Posts Tagged ‘astarntia’

Today’s guest picture is a swan which was spotted by my Somerset correspondent, Venetia while on a walk.  She notes that the magnifying effect of the water gives it enormous feet.

Venetia's swan

My day started not with swans but geese, as a large skein flew over the garden just after breakfast with a lot of honking to make me pay attention.

flying geese

A short while later, I took an impressionistic  picture of my favourite poppies…


…and went off to the Laverock Hide to fill the Moorland Project feeders for Sandy.  He is still in foreign parts and feeding elephants rather than chaffinches.

The light was very grey but it is almost always a pleasure to sit in the hide and watch the birds so I stayed for a while.

There were plenty of the usual suspects: chaffinches…

chaffinch moorland

…coal tits….

coal tit moorland

…great tits…

great tit moorland


woodpecker moorland

…and of course, pheasants both males, in an argument….

pheasant debate

…and a female above such uncouth behaviour.

female pheasant moorland

When I got home, I had a cup of coffee and did some business on the computer but I found time to pick some raspberries, which are in fine form, and have a quick look round some flowers.

poppyastantialilian austin october

The garden is looking bedraggled.

A man came round to clean our gutters and I hope that he has done a thorough job because we have a couple of inches of rain forecast for tomorrow and Saturday.  This should give the gutters a good test.

I didn’t have long to hang about at home though as it was my day to go to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents.  Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that the train was late but I managed to walk down to the park near her nursery school in time to find Matilda playing with friends.

She was in a very sunny mood and gave me a big hello…

Matilda at Pilrig posing

…and made good use of the playground slide…

Matilda at Pilrig on slide

…and the death defying ‘Flying Fox’…

Matilda at Pilrig on flying fox


…before we went home for some snap, Pelmanism and railway building.

Alistair made a delicious  pasta with mushroom sauce for our evening meal and I caught the bus back up to Princes Street in a very satisfied mood.

I was early for the train so I took a picture or two.

My Lumix is very caring and if I get it out at night it says, “I know that you are old with a wobbly hand so I will see what I can do to help.”

I thought that it did quite well for hand held night shots.

national gallery edinburgh at night

The National Gallery

Bank of scotland edinburgh at night

The bank of Scotland building on The Mound

Walter Scott edinburgh at night

Sir Walter Scott looking rather ghostly as he sits under his monument.

The train back was late too but only by a few minutes so I got home in good time.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch at our own feeder.

flying chaffinch





Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture is a rather poetic shot of Grasmere in the Lake District taken by my sister Mary on a visit last week.

Grasmere in poetic light

We didn’t have any lack of light here at all today as the sun shone from dawn until dusk.  We seem to have got the best of the weather across the nation in recent days which makes a change from the usual situation and we are very happy about this.

I might have gone cycling in the morning but there were other things to be done, lawns to be mowed, Sandy to be entertained for coffee (Dropscone is on holiday), strawberries to be picked and most of all, wandering about the garden enjoying the sunshine.

For the first time this year, the garden really was bee loud.

The Astrantias were a very popular bee destination.


Every flower seemed to have its own bee

The darker astrantias didn’t do so well and they only had a single bee.


But elsewhere, there were bees, bees, bees.

foxglove and rose

On foxglove and rose


…and all over the hydrangea

Other flowers were bee free for the moment.


Small and large campanula


The first of the dark blue delphiniums


I like their mysterious dark hearts

New roses are out…


…and the tropaeolum looks more brilliant by the day.


While I was mowing, I looked round the garden  for some colourful corners.  They were not hard to find.

colourful corner

colourful corner

colourful corner

I can’t convey the wonderful aromas that are wafting around though.

We broke off to go and cast our votes in the in/out European referendum and as I write this, we are still waiting for the first results to come in.  In the event of a ‘Brexit’ vote, I gather that teams of highly trained Conservatives are going to gather at Dover, armed with long poles and physically push us further away from France.

When we got back home, I found that I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sunshine in the garden.


After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and I caught up on a little business before going out into the glorious sunshine to pick some strawberries and look closely at more flowers.

daisy and musk

The temperature was just about perfect for lazing around but I thought that a little bicycling might create enough breeze to keep me cool so I got the fairly speedy bike out and did an unambitious twenty mile Tour de Canonbie.  There was a brisk wind blowing so I was too busy pedalling on the way out and going too speedily on the way back to stop to take any pictures.

In the evening, Susan kindly drove me to Carlisle where we enjoyed a cheerful session of recorder playing.  We played some of the works of the composer Valerius Otto, who was born on 25th July 1579 in Leipzig, for the first time and found it an ‘interesting’ experience.

The flower of the day was the astrantia…


…and the bee of the day was on the hydrangea…


…and the flying bird of the day was a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Read Full Post »