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Posts Tagged ‘honeysuckle’

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who went to the Taunton Flower Show.  You can read about her adventures here. Sad to say, her favourite arrangement in the ‘At the Garden Gate’ class was disqualified for using artificial grass.

Taunton Flower show

We had quite a lot of rain and wind overnight and it was raining very heavily after breakfast when I had to go up to the Town Hall to inquire about getting a replacement bus pass.  It was a fitful sort of day though, and by the time that I came back, the rain had stopped.  That set the pattern for the day.

Dropscone dropped in with traditional treacle scones to go with a cup or two of coffee. He told me that he had been at a golf tournament earlier in the week and had only managed to get six holes in before the competition was called off because the course was flooded.  The dry spell earlier in the summer seems a distant memory now.

When he left, I looked out of the back door across a rainy garden to see the robin at the far end of the lawn…

sparrow at end of lawn

…and two birds on opposites sides of the great Brexit debate on a neighbour’s rooftop.

two birds not speaking

Badly painted blackbirds are all around…

badly painted blackbird

…though the painter’s work is improving.

better painted blackbird

When the rain stopped, I went out to have a look round and was impressed by Mrs Tootlepedal’s large lily.

bif lily

There are still new flowers coming out and the yellow crocosmia has just started to flower.

yellow crocosmia

The phlox has done so well, undaunted by wind and rain, that Mrs Tootlepedal plans to have even more  next year.  Who could blame her?

fiery phlox

A late honey suckle has come out on the vegetable garden fence.

late honeysuckle

I went back in and made some leek and potato soup for lunch with a leek and potatoes from the garden.  Together with a tomato and feta cheese salad (not from the garden), it made a tasty meal.

After lunch, it looked as though there might be a window in the changeable weather that would allow me to go for a short cycle ride, so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some shopping, I set out to go as far as I could without getting wet.

It was sunny when I started but there was plenty of water running across the road up the Wauchope valley after the morning’s showers, and plenty of water in the little streams rushing down to join the Wauchope Water

bigholms burn

The powers that be have mowed every road verge in the district and there are now no wild flowers to look at, so my camera took a wider view today.

I went to the top of Callister and looked down the other side.

callister panorama

Click for the bigger pic (I may have put this one through a heavy filter.)

The dark clouds coming up from the left told me that it was time to turn and go home.

When I looked back towards the town from the top of the Wauchope Schoolhouse brae, I could see my sunny weather disappearing up the valley

Wauchope view

When I got back to the town, I thought of stopping while the going was good, but it was warm enough and it hadn’t started to rain, so I pressed on and crossed the town bridge and headed north.

 

three arches flood on Esk

I had walked under the near arch dry shod on Common Riding day when I wanted to cross the road which was full of horses.

I kept thinking of those grey clouds that I had seen on Callister and feeling that it would be wise not to go too far, but the road is well surfaced and it was still dry so I went a few miles up the road….

ewes panorama

Another clickable bigger picture.

…and the view is always worth looking at…

ewes view

 

…but I left it a fraction too late to turn round and within a mile of home, the heavens opened and I got wet.  As soon as I got home though, the rain stopped again. Those weather gods like a laugh.

The dry spell gave me a chance to have another walk round the garden.  I was hoping to catch a flying bird…

starlings on wire

….but the starlings stayed rooted to the electricity wire while I watched them and then all moved off in a body as soon as I turned my back for a moment.

A young dunnock tried out the fake tree but sat there quietly.

dunnock on fake tree

I gave up and went in to have a shower.

As we sat down for our tea, the sun came out and it was a glorious evening.  We agreed to go for a walk after our meal but of course, it started to rain again when the time came, so we stayed in.  Then the sun came out as the rain continued and to emphasise what a patchy day it was, when I looked out of the window at the back of the house to try to see a rainbow, I found that it wasn’t raining at all on that side of the house.

I went out into the garden and it wasn’t raining as I went out of the door but it was raining quite hard on the lawn only a few yards away.  I don’t think that I have ever seen quite such local rain.

We have two more days of this sort of weather to come and then, according to a reliable forecast, it is going to get cooler but drier.  It will be nice to be able to plan a day’s activity with confidence.

The flying bird of the day is the dunnock that we saw before.  By the time that I saw it again, it had flown up into the rowan tree.

dunnock in rowan

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He has been on a tour of the north east with my sisters Mary and Susan.  They returned home by train today and he drove back to Derby by way of Fountains Abbey.

