far wrong.

I arrived back in perfect time to watch the last few kilometres of another exciting stage of the Vuelta with Mrs Tootlepedal, and then we went out into the garden.

I mowed the front lawn and Mrs Tootlepedal did some neat edging until the strimmer ran out of battery.

She is very pleased with the last of her dahlias which has just come out, and I liked both it and another one nearby which was catching the sun.

The gazania likes the sun too, and our sedums are just flowering fully just as the wild ones go over.

There were butterflies and bees about.

When I went in, I took the opportunity to look down on the newly mown lawn from above. It looks much better from a respectful distance than it does when you are standing on it.

We had a cheerful Zoom meeting with my siblings, and some stewed plums and custard for afters with our evening meal, so all in all, it was a very satisfactory day.

It is raining again as I write this in the late evening. Overnight rain is very acceptable.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow with seed in mind.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Successful synthesising

  1. In your opinion, which has the best record for accuracy: BBC weather or the Met?

    It’s late in the season and your garden still looks colourful – the gardener planned well!

    1. The warm nights have helped to keep the garden looking well. It looks a bit more dilapidated in real life than it does in the photos.

      There is not much between the BBC and the Met Office. They are both very good about the general situation but both can be quite inaccurate about the immediate prospects. The BBC has quite a good cloud map which can be helpful. I use the Met Office most.

  2. Another excellent dawn photo from Tony. Your Crown Princess Margareta reminds me that Mrs K was only saying this morning was that Mrs T must read the same magazines as her because they both grow the same flowers. I really like the garden shot from above

  3. The lawn and garden are beautiful as always. I can see that there is a lot of hedge and shrub trimming that has to be done to keep it looking so good. That’s a lot of work.
    The spinach looks ready to plant. “Micro greens” are a big thing here now, which seems to mean that you eat the seedlings instead of setting them out.
    Your beautiful scenery has inspired me to go climbing today. The weather sounds like it will be good.

    1. Mrs T is not going to plant the spinach out as it is too late for that here. She cropped a leaf from each plant today and it made a portion for us each at our evening meal. Tasted good too.

      I hope that you enjoy your climb.

  4. The weather for cycling certainly looks beautiful, and the distant views are always a treat. Between colorful blooms, insects and birds, there is quite a bit of vibrancy to life in your corner of the world.

    We received a weather warning from the Sheriff’s office in conjunction with the power company. The winds will shift and start blowing hard from the east as the temperature spikes in the mid 90s tomorrow and close to 100 on Saturday. There may be emergency power cutoffs lasting as long as 49 hours as fire danger is high. These are the same conditions that prevailed before the major fires of September 2020. Wish us luck.

    1. I do wish you luck. It seems sensible to stop the power lines causing more fires but it is a pity that they are not better engineered and maintained.

      1. The winds were 6hrs late in coming, and not as sever as forecast. We are getting smoke, but from distant fires. Sundown looks a little more orange tonight. It hit 95 here today. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. So far the power has stayed on.

      2. A lot of smoke came up the valley last night and is hanging about. The sun is an alien orange color. I put on an N-95 mask to walk, and water the gardens. So far the power has stayed on and the fires at a safe distance. Most of them are in south and southwest Oregon. The biggest one closet to us is a little southeast of Eugene, and is only 15% contained.

  5. As always, thank you for the overview. I have a boxwood bird in a container that a friend made for me. I do think I should put it in the ground the autumn and do a better job of trimming it.

    1. I mean she made, as in trimmed, the bird, not that she made the container. I’d like to see it get as big as Mrs T’s chicken, which always makes me smile.

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