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Posts Tagged ‘Langholm Cricket Club’

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who was spotted by a deer on one of his walks.

ant's deer

It was another grey day today but although it promised to rain for quite a lot of the day, we got nothing worse than a few spots every now and again.

I went off to the producers’ market at the Buccleuch Centre after breakfast and was very disappointed to find that neither the  fishmonger nor the cheesemonger were present.  I made do with some stewing steak and honey and made my way home again.

As it wasn’t raining, I mowed the front and middle lawns and was pleased to find a fair amount of grass growing on both.  Then, following up a suggestion from the gardener, I went into the greenhouse to check on the argyranthemum.  It was a surprise to me to find that it has such a cheerful flower.

argyranthemum

I look forward to seeing it out in the garden in due course.

Things were generally looking quite cheerful in the garden in spite of the cloudy weather and the two and half inches of rain which we have had this week.

six flowers

I went out to look at the hedge along the road and found that it need trimming.  While I was there,  I looked back into the garden and saw the view which the passer by gets.

garden from road

I looked at some of the paler flowers…

four yellow and white flowers

…and went indoors to look at the birds and have lunch.

A pigeon was taking time out on a garden seat…

pigeon ion chair

…while the sparrows rushed busily about.

two sparrows incoming

After lunch, we went to a recital by our church organist Henry, seen here consulting with his page turner.

henry at the organ

He played the recital which he used for his degree examination recently.  Mrs Tootlepedal had heard him play it in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh last month but it was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The recital is part of a series held to raise money for the restoration of the church organ.  I hope that they succeed in raising the substantial funds required as the organ is a delight to listen to, very clear and mellow in tone so that the audience doesn’t get the battering that some of the bigger cathedral organs administer.

We enjoyed a cup of tea and some dainty cakes after the performance and then we went home.

Once home, I spent some useful time practising the songs for our Carlisle Choir concert which is coming up next week and then I checked the weather forecast as I was thinking about a cycle ride.  Unfortunately the forecast was very gloomy, promising heavy rain shortly so I gave up the idea of pedalling and sieved some compost instead and had another walk round the garden.

A rhododendron which has been threatening to flower for some weeks, has finally got its act together.  It was worth the wait.

late flowering rhododendron

And on every side, hostas are growing.

four hostas june

In spite of the forecast, it didn’t  rain so I decided to put a brolly in my pocket and go for a walk until it started.

The recent rain has put a little water into the rivers but they are still pretty low as this view of the Kirk Brig shows.

daisies beside Wauchope

Beside the Esk, I spotted a pair of ducks.  The male was looking very calm while the female was making a big splash.

drake and duck

I crossed the river and walked along the Kilngreen under the supervision of a black headed gull.

black headed gull on post

The clouds were well down on the hills round the town…

cloud on Timpen

…but on the Castleholm, a cricket match was in full swing.

cricket in prgress

I didn’t stop to watch the game and turned to admire an ornamental horse chestnut tree instead.

red chestnut

I continued round the new path and enjoyed the new growth all around me, both looking up..

cones and wildflowers castleholm

…and down.

It was gloomy in the corner by the two noble fir trees and female and male fruits had an air of mystery about them.

noble firs castleholm

There were flowers beside the path including a lot of crosswort…

wild flowers castleholm

…and an unknown (to me) yellow flower and a superb hawthorn.

As I walked over the Jubilee Bridge and round the Scholars’ Field, the trees were full of interest…

tree fruits castleholm

…and there was lots to see at ground level too.

four wild flowers scholars

When I got home, I was amazed at how many pictures I had taken on such an unpromising day.  I have bunged a lot of them into the panels in spite of the poor quality of many of them just to show what I saw.

I was also rather annoyed to find that as time went on, there was no hint whatsoever of any of the forecast rain and much as I had enjoyed my walk, I could easily have gone for a decent cycle ride which would have done me more good.

Still, the lawns are cut, the compost buckets are full and I saw a lot of interesting things on my walk so I should regard it as a day on the credit side of the great ledger of life even it didn’t have a pedal in it.

The poor light made getting a good flying bird picture tricky so I have put in a gender balanced pair of sparrows today.

twi flying sparrows

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Today’s guest picture shows a fine display of wisteria spotted by my sister Susan on her way to catch a bus.

london wisteria

We had a frosty morning here, followed by a fine but chilly day with a brisk  and biting north wind.  If you were out of the wind, everything in the garden was lovely and if you weren’t, you got out of it as soon as you could.

