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Posts Tagged ‘bee’

Today’s guest picture is the last from my brother’s visit to to our area.  On his way home, he and Justin stopped at the Bowes Museum.

Bowes museum

I was worried that I might have missed my chance to cut the grass thanks to spending a day pedalling about yesterday but I needn’t have worried as it was a perfect day for grass cutting today too.

I got busy after breakfast with the drying green and the green house grass….

grass

…which are not big areas but they still need looking after.

After a pause for other things, including coffee, I then did the two lawns and Mrs Tootlepedal went round and strimmed the edges so everything looked quite neat and tidy.

lawns mowed

While I was out and about in the garden, I couldn’t help noticing the poppies.  More opium poppies have arrived and they have been joined by the first of the Shirley poppies.

opium and shirley poppies

poppies

We are hoping for many more.

I saw one poppy that was only just hanging on today.

poppy with one petal

It looked a bit like a smart lady going to the races in a silly hat

There is a metal fence between the flower garden and the vegetable garden and there is a lot happening on both sides of it at the moment.

clematis

There are at least three sorts of clematis

ginger syllabub, Bobbie james and honeysuckle

Ginger syllabub, Bobbie James and honeysuckle

The archway in the fence is a work of art in itself.

rambler roses

In the vegetable garden, the main crop potatoes are looking very promising.

potatoes

We are eating the earlies at every opportunity.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that she had seen huge flocks of sparrows in the garden but when I went out, I could only see one….

sparrow

…and she also reported seeing a blackbird picking gooseberries to feed its young but when I went out I could only find one that had been at the blackcurrants.

blackbird with blackcurrants

The green house is playing host to a number of colourful residents.

courgette and celosia

A courgette in a tub and a celosia sitting on a shelf

petunia

The petunia is looking sensational

Mrs Tootlepedal is keeping these plants in the greenhouse to keep it looking cheerful when she is working in there.

Outside there are lots of Icelandic poppies keeping things cheerful there too….

Icelandic poppy

…and Crown Princess Margareta is at a peak of happiness.

Crown Princess Margareta

After lunch, I took a tip from the blackbird and went out and picked another pound of blackcurrants and found that I now had enough (4 lbs) to make some blackcurrant jelly.  The blackbirds may be taking some but there are masses left still for me to pick.

It is always a nervous moment when you have put the hot jelly juice into the jars and you have to wait to see if it will set properly.  On this occasion, the jam thermometer did its job and the six jars of jelly have set perfectly.

All I need now is someone to bring some scones round to try it out on.

The astrantias are still exerting their pulling power on the bees….

bee on astrantia

…and there seems to be at least one about every time that I go past.

We were very sad that Andy Murray has got knocked out of Wimbledon but his brother is still going in the mixed doubles so all is not lost…and the Tour de France is always good viewing.

In the evening, I went off to sing with the Common Riding choir and as we got ready to sing, we could hear the clacking of horseshoes on the road below as the pony ride out, a recent  addition to the annual festivities, went past our window.

Pony ride out 2017

The cornet and his right and left hand men lead the procession of ponies along the High Street

The singing went well and we should be well prepared for the concert in a fortnight.

I did find a flying bird today.  It was that blackbird making off with the berries.

blackbird

 

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Today’s guest picture shows Justin half way up the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District  yesterday.  He was accompanying my brother Andrew to the summit and had paused to admire the view.  My brother took the picture.

Old Man of Coniston

I am going to break with habit and start today’s post with a picture that I took last night after I had posted yesterday’s offering.  Clear nights have been  a rarity lately so this view of the moon just breaking free of a layer of thin cloud was very welcome.

Moon

I have not been sleeping as well as I would like recently so it took me some time to get up and have a late breakfast this morning and Mrs Tootlepedal had long departed to sing with the church choir before I managed to get the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a traditional Sunday morning 40 mile run down the flat roads to Newtown and back.

I was very pleased to see that although Genghis the Grasscutter…

Canonbie by pass

…had slaughtered most of the orchids along the Canonbie by-pass, a few….

orchids

…had escaped his vengeful blades.

