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Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon. He has been taking walks round Canonbie during the lockdown and wonders why anyone might prefer city life to scenes like these.

It was not a promising morning today here in any way, being windy and wet from the start. I did pop out into the garden when the rain was very light and have a look around. Mrs Tootlepedal has a choisya which she doesn’t think is looking well but it is producing flowers to join the ranunculus…

…and a Rodgersia which is is looking healthy. Just to prove me wrong, the clematis by the front door has produced more flowers but it is hiding them behind its leaves to annoy.

The original flower is going over in style.

I didn’t linger long and was soon back inside wasting time on trivial but time consuming activities. Once again, we felt grateful that the weather has been fine for most of our lockdown as two months of wet and windy weather would have been very hard to bear.

I did spend some time trying out Google Meet with my sister Susan but it didn’t work satisfactorily so we will probably stick to Zoom for our regular meetings.

When I stopped doing the trivial things, the birds were there to keep me entertained.

The feeder was busy all day and new birds were constantly arriving to the disapproval of the incumbents…

…and this led to some collisions and cantankerousness.

I think that my current favourites among the visitors are the redpolls in their spring get ups.

We have many young sparrows in the garden but I haven’t seen many young blackbirds. I wondered if this was a teenager. It looked as though it wouldn’t mind being fed but no one came.

We had planned to go for a walk after lunch but the rain persisted and we didn’t start until after three o’clock in the end. We went out with some trepidation as there was still a light drizzle and the wind was boisterous to say the least.

A trail of leaves littering the track up to the Stubholm told the story of how strong the wind has been.

We met some friends at the Stubholm and they told us that they had abandoned their intention to walk up the Warbla Track because of the strong wind and advised us to keep to low level sheltered spots.

We were headed down to the Murtholm and Skippers Bridge so we were able to follow their advice without changing our plan. We passed this fine tree on our way.

We crossed the bridge and walked along the road beside the river as far as the track that leads up Jenny Noble’s Gill. A movement ahead caught our eye and we spotted a grey squirrel, and it froze for a moment as it climbed a tree.

Lovers of red squirrels have been trying to keep grey squirrels at bay for some years but I fear that they are fighting a losing battle as I see more and more greys all the time.

The walk up the gill among the birch trees was lovely….

…and the seed heads of the grasses were whispering to each other as we passed.

The track back to the town was as delightful as ever, even on a dull grey day….

…but it didn’t seem as windy as it was when we set out so we left the track and ventured out of the woods onto the open hill…

…and after passing through some bluebells, we soon enjoyed good views over the valley and town below us.

The church stands out now that it has been released from the shadows of the trees.

The golf course is waiting for the arrival of keen golfers like Dropscone as soon as the traps are opened in a day or two.

Dropscone is looking forward to it in spite of his advanced age. (He advanced another year yesterday and is now officially older than me for the next six months.)

As well as the views, there were other things to look at as we went along.

We saw wild strawberries, small cow wheat (not a thing that we have seen before), a patch of white flowers which Mrs Tootlepedal told me “is that weed which grows on your lawn”, and a bunch of smiling buttercups.

An old leafless tree caught Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye.

We had had to climb up a pretty steep hill to get above the golf course and we were happy to have reached a point as we passed that tree when it was all downhill on the way home.

We walked past Whita Well and pressed on until we reached the Newcastleton Road. This let us descend gently back to river level and we walked back to Langholm along the main road from Whitshiels.

I noted some of the points of interest that we saw on our way: exuberant crosswort, fresh green hazel leaves, herb Robert and a real novelty these day, an actual puddle.

As we crossed the Castleholm towards the Jubilee Bridge and home, the sun actually came out…

…and just as promptly, it went in again and we had to increase out pace as a light rain encouraged us to get a move on.

It had been a strenuous five mile walk and never has a cup of tea and a slice of cake been more welcome.

That finished the day off for us as we had not an ounce of energy left for anything else except a small plate of rhubarb and custard as a late supper.

The flying bird of the day is one of the young sparrows who frequent the garden at the moment.

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Today’s guest picture comes from Tom in South Africa and shows the calm before the storm.

Tom's calm before the storm

I managed to get up quite promptly and had time for a quick look round the garden after breakfast…

lilian austin group

All four stages of the development of a Lilian Austin rose on one stem

the wren rose

And it is hard to believe that the young Wren rose….

the wren rose older

…will very soon look like this

sweet william close up

A Sweet William repaid a close look

…and then I  got going on my new bike before it got too hot (it was a mere 73°F when I started) and went round my customary 20 mile Canonbie circuit.  With a light wind again, it was a good day for a pedal  and my legs were recovered from Tuesdays efforts.  I didn’t have a lot of time to spare so I only stopped twice for pictures.

