Posts Tagged ‘buttercup’

As well as seeing beautiful river scenes, Bruce has also met St Aidan of Lindisfarne on his Northumberland break, and his statue is the guest picture of the day.

St Aidan of Lindisfarne

There was an infernal racket in the garden this morning and anyone who extols the calming and peaceful nature of bird song has obviously not heard young starlings asking to be fed.

It was raucous.

starling parent and child

And sometimes the parents looked fed up with the demands for food.

two starlings

Young starlings grow quickly but they don’t develop the patterned feathers of the adult so it was easy to tell that this was a youngster waiting for a grown up to appear…

yoiung starling

…which it did in short order, carrying a beakful of worms…

starling bringing food

…which were gratefully received.

starling feeding child

I took a look at the burgeoning clematis flowers along the garage…

garge clematis

…and went off to help Mrs Tootlepedal distribute the wood chips that we collected yesterday on to the vegetable garden paths.

We laid down an impermeable lining and then added the chippings.  The result looked quite satisfactory.

chipped paths

There are more chips to be collected and more paths to be covered so it is ongoing work.

Beside the back fence, a small wild area added colour….


…while further along, a transplanted clematis has flowered to Mrs Tootlepedal’s delight.

back fence clematis

I had a wander round, passing my favourite astantias…

two astrantias

…and noting the first flowers on the wiegela…


…before stopping to check on the azalea which has been badly affected by lack of rain.

The recent wet weather has encouraged it to open some of its buds after all and…

thirsty azalea

…as it is due to keep raining for some days, all may not be lost.

The waxy leaves of lupins and hostas held the evidence.

two waxy leaves

The clematis by the front door is beginning to look a bit bedraggled so I took a picture of it while it is still looking stunning.

front door azalea

Mrs Tootlepedal is easing the frost bitten but recovering fuchsia out of the greenhouse day be day..

fuchsia out of greenhouse

…and I hope to see it in position in the garden soon.

When I had finished wandering, I set about doing a little more shifting and sieving of the compost in Bin C.  The sieved bits are looking good.

buckets of compost

It was reasonably warm in the garden and there were threats of rain but it kept dry for the morning and only started to rain in earnest as we left to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh.

The train was even later than usual but as one disgruntled passenger pointed out as we arrived at Waverley Station 28 minutes late, this was two minutes too early for us to be able to claim part of the fare back.  Ah well.  And it was pouring with rain when we got out of the station so it was not our finest travelling day.

Matilda was in excellent form when we arrived.  Mrs Tootlepedal was particularly welcomed as she is making a dress for Matilda to wear at a school performance and had brought her measuring tape with her to get the size right.  After the measuring had been done, we played Go Fish and Beggar My Neighbour with Matilda and all I can say is that I didn’t catch many fish and I was utterly beggared by both Matilda and Mrs Tootlepedal.  I have always had characteristically bad luck at cards.

The journey home was delayed too and it was still raining as we drove home so it was good to get back to a warm, dry house.

The flying bird of the day is one of the starlings returning to our neighbour’s holly tree where they are roosting.

flying starling

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Today’s guest picture is another from Annie’s visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.  Alliums are Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourites but hers don’t usually look as regimented as these.


As it happened, I had a chance to look at Mrs Tootlepedal’s alliums this morning after breakfast and I thought that they looked very good…


Allium alley

…even though they are not so perfectly spherical as the ones at Chelsea.

I had taken the camera out into the garden because I had spotted a frog in the pond…


…and while I was out there, I looked at the Camassia…


It has nearly gone as far as it can go

…and the Irises….


…which are just starting out on their journey

I went back in and saw one of our many beady eyed blackbirds through the kitchen window….


…before packing up some newspapers and a packet of Jaffa Cakes and setting off to to do two hours in the Information Hub on the High Street.

The Hub is hosting an art exhibition by two talented local artists so I was quite busy in my role as ‘curator’ of the exhibition as well as answering requests for information from several actual tourists and I had a good time.  As a bonus Dropscone dropped in to give me some company.  I will be sconeless for a while, as he is going off to act as an offical at a big international children’s golf competition near Edinburgh for several days.

I had hoped to  make good use of another very fine and sunny day with some extensive lawn care and a cycle ride but for some reason or other, my back had taken the huff and I was having a bit of difficulty walking let alone doing anything more vigorous.  It is just a twinge from a long standing problem and should be gone soon with some careful management.

After lunch, I went out and had a longing look at the lawns, which could have done with some tender care, and then looked at flowers instead.


A brisk wind was fluttering the geraniums


The fancy tulips by the front door are being reduced in number every day and their red companions have all gone.


The clematis round the back door is coming on strongly

It was such a lovely day that staying indoors seemed a sin.  I was able to pedal my slow bike about if I was careful so I went off to the nuthatch nest to see if the parents would be about.  They were obviously feeding young as they went in and out with great regularity…


…and even took some time to tidy the nest out.


The sun is in the wrong place for getting good pictures of the birds in the afternoon and I should try to get up early if the weather is fine again tomorrow and take some better shots.  I wouldn’t bet the house on that happening though.

The nest is in a fine pair of trees, worth looking at in their own right.

Nuthatch trees

While I was watching the nuthatches, I could hear some flapping nearby and after some investigation, I could see a pigeon sitting on a nest on a branch of the same tree.


From time to time her partner arrived with food and on one occasion, with some additional furniture for the apartment.


I pottered off on the slow bike just to turn my legs over for a mile or so and stopped to look at a cheerful patch of wild flowers on the Castleholm.

Castleholm Wildflowers

Castleholm Wildflowers

Garden escapes provided some other colour beside the Lodge Walks.


In the surroundings of green this azalea stands out like a flickering flame


There are plenty of rhododendrons about too

I was hoping to get a flying bird or two at the Kilngreen but being a bank holiday, the Kilngreen was full of human visitors rather than birds so I settled for a nougat wafer slider from Pelosi’s ice cream van and pedalled home slowly.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was just finishing her gardening for the day. After a look at a promising peony…


…we went inside, where we were soon joined by Mike Tinker who arrived in nice time for a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit.

My back was giving me enough trouble to persuade me to reluctantly cancel an evening of trio playing with Mike and Isabel but I managed to give Luke his flute lesson before retiring to sit down for the rest of the evening.

I didn’t spend much time looking at birds out of the kitchen window so this was my best effort at a flying bird of the day.   Must do better.

flying siskin




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