There was a westerly wind blowing with quite a bit of bite in it so I had to pay attention to my bicycling and didn’t stop to take any pictures until I paused for a breather and a banana on the bridge at Longtown on my way home.

The River Esk at Longtown

The River Esk at Longtown

When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had driven to Carlisle yesterday, we had noticed that the knapweed on the banks of Aucherivock diversion were beginning to make a show so I stopped just before I got to Langholm today to show the knapweed in action.

knapweed

Auchenrivock diversion wild flowers

Thanks to the hedges on the Brampton road sheltering me from the worst of the crosswind and the kindly wind helping me up the hill on my way home, I managed to knock a few minutes off last Sunday’s time for the same journey and averaged just under 16 mph for the trip, a very good speed for me these days.

When I got home, I took a look round the garden.

blackbird

It seemed to be full of blackbirds.

The roses were as gorgeous as ever…

roses

…and they have been joined by a buddleia…

buddleia

…which I am hoping will attract hordes of butterflies into the garden.

The poppies come and go quickly…

poppy seed head

…but I think that this new pretty little Fuchsia will last a bit longer.

Fuchsia

I went in to have a cup of tea and watch some of a very exciting stage of the Tour de France.  It got a bit too exciting and the strain of watching it got too much for me so I went back out into the garden for another look round and to pick some more blackcurrants.  I am hoping to make blackcurrant jelly if I have the patience to pick enough of them.

Mrs Tootlepedal has a red flowering potentilla which has been a bit disappointing after some early promise but it has just started to flower again.

potentilla

I hope that it continues to make progress.

The nasturtiums need no encouragement.

nasturtiums

More roses caught my eye.

roses

Lilian Austin and the revived Ginger Syllabub

I went back inside just in time to watch a most horrendous crash in the tour as the leaders whizzed down a hill.   They were going down a narrow and twisty road at 70 kph.  On my own ride earlier on I had gone down a wide and straight road at 50 kph and I thought that that was quite scary enough.  These tour cyclists are  very brave men.

I append a quote from Cycling News that gives you an idea of just how hard these fellows are.

 

“X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”

While the crash was dramatic and the injuries fairly serious, the team remains hopeful that Porte can be back in action before the season is over. If all things go to plan, then they say that he could be racing again by August.

The other person involved in the crash, got back on his bike and finished the race.  When he was asked if he was hurting at all, he replied that he couldn’t tell yet.

I take my hat off to them.

After the stage was over, I went back out to pick a few more blackcurrants and have a last look round the garden.

new white flowers

Two new white flowers

clematis

A clematis with a big smile

astrantia

A fly turning its back on the beautiful centre of an astrantia

bee on ligularia

A bee among the twists and turns of the ligularia

I didn’t have long to look around as it was soon time to get showered and changed, ready to go out for a meal with the ‘old man’ of the Coniston climb, my brother Andrew.  He is on a touring holiday with his wife’s nephew Justin who comes from New Zealand and he kindly took the three of us out to the Douglas Hotel for an excellent meal.    We enjoyed good food and stimulating conversation.  It was interesting to get a New Zealand perspective on our present political situation in the UK.

The non flying bird of the day is one of our resident blackbirds, taking a dim view of life this afternoon.

blackbird

Note: I wish that I had had my flying bird camera to hand during the afternoon when I saw a sparrowhawk arrive in the garden, do a handbrake turn and disappear into the middle of our neighbour’s holly tree.  A very large number of starlings made a hasty exit from the tree in short order.  It was an unusual sight as mostly the sparrowhawks swoop down and pluck their prey  off a feeder, a branch or the ground.  I have never seen one fly into the middle of a thickly leaved tree before.

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my son Tony who has been experimenting with my old Lumix which I gave to him on Thursday.  This is his ‘flying birds’ taken at none  o’clock in the evening..

Tony's moon

We had a really lovely day today with a cool underlying temperature (17° C at its hottest) and wall to wall sunshine.  For me, this is just perfect as I don’t like it when it gets too hot.

I had to take some Archive Group heritage disks up to the Welcome to Langholm office in the morning so I took my camera with me and walked back by way of the Kilngreen and the new path round the Castleholm.  It was pure pleasure to be and about on such a day.