Fountains Abbey

Mrs Tootlepedal and I also came home today, leaving Evelyn Rose with some sadness but the heat and hurly-burly of London with less regret.  Our train was punctual to the minute and as a result we were able to catch the bus home without delay.

Our first thought was for a reviving cup of tea…

…and our second was to look round the garden.

lawn on return

It had survived without us very well, though as you can see, the grass on the lawn was far too long.

The salvias are glorious and Mrs Tootlepedal is thinking of planting some more for next year (but perhaps not quite so many).

slavia

A lot of poppies needed dead heading but there were a few still in flower…

brilliant poppy

…and the hosta was in ebullient form.

hosta in full flower

There had been no heavy wind or rain to knock the delphinums over…

delphinum ligularia

…and in general, there are still plenty of things to catch the eye.

four lovely flowers

There were not a lot of new flowers about but the first dahlia of the year has appeared.

first dahlia 2019

The roses are enjoying themselves this year and Special Grandma was appropriately well lit up in its shadowy place in its bed.

special grandma lit up

At the other end of the lawn both The Wren…

Rose Wren

…and Lilian Austin were showing different stages of development.

Lilian Austin pair

At the other end of the garden, the Common Riding rose has burst into flower while we were away.

commin riding rose

The call of the lawns was too strong to be resisted so I knuckled down and got the mower out.  The recent feed that I gave the front lawn has been very effective and the grass had grown strongly in the time that we were in London.  I took a wheelbarrow full of grass off it on the first cut and then ran over it again in a different direction to get a smooth finish.

mown front lawn and barrow

Because of the lush growth, it was  hard job job on a warm afternoon, so I had one or two shady and fragrant rests on a handy bench at the end of the lawn while I toiled away.  The shade was provided by the walnut tree and the fragrance was supplied by a combination of privet and honeysuckle.

privet and hioneysuckle

Then I mowed the middle lawn.

mown middle lawn

Although it may look like a bit of a monocultural desert, the middle lawn has a good many weeds in it, including some self heal which  grows so low to the ground that the flowers duck under my mower blades and can still be clearly seen even after this trim..

Elsewhere in the garden, we have clover in the grass.

clover lawn

A good day was rounded off by the arrival of three recorder players after tea and we sat and played recorder quartets both ancient and modern with great enjoyment as the sun set  in the clear sky outside.

As they left, after a cup of tea and a biscuit, we could hear the swifts calling high above the house.

No flying bird of the day today, so one of the many sweet peas that needed picking stands in instead.

sweet pea

We would like to thank everyone who has sent us good wishes on the arrival of our new granddaughter.  We receive them with gratitude and they have been forwarded on to Annie and Joe.

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Today’s guest picture was taken by my sister Susan on a visit to Reading.  It shows the Maiwand Lion, commemorating the dead of the Berkshire Regiment of Foot at Girishk Maiwand and Kandahar in 1880. The British were defeated at Girishk Maiwand by the Afghan army at a high cost to both sides during the 2nd Afghan war. reading lion

As the astute reader will gather from the the title of this post, it actually rained today but as this didn’t happen until the early evening and as it didn’t last long, it didn’t make much of a dent in our spell of excellent weather.

We had a sunny morning and made the most of it.  I had to pay an early visit to the health centre for a blood test and was happy to find that I still had some but I wasted no time when I got back in getting to work on the front lawn.  It lives in cold shadows over the winter and gets very mossy and the poor weather of the first four months of the year hasn’t helped it so I gave it a scarifying with our electric scarifier.  I followed this with a rake and a mow and then I topped off the treatment with a dose of seaweed buck-u-uppo.  Did it look grateful after all this? No, it still looked mossy.  Still, I enjoy the challenge.

In between the scarifying and the seaweed, Sandy came round for a cup of coffee and a news catchup.

As Mrs Tootlepedal is busy planting stuff out, she is using the sieved compost as fast as I can produce it so I sieved another batch and the contents of Bin D are decreasing rapidly.

I found time to wander around with the camera.

I often concentrate on single flowers so today for a change,  I went for quantity over quality.

potentilla

Potentilla

peony

Peony

poached egg plant

Limnanthes douglasii or the poached egg flower.  A bit of ‘egg white’ is developing on some of the flowers.

geraniums

Geraniums

geums

Geums

Solomon's Seal

Solomon’s Seal – no sign of sawfly larva yet.

