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Posts Tagged ‘lime tree’

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who is on an elephant hunt in Sheffield.

Sheffield elephant

We had another lovely day today, with wall to wall sunshine accompanied by gentle temperatures ideal for those who don’t do too well in the heat.  The only fly in the ointment was a brisk and bullying wind  which put any thoughts of cycling out of my mind.

I was quite happy about this in one way, as it let me sample the traditional Friday treacle scone couriered in by Dropscone on his bike while taking a short break from his incessant golfing activity.  He joined me for coffee while we disposed of the scones. They were very good.

When he left, I went out into the garden and enjoyed the sight of butterflies hanging on to wildly waving buddleias for dear life.

peacock and red admiral butterflies

I was amazed that they had the strength to hold on.

After the usual dead heading, I set about compost Bin D with a view to sieving as much of it as I could over today and tomorrow because the constant activity of Attila the Gardener over the past weeks has meant that Bin A is full to overflowing and a transfer process needs to be put into motion very soon.

Luckily, the compost is in good condition and sieves well so I made good progress both before and after lunch.  Our robin took a close interest in the garden activities.

robin

Mrs Tootlepedal dug up a couple of potato plants and the robin took advantage of this…

robin

…checking to see if we had any objection to worm hunting.

After I had done enough sieving, I had a wander round the garden clipping off all the hosta flowers which are now over, leaving just a set of new white ones under the plum tree.

hosta

The plums are looking very good and supplying us with a steady stream of ripe fruit to eat….

plums and golden syllabub rose

…and Mrs Tootlepedal has been cosseting the Golden Syllabub rose with good results.

At the other end of the garden the curiously named lobelia is also doing very well.

lobelia siphilitica

The warm sunshine had encouraged enough grass to grow to make it worth mowing the front and middle lawns for the second day running.  Mrs Tootlepedal was impressed by the amount of grass that came off as she thought that perhaps I was wasting my time. Regular mowing works wonders though and both the lawns are looking good.

We sat for a while on a bench in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and feeling that life wasn’t too bad at all and then after a cup of tea and a biscuit, I went off for a short walk.

I took a familiar route down by the river and enjoyed the large number of wagtails that were flitting about over the water or standing on rocks on the shore.

wagtails

I crossed the Town Bridge and came upon bigger birds flying along the Ewes Water at the Kilngreen.

herring gull

A herring gull going

Black headed gull

A black headed gull arriving

I looked in vain for any oyster catchers but they seem to have moved on, probably fed up by being harassed by paparazzi.

I walked over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks, keeping an eye out for fungus.  One of the conifers that is being felled had many fungi growing in its cracks and crevices.

fungus on Lodge Walks conifer

I think that perhaps the number of trees that blew over in last winter’s gales have made the estate keep a close eye on the health of their woodlands.  The Lodge Walks are much used by both cars and walkers and although only the Sawmill Bridge got slightly damaged by falling trees last winter, there might easily have been a worse outcome.

Felled tree on castleholm

In the picture above you can see the remains of another felled tree on the Castleholm but there are also several little fenced enclosures where new trees have been planted to replace the ones that are gone.  The enclosure will protect the trees from grazing sheep.

As I strolled on, I stopped to take pictures of the three different heads on a single umbellifer…

umbellifer

…a selection of berries….

snowberry and hawthorn

…and another set of aged fungus high in a tree.

fungus at the Lodge

It was a beautiful evening and the wind had begun to calm down a bit so it was a great pleasure to be out and about.

View from the Lodge

At one stage, I thought that the path I was following was covered by a thick carpet of fallen leaves.  This seemed strange as the trees round about still had leaves on them but a close look revealed that they were not leaves at all but probably the wings of lime trees carrying the seeds to the ground.

lime tree wings

I got home to be greeted by a trio of starlings sitting on the wires above the garden.

starlings

Considering that they were within a few feet of each other and I stood in the same place to take all three pictures, it is odd how different the sky looks in each portrait.

