Posts Tagged ‘iris siberica’

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother, who was on one of his outings.  It shows the Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye.

Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye

We had a very pleasant day here today with lots of sunshine but with a wind just brisk enough to make me think of several reasons why going cycling might not be my best option.

It had rained overnight and the plants in the garden were holding on to some of the raindrops.

willow and pulsatilla

Willow and pulsatilla unwilling to let go

There was plenty of buzzing to be heard in the garden…


…and plenty of new flowers for the bees to visit.

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

After coffee, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a short trip on our bikes up the Wauchope road might be worth while and so we went off to see the bluebells that I had noticed on my bike ride yesterday.  We left our bikes by the side of the road and walked up the hill.  The view down the valley without the bluebells was very good….

Wauchope valley

…but it was even better with bluebells.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

And there was no shortage of bluebells on the hill side for us to enjoy.


Wauchope valley with bluebells


Wauchope valley with bluebells

…and along.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

I could have filled a whole post with bluebells.

There weren’t a lot of other flowers among the bluebells but there were some of these tiny yellow flowers.

yellow wild flowers

As we cycled home, I stopped for a look at some fresh hawthorn blossom…


…and an orange tip butterfly which kindly rested for a moment or two on a bluebell beside the road.

orange tip butterfly

After lunch, I mowed the front lawn, chatted to blackbirds…


…who were keen to share the lawn with me, enjoyed a whole hearted tulip…


…and then went off on an outing with Sandy.

We drove up past the bluebells but the sunlight was in quite the wrong place so we drove back through the town and went to visit the Moorland Project bird hide.  When we arrived, we found that others had beaten us to it so we left the car there and walked down the road…

Rashiel road

…to the banks of the Tarras Water.

Tarras water

We crossed the bridge and walked along the bank of the river for a few hundred yards and stopped to be amazed by a forest of horsetails which Sandy spotted…


…growing in a very soggy patch beside the river.

I will have to come back and look at these again as they are interesting plants.

One of them had a friend.


We walked back up the hill to the hide and found yet again that someone else had got in before us but this time we went in too and shared the viewing windows.

There was a lot of woodpecker activity and for the first time ever, I saw a woodpecker on the ground pecking away at the grass.  Of course there were plenty of pheasants doing that too.

pheasant and woodpecker

There wasn’t a great deal of other activity so we made for home and had a cup of tea and a couple of mini Jaffa cakes with Mrs Tootlepedal.

Sandy went off and I mowed the middle lawn and had a look round the garden.


Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these are Alliums

The garden was alive with sparrows feeding their young…


One even sat on Mrs Tootlepedal’s bicycle handlebars

…but because the feeders are not up, it was hard to be sharp enough to catch them in the act.

I had a last look round…


…and went in to practice a few songs and look at the many, many pictures which I had taken on my outings and in the garden.  It is very hard not to take too many pictures in spring time.

I noticed that I had seen quite a lot of unfurling ferns here and there during the day…

unfurling ferns

…so I put some together.

I was feeling pretty tired by now and I let the chance of an evening bike ride slip through my fingers and settled for eating spaghetti with tomato sauce cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal and having a little snooze.

It is not a good picture but I feel that a flying bee of the day is the way to end this post.  It was a flying bee sort of day.

flying bee

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No guest picture of the day today (hint, hint) and a rather dull blog,  The picture below gives a clue as to why that should be.

garmin 10 June 2015I was hoping to go a bit further but I got to bed too late last night and didn’t get up early enough today so that by the time that I finally got out on the bike, it was rather warm and by the time that I got back, it was decidedly too hot for comfort at 22°C and I was glad to stop pedalling.

The route is mainly flat and with little wind, there was no time for free wheeling so it was hard work all the way round.  I stopped at the WWT at Caerlaverock, not to admire the wild life….

WWYbut to take advantage of their very reasonably priced coffee shop for lunch.  The scrambled eggs in toast were superb.  The fairly speedy bike enjoyed the rest too.

speedy bike

It was definitely a two water bottle day.  In fact I got a refill for one of them here so it was a three bottle day.

I have had quite a few pictures of gorse in the blog this spring as it has been glorious but it is being easily surpassed for yellowness by the broom now.  I saw this bunch beside the road as I set off for home.

broomI came back along the coast to Gretna and was pleased to get a little cool air off the sea as I pedalled along.  I stopped on the way back for a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the old Toll House at Gretna….

Toll House…which in my case was the last house on Scotland, not the first as I was going south at the time.  They have a pair of clocks inside which helpfully tell you the time in Scotland and England….