I did take one shot a single flower.  This was the clematis at the front door and I took the single flower shot to show the contrast between the clematis at the front door (two flowers) ….

front door clematis

…and the clematis at the back door (hundreds).

back door clematis

I try to keep an eye out for the new arrivals and today a nectaroscordum had developed enough to get a personal portrait.

nectaroscordum

It was very breezy but I am still a bit short of cycling miles so I got my new bike out after lunch and decided to test the conditions.  It was warm but the skies had clouded over so the temperature was perfect and I set off with hopes of 30 miles or more.

However, after a few miles at a crisp speed and with not a whisper of wind in my face, it became apparent that the wind was going to make it very hard work pedalling home if I cycled too far out and I lowered my ambitions and went round the 20 mile Canonbie circuit.

This was a good decision as there was plenty to see…

field of buttercups

A field of buttercups near Langholm

bog cotton

Bog cotton at the Kerr

tarcoon verge

Beautiful verges near Tarcoon

wild geraniums

Wild geraniums on the old A7…

Pyrenean valerian

…and Pyrenean Valerian nearby.

… and the route choice turned out well as I got a good deal more help from the wind than I expected and managed to get my average over 14 mph.  This is very good for me these days.

As I cycled down the road along our garden hedge at the end of my ride, I was detained by the old Rosa Moyesii…

Rosa Moyesii

…and the honeysuckle.

honeysuckle

I hadn’t seen these earlier as they can only be seen when you are not in the garden.

The rain started not long after I got home so I had a good excuse to spend some time watching the birds at the feeder.

It was quite busy with siskins and goldfinches…

siskins

…with the siskins demonstrating why the seed level goes down so quickly when they are there.  They drop at least half of their food as the seeds are just too big for their beaks.

We have had regular visits from a small group of pigeons recently and they were back again today…

pigeon

…keeping an eye out for fallen seed.

I am hoping for a less windy day tomorrow to get a last minute addition to my mileage for the month of May but there is a hint of more rain in the forecast so time will tell.

The flying bird(s) of the day is a collection of airborne siskins.

flying siskins

 

 

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Thanks to all those who have sent guest pictures.  I start with these two exotic encoutnered by Jim and Sandra who certainly haven’t been on holiday in Blackpool.

jim and sandra

Hamilton Island                                         Komodo Island

After a sub zero night, it warmed up briskly and there was no hint of frost to be seen.  The temperature didn’t get above itself though and remained safely in single figures all day, not wanting us to get too optimistic about spring.

The fact that it was the vernal equinox today was neither here nor there apparently.

The better weather meant a very much worse attendance at the feeders today but this gave the dunnocks some space to shine.

dunnock

_DSC2436

There were several about, intent on giving each other a hard time.

Other visitors appeared from time to time.

dove, robin and greenfinch

The round robin shows that it was still pretty chilly.

I was pleased to see two blue tits but they too were intent on chasing each other off so I only got a fleeting glimpse of them.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a dentist’s appointment in the afternoon and kept her mind off it by indulging in a whirlwind round of household tasks in the morning and I had to look pretty sharp to avoid being tidied away into a cupboard under the stairs.

At midday, she went off to help at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop and I had a very early lunch and got the slow (currently my only) bike out and went for a pedal.

The snow has almost all disappeared but in the shade of a wall here and there, the remains of drifts can still be seen.

snowy wall

The temperature was about 7°C and the wind was chilly but luckily the sun stayed out for the duration of the ride and I was well wrapped up so it was a good day to be pedalling.

I stopped near Waterbeck to admire the handsome bridge over the Kirtle Water…

kirtle water bridge

….its good looks are slightly spoiled by a fallen tree branch and a tatty sheep catcher.

I looked around while I was there and got three trees for the price of one…

Trees at Waterbeck

…and noticed an extensive stretch of white race track fences which indicate a horsey establishment.

Albie stud

I have cycled over the bridge many time without ever noticing them before.

The slow bike lived up to its name and for the first ten miles, which are quite hilly and into the wind, I needed an hour and three minutes.  The next two sets of ten miles took 50 and 51 minutes respectively, helped by some down hill and a bit of wafting from the now favouring breeze.