Mrs Tootlepedal made good use of the plum tree’s bounty for tea and we enjoyed a pudding of baked plums on toast, glazed with sugar and butter, made in the oven and topped off with some custard.  Delicious.

In the evening, we were joined by Mike and Alison and Alison and I enjoyed ourselves playing flute and keyboard pieces in a somewhat haphazard but always enjoyable manner.

The flower of the day is a very fine small fuchsia which Mrs Tootlepedal bought for me at the Gardener’s World show in Birmingham earlier this summer…

Fuchsia

…and the flying bird is a black headed gull.

black headed gull

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Today’s guest picture is from my brother Andrew and is another canal shot from his recent visit to Amsterdam.  I take the view that you can’t have too many canal shots.

Amsterdam canal

It was another dry day but with some cloud cover and a brisk north easterly wind, it felt quite chilly and I didn’t set out on the bike straight after breakfast but waited for a while.  I headed north up to Mosspaul with the intention of getting the benefit of the wind on the way home and things worked out as planned.  I took a laboured 55 minutes to puff steadily up the hill and a brisk 29 minutes to scoot the ten and a half miles back down.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had come back from singing in the church choir.  She had been thinking of going for a pedal herself but the lure of a dry day and the garden proved too strong and she spent most of the day toiling and tilling and transplanting.

I acted as official tulip photographer.  There were large clumps…

tulips

….small clumps….

tulips

…and inside workings.

tulips

She has got quite a lot of tulips about and there are still other varieties to come out.

I had to put a bit of blue in to balance the reds and yellows.

grape hyacinths

In the afternoon, I went to fetch our friend Jean who is a bit limited in her mobility at the moment but who wanted to come and see the garden.

Jean in the garden

After an extensive tour, she settled down for a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.

We were well sheltered from the wind in this corner of the garden and it was very pleasant to be able to sit outside and chat as we drank our tea.

While Jean was walking around the garden, I took a couple more flower shots.

Dog tooth violets

Dog tooth violets

Silver pear blossom

Silver pear blossom. We can’t look forward to eating silver pears as it is ornamental only.

I didn’t spend my whole time snapping flowers.

frog

As Jean was getting ready to go, Sandy arrived, ready for a walk.  Mrs Tootlepedal drove Jean home and I got organised to go out with Sandy.  We decided on another nuthatch hunt and went back to the Castleholm.  At our first stop we caught a fleeting glimpse of a nuthatch…

nuthatch

…but when we looked at the nesting hole, we didn’t see a nuthatch in residence but a blue tit.

blue tit at nuthatch nest

It was busy taking nest material in and out.

blue tit at nuthatch nest

blue tit at nuthatch nest

We will follow events here with interest.

We walked on to another couple of possibles nests but saw nothing at either, not even a blue tit.

We had to console ourselves by admiring the wonderful lime trees.

limes on Castleholm

Sandy dropped me off and almost as soon as I had got in the door, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a trip to the moor to look for  hen  harriers.  I agreed on the condition that she would drive and off we went.  We parked in the best spot for viewing harriers and didn’t have to wait long before one appeared low over the horizon.

harrier

It was too far away for my camera so Mrs Tootlepedal watched it with her binoculars as it skimmed first just above and then below the top of the hill.

I snoozed gently until woken by cries of, “There it is!”

“Where?”

“Over there, to the right….oh it’s gone behind the hill again.”

“Oh.”

“No there it is….to the left now….no it’s gone behind the hill again.”

When we had had enough fun playing this game, we drove down the hill again, stopping to watch a buzzard hunting near the road.

buzzard

When it soared away…

buzzard

…we drove on.

The spell of sunny days seems to be coming to an end soon according to the forecast but it has been a real treat and we have tried to make the best of it with gardening, walking, cycling, bird watching and smiling.

The flying bird of day is a little siskin making for the feeder and passing the rather rusty pole that holds it up.

flying siskin

 

 

 

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