I took a couple of pictures in the garden before I left….

lilies

second poppy

…and enjoyed my extended walk back from the town.

The Sawmill Brig

The Sawmill Brig

grass beside the The Sawmill Brig

Rather ghostly grass along the river bank above the bridge

Ty Penningham's path

The ‘new’ path

Langholm Castle

Langholm Castle is getting smothered in growth on its ruined walls

I stopped to have a look at the two noble firs at the corner of the path as they are always interesting.  They were more interesting than usual today, I thought.  One of the pair was covered in more cones than I have ever seen before.

noble fir cones

The other had no cones at all but the remains of many flowers.

noble fir cones

I walked on, passing wild flowers….

wild flower

….and hearing odd sounds in the distance.

When I had crossed the Jubilee Bridge….

River Esk above Jubilee Bridge

The river Esk seen from the bridge. The trees make an impressive canyon for it to run through.

…the source of the sound became obvious as I was assailed by the playing of the Langholm Pipe Band…

Langholm Pipe Band

…who were entertaining a crowd of parents and children which had gathered for a junior cricket event.

I had time for a look at two very spiky flowers as I went round the playing field…

nettle and spiky flower

…along with a flower doing aerobics and a fly not flying.

hawkbit and fly

When I got back to the garden, I considered the down side from a lawn maintenance point of view of having a very prolific Philadelphus near the lawn….

philadelphus petals

…and then stopped moaning to myself and enjoyed combining clearing up the petals with mowing the lawn.

Middle lawn

When I had finished the lawn, I turned compost Bin B into compost C.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal came out to give her new secateurs a test.

secateurs

They passed.

The secateurs come with a special sharpening stone of their own and every part is replaceable individually.  They are Swiss made and are well worth the 600 mile round trip to get them.   I was allowed a go and can report that they are as smooth as butter in operation.

There are always roses to look at at present so I looked at some.

special grandma and Lilian Austin

Special Grandma and Lilian Austin

I noted the two different astilbes in the garden…

astilbes

…and was just going in for lunch when Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a butterfly.

small tortoiseshell butterfly

I was doubly pleased to see this small tortoiseshell, not just because it is always good to see a butterfly but also because the small tortoiseshells are said to be getting rather scarce.

After lunch, we went off to Carlisle.

Mrs Tootlepedal did some very good quality shopping (including dates, prunes, tea, coffee and cheese) while I went to a pub and did some unofficial bonding with a group of the basses and tenors from our Carlisle choir.   This involved beer and conversation and while I had very little beer, I did have a lot of conversation.  The bonding was the idea of one of the basses as the choir doesn’t meet in the summer months and a very good idea it was.

The odd thing about the affair was that on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, most of Carlisle seemed to think that packing into a pub was the best thing to do and the place was full  to bursting.  I had thought that we might be the only people to be in there on such a good day to be outside.

When I left after a couple of hours to go home with Mrs Tootlepedal, the rest of the bonders were still there chatting away merrily.

Once home, I thought of a cycle ride but the call of the compost was too strong and I finished the compost turning by putting the contents of Bin A into Bin B.  The new demountable wooden compost bins make this a very easy task but I was happy to have got the job finished.  The compost in Bin A was really quite hot in the centre of the heap and I hope it doesn’t get so hot in Bin B that it sets fire to the bin.  That would be a tragedy.

I took a couple of evening sunshine flower shots…

sweet peas

Sweet peas in their protective cage

lupin, foxglove and delphinium

Lupin, foxglove and delphinium

Checked out a bee on a hosta flower….

bee on hosta

…and went in to enjoy some fishcakes, with new potatoes and turnips from the garden, for my tea.

Altogether a very satisfactory day.

Here are two sitting Kilngreen ducks for the flying bird of the day slot today.

Kilngreen ducks

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who has been enjoying café society in the sunshine on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park.

Cafe overlooking the Serpentine, Hyde Park

In a surprise but very welcome move, Mrs Tootlepedal invited me out to lunch today.  The Buccleuch Centre, where she often helps out, is having an Italian week and she thought that I might enjoy a lasagne.