I enjoyed the views as I went.   Some were extensive like this one over the fields to Gretna with  the English hills beyond…

view of english hills

…and some more intimate like this little valley near Chapelknowe where two stream meet.

view near chapelknowe

The marks in the field in the foreground were made by a tractor spreading fertiliser and I was able to see him homeward plodding his weary way.

tractor leaving

As I got near to Canonbie, I passed this inviting farm sign

Mouldyhills

You might think that it would need a very optimistic farmer to take on this place but of course the  “mould” of mouldyhills has nothing to do with being mouldy, but is instead an ancient English word for loose earth or turned-over soil.

As I went along the old road to Canonbie, I passed Canonbie’s Caledonian coos again

canonbie cows

I showed the picture of the one with the fetching fringe from the blog of a week ago  at the camera club last night and a member piped up, “That’s one of my sister-in-law’s cows.”  It turned out that she had been given a Highland cow for a Christmas present after saying that she particularly liked Highland cattle.  She found it in the garage tied up with a pink ribbon on Christmas Day.

I should perhaps mention that I particularly like Ferraris.

One can live in hope.

Nearer Langholm, I stopped for a look at the fishermen’s steps at Broomholm.

fishermen's steps at Broomholm

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was at the dentist so I parked the bike and took a picture of two of the best things in life, a bicycle and and a large heap of manure.  Who could ask for anything more?

bike and manure

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from the dentist in a very good mood, having had some painless treatment.  Meanwhile I had taken a short walk round the garden.

The crocuses had appreciated the better day….

crocus

…and other promising signs were to be seen.

spring flowers

I failed to take a sharp picture of an opening blackcurrant bud but quite liked the result which I thought summed up our hesitant approach to spring quite well.

blackcurrant leaf

A honeysuckle had a rabbit hiding behind its leaves.

honeysuckle leaf

The low sun and a blue sky overhead made for an interesting frog picture.

blue frog

At least the days will be longer than the nights now and that always lifts the spirits which considering the news in general certainly need a little lifting.

The flying bird of the day is like spring, rather elusive.

flying blue tit

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Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s Lake District visit.  She had excellent weather and made good use of it.  These  colourful boats are at the Faeryland cafe on the edge of Grasmere

Faeryland cafe with its colourful boats at the edge of Grasmere

Our long spell of good weather has hit the buffers and the forecast for the next two weeks offers us a great many days with rain showers.  Today started with that particular sort of unwelcoming rain that looks as though it has no intention of ever stopping so I was not too unhappy to have two hours to sit in the Welcome to Langholm office while it poured down outside.

I was able to get on with the business of putting a week of the newspaper index  into the Archive Group database and do a crossword untroubled by floods of visitors demanding information or indeed, any visitors at all.

To be fair, Gavin, my successor in the Welcome hot seat, had three visitors almost before I had left the building but by then the rain had unexpectedly stopped.

I made some lentil soup for lunch and after we had eaten it (drunk it? sipped it? supped it?), Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to a meeting at the Buccleuch Centre.

We were a bit hazy about the purpose of the meeting but it turned out to be an opportunity to thank volunteers.  Rather ironically, considering my lack of welcoming activity in the morning, I received a handsome certificate for my welcoming volunteering.  Mrs Tootlepedal would have received one for her work at the Buccleuch Centre if the organisers hadn’t mislaid the page with the volunteers from A to M on it.  Still, the thought was there.

The rain was still in abeyance when we got home so I had a walk round the garden.

The hawkweed heads are getting more flowers on their clusters every day.

hawkweed

As are the astrantias.

Astrantias

On the paler version, each chief astrantia has a little coterie of less important flowers clustering round it.

The darker ones are more outstanding.

Astrantias

There is a fine clump of nectaroscordum under the plum tree which has just come out….

nectaroscordum

…and it caught my eye because it had a visitor.

bee on nectaroscordum

The petals are beginning to come off the clematis at the back door (and are blowing into the house) but there are still plenty left to brighten up a grey day.

clematis

Since the rain continued to stay away, I thought that I might cycle up to Pool Corner with my duckling camera and see if the family was still about.  They weren’t but this wasn’t surprising because when I looked over the wall beside the water, this fellow was there…

heron

…and no sensible duckling hangs around when there is a heron about.