I started the day with some shopping at our producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre where the essentials of life such as honey, cheese, haggis and fish were popped into my Canadian (courtesy of Mary Jo of Manitoba) shopping bag.  Then after another excursion to top up supplies from our corner shop, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to visit our friends Mike and Alison.  Their daughter Liz had arrived with her chainsaw to help Mike cut down the cherry tree at the front gate which had grown too big for its situation and which is due to replaced by a rowan.  They were making a good job of it but kindly broke off for long enough for Alison to offer us coffee and ginger biscuits (and a potted plant to take home with us)..

Later in the day, three bags of shreddings and sawdust arrived in our garden for which we will find very good uses.

When we got back, I took a walk round the garden in the sunshine.  A bee which should have been busy on the apple blossom was wasting its time on a dicentra, a new ranunculus, one of batch purchased at a very advantageous price by Mrs Tootlepedal, was looking sublime and one of the last of the tulips was trying to open wide.

dicentra, ranunculus tulip

It has been an odd year, and I noticed when I looked back at a blog of a year ago, that we still had lots of daffodils out and the tulips were at the peak on this day then.

Now almost all the daffodils are gone and most of the tulips too.  We are in a pause, waiting for azaleas and alliums to appear.  I saw a very fine spider’s web, the sole rhododendron flower that is fully out, a hosta that is developing well and some mustard grown for green manure whihc is coming up in the vegetable garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal is very keen on mustard.

hosta mustard web and rhodie

In the absence of much bright colour, the greens are doing their best to keep me entertained.

fern and euphorbia

A pair of blackbirds appeared on the front lawn…

blackbird pair on lawn

…and a pond skater stopped skating for long enough for me to take its picture.

pond skater

Although my feet are still not co-operating properly, I felt it was too cold and windy for a pleasant cycle ride so I went for a walk after lunch.

There was plenty to take my mind off my feet as I went along.  Daisies and cherry blossom lined my walk along the bank of the Esk between the bridges.

daisies and cherries beside esk

And a pair of oyster catchers looked as though they might be setting up home on the gravel bank above the town bridge.

oyster catchers on gravel

In spite of the chilly wind, a cricket match on the Castleholm pitch reminded me that it is May and the season has well and truly got under way.

langholm cricket club

Sound defence with a straight bat was the order of the day.

LCC match

I walked on up the Lodge Walks with any amount of flowers to keep me company.

lodge walk wild flowers

I had met my friend Nancy as I was crossing the Langhom Bridge and she told me that she was going to check out the bluebells in the woods above the Lodge Walks because she is leading a visiting group of walkers on a bluebell hunt next week.  Taking the hint, I walked up a path through the wood.  She will have plenty of bluebells to show the visitors.

bluebells in lodge walk wood

It has been a good spring for bluebells.

bluebells above holmhead

As I went along the path at the top of the wood, I could see more bluebells mixed in with other wild flowers.

six lodge walk wild flowers

I came back down to the waterside and walked back along the bank of the Esk.  The paths are at their best.

two castleholm paths

Looking across the field, I saw the sun pick out a small tree surrounded by larger specimens.  I liked the way that grazing cattle have kept the bottom of the tree looking so neatly trimmed…

castlholm tree

…and looking around, I saw that it was not the only one.

cattle cropped trees

I came back to the cricket ground to find the game still going on and watched a fielder at long leg doing what cricketers do a lot of, standing around.  He had found a good spot for standing around though, surrounded by fine trees and with the ruins of Langholm castle in the background.  He had plenty to look at if the game got boring.

outfileder and castle

A dandelion clock told me that time was getting on so I headed for home…

dandelion clock

…passing my favourite sight of the whole walk.  It was almost as though nature had taken up flower arranging.

saplings scholars

The wall at the end of the Scholars’ Field has a good crop of flowers growing out of cracks and crevices.  I saw ivy leaved toadflax, wild strawberries and corydalis.

wall flowers

I was ready for a cup of tea when I got home and then we got into our new little car and went off to collect some more wood chips.  On our return, we put the wood chips onto one of the paths in the remodelled part of the vegetable garden…

chipped paths

…and parked the little white thingy.  It hadn’t gone far enough to need charging.

renault

We had fish for our tea and I made some chips (potato not wood) to go with my helping. We finished the meal with the last of the lonely sticky toffee pudding.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

flying siskin flaps down

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Today’s guest picture is a Spanish bench.  Dropscone doesn’t reveal whether he actually sat on it or merely photographed it during his recent holiday in Majorca.