The weather was better today and this kind invitation gave me a big decision to make.  Should I go cycling before or after lunch?  The question turned out to be too difficult for me altogether and in the end I couldn’t choose and didn’t go cycling at all.  Choice is very overrated in my view.

The plus side was that I had a relaxing morning, had a good lunch and then did some useful work and had a walk in the afternoon.

Mrs Tootlepedal decided that it was time to lift the first of the early potatoes and the results were very satisfactory.

first new potatoes

We got a good crop of clean potatoes from the first row of plants and Mrs Tootlepedal soon had the space replanted with spinach (well protected from the marauding sparrows).

I took  time to wander round the flowers.  Yesterday’s rain hadn’t done any damage and even the sodden poppy looked quite perky.

poppy, lily, nasturtium and clematis

There is colour all around….

sweet william potentilla, orange hawkweed

…although the orange hawkweed is going over.

The paler astrantia is pulling in the bees.

astrantia and bee

The star of the morning was a rose once again.

rose

The lasagne at the Buccleuch Centre was absolutely excellent and as it was washed down by a glass or two of red wine and followed by coffee and cake, I was more than happy to sit down when we got home and watch the final kilometres of an enthralling stage of the Tour de France.

When it had finished, I went out for a short walk, just to work off the lunch.  I chose a route along the river to the Kilngreen, then over the Sawmill Brig, across the Castleholm and home by way of the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars Field.

I saw a large number of ducks on the Kilngreen and among the usual mallards there was a unusual white duck.

ducks

It was sitting peacefully with the regulars but I have no idea where it has come from.

I got another surprise when I got to the far end of the Kilngreen and saw these two very large fungi.

kilngreen fungi

As I often pass this way and have never knowingly seen them before, either they have grown very quickly or I am not paying  as much attention while I walk along as I should be.

While crossing the Castleholm, I took a look at the horse racing track which is being prepared for a race meeting this weekend.

Castleholm racetrack

On the outside of the neatly mowed track, all is long grass and clover.

grass and clover

After leaving the racetrack, I passed through a gate with a rotten top to one of its gateposts.

A rotten gatepost is always worth looking into.

fungus on gatepost

It’s a different world in there.

I passed many trees with things hanging from them….

tree seeds and fruits

…and noticed that the sheep were keeping a very low profile today.

sheep

I liked this….

haw

…and I liked this even more.

umbellifer

On my way home, I peeped over the hedge into a couple of gardens….

hydrangea and lupin

…and then I peeped over our own hedge to show the view of the garden that passers by see.

garden view

We had some of the new potatoes with our tea and they tasted very good.  I hope the next rows turn out as well as the first one has.

During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were busy with our bow saw and we cleared a literal backlog of logs by sawing them up ready for the stove.  In addition, I mowed the middle lawn which is looking better for its dose of weed and feed and sieved the last of the compost in Bin D.

I know readers will be feeling that they haven’t seen enough compost pictures recently so here is Bin C and Bin D with half the compost removed from Bin C into Bin D.

compost bins C and D

I will shift the other half later. Exciting times.

In the evening, I went off to practise with Henry’s Common Riding choir.  We now have three basses and we are doing our best to provide a sound foundation for the rest of the singers.  The songs are relatively easy and I am finding it most enjoyable to have a sing without any pressure to master tricky parts and memorise large numbers of words.

The flying bird of the day was one of the many young blackbirds in the garden.  It was flying a few moments after I took its picture.

Blackbird

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was rather surprised to find a police box figuring in the entrance to the distillery at Annan.

Annan distillery

As it was Sunday and the main roads are lorry free, I thought that the traditional pedal down to Newtown on the line of Hadrians Wall and back would be just the thing.  The forecast held a slight possibility of light rain and the certainty of a noticeable wind so I wrapped up well and set off not long after Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to sing with the church choir.

Newtown is twenty miles from home and Longtown is about halfway there so I broke up the forty miles with a  stop at Longtown on the way out…..

Longtown

The archways in the buildings gave access for a cart to allotments behind the houses when they were first built.

