Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘full moon’

Today’s guest picture is a puzzle.  Is it the south of France? Is is a tropical Isle? No, it is sunny Wemyss turning up trumps yet again for the lens of our son Tony.

another wemyss view

We had a touch of frost in the very early morning but by the time that I got up the sky was as blue as the lithodora….

lithodora

…and it stayed that way all day.

In spite of coming from the south west, the wind had a distinct nip in it as I walked round the garden after breakfast.

As long as I was in the sunshine though, it was a pleasure to be out enjoying Mrs Tootlepedal’s flowers.

rhododendron

The tulips look delightful when they are backlit by the morning sun.

mroning poppy

And the sun must surely encourage the advent of the age of the azalea and alliums which is reluctant to to dawn while the mornings are so cold.

allium and azalea

To be fair to them, I looked back at previous years and found it is really a bit early to expect full blown alliums and the azaleas are often later too..

The very first honeysuckle flower is trying to creep out unobserved…

first honeysuckle

…while the clematis round the garage doors is secretly adding a flower or two every day.

growing clematis

The street socially distanced coffee morning convened at the usual time and as well as our Garibaldi biscuits, Liz provided a very tasty mixed fruit cake and the general consensus was that there wouldn’t be much call for a big lunch later on.

Because of the continuing lack of rain, there was a lot of watering to be done in the garden.  While the water was spraying,  I dead headed tulips and tore up a cardboard box to add to the compost in Bin A.

While I was there, I was very happy to note that professional pollinators were on the job in the espalier apple trees.

bees on apple blossom

The sun had encouraged an Icelandic poppy to give us a smile.

first icelandic poppy

I was encouraged to go indoors for an early lunch in order to make use of the fine day by going for a good cycle ride.  I foolishly glanced at the crossword and wasted time before I finally managed to get organised enough to actually go out on my bike.  (It was an enjoyable crossword.)

The cold wind of the morning had eased off a bit, but it was still noticeably chilly for such a lovely day.  This had the good effect of keeping me cool under a cloudless sky and the breeze wasn’t strong enough to make much of a difference to my speed.  I averaged 14 mph down to the coast over the only substantial uphill section of the ride and then I managed 14 mph on the much gentler return journey.  The joy of cycling when there isn’t a strong wind is indescribably great, if only because it is so rare.

It would have been hard to find a better day for a ride.  There is still very little traffic on the road.  I met a few but not many other cyclists and they were all going in the opposite direction to me so there was no call to try to keep up with people passing me or to get depressed when they shoot off into the distance.

The verges are perking up and I saw quite a lot of crosswort today.  By dint of putting my shadow over one example, I even got a half decent picture.

crosswort

I never cease to be amazed by the design work that goes into building flowers.

We are not quite in full leaf yet as this study of clothed and naked trees staring at each other across the Kirkpatrick Fleming road shows.

bare and clothed trees

I was aiming to do 50 miles so I stopped every twelve and a half miles to rest my legs, drink some water and eat some guava jelly and a date.  At my first stop, I leaned my bike against a road sign and had a close look at the reflective surface.

road sig pattern

The signs are so bright these days that they constitute a dazzling hazard themselves for elderly night drivers.

The cow parsley is thriving and I just had to be careful not to take my eye of any potholes while I was admiring the flowers.

cow parsley and potholes

Sometimes, both verges joined in the fun.

cow parsley both sides

When it came to trees, these four near Eastriggs were my favourites of the day…

eastriggs trees

…but they were run close by this attractive newly planted avenue near Rockcliffe in Cumbria…

avenue at rockliffe

…and this specimen with an added gorse hedge at its foot near Whamtown.

leaning tree and gorse

I realised that I was going to miss the regular family Zoom meeting, so I stopped on the road below Canonbie School to check in for a moment and apologise.

When I looked around I could see some striking red campion beside the road….

red campion canonbie

…with a shady wild flower mixture nearby…

red campion and violets

…and a Pyrenean Valerian in flower on the opposite side of the road.

pyrenean valerian canonbie

So that turned out to be a good place to pause.