Toll House…and I see that sadly we seem to have slipped a minute behind.

I usually like to do something useful in the garden after a bike ride when my muscles are nicely warmed up but on this occasion, I was absolutely drained and did nothing.  In spite of a lot of moaning about the recent chilly weather, I don’t like hot weather very much, or perhaps it doesn’t like me and today was just too hot.  Still, I was very pleased to have done the second longest ride of the year (and 170 miles in the last four days) without much in the way of complaints from my new knee.  And I really shouldn’t complain about an almost cloudless warm day of the sort that we thought might never arrive this year.

Those interested can see details of the ride here.

I did have just enough energy to walk round the garden before retiring indoors for a sit down.  The sun was beginning to get  lower in the sky and was lighting up the flowers very prettily.




R. spinosissima or Scotch Burnet rose


Veronica with her ballet shoes on


The big pink Rhododendron starts its flowers off quite red


The paler of the two tall alliums


The irises are flourishing


The peony is lush


The lupin is just starting out

blackcurrant and plum

There is promise of jam in the air


The potentillas along the back wall by the dam are doing very well.  An accidental aquilegia crept in among them.

And that was it for the day.  Early bed tonight.

A flying bee deputises as flying bird of the day.

flying bee

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Today’s picture, sent by my brother, shows my siblings having a riotous time at Somerset House. From left to right, Susan, Andrew, Mary and Caroline.Four Siblings at Somerset Ho

Today started well when I woke up early, got up early and got out on the bike fairly early.  I followed a route which took me round the first half of the sportive I did in May.  It was the less hilly half fortunately with only 1600 ft of elevation in the 38 miles according to Garmin.  Although my legs weren’t at their most co-operative, I got round pleasantly enough.  The buttercups are by and large gone from the fields now but the verges are still full of wild flowers.

wild flower

wild flower

My favourite part of the ride has no wild flowers in the verges at all though.

Open road

The col at Bailliehill

Sandy had asked me to fill the bird feeders as he had to go to work so after a shower, I drove up to the feeders.  When I got there, I found the feeders had already been filled so I was able to sit and enjoy the woodpecker show.

woodpecker and child

An adult and child arrive at a tree

woodpecker and child

The feeder is inspected

woodpecker and child

Food is acquired

woodpecker and child

And distributed to the needy

There were woodpeckers on every side.


Checking me out


Tucking in


…and just relaxing

I finally got a reasonable picture of one flying only to find that one of Dr Barlow’s furled nets had intervened.


While I was bird watching, Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie had gone off on a pedal of their own so when I came down for the feeders,  I went up the road to try to catch a shot of them coming back.  I waited….

ruined cottage

A ruined cottage caught me eye.

…and waited but they didn’t come.  I went home, thinking that they must have turned back earlier than planned but they weren’t there.  I wondered if they had changed their minds over the route or perhaps had met with mechanical problems so I set out again to find them.  This time I met them almost before I had left the town.


I had to have the shutter speed at its very highest to freeze the action as the peleton hit town

They had taken a diversion over a hill on a forestry track which accounted for their late arrival but had enjoyed the outing a great deal.

After lunch, I wandered about for a while…


A nectaroscordum looking good even before it has come fully out.

There was a terrible noise of birds which turned out to be a lot of baby starlings asking to be fed.  Here are two of them in full voice



…and then I settled down to some serious lounging about as the Tour de France offered another entertaining stage with a good win for Mark Cavendish.

Then Andy Murray took the stage at Wimbledon and I found other things to do.  When he was an up and coming player, I used to watch him in the hope that he could win and enjoyed his games a lot, win or lose.  Now he is an established player, the overwhelming feeling is fear that he might lose and I find it painful to watch.  When he went two sets down, I went outside and mowed a couple of lawns.

I took some flower pictures too.

iris siberica

Two shades of Siberian irises

bees on astrantia

Two bees with good taste in flowers


Hydrangea petals seem to float around the centre of the flower

All this activity helped Andy a lot and he won the next set.  Then I set about trimming a couple of the box balls and this helped him win the fourth set.  With the game delicately balanced at five-all in the fifth, we went out for a meal and were very pleased to find that he had got through in the end without any help from us at all.

The meal was at the Douglas and was well up to their usual standards.  When we got home, we were able to watch the re-run of the tennis and enjoy the game without having to worry about who was going to win.  This was very satisfactory.

As was the flying bird of the day. an elegant chaffinch.










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