This looks like Mr Grumpy to me and he certainly wasn’t going to move from his perch just because I was nearby.  He stood patiently while I walked round to get a better shot of where he was standing.

heron

He is standing on the sluice which controls the water for the dam behind our house as it comes from the Wauchope at Pool Corner.

 

I checked to see if there were any ducklings to be seen in the Esk but there were none there either so I came home and put the keyboard part for a Haydn sonata which I am playing with my flute pupil Luke onto the computer so that the computer can accompany us when we have the thing mastered.

Luke appeared shortly afterwards and we put in some serious work on the first movement.

The rain was still holding off so Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a moment to walk round the garden.

Two sparrows were hanging onto our neighbour Liz’s wall, pecking away at the mortar between the stones.

sparrows

It must be tastier than it looks.

I like the rosa complicata in the corner of the garden where it is set off by a philadelphus.

rosa complicata

And Mrs Tootlepedal’s buttercuppy thing is looking very elegant.  There is more in it than a first glance would make you think.

buttercuppy thing

The honeysuckle under the walnut tree is just starting and it looks as though we should get a good show from it.

honeysuckle

I came out into the garden for the last time after tea and a bee spent so much time sampling a lupin that I was able to go back in, get a camera, come out again and find it still at work.  It was going methodically round each ring of flowers.

bee on lupin

It was soon time to go up to play trios with Mike and Isabel and at this point, the rain started again so I abandoned my plan to cycle up and drove up in the car instead.  We had a most enjoyable play although we all felt a bit tired before we started.  This is a tribute to the rejuvenating power of music….and Mozart in particular.

Mr Grumpy is sitting in as flying bird of the day today.

heron

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Today’s guest picture shows a bridge across the River Rye in Yorkshire which my brother visited on a very hot day in an attempt to avoid the bank holiday crowds.

River Rye bridge

We enjoyed another dry day today here although the lightest of drizzle every now and again made sure that we didn’t take it for granted.   It was grey and windy and I was impressed that our neighbour Ken was ready to go off on a hilly 40 mile bike ride.

Ken and bike

I had decided against a ride in the morning in favour of doing some serious work.

I won’t have to tell the knowledgeable readers of this blog that the Onegesias of the title was a trusted lieutenant of Atilla the Hun.  It was my role today to act as Onegesias to Atilla the Gardener and remove a hosta that had outlived its place in the garden.

After some instruction, I got going and fairly soon the hosta leaves were on the shredding pile, the roots were laid out for drying and earth removal and a very satisfactory patch of bare ground was ready for new planting.

hosta removal

Fired up by this rare example of being useful, I set about the compost bins and shifted the contents of Bin B into the empty Bin C.   I took a break to have a cup of coffee and then finished the job.  The compost in Bin B was giving off a gentle heat and had rotted down well.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy meanwhile tidying up our utility room and then washing all the assorted bits of smelly cycling gear and woolly hats that turned up under things.

While she had a quick burst on her bike to nowhere upstairs, I made potato latkes (using polenta) for lunch and then we went back outside into the garden.

With the bit fully between my teeth, I set about shifting the contents of Bin A into Bin B to complete the whole compost cycle.

compost bins

Bin A restarted, Bin B full and covered, Bin C looking promising.

My usual assistant put in an appearance.

robin

It is always good to have a helping hand.

Then I wandered around the garden.

There were no new flowers to see but the honeysuckle, of which I have been trying to get a good shot for ages, seemed to be in a cooperative mood today.

honeysuckle

It has lasted a long time this year

Mrs Tootlepedal has three sorts of crocsomia in the garden.  She has dug out a lot of the standard red ones but left these two.

crocosmia

The Michaelmas daisies are taking over from the cornflowers in the bed beside the drying green but the cornflowers have managed to hang on at the back.

Michaelmas daisies and cornflowers

While I was in full gardening mode, I mowed the drying green, the greenhouse grass and the middle and front lawns.  Thanks to the recent dry weather, I was able to get over the ground at a good rate and didn’t need to use a box which makes the task a lot easier.

Ken had got round his bike run safely and he and Liz came over for a cup of tea and a brownie after I had finished the lawns.  The brownie had been freshly made by Mrs Tootlepedal who had discovered a forgotten packet of Brownie Cake Mix in a cupboard while putting something else away.

We were glad that she had found the packet as the brownies went down very well with a cup of tea after a hard day’s work/pedal.

I thought about a walk after the tea had been drunk but the light was poor and the wind was still  brisk so I settled for a last look at the garden.