After that, I headed home for a much needed sit down, having covered 54 miles, my (just) longest ride of the year so far.

I sat out in the garden for a moment with Mrs Tootlepedal while our evening meal was cooking and we enjoyed the evening sun lighting up the tulips.

evening tulips

I was getting ready to sit down and write this post, regretting that I hadn’t got a flying bird of the day to finish it, when I noticed a very nearly full ‘flower’ moon out of a window.  It may not be a flying bird, but at least it is up in the sky.

moon may

Read Full Post »

Once in a blue moon

The forecast was right, the sky cleared and I got a look at the famous moon.  It was too high for any colour and too far east for any eclipse but all the same, I thought that it was well worth a look.

It is absolutely fantastic to me, born well before the space age, to think that people have been there and wonderful to think that technological progress has put the means of seeing the moon so closely into the hands of anyone with a half decent camera.

blue moonblue moon_DSC1012blue moon

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was in Edinburgh yesterday and was comforted by the up to date police protection afforded to its citizens.

Edinburgh Police

I had much better weather for my trip to the Moorland Feeders today and it was only a pity that the birds stayed away in great numbers.  I suspect that a sparrow hawk must have been in the vicinity.

The pheasants aren’t frightened of anyone or anything, being hand reared.

pheasant

…and occasional chaffinches popped up here and there.

chaffinch

A  single woodpecker paid a flying visit…

woodpecker

…and that was about it so I didn’t stay long.

I saw a crow on the top of the walnut tree when I got home and my new lens made light of the distance.

crow in walnut tree

I didn’t have long to look round the garden but I was happy to see that the sunshine had brought the bees back…

bees on poppy

..in force…

bees on poppy

…and a butterfly or two too.

red admiral butterfly

This one was looking a bit ‘end of season’.

The reason that I didn’t have long to garden wander was that I wanted to get a quick pedal in before lunch.

The wind was a bit lighter today so I went over the hill…

View from tarcoon

The view from Tarcoon

…and down to Canonbie and then back along the banks of the Esk….

Esk at Byreburnfoot

…which had plenty of water in it after yesterday’s rain.

I chose this spot to take the river picture because in previous years I have seen a lot of fungus there…

fungus at Byreburnfoot

…and they have come back again this year.  There were dozens of these fungi sprouting on a plain patch of mown grass.

I had been blown down to the bottom of the by-pass by a friendly breeze so the journey back to Langholm was a bit more like hard work and as I was under some time pressure, I didn’t stop for more pictures.

I went  fast enough to have left time for another quick look round the garden after a shower and lunch.

Crown Princess Margareta

Crown Princess Margareta has made a welcome reappearance

poppy

This poppy had given the bees all it could give.

I saw another butterfly…or perhaps the same one revisiting,  It was hard to tell at this angle.

red admiral butterfly

Then I drove off to Lockerbie with Mrs Tootlepedal to catch the train to Edinburgh.

I admired a fine set of faintly nautical looking hinges on a doorway in Lockerbie opposite the spot where we parked our car.

Lockerbie hinges

Lockerbie station has two just platforms, up and down, with a passing line behind the down platform but looking south from the bridge, It must have been busier at one time.

Lockerbie station

The train was late again but only mildly and the countryside looked lovely as we swept past so all was forgiven.

When we got to Edinburgh, Matilda was in splendid form and gave me a very even match at Pelmanism before trouncing me at Snap.  There was more fun before tea time when we were terrorised by a monster….

matilda monster

…who surely can’t have been related to this studious little girl studying her miniature cow.

matilda

All too soon it was time to catch the train back to Lockerbie.  The bus arrived so promptly and drove so swiftly that I had time to look around at Waverley Station and enjoyed this circle of ornamental youngsters round the skylight in the waiting room.

