Posts Tagged ‘Botanic Gardens’

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s African trip.  She met a number of alarming animals as she went along.

Nile crocodile

My day started with a visit to the doctor to inquire about the possibility of a miracle cure and consult about the blood test results following my mild anaemia.  The blood results could not have been better as all my levels were just about as good as they could be.  The doctor declared that I was in perfect health and I was almost embarrassed to mention my foot trouble and show her my swollen foot.

Her diagnosis was osteoarthritis due to wear and tear and the miracle cure was thus not available.  She has sent me off for an x-ray though in case I have got some other damage in my foot.  As that will probably take two weeks to happen, I shall continue to hobble around muttering balefully meanwhile.

It was a lovely day though so that cheered me up when I got back into the garden, especially when I found out that Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy putting a neat edge on the middle lawn.

edged lawn

Nothing makes a lawn look better than a neat edge.

I did the edges of the front lawn and then took a look round.  In the pond, the tadpoles are still in a heap but they are looking quite healthy and should start swimming around soon.


It was such a perfect day that I thought that I might test out the idea that had been put into my head by Stan at our last camera club meeting and try what a mirror could do.

The dog tooth violet seemed like a good subject as it hangs its head down so I stuck the mirror underneath it and had a go with my little Lumix.

violet with mirror

The result was very satisfactory in that I got a shot which I don’t think that I could have got by any other method without picking the flower.

violet in mirror (2)

I got my Nikon out, put the macro lens on and tried a few other flowers with the mirror technique.

A hellebore…

hellebore in mirror

…a scylla…

scylla in mirror

…and back to the violet again.

violet in mirror

I am grateful to Stan as it is obviously a really promising idea….though if I am seen walking through the woods with a shaving mirror in my hand, I may get some odd looks.

While I had the macro lens on, I peered at the euphorbia…

euphorbia in sunshine

…the doronicum…


…and the nameless little white flowers.

two little white flowers

I noticed the very first dicentra of the year…

first dicentra

…and Mrs Tootlepedal noticed that there were several ladybirds about too.

ladybird in garden

Mrs Tootlepedal went in to cook some sticky toffee pudding and I stayed out in the garden and was very pleased to get a visit from a man from the power company who had come to inspect our wobbly electricity pole,  He gave the bottom of the pole some savage whacks with a hammer and decided that the telephone men had been wise not to climb up it.  It has to go and after some consideration of the possibility of digging trenches through three gardens (as the pole serves three houses), he decided that putting up a new pole would be the way to go.  To avoid wrecking Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden, the hole for the pole will be hand dug.  This will make for interesting work for the apprentices whose job it will be to dig the hole.

In the end, as we were going to Edinburgh as usual to visit Matilda, I had to leave the garden reluctantly and make a little lunch.  I watched the birds as the soup heated.

In spite of a free perch on the other side of the feeder, a lady chaffinch thought that it was quite all right to trample on an innocent goldfinch.

chaffinch stamping goldfinch

To try to tempt some different birds to come to the feeders, I have put out some peanuts.  Mrs Tootlepedal saw a blue tit visit but the only bird I saw nibbling on the nuts was this siskin.

siskin on peanuts

On the whole, the sunflower hearts seem much more attractive than the peanuts and the birds were jumping at the chance to get a seed.

siskin landing

The trip to Edinburgh was delightful, with the train on time and the countryside looking at its best in the sun.

When we got there, Matilda was away from home practising a dance routine for a forthcoming competition so I had a moment to take a very short stroll through the nearby Botanic gardens.

It was a good place to be.


Matilda returned and we had time for a chat before a meal of asparagus and lemon linguine cooked by Al and Mrs Tootlepedal’s sticky toffee pudding.  Al and Clare are in the middle of moving to their new house and we hope to be able to see it with the furniture and floors in soon.