…for a drink of water and a bite of a guava energy bar.  Then I stopped at Newtown for a banana with a second stop at Longtown on the way back  (it looked just the same so I didn’t take another picture).

My only other stops were to admire the orchids on the Canonbie by-pass on the way out….

by-pass orchids

They were not hard to spot

…and again on the other side of the road on the way back.

by-pass orchids

If orchids are what you like, the Canonbie by-pass is the place to be.

While I was taking the pictures of the orchids on the way back, I saw a lot of fluttering going on.  There were several brown butterflies flitting about.

ringlet butterflies

These are ringlet butterflies and I read that the white trim round the wings of the one on the right means that it is newly emerged.

It did try to rain on me once or twice in a half hearted way on the return journey but it got bored and stopped after a mile or so I got home dry.

The vigorous wind turned out not to be a big problem as it was mostly coming from the side and the road south of Longtown has good hedges to hide behind.  Taking my cue from Geraint Thomas in the Tour de France time trial yesterday, I achieved a negative split and came back slightly faster than I went out.  All in all, it was a very satisfactory ride as I managed an average speed above 15 mph, a very rare thing for me these days.

Alaric the Goth gardener was hard at work in the garden when I got home.  (The gardener tells me that she feels more spiritually in tune with Alaric than Attila these days and who am I to argue.)

She took a break from heaping up piles of material for the shredder and we had a walk round.

The roses are looking wonderful….

Mundi, Crown Princess Margareta and Moss roses

Crown Princess Margareta in the middle of the panel is Alaric’s current favourite.

Rosa Wren

This is Rosa Wren, my current choice…

rambler roses

…though the rambler roses may take over soon

The palest of the astrantias is looking better every day and is now taking over as the chief bee magnet.

astrantia with bee

I think that the bee must be an old friend of the blog from the way he is waving at me.

Below the astrantia, a mass of campanula is also looking attractive.

campanula

There is a clematis on the metal fence next to the vegetable garden.  I took shots from both sides of the fence.

clematis

It raises a question.  Is this two flowers from the same plant but with different numbers of petals or are there in fact two identically coloured plants growing in the same space?  Mrs Tootlepedal has no answer to the question.

I love complex flowers so I took another picture of the spirea.

spirea

After lunch, we sat down to watch the second stage of the Tour de France but as there were still 84 km to go and the broadcast is often interrupted by advertisements, we decided to record it and come back to watch it again when we could skip through the ads at lightening speed, thanks to the wonders of technology.

In the meantime, I went for a walk up Meikleholm Hill to see if there were orchids there too.

There are no sheep or cattle on the hill at the moment and the result is that the hillside is a carpet of wild flowers…

Meikleholm Hill

…of many different sorts.

Meikleholm wild flowers

The hill was carpeted with tormentil, lady’s bedstraw (?) and hawkbit, in various different places…

Meikleholm hill wild flowers

…and the orchids which were there in good numbers were a bit of a sideshow.

meikleholm orchids

The spotted leaves tell me that these are marsh orchids.

I followed the flowery path round the side of the hill….

Meikleholm Hill

…meeting various objects of interest…

meikleholm fungus

…along the way.

Horse and rider meikleholm Hill

The horsewoman kindly paused to let me take her picture.

When I got to the gate at the col between Meikleholm and Timpen, I weighed up the weather, decided that it was friendly and struck out for the summit of Timpen with its fine views….

View from Timpen

The lightest fields are ones where the grass has been cut for silage.

…and obsolete trigonometrical point.

Timpen trig point

This part of the hill hill did have sheep on it so instead of wild flowers I saw bog cotton, sphagnum moss and reed tussocks.

bog cotton, moss, reed

It started to look as though it might rain so I didn’t linger and popped back down the hill as fast as good sense and a stout pair of walking poles would let me.

The Tour de France stage was worth waiting for and turned out to be more exciting than expected.

I rounded off the day with a visit to the shops where I was ambushed by a pot of clotted cream (Mrs Tootlepedal had been making scones.  It wasn’t my fault)  followed by a visit to the front lawn where I applied a generous measure of buck-u-uppo.   It has been a a generally cool summer and the grass is not growing fast enough to discourage the moss..  It was well under 60 degrees F when I was cycling in the morning.  We need a bit of heat.

