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Posts Tagged ‘ornamental strawberry’

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin who was in California recently seeing his son and grandchildren when he visited the Capitola Pier.

capitola pier

We had another grey morning here with the occasional threat of drizzle which didn’t come to much.  It was enough though to persuade me that coffee and a tricky  crossword and some light shopping at our corner shop could fill up the time satisfactorily.   The wind was light and I ought to have been out making the most of a reasonable cycling day but I didn’t feel guilty enough to do more than walk round the garden.

I was hoping to see blackbirds in the rowan tree again but they were too quick for me today and flew off as soon as they saw me coming.

I looked at a shy dahlia instead.

shy dahlia

The last of the poppies are far from shy.

deep red poppies

And once again, the red admirals were about.  This one was resting on a sedum…

red admiral butterfly on sedum

…and this one on a buddleia was showing off its goggle eyes and its antennae.  The antennae look as though they have LEDs on them.

red admiral butterfly close up

At noon, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop and I finally got organised and took my bike out for a pedal.

We are being threatened with the arrival of the last gasp of Storm Dorian but the rain isn’t due until the evening and although the wind was expected to speed up during the afternoon, it was still going to be pretty reasonable.  I planned a route which would take advantage of the strengthening wind to blow me back home.

These things don’t often work out well but today everything went to plan.  I cycled westwards into a gentle breeze as the sun came out.  On one of my refreshment pauses, I looked up to see a hefty crop of beech nuts on the branches above me.

beech mast

My turning point came after 20 miles when I arrived at Browhouses on the Solway coast.  I took a few minutes to eat half a banana and enjoy the views.

The tide was well out and although there were some sea birds about, they were well out of range of my cycling camera.

seas birds at browhouses

A group of swans and some of a large group of gulls with some oyster catchers behind them.

Looking westward, I could see the English shore across the shining levels of the Solway…

shining solway

 

…and looking eastwards, I could see the estuary of the River Esk rather than any sea.

esk estuary browhouses

In the distance, I could see the wind turbines at Gretna…

gretna windmills

..and at Longtown and unlike my last ride, this time the direction of the blades showed me that I would get my wish of windy support on my ride home.

longtown windmills

I noticed that one of the few wild flowers to be seen was attracting attention…

yellow flower browhouses

…and then set off to do the twenty odd miles home.

I went back by a different route to my outward journey, missing out Gretna Green which I had passed through on my way out, but going through all the other places on this neatly painted signpost which is in England in the  county of Cumbria.

cubbyhill signpost

It still carries the name of a county council which was abolished in 1974, the year in which we came to live in Langholm….

cubbyhill signpost detail

…and it is good to see that no-one thought it necessary to go to the expense of making new signposts when the old ones were in such good shape.

In the hedge beside the post were some bright rose hips.

rose hips cubbyhill

At Englishtown, the farmer had been busy cutting grass and there were bales on every side as far as the eye could see.

filed near Englishtown

Thanks to the favouring breeze, which had strengthened noticeably after I had turned for home, I did the first 20 miles down to the seaside (net elevation loss 250ft) in 1 hr 33 mins and the slightly longer return 22 mile journey to Langholm (net elevation gain 250ft) in 1 hr 27 minutes.  This is the way that well planned bike rides for the elderly should always work out.  To complete the picture, I should add that I took 23 minutes of rest and refreshment stops along the way.
 A map and details of the ride can be found here by anyone interested.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had a very busy day and was working hard at some business arrangements when I got home.  I left her to it and walked round the garden after I had had a cup of tea.

The ornamental strawberries are having a late burst and look very good at the moment.

tame strawberry

Crown Princess Margareta is trying her best but will need a couple of kind days if she is to come to anything.

margareta rose

And the blue clematis at the front door continues to produce small but quite elegant flowers.

front door clematis

I picked some more plums and stewed some of them and ate them as a dessert with some ice cream after our evening meal.  Garmin (which records my ride on a nifty bike computer) claims that I used 2289 calories on my ride so that should have put most of them back.

No flying bird of the day today but another of the many young blackbirds in the garden stands in for it.

young blackbird

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Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who was beside the sea when he took it but not in East Wemyss.  He is having a break at Puerto Pollensa in Majorca.

Mallorca

I said goodbye to my sister Susan after breakfast this morning, thanking her for the hospitality which had made my brief trip south such a pleasure and made my way to Euston Station to catch the train to Carlisle.

Owing to a predisposition to train fever, I arrived a little early and had to spend some time sitting in the waiting room at Euston.

Euston Station

There are worse places to wait for a train on a sunny morning.

The train rain smoothly and punctually and arrived in time to connect with the bus back to Langholm.  It was good to be back home again but the weather was not at all welcoming, with very heavy clouds and 40 mph winds.  There was no chance of a quick pedal and even a walk was not inviting.

Autumn colour has moved forward while I was away and I took a picture of the poplars beside the church as I went over the suspension bridge.

Poplars at the church

I did get out into the garden to see what was left but the poor light and strong winds made taking pictures tricky so I settled for flowers that were either well sheltered or very sturdy.

I saw an article in the Gardeners’ World magazine saying that nerines were the thing to grow.  Mrs Tootlepedal is way ahead of them.

nerines

When the fuchsias were moved, this one escaped the upheaval and has been secretly growing in the old spot.

fuchsia survivor

Calendulas seem impervious to the weather.

calendula

And the ornamental strawberries continue to flower.  The first one appeared on the blog on May 17th this year so they have been working hard.  I wonder if they will make it to November and clock up half a year in flower.

ornamental strawberry

The sedum is looking good but its chance of attracting butterflies may have gone for this year.

sedum

Many nasturtiums have turned up their toes but the ones against the house wall are still doing well.

nasturtium by gas meter

A rudbeckia was very tired and needed a sit down on the bench.

resting flower

We have some autumn colour of our own in the garden.

autumn colour in the garden

And one benefit of the hot summer and the recent strong winds is that walnuts are not hard to find.  This is just part of the crop so far this year and it is easily the best crop that we have ever had.

100 walnuts

I put some bird food out but there were few takers, just a couple of jackdaws, one seen here perching among the last of the plum tree leaves…

jackdaw in october in tree

…and one looking rather diffident about pecking the fatballs.

jackdaw in octoberat fatballs

A lone chaffinch is the perching bird of the day.

chaffinch

The forecast is good for tomorrow so I am hoping for some better pictures.

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