The yellow crocosmias are mixed with poppies on both sides of the path at the end of the front lawn…

Lawn

…and behind them, a Fuchsia is dripping with flowers.

Fuchsia

It is due to move under the remodelling plans for next year so we hope that it survives.

A lone campanula was to be seen near the front door.

campanula

By this time, I was quite ready to have a sit down so I sat down and printed out a couple more pictures for the forthcoming flower show competition.

Although I may find myself being a bit creaky tomorrow, I was really pleased to have been able to do so much work (by my standards) in the garden today.  For some reason, my joints are much better than they been for ages and I intend to make the most of it while this happy state lasts.

No flying bird of the day today thanks to the poor light but a cheerful dahlia of the day to brighten things up.

dahlia

As a footnote, Mrs Tootlepedal took down her sweet pea cage today and found this tall plant  growing up the back of the cage.  She has tied it to the telegraph pole.  It is a mystery to her and she would be interested to know if anyone can suggest what it might be.strange plant

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s visit to Grimsby and shows the fine 1920s cinema building there.  Inexcusably, I have put his photograph through a filter to give it that Hollywood gloss.

Savoy picture house, Grimsby

The promised change in the weather has not arrived yet but at least it was a degree or two cooler today which I personally found very welcome.  It was still sunny and with a light wind, it was a lovely day.

The chief business of the morning was waiting for a call from the garage to tell us if fitting the new door lock had solved the problem.  While I waited, I spent most of the time going out into the garden for a wander and then going back indoors to recover.

There was plenty to see while I wandered.

The vegetable garden was full of sparrows when I first went out….

sparrows

…and the plum tree was full when I looked later in the day.

sparrows

House sparrow numbers are reportedly dropping fast in the UK, perhaps because of traffic pollution in cities and farming practice changes but we are doing our best to keep them up here, much to Mrs Tootlepedal’s dismay.

In spite of the sparrows. her garden seems to be thriving.

geranium and philadelphus

A new geranium and philadelphus have joined the party

Poppy

More oriental poppies have come out

They are hard to spot among the other plants.

Poppy

There are more delicate arrivals too.

lupins

The call from the garage came and I went up to collect the car.  It was a real treat to drive a car that doesn’t emit eighteen digital beeps every time you drive off to tell you that you have left a door open when you haven’t.  It was almost worth the money that it has cost to fix the problem.

The garden has needed a great deal of watering during the dry spell and we continued that today.  We were sure that the watering would bring on a rain shower but in spite of rain showers nearby, once again Langholm remained dry.

While we waited for the heat of the day to ease off, I did some more bird and flower watching.

I heard a terrific commotion in a bush and a jackdaw shot out hotly pursued by a very angry blackbird and I can only assume that the jackdaw was trying to make off with a blackbird chick.  A rather battered looking  female blackbird gave me an old fashioned look later on.  I don’t know if she was party to the dispute.

female blackbird

There were several white butterflies flitting around the garden again today…

butterfly

…but still very few bees.  A visitor told us that he had seen hardly any bees in his garden this year as well so it seems to be a general problem in the town.

The Scotch roses are enjoying the weather as much as Mrs Tootlepedal is and are producing more flowers every day.

Scotch roses

My favourite flowers are thriving too.

aquilegia and astrantia

In fact everything is doing well.

flowers

We have honeysuckle both in the garden and hanging over the hedge as well.  They look very different.

honeysuckle

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that this is because they are different varieties.  One is the common honeysuckle and the other is the late Dutch honeysuckle.  Sometimes I wonder if she is pulling my leg.

The most interesting arrival is probably the least spectacular.

iris

An almost black iris

After the day had begun to cool a little and the sun had disappeared behind light clouds, we got our bicycles out and went for a fourteen mile pedal in very kindly cycling conditions.  We took quiet back roads, sometimes across open moorland and sometimes along sheltered lanes…

Barnglieshead

…and sometimes past inquisitive cattle.

belted galloways

We got home just in time to watch the day’s highlights from the Criterium du Dauphine bike race in France.   They were going a bit faster than us.

The forecast is now saying that we will get the last day of this spell of warm weather tomorrow so I hope to make the most of it.  The temperature is due to go down 6 or 7 degrees C on Friday which will be a bit of a shock if that turns out to be true.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

flying siskin

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