Spanish bench

There was no sitting around for me today after breakfast as I was anxious to get a short pedal in before the wind got too frisky.  It was brisk enough to make the start of the twenty mile trip hard work but, once again, it was coming from a direction which suited my route so I enjoyed myself.  I was too busy pedalling to stop to take any pictures.

I did walk round the garden when I got back and marvelled once again at the good value Mrs Tootlepedal has got from her packet of mixed cornflower seeds.

Cornflower

I also noticed a bee getting stuck into a nasturtium.

bee on nastirtium

My chief business wasn’t looking at flowers though, as there was important stuff to be done.   The drying green, the greenhouse grass and both the lawns needed cutting and I managed to do the first three on the list before I had to go inside for a sit down.  The front lawn has had to wait until tomorrow.

After lunch, I pedalled up to the Auld Stane bridge and looked back up the road.  First a couple of quad bikes appeared…

Benty ride out

…and then some bowler hatted heads…

Benty ride out

…and finally some horses.

Benty ride out

The rider in the centre of the front row is the young man who has been elected by the townspeople to be cornet for this year and carry the flag round our common land on Common Riding day.

This was the first of several ride outs which take place in the week before Common Riding week.

The cornet was escorted by over fifty mounted followers…

Benty ride out

… and they turned off the main road and headed for the hills.

Benty ride out

They were bound for Bentpath, six miles to the north of Langholm where they would sit down to speeches, songs and refreshments.  Much later in the day, they will return to Langholm, coming down into the town from the Castle Hill ridge (which appeared in yesterday’s post).  They will be tired but happy.

I went back home and enjoyed the last kilometres of another stage of the Tour de France and then, rather than mow the front lawn, I  set out for a short walk in pursuit of a flying bird of the day picture. Our feeder is not up at the moment.

I paused to admire Mrs Tootlepedal’s ‘back garden’ along the dam at the rear of our house.

Dam flowers

She has got three varieties of potentillas, mixed with crocosmia, alchemilla mollis and fuschia to brighten up our rather grey wall.

dam flowers

It wasn’t long before I saw and heard a flying bird.  A gull was being very vociferous as I walked down past the church…

flying gull

…and on the bank below, Mr Grumpy was looking rather small and harassed.

Mr Grumpy

The two things were connected.

Gull and heron

There were two gulls harrying the heron.  I don’t know what he had done to annoy them but they were certainly annoyed.  When I got nearer, they turned away and Mr Grumpy took the opportunity to make himself scarce.

flying heron

It was one of those days when there were flying birds to be seen on all sides, noisy oyster catchers high in the sky above and silent ducks low over the water below.

oyster catchers and mallards

Some non flying birds were also to be seen on the banks of the river.  It was parent and child time at the Langholm Bridge

ducks

oyster catchers

I crossed the bridge and walked onto the Kilngreen and was surprised to see Mr Grumpy pay a flying visit.

heron

I think that he was hoping for food from a car which parked but when they didn’t open their door, he flew off.

I watched the black headed gulls circle about…

black headed gulls

…and then I walked over the Sawmill Brig and up to the cricket ground where a match was being played.

Langholm were batting and at five wickets down, needed a good partnership from the two who were in.  They did their best….

Langholm cricket

…striking the ball in all directions…

Langholm cricket

…but it was an uphill task, especially as I heard a wicket fall as I was leaving the ground.

I had hoped to go out and photogrpah the riders when they returned from the Benty ride out but the light was too poor by the time that they were due to return so instead, I picked some strawberries and gooseberries, stewed the gooseberries, made some custard and ate the gooseberries…..followed later by the strawberries.  Life is hard.

Mrs Tootlepedal picked some rhubarb, roasted it and shared the custard.  She is always ready to help me out.

Too many pictures already so no flower of the day today.