The first time was for this wonderful stand of long grass, rising to well over the top of my head in height.

tall grass

It was covered with seed when I took a closer look.

tall grass seed

(Feeble joke alert) I had a quick look to see if there were any brexit plans hidden here which the government had kicked into the long grass but I couldn’t see any. This was not entirely a surprise as nobody has been able to see any government brexit plans in or out of the long grass.

Further along, I stopped for a fine display of knapweed.

knapweed

This ride, though short was significant as it took me over 2000 miles for the year and over 500 miles for the month, the longest distance for a single month for me since September 2014.  It is amazing what a spell of good weather can do.

There was just time for another look round the garden when I got back…

lamium

The lamiums are in good shape

butter and sugar iris

The last of the butter and sugar irises

pale astrantia

A third variety of astrantia has joined the show

pink sweet william

And I looked closely at another Sweet William

feverfew

Mrs Tootlepedal has a fine clump of feverfew in one of her old chimney pots.

another philadelphus

And yet another Philadelphus

…before it was time for lunch, a quick look at a beady eyed goldfinch…

goldfinch

….and then a trip to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.

There had been some trouble on the West Coast line yesterday because of rails bending in the hot weather so we drove to Tweedbank to catch the train to Edinburgh from there and were pleased to find ourselves on one of their newer trains.

The journey, passing through lovely countryside, was a treat and we had a thoroughly good time with Matilda and her family and Rosa, a nursery friend of Matilda, who was visiting.

After a good meal, we went back to the station and saw that many of the trains were delayed by speed limits on overheated tracks.  We found our train, took our seats and were just congratulating ourselves on our acumen  when the announcer came on and told us that although the train was ready, the driver had been held up on one of the delayed trains on other parts of the network and we would therefore have to get out of our train and go and catch the next one which would leave in half an hour from a different platform.

Luckily it was one of the new ones too so our anguish was somewhat assuaged.

We got home safely and I was able to catch a flying bird (or two) as the rooks fidgeted around above their roost at Holmwood before settling down for the night.

rooks at sunset

Note: The train that we would normally have caught was indeed delayed…but only by seven minutes.

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my Highland correspondent Jennifer and shows her lovely garden, proving that they have had good weather up there too.

IMG_0168

After the brief interlude with rain here, we are back to dry, warm weather.  New flowers are appearing in the garden.

euphorbia, wiegela, philadelphus

The new euphorbia in full flow, the weigela and the first philadelphus

It was cloudy today but warm enough for me to go out for a bicycle ride exposing my knees to the grateful public.  From a cycling point of view, the fact that it was cloudy was a bonus as it meant I didn’t get cooked as I pedalled but from a photographic point of view,  it meant my eyes were more often turned to the verges than the views.

There was plenty to see in the verges.

The umbellifers are out in force and no plant is so reliable in my experience at attracting insects for photo opportunities.

insects on umbelliferhoverfly on umbellifer

The grasses are also at their peak in many and various forms.

grasses

grasses (2)

I cycled down to Gretna and then took the service road beside the new motorway.  The road makers have given the new road very decorative bankings.

motorway daisies

There was red and white clover all along the way.

clovers

And I saw my first hedge rose today.

hedge rose

The hawthorns are beginning to go over and fading to a delicate pink as they go.  This one was at the bridge over the river Lyne near Longtown.

hawthorn

There is no shortage of food for sheep or cattle.

sheep in meadow

And no shortage of wild flowers  for me to enjoy.  This is the old A7, now by-passed by the Auchenrivock diversion.

Old A7 verge

Not long before I got back to Langholm, I stopped at Hollows Tower for a cup of coffee and a Tunnock’s Tea Cake at their new little ground floor cafe.  The tower celebrates the Armstrong reiving family…

 

Hollows Tower

…so I was relieved that no one stole my bicycle while I was drinking my coffee.  I prudently parked it round the back.

When I got home, after a very enjoyable 50 mile excursion into the flatlands of England, I had enough energy left to mow the front lawn and take a few pictures in the garden.

The sun had come out by this time and it was a pleasure to be out in the garden with leisure to sit down from time to time and enjoy the views.