The flying bird of the day is a very strange creature which Mrs Tootlepedal spotted.  It looked like a cross when it settled on a leaf but it flew all round the borders of the middle lawn before finally giving me an opportunity to shoot it.  I have no idea what it is and would welcome enlightenment.

curious creature

 

 

 

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After yesterday’s guest picture of boating in Birmingham, my brother’s guest picture for today shows navigation in Nottingham.

River Trent

The best plan for today from a cycling point of view would have been to get out for a ride promptly while the wind was fairly light and the day was fair but unfortunately my other plan was to visit the producers’ market at the Buccleuch Centre to procure, fish, meat honey and coffee.

One plan had to go and the lure of good food won so I went to the producers’ market.

When I got back, the sun was out so instead of getting out on my bike then, I wandered about taking pictures.

delphiniums

Not all the delphiniums were knocked over.

Queen of Denmark

A few flies on the Queen of Denmark even in the morning.

Bobbie James

Bobbie James looking cheerful

In between wandering, I picked a strawberry or two, thinned out some more gooseberries (there are still a tremendous amount on the bush) and considered the middle lawn.

A couple of years ago, I encouraged jackdaws to visit the middle lawn by bribing them with pink pellets.  I had hoped that the resultant bird droppings might help to fertilize the grass.  The results were disappointing as there was no noticeable extra growth in the grass and instead there was a huge increase in the weeds on the lawn.  As a result, I have had to go against my usual practice and consider applying weed and feed.  Today seemed to be a good day, so I did just that and I am now awaiting the results.

After I had finished the foul deed. I went back to look at the flowers to cheer myself up.  I hit a small purple patch.

lamium

moss rose

I noticed the the privet under the walnut tree is starting to come out….

privet

…and as they are usually very attractive to bees, I am hoping for new bee pictures from here soon.  Meanwhile, I had to make do with the astrantia which was pulling them in again today.

bee on astrantia

Astrantias must have an inexhaustible supply of pollen. Mind you, they do have a lot of flowers.

We are waiting for the poppies to come out but there is colour on every side in the meantime.

P1000100

We have a day lily which has been producing flowers far beyond the call of duty but I haven’t been able to produce a photograph which does it justice.  I failed again today but I have put it in anyway.  The camera just doesn’t like the colour of the flowers.

day lily

Finally I had a look at the peonies which have produced a second crop of flowers….

peonies

…a very close look….

peony

…and went in to make some lentil soup for lunch.

The sun soon disappeared and the wind got up so instead of cycling after lunch, I trimmed the hedge along the road.  Once again, I abandoned any thought of neat straight lines and aimed for an artistic ripple, necessity being the mother of invention in this case as the underlying fence has sagged badly in places..

front hedge

As I was putting the hedge clipper back, I was distracted by a lot of noise from above.  A large party of starlings were shouting and screaming on the telephone wires above the garden.

starling shouting

They took offence at me when I tried to take a photograph and went off to sit in a holly tree next door.

starling

Then  I once more thought about a pedal but almost immediately, it started to rain so I went back indoors and watched the first stage of the Tour de France on the telly.  It was no consolation to find that it was raining six times as hard in Dusseldorf and poor cyclists were ending up on the ground as they went flying round corners on dangerously skinny tyres.

It is good to know though that there will always be something interesting to watch on the telly if we have a wet afternoon during the next three weeks.

I was still thinking about a late pedal but occasional rain put me off and only when it was too late, did the skies clear and the wind drop.   By that time, I was cooking fish for my tea.

I did get a couple of useful tasks done in the garden and even sieved some compost, though I can’t remember precisely when I did it,  but it was still a rather disappointing day in general and I was glad to see the back of it.  I hope to feel more positive tomorrow.

There is a flying bird picture of the day today.  It shows two of the disputatious starlings making their getaway.

flying starlings

 

 

 

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Today’s  guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew on a recent visit to Birmingham.  It is a city of many canals.