The vociferous gull should really have been flying bird of the day but it was needed for the storyline so one of the black headed gulls receives the honour instead.

flying gull

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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Flamborough Head.  As well as seeing gannets and a puffin, he witnessed a dramatic sea rescue of a woman who had got into difficulties in the sea.  It needed a brave onlooker who plunged into the sea, a life boat and a helicopter.  Here the helicopter is lowering medical assistance  to the shore.

Helicopter

Mrs Tootlepedal was very excited when she looked out of an upstairs window after breakfast and saw that the first of her Shirley poppies,  grown from seed, had shown its colour.

Shirley poppy

I was excited too as I like them a lot.

Talking of plants grown from seed, Mrs Tootlepedal is also very pleased with the good show that her Sweet Williams are making along both sides of the drive.

Sweet William

It would be a very gloomy person who wasn’t cheered up by these bright flowers.

In the morning, I had to visit the Archive Centre to replace a bulb in one of the microfiche readers.  Luckily you can buy the bulbs in town so it was not a great problem.  I had a bit of other shopping to do and I got back home in time to watch Scotland play Japan at rugby for the second time in two weeks.  Like the first match, Scotland managed to win but once again it was a far from convincing performance.  Still, it can’t be bad if you can win matches when you are not playing your best.

By the time that the game had finished so had the dry weather and a light rain was falling.  It got heavier which put paid to any plans for a walk or cycle.  It did ease off though and both the sun and I came out into the garden.

philadelphus, peony and water lily

peony and marigold

Everything was rather wet but still looking good.

We had a  bit of a worry a few days ago when one branch of our gooseberry bush got terminally sick and had to be cut off but the rest of the bush seems to be doing very well and the fruit is developing nicely.

gooseberry

The rain came back again and I went inside.  It didn’t dampen the spirits of the sparrows who continued to trample happily on each other in the pursuit of seed.

sparrow trampling

A blackbird took advantage of a rain filled coconut shell to have a drink.

Blackbird

The rain eased off again just in time to welcome a visit from Bob to the garden.

bob

Bob had brought Mike Tinker and his daughter Liz with him.  She is a professional gardener and her visits are always welcome as she is very generous and helpful with her advice.  She had given Mrs Tootlepedal two Cardooms last year and there was a ceremonial inspection of the plants today.

They are doing well.

Cardoons

They are members of the artichoke family and should soon have big flowers.

Mike and Liz went on their way but not before Mrs Tootlepedal had pressed a dahlia on Liz.

When they had gone, I noticed a bee heading for a foxglove.

bee and foxglove

In spite of the some ominous looking dark clouds, the rain seemed to have gone away for a while so I decided on a short walk while the going was good.

The view of the church from Caroline Street is much improved since a tree on the river bank had to be felled.  You can see the stump in front of the wall.

Langholm Parish Church

This is where Mrs Tootlepedal sings in the choir on Sundays.

I passed the family of oyster catchers between the bridges on the Esk.

oyster catchers

Both the adults tried to lead me away from the youngster.

I walked along the Kilngreen taking in the sights both welcome…

Mallard

A mallard making waves….well ripples.

…and less welcome.

Giant hogweed

This looks like giant hogweed on the Castleholm bank, a real pest among weeds

My walk took me towards the cricket ground and I noticed that there was a match on in spite of the rain earlier.

Cricket notice

I see that the most important spectator attraction is in the biggest writing

I kept away from the bar but stood on the boundary watching the game for several overs.

Langholm Cricket Ground

For those unfamiliar with the game of  cricket, there are bowlers who hurl balls at…

bowlers

…batsmen….

batsmen

…who fend the balls off with a bat.

They are surrounded by fielders who collect the balls that the batsmen hit and catch them out if they are in the air.  On the occasion though, the fielders failed to keep hold of two very easy catches and the batsmen biffed and bashed and won the game.

I walked home when the game ended.

As I am still a bit tired after missing a whole night’s sleep, I was very happy that it had just been a short walk and to make things even better, Mrs Tootlepedal made the tea.

We followed the main dish up with a plate of strawberries and cream.  It seems bad that we have to eat strawberries and cream every day just now as the strawberry plants are very productive but someone has to do it.

The flower of the day is a Goldfinch Rose.  It is yellow when it comes out at first but soon changes to white as it develops.

Goldfinch rose

The flying bird of the day is two siskins.

flying siskins

 

 

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