My eye was drawn towards pink.

Fru Dagmar Hustrup rose

Fru Dagmar Hastrup, new in the garden this year,

aquilegia

A pink aquilegia which Mrs Tootlepdal likes

astrantia

And the wonderful astrantia, a whole garden in a single plant

Newly out was this excellent iris….

iris with lining

…and Mrs Tootlepedal’s geum garden is a riot of colour.

geums

I took a moment to check on the birds.  Sparrows are coming to the feeder in style.

landing sparrow

And we still have redpolls, though not quite as bright red as before.

redpolls

Later on, Mrs Tootlepedal was doing some weeding when she saw this frog.

frog in garden

She thinks that the frogs in the garden may well account for her slug free hostas.

My flute pupil Luke came and we had a productive time.  Rather to my surprise, it turns out that he has been coming to play for so many years that he has now finally left school.  Time flies when you are enjoying yourself.

Mrs Tootlepedal made some lemon curd ice cream from a recipe card that she had come across and we ate it for our pudding after a second go at the slow cooked beef stew. This came with a side order of fresh spinach from the garden and we had an excellent meal to round off a  very enjoyable day.

I made an effort at a flying bird of the day and caught a sparrow checking to see who was about.

flying sparrow

Those interested may see more detail on the bike ride by clicking on the map below.  You can see that it was a very flat route.

garmin route 4 June 2018

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from the camera of Mrs Tootlepedal.  She took it at the flower show in Birmingham which she went to with our daughter last month.

Gardener's World flower show

The plan for today was to leap up early, jump on the bike and get a good distance in before the forecast rain arrived and the wind got up.

It was a good plan and started well.  I leapt out of bed good and early and had breakfast but then things went a bit pear shaped.  I  footled around, finally got ready to pedal and just as I was going out, it started to rain.  I went in and did the crossword until the rain stopped and then got going.  It was still only half past nine but this was a lot later than the plan.

As a result of the late start, the wind was blowing in my face as I pedalled up the Wauchope road and although the view behind me looked sunny enough, the view ahead was ominously cloudy.

cloudy day

The sunshine lasted well though and it was still a very pleasant day for cycling as I got near to Ecclefechan…

road to Ecclefechan

…though the sky ahead looked very grey.

My route passed through fields of grass being cut for silage…

Silage field

…and I was able to laugh in the face of grey clouds ahead as I was headed for the Art Café at Dalton Pottery where I could stop for refreshment and allow any passing shower to pass.

Ah, but the best laid schemes o’ mice and men…

Art cafe sign

…Gang aft agley.

There was nothing for it but to pedal on.  The roads as I headed down to the Solway shore were damp so at least I had missed one of the showers.  Instead of the Art Café, I visited the church at Ruthwell for my lunch.

Ruthwell Church

It has an eight century Anglo-Saxon cross inside but the doors were locked so I couldn’t look at it.  Instead, I took advantage of the steps laid into the kirkyard wall, a relic of the time when the minister was allowed to graze his sheep among the graves, and sat on one of the steps to eat my tuna roll.

Ruthwell Church

The was plenty of blue sky about but plenty of damp roads too and occasional drizzle.  I managed to avoid the heavy showers until one caught me out near Half Morton Church.  This church too has steps in the wall but it also had a very fine tree under which I sheltered while heavy rain lashed down.

Half Morton Church

It was all the more annoying to see blue sky a few hundred yards away.  In the event, the rain didn’t last long so I put on my rain jacket to discourage any more showers and pedalled home.

I was a bit short of nourishment as my plan had been to pedal down to Gretna and sample the egg and chips at the Old Toll House there.  The sight of heavy showers on all sides persuaded me that the shortest route home might be the best so I missed the meal.

If I hadn’t stopped to take a picture of a fine crop of lesser knapweed beside the old A7…

lesser knapweed

…both in colour and black and white….

lesser knapweed

…I might have got home dry but as it was, I caught a sharp shower just as I came through Langholm.  Considering how many miles of damp road I had pedalled over on my way back, I had been very lucky though.

Full of sympathy at my lack of egg and chips at Gretna, Mrs Tootlepedal kindly cooked me some fried eggs and fried bread when I got in.    Fortified by these, I finished the crossword and settled down to watch another exciting stage of the Tour de France.

The sun came out as the race ended so I thought that it would be a pity not to go for a short walk and set off on my favourite brief tour of the Kiln Green and the Castleholm, ideal for a day when the weather might close in.