Birmingham canal

I had slept very badly and was enjoying a much needed lie in and snooze when the phone rang twice.  My mild irritation was assuaged when I discovered that it was Dropscone offering to bring round the traditional Friday treacle scones at coffee time.  This galvanised me enough to get me out of bed and, after a light breakfast, out into the garden to survey the damage to the delphiniums.

It was considerable.

damaged delphiniums

The wind and the rain had been too much for them.

Mrs Tootlepedal got busy with the secateurs…..

damaged delphiniums

…but the flowers were not discarded and by the end of the day they were brightening up the kitchen…

damaged delphiniums

…assisted by some surplus Bobbie James, Philadelphus and Sweet William.

It makes washing up a whole new experience.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was wielding the snippers, I was doing some snapping.

It is best to take pictures of the roses in the morning…..

roses

Clockwise from top left: Crown Princess Margareta, Ginger Syllabub, Lilian Austin and the Wren

…because if you leave it until the afternoon or evening, they tend to get covered in little flies.

Queen of Denmark

The Queen of Denmark suffering from lèse-majesté

After yesterday’s wind and rain, there was even a drop of golden sun today….

bee on geranium

…but only a drop or two.  It didn’t last.

I like to peer closely at a Lamb’s Ear….

Lamb's ear

…just because they seem so much more like textiles than plants.

I had to peer very closely to find the lily that is hidden behind the dogwood and the tree peony.  It is doing well in its hideaway, protected from the unkind elements.

lily

Dropscone arrived on schedule and we enjoyed scones from the Old Town of Langholm and coffee from Peru.  Kings and princes can only gawp in envy at our good fortune.

After Dropscone departed, I mowed the greenhouse grass and had another walk round the garden.

There are a few clematis on the go at the moment…

clematis

This one is against the wall beside the front door

…but there are more to come.

I walked out of the garden and had a look at the colour along the back wall of the house.

back wall

These are all growing on a narrow strip of poor soil between the back of the house and the dam.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been out having coffee with ex work colleagues and when she came back we had lunch and then, while she went out to work in the garden, I got into my cycling clothes and gave my fairly speedy bike a thorough wash and brush up.

The result was a very silent ride when I went out for the 20 mile round trip to Canonbie and back.

The smooth running of the bike may explain the cheerful nature of my pedalling which got me round the route in a record time for this year so far.   Once again, the direction of the brisk wind was such that it kindly blew me down to the bottom of Canonbie at an average of 16 mph and then didn’t hurt me too much on the way back.

I only stopped once as there was always a threat of rain in the air but I did find a good place to stop at.  It was rich in interest.

There were these….

orchid, trefoil, plantain and daisy

…and these…

umbelifer, campion, rattle and clover

…and these too…

insects, flies, soldier beetles

…all within a couple of paces of where I stopped the bike.

And those were by no means all that I could have photographed.

When I got back, things were going so well that I mowed the middle and front lawns to complete my happiness.

Mrs Tootlepedal was still busy trimming hedges and planting out even more poppies so I had another walk round with the camera.

Two more clematis caught my eye…

clematis

…along with the dancing feet of the honeysuckle…

honeysuckle

…the wild gestures of the Christmas Tree…

Christmas tree

…the first hosta flowers…

hosta

…and a pretty well perfect iris.

iris

I retired indoors for a shower and took the opportunity to lean out of an upstairs window and use the panorama function of the camera to get a general view of the garden.

garden panorama June 17

Click on the picture for an enlarged version.

To round off a good day, Mike and Alison came round in the evening.  They have been on holiday in Wales and they like to browse the many bookshops there.  Alison had discovered no less than three second hand pieces of music for us to play.  They are by Nicholas Chedeville (1705-1782), Nicola Matteis, (c 1675) and Marin Marais (1656-1728) all published 50 or 60 years ago.  They are approachable pieces but they all have plenty of problems requiring serious practice for both of us so we won’t be short of something to do when the long winter evenings begin to draw in.

The forecast for tomorrow is good so I hope to start July as I have finished June, with a an enjoyable bike ride and the chance to take a few pictures.

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