The journey home went well so apart from still having a sore foot, it was a very satisfactory day.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture was taken by my brother on his recent outing to Wales and shows the train from Bedgelert coming round the mountain.

train from Bedgelert

The resting of my thumb has gone very well and it is a good deal less painful than it was on Thursday.  There is no doubt that too much work holding up a heavy camera and manipulating a mouse has not done it any good.  A number of other things, such as recorder playing, cycling and lawn mowing also add to its work load so a weekend off was just what the doctor had ordered.

As it happened, I didn’t get too bored away from doing the things that I like because we spent the weekend in Glasgow, taking in a very enjoyable performance of the Mikado on Friday and an evening of Elgar’s music provided by our Carlisle choir conductor’s Glasgow choir on Saturday.  This choir, from Bearsden, is even bigger than ours and was singing with a full orchestra so it made an exciting sound.

We went up and down by train so it was a very relaxing outing and the fact that the weather was beautiful throughout was a bonus.  We enjoyed  a stroll along the Clyde in the sunshine on Saturday and as I had my very lightweight Lumix on my pocket, I couldn’t resist taking a snap or two, though there are no flying birds to show for it.  They need the heavy camera.

I am trying limit my typing for the moment so the pictures will go in with the briefest comments I can manage.

Clyde walk

Typical Glasgow spring weather

There are many bridges over the Clyde in this part of the city.

Kingston Bridge

Even the motorway bridge looked quite attractive

Clyde bridges

Sometimes there were so many bridges that you could hardly see the water

We walked over a couple of the newer pedestrian bridges, the one in the picture above and the one in the picture below…

clyde bridge

…and admired the new road bridge too.

clyde bridge

The riverside has been extensively redeveloped…

clyde bank

…for both housing and leisure facilities.


This auditorium is known as The Armadillo for some reason

There is a stray wire in the picture of The Armadillo and it got in the way of a picture of the Bell’s Bridge, built for the Garden Festival in 1988 too.

Bell's Bridge

For once it wasn’t a power company to blame.  On this occasion it was a large crew of charity fund-raisers whizzing across the river on a temporary zip-wire.

Zip wire

Rather them than me.

As well as new bridges and buildings, some of the old features are still around.

Tunnel rotunda and finnieston crane

The rotunda on the left was built for the Glasgow Harbour tunnel which let pedestrians and horse drawn vehicles cross the river by tunnel.  The rotunda housed a giant lift.  The Finnieston Crane on the right is no longer in working order, but is retained as a symbol of the city’s engineering heritage.    Another of the new leisure buildings lurks behind it.

Old and new could be seen on every side….

Waverley Paddle steamer

The Waverley paddle steamer was moored in front of the Science Tower on one side of the river….

the restored Clydebuilt barque Glenlee

…and the restored Clydebuilt barque Glenlee was parked outside the brand new Riverside Museum on the other bank.

Some old docks looked as though they were still waiting for development opportunities.

Clyde docks

Although the development is pretty impressive, it lacks the small shops and cafe’s which would lend it a more human touch.

We left the river and walked back into the city past the Kelvingrove Museum (where we had lunch) and the university.

kelvingrove and Glasgow University

No one on Glasgow ever thought that a building didn’t need another turret or a taller tower….

towers and turrets

…and a bit of an ornament (or two) as well.

We had a quick look round the museum and art gallery after we had finished our lunch.


Talking heads and an organ recital kept us entertained

Then we headed up the hill to the Botanic gardens, which were a popular destination.

Botanic gardens Glasgow

Botanic gardens Glasgow

There were good displays of blossom, rhododendrons and tulips to delight the eye….

Botanic gardens Glasgow

…and, of course, a little ornamental decoration too.

Botanic gardens Glasgow

By this time, we were well exercised and retired to our hotel for a snooze before the evening’s concert.

By great good fortune, we found the last available table for two in a very nice Italian cafe just across the road from the concert and enjoyed a delicious meal of roast hake before the Elgar.

As trips to the big cities go, this was a winner and the train journey back this morning was as pleasant as all the rest of the trip.

No heavy camera, no flying bird.

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