As I walked along the Esk, I could hardly hear myself think for the raucous shrieks of oyster catchers.  There were five of them all in full voice.  I assumed that they were a family.  Two were standing quietly, perhaps parents…

oyster catcher

…and three were scooting up and down the beach, beaks agape and screeching like banshees.

oyster catchers

I thought at first that they were finding something to eat but it didn’t seem as though they were picking up anything with their beaks.  I don’t know what was going on.

Ignoring the racket, a pied wagtail skipped about the rocks.

wagtail

Although the sun was out as I crossed the town bridge, everything in the garden was not exactly promising…

Black clouds

…and there were threatening clouds on all sides.

I increased my pace and only took a few pictures as I went.

Giant hogweed and noble fir cone

There was giant hogweed (taller then me) and a noble fir cone on the Castleholm

blade of grass and fungus

There was a blade of grass and tiny fungi too

The blade of grass of grass is not terribly exciting but I had plenty of time to look at it while I was sheltering beside it under a handy tree as another sharp shower passed over.

I met two occasional blog readers on my walk, one walking her dog and the other walking her sister.  The dog was very fine but the sister was even finer as she had appeared in a guest picture of the day last month, having cycled up to the top of Mount Ventoux.  It was a privilege to shake her hand.

She will have done better than the Tour de France cyclists as the wind is so strong that their stage tomorrow, which should have finished on the summit, has been curtailed.  She was not surprised though, as she told me that the wind had been so strong on her ride that she had feared that she might be blown off her bike.

I got home dry in the end, much to Mrs Tootlepedal’s disbelief as she had noticed a couple of showers while I was out and we walked round the garden.

poppy, hosta, geraniums and daisies

I was just making a cup of tea when we were visited by Mike and Alison and their grandchildren.  The children are spending some time with their grandparents while their mother is off playing with her local wind band in Germany. They were delighted to spot a tadpole or two in our pond.

When they left, I picked enough strawberries and gooseberries to make a light supper and then went back in.

The flower of the day is a pink poppy.  It was a bit battered by the showers but at least it wasn’t another red one.

pink poppy

And the flying bird of the day is a distant gull at the Kilngreen, catching the sun against a grey and cloudy sky.

gull

Details of the bike ride may be found by clicking on the map below.

garmin route 13 July 2016

I see on the news that Mrs May, our new UK prime minister, has made Boris Johnson foreign secretary (or minister of foreign affairs as my unkind younger son pointed out) and so once again political satire is dead as nothing could possibly be more absurd than this.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She visited  the Tate Modern Art Gallery’s  new Switch House yesterday and thought that I might prefer the view from the window to the exhibits.

Tate Modern Switch House 08.07.16 010

I had a rather disturbed night, being woken by the sound of pounding rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.  As a result I was more than happy to have nothing on my schedule for the day more arduous than nibbling on Dropscone’s traditional Friday treacle scones with our coffee.

I had a look out of the door before he came and it was still raining lightly but it soon stopped and I went out to see how the flowers had fared.

To my surprise, they were soggy but unbowed.

dahlia, rose and poppy

The birds were out in force soon too and I had to fill the feeder twice during the day.

busy feeder

After coffee, I mowed the middle lawn.  It had dried out remarkably quickly after the overnight rain and gave me no trouble.

When I had finished, I walked round the garden.

Euphorbias

Euphorbias are a source of constant interest to me.

On the edible side of things, Mrs Tootlepedal’s turnips are very good and taste absolutely delicious and the blackcurrants are very nearly ready for picking.

blackcurrants and turnips

After lunch in an exciting development, I went out and finished sieving the compost in Bin D.  Mrs Tootlepedal uses the finished product when she is planting out her annuals.  As Bin D was now empty, I started the job of transferring the compost from Bin C into it.

compost

The sieved compost ready for use and Bin C half emptied into Bin D

My joints were a bit creaky after yesterday’s bike ride so I was happy to stop half way through the transfer and use the second half  of the latest stage of the Tour de France as my siesta.  The tour this year has been very good value and today’s stage was a gripper.

After the stage was over, I went out for a walk.  The plants along the dam at the back of the house are looking good and the first crocosmia of the year has come out to join the potentillas.

crocosmia and potentilla

I went down to the suspension bridge and my eye was caught by several splashes of colour on the gravel banks between the Wauchope and the Esk.

I thought one of the splashes was a clump of orchids but it didn’t seem likely when I went down for a closer look.  I would welcome a suggestion as to what this  might be.

