Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘climbing hydrangea’

Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce.  Having left Scotland by sailing under three bridges across the Forth, he has sent me this picture of sailing under another bridge and not just any old bridge but The Bridge.  Yes, that one, the Øresund Bridgefamiliar to all lovers of Scandinavian Noir TV.

The Bridge

Bruce may have had sunny weather as he cruised up the Øresund, but we didn’t even get a glimpse of the sun here today and it rained pretty well the whole time.  That made for a dull day for a start, both literally and metaphorically.  The dullness was enhanced by the  after effects of yesterday’s enjoyable walk which has left with me with a number of niggling aches and pains.

Thanks to the combination of rain and pain, it seemed as though the best thing to do after breakfast would be to go back to bed and do the prize crossword, so I did exactly that.

I got up for coffee and then went off shopping in Carlisle with Mrs Tootlepedal.  We acquired a mundane piece of domestic plumbing equipment and then walked round a couple of garden centres rather morosely in the drizzle.  We did have a light lunch at one of the centres but in keeping with the general tone of the day, the home made soup had run out before we got there.

The forecast had suggested that it might stop raining in the afternoon so I was hoping for a gentle pedal but the forecast was wrong, and as I couldn’t raise any enthusiasm for getting wet, I stayed in and practised songs for tomorrow’s choir concert.

I hadn’t taken a single photograph all day, so I put up my umbrella and walked round the garden before settling down to sing.

The climbing hydrangea is progressing but the first flowers that come out are sterile and are of no interest to bees.

climbing hydrangea

A few foxgloves are doing their best…

foxglove in the rian

…and the lupins don’t seem to mind the cool, wet weather.

lupins bnearly full out

I did get one fuzzy picture of a bee who was ignoring the rain.

bee on lamium

I liked this selection of Dutchman’s Breeches looking as though they were hanging on a  washing line…

dicentra

…although they wouldn’t have got very dry today.

wet hosta leaves

The light was poor for looking at birds but I spent a moment or two looking out of the new bird spotting window.

Mrs Tootlepedal has moved the old sunflower stalk and stuck it in the ground near the re-positioned feeder pole.  A redpoll was grateful for the perch..

redpoll on sunflower stalk nf

…and went from there to the feeder.

redpoll on NF

A sparrow looked as though he would have liked an umbrella too.

shrouded sparrow

As we were having a lazy day, we had a ready cooked meal for our tea.  It turned out to be very good so at least the day ended on a cheerful note.

A sparrow is the flying bird of the day.

flying sprrow young

Sorry about the dull post.

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was struck by the elegant simplicity of this device for opening all the windows of a glasshouse near Denholm in one fell swoop.

glasshouse window opener

The forecasters tend to look on the gloomy side of things and although we were promised a morning of rain,  thunder and lightning, in the end we got nothing more shocking than another heavy shower and the arrival of Dropscone for coffee.

Dropscone was due to play in a golf tournament near Denholm in the afternoon so he was a bit apprehensive but unless he was very unlucky, he should have been all right because the rest of our day here was fine, often sunny and quite pleasantly warm for once too.

This let me get out into the garden to pick some of Mrs Tootlepedal’s carrots.  We are plagued by carrot root fly so Mrs Tootlepedal has been taking extra precautions this year and they seem to have paid off.  Carrots have joined the beetroot and wild raspberry jam in the home produce section of our kitchen.

carrots, jam and beetroot

The wild raspberries produce a rather ‘pippy’ jam but it does have a very good flavour.

The scientific rain gauge shows just how heavy our brief showers have been…

rain gauge

…but I was able to get out into the garden to do some dead heading and tidying up.  The last of the delphiniums are now assisting the compost.

By early afternoon, not only was the washing hanging out and drying quickly but the poppies were holding their heads up in a very satisfactory way.  I didn’t photograph the washing but I did snap a poppy or two.

 

poppypoppypoppypoppy

Once again the bees had not been discouraged….

bees on poppy and cornflower

…and I was particularly pleased to see a small tortoiseshell as well as the more common large white.

white and tortoiseshell butterflies

The tortoiseshell was hiding in a box ball but I should be able to get a better picture in a few days if it keeps coming to the garden.

I had received an unexpected letter from Germany a few days ago and in it, a lady who has started to read the blog fairly recently introduced herself and told me that she would be coming to Canonbie.  She added that she would be happy to share a cup of tea, a biscuit and some conversation with me.  We had a mutual friend in a colleague who taught across the landing from me in Langholm Primary School some forty years ago.

A cup of tea alone is a considerable inducement but when a biscuit is added, who can resist so I got on the fairly speedy bike, readjusted my new mirror and set off to cycle down to Canonbie by my usual route.

Instead of looking for wild flowers today, I thought that I would look at views on my way.

There was no shortage.

Whita Hill seen from Chapelhills

Whita Hill seen from Chapelhills

Looking down over the Esk valley from Tarcoon

Looking down over the Esk valley from Tarcoon

Cows at Mossknowe

Cows at Mossknowe

Cows at Mossknowe

Cows at Mossknowe: taking the longer view

View through my favourite trees at Grainstonehead

View through my favourite trees at Grainstonehead

Liddle Viaduct at Riddings

Testing the zoom: The Liddle Viaduct at Riddings seen from Grainstonehead about a mile away.

The old road passes Woodhouselees

The old road passes Woodhouselees

As you can see, it was a beautiful afternoon with the added bonus of not being too hot so that when I got to the house that I was visiting, I was in good order to pay a social call.

My welcome was very warm and the tea was refreshing, the biscuit nourishing and the conversation interesting.  It was useful to get a view of Brexit and Britain as seen from abroad as our press is generally very insular and we don’t have much of a view of what is going on over the Channel.  I was pleased that my blog had lead to such a sociable and informative occasion.

I stayed an hour and then cycled on home and took one last view on my way.

Whita seen from the old A7 near Irvine House

Whita seen from the old A7 near Irvine House

I thought that the completed silage and the puddle gave a good reflection of our changeable weather.

The wind was very brisk again and I was happy to find it pushing me back up the hill into Langholm.  We should be grateful for the brisk wind, as it has been helpful in getting things dry after the heavy rain showers.

When I got back home, I had enough energy left from talking and cycling to mow the greenhouse grass and trim back the climbing hydrangea so that it no longer threatens to block our gutter.

hydrangea

I see when I look at the picture, that the trim might need straightening up a bit.

I also had time for a look at two flowers, a nicotiana, a favourite of Mrs Tootlepedal who loves the scent in the evening and a red astrantia, which has waited until the paler varieties are dying back before making an appearance.  As regular readers will know, I dearly love an astrantia so I was very pleased to see this one finally coming out.

astrantia and nocotiana

I was also pleased to see a water lily in flower.  Often when rain fills up the pond, the water lilies get drowned.

Whita seen from the old A7 near Irvine House

It has started to rain again as I write this. We have several more days of sunshine and showers to come but if the balance between the rain and shine is the same as it was today, we won’t complain too much.

 

 

Read Full Post »