Waverley station

Our drive home from Lockerbie was illuminated by a brilliant moon.  I tried my new lens out on it when I got home and was pleased with a quick hand held shot from an upstairs window.

moon

There was not much choice but I managed to get a flying bird of the day at the Moorland Feeders this morning….just.

flying chaffinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from Edward Winter, a blog reader from Sheffield who came to visit us not long ago.  He thinks that his version of Mr Grumpy is quite the equal of ours.  It is called Crazy Crane.  I don’t think it is getting enough to eat.

CrazyCrane

After our hot and humid day yesterday, it was to be expected that a little rain might fall and we were woken up by furious drumming on the roof accompanied by thunder rolling round the hills.

I did the sensible thing and rolled over and shut my eyes again.  By the time that I got in touch with the real world, the rain had stopped and we were able to go out into the garden to assess the damage.  Some things had stood up to the heavy rain pretty well.

dahlia and fuchsia

Some were not too bad….

marigold

…and some had thrown in the towel.

poppy

I am a bit disappointed that Mrs Tootlepedal’s eryngium (Miss Willmott’s ghost) is grey and not blue but on close examination, I can see that it does have a bit of blue in there.

eryngium

It was still pretty soggy outside so I went back in, got my hair cut by my resident barber and then hid until after lunch when the prospects were much better.  The clouds cleared away and with light winds, it looked like a good afternoon for a pedal so I got my cycling gear on and…..

…foolishly stopped for a moment to see how the Tour de France was getting on….

…and two hours later, I finally got on my way.  By this time the wind had got up quite a lot so it served me right for dilly dallying.

My joints were feeling the effects of clambering about on the hillside yesterday so I settled for a short, slow ride with plenty of stops for shots.

The Wauchope was showing where all the rain had gone…

Wauchope cascade

…but the roads were dry and the sun poked through the clouds from time to time. As I went on my way down to Canonbie across the hill, I could look back to see the Monument on the top of Whita where I was walking yesterday.

View of Whita

The tower to the right is a communications mast and quite ugly but we pretend that it isn’t there.

The first part of the route is through sheep and cattle farming country often with rough pasture…

Rough pasture

…and frequent vistas.

Whita

The second part of the route follows the River Esk from Canonbie back to Langholm.

I cross several bridges and I was looking at the lichen on one (as one does) and took a picture out of habit.  When I put it on the computer, I saw that there was an almost invisible fly on the lichen.  Can you spot it in the  left hand frame?  It’s there.

lichen with fly

I passed Gilnockie Tower too.

Gilnockie tower

It is a sixteenth century tower but it was fully restored in 1978 which is why it looks so neat today.

I parked my bike by a fence on the bike path and walked down to the River Esk a mile or two south of the town.

River Esk at Broomholm Island

The two arms of the river coming together after passing round  Broomholm Island

A bright flower beside the river caught my eye.

flower

And there was something even more delightful nearby.

Wild raspberry

The wild raspberries tasted as good as they looked.

Nearer the town, I stopped on Skippers Bridge for the obligatory view of the old distillery.

Langholm Distillery

And since I was in bridge mode, I stopped on the Town Bridge too.

Meeting of the waters

You can see that the Esk on the left has much more water coming down it than the Ewes which shows how local the rain storm over night was.   We were lucky as there are  reports that “gobstopper-sized” hailstones dented cars at Eastriggs which is less than 20 miles away from us.

All in all, apart from the brisk wind, it was a surprisingly mellow day for a gentle pedal after the early thunderstorms.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and I took a moment to admire the rambler roses on the fence beside the vegetable garden.

rambling roses

The vegetable garden itself is doing very well and provided runner beans for our lunch and then turnips, potatoes and broad beans for our tea.  Perhaps thanks to a lot of sunshine in June, the vegetables seem to be full of flavour this year.

The flower of the day is a moody shot of a clematis, taken just after the storm abated this morning.

clematis

And in the absence of a flying bird, last night’s full moon, taken before the rain came, will have to do.

full Moon July 2016

Read Full Post »