Pink flower by river

Nearby was a brilliant flash of yellow.  Once again, I have no idea what it is.

yellow flower by river

Both plants are growing in gravel which the river will cover when the water gets high.

I walked along to the Esk until I came to the carved owl in Mary Street….

Carved owl

…and chatted to Ian, the owner of the tree stump from which it has been fashioned.  There is still quite a bit of work for Robin, the artist, to do – beak, eyes and claws and so on and the decoration of the base….

Carved owl

…which is in book form representing the bible is still to be completed.

The proud owner told me that he thinks that the carving is greatly enhanced by its position on the bank of the river and on a day like today, I couldn’t argue with that.

Carved owl

I crossed the Town Bridge and walked down to the Ewes Water keeping an eye out for oyster catchers.  I had seen one flying down the Esk and there was another at the meeting of the waters without a leg to stand on.

oyster catchers

I walked across the Castleholm and over the Jubilee Bridge and there was no shortage of things to look at as I went along.

tree fruits

Trees had things hanging from them

hoverfly

Flowers had insects on them

berries and flower

Berries on bushes and a tiny flower probably only 1 cm across

Self heal and a nettle

Self heal (thanks for those who told me the right name for this) and a nettle

bracket fungus

A large bracket fungus high in a tree near the nuthatch nest

Mrs Tootlepedal had told me of a forest of fungus growing on a pile of vegetable matter on the neglected site of an old mill so I finished my walk by going to check her story.  She was quite right of course.

fungus at Ford Mill

I got home in time to watch Andy Murray make short work of the final set of his semi final at Wimbledon and this rounded off a gentle and restorative day for me.

The flower of the day is not a flower at all but a very pretty patch of pale grass beside the Ewes water above the Sawmill Brig.  I don’t know whether it was a trick of the light but I don’t think that I have noticed grass of quite this colour before.

Grass beside Ewes water

The flying bird of the day is an obliging Kilngreen gull.

blackheaded gull

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Today’s guest picture, featuring a very fine 20cm diameter parasol mushroom growing in his garden, was sent to me all the way from Germany by Zyriacus.

ParasolHe also told me that the weather there has been very capricious, going from 40° one day to 10° two days later.  With that in mind, I will try not to complain too much about the miserable wet day we had here today.  At least it was quite a bit warmer than 10° and the wind had died down.

I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database after breakfast and then had coffee with both Dropscone and Sandy.  Sandy has just  retired and we are teaching him how to be an old curmudgeon now that he has time on his hands.

There was plenty going on outside the window as we ate our scones (and a bonus slice of walnut loaf).

busy feeder

The rain had stopped for a moment.

After coffee, I had a look out of the kitchen window and saw a young blackbird in the plum tree.  There are always blackbirds about at the moment…

blackbird..but not often in the plum tree.

There was a moment around lunchtime when it looked as though it might be dry enough for a cycle ride in the afternoon but this was a false alarm and the rain came down so steadily as to put any thoughts of pedalling firmly to one side.

siskinsIn the end  I put a second week of the index into the database so at least the wet weather was useful in that respect. I also got some singing and flute practice done and perhaps I should be glad if it rains a bit more often.

I was amused by a blue tit which came to the feeder and wasn’t impressed by a siskin on the perch above and went up and told it so in no uncertain terms.

blue tit and siskinTo my surprise, the siskin blinked first and flew off.

We had a lot of siskin visitors today.

siskinsAs it was too wet for a walk or useful gardening, I waited for a gap between the showers and nipped out and picked a pound of strawberries and made a couple of pots of strawberry jam.  There hasn’t been enough sun to make the strawberries sweet but if they don’t get picked, they rot so jam is always a solution.  I squashed up a few gooseberries and got some juice from them to help the jam set.  We will see tomorrow if this scheme has worked.

After making the jam, another dry spell let me get out into the garden with a camera in hand.  The long grass on the front lawn made the best of a bad day.

wet grassThe delphiniums looked a little morose.

delphiniumsThere was colour to be found in sheltered spots.

moss rose and lilyclematisAnd surprisingly perhaps, there was colour in the vegetable garden too.

courgette and runner beanWe had turnip, courgette and broad beans from the garden for our tea tonight.

Although the flowers were very soggy, there were quite a few bees buzzing about when the rain stopped.

poppyMy flute pupil Luke was poorly and didn’t come for his lesson.  I hope he recovers promptly as he is playing on a concert on Wednesday.

I got some playing myself though as I went to play trios with Mike and Isabel after tea,  We attempted a couple of new and difficult pieces and struggled a bit but we finished up with some old favourites so we had an enjoyable time overall.

The laptop that I use to write these posts has had so much use that all the letters have been scrubbed off the keys and if it wasn’t for the handy spell checker telling me when I make typos, the wjole pistd mifgh liik loke thes.  Using a laptop also affects my posture badly and contributes to my sore joints.  On the advice of my daughter, I am getting a USB keyboard and I am going to use that with a proper monitor so I don’t have to look down all the time.

Research showed me that I could buy a really top notch, beautifully engineered keyboard for £120 plus VAT.  Further research lead to me actually buying two for £9 from another retailer.  There are times when quality comes at too high a price.

I am hoping that this will speed up my typing and let me get to bed earlier. My posts might be a little less disjointed if that happens.

For the second day running, a flying chaffinch obliged.  It wasn’t really a day for taking flying bird pictures though.

chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture, sent by my sister Mary, shows Mr Grumpy’s London cousin trying to pass himself off as a swan or goose at the Serpentine.

Mr Grumpy's cousin, pretending to be a swan or goose.We were threatened with rain today but in the end it didn’t arrive until the evening and we had a dry, cool day instead.  I had to begin the day with business relating to the photo exhibition and that took me until coffee time,

After coffee, I did a little bird watching.  The bright but sunless day made the light ideal for portraits both on the feeder…

sparrow and goldfinch…and in the plum tree.

blackbird and dunnockA blackbird posed on the chimney pot.

blackbirdSoon though, Mrs Tootlepedal, our daughter Annie and I set off for the Moorland bird hide in the hope of seeing some interesting birds and its living roof.  We saw the roof….

Laverock bird hide

Tricky to get a mower up there.

….but we hardly saw any birds let alone any interesting ones.  My daughter took a picture of the bug hide….

Annie…as she is going to build one in London.

We stopped looking for birds and explored some of the other things to see near the hide.

slow worm

A slow worm

tiny plant

A tiny plant, possibly some sort of nettle.

orchids

And a really good show of orchids.

We decided to go along the road a bit further and see if the wild irises were out in the marshy meadow beside the Tarras Water.

MeadowThere were very few irises to be seen and the ones that were there were too far into the boggy bits for us to get near.  There was plenty of other interest though, as we walked through the long grass.

There was the grass itself….

long grass…ragged robin….

ragged robin…more orchids…

orchids…and quite a lot of hard to shoot butterflies.

butterfliesI finally got a better shot of one of the butterflies just as we got back to the car.

ringlet butterfly

It is a ringlet butterfly

We paused at the bird hide on the way back and were pleased to get a passing glimpse of a woodpecker.  In spite of the lack of interesting birds, the walk through the meadow and been quite good enough to make the outing a success.

We got back in time for lunch and a walk round the garden.

The Wren and Lilian Austin, one on each side of the path at the back of the front lawn, compete to see which is the most beautiful.

Lilian Austin, The WrenThe bees found the Gallica Complicata more attractive than either.

bee on rose

For lovers of Edith Piaf’s music, there might be an echo in the thought of a bee on rose.

A fresh rose, Rosa Mundi has come to join the gang.

rosamundiI like the Goldfinch because it starts out white and turns yellow giving me two roses for the price of one.

rosa GoldfinchThe clematis which I showed gently unfurling recently, has now completed the job.

clematis

It was worth the wait.

The afternoon drifted away with Mrs Tootlepedal cooking and me watching the tennis with Annie. I stirred myself up enough to mow the middle lawn and sieve some compost and then my flute pupil Luke came.  I had worried about his ability to count the beats well after last week’s lesson and had spoken sternly to him about the need to do something about this.  He had done something and amazingly (and very satisfactorily) came back this week with his foot tapping in rhythm and the notes played in the right place and at the right pace.  He must have practised really well.

My friend Mike, the usual Monday night cellist in our trio, had other business tonight so after tea, Annie and I packed up a couple of recorders and three trio sonatas by Boismortier, Daniel Purcell and William  Williams and went off to play with Isabel.  Annie hasn’t played for some time but we puffed away while Isabel sight read the keyboard parts and had a delightful time.  We kept the tempos steady and by and large not only started at the the same time but finished at the same time too.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch keeping its hands where we can see them.

flying goldfinch

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