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Posts Tagged ‘potentilla’

Today’s guest picture is another from Tom in South Africa and, appropriately enough since he is a great rugby man, it shows some springboks.

springbok

The first named storm of the year was visiting Britain overnight and we were warned that Aileen would bring heavy and persistent rain overnight and well into the morning so it was no surprise to find the sun shining when we got up.

It turned out that Aileen had stayed well to the south of us.

I went up to the town to do some business and then walked round the garden.  The variety of Mrs Tootlepedal’s poppies never fails to delight me.

poppies

And they continue to attract bees in numbers.

poppies with bees

And of course, some of them are simply beautiful.

poppy

As well as some good weather, the morning brought Dropscone, complete with a batch of excellent scones for coffee.  He has recently been to Aberdeen on golfing business so it was good to see that he had got back without losing another wheel on the way.  He had crossed over the new Forth bridge on his trip but told us that it was far less exciting to drive over than to look at from a distance as it has tall panels each side of the roadway which severely restrict the driver’s view.

When he left, I got the mower out and mowed the middle lawn.  After the overnight rain, the lawn was fairly squelchy and the mowing involved quite a lot of worm cast squashing as Mrs Tootlepedal kindly pointed out to me when I had finished.  All the same, if you didn’t look too closely, which I didn’t, things looked quite cheerful.

Middle lawn

Rudbeckia, lilies, cosmos, nasturtium and poppies are still giving the lawn a colourful border.

There are three colours of potentilla in the garden.  They are not all flowering freely but if you look hard, you can find them.

potentilla

All through the day, sudden heavy rain showers interrupted the better weather….

clouds

The next shower lining up

…..and the gardening was a very on and off business.  In spite of quite a lot of sunshine, the rain was heavy enough when it came to make the garden soggier at the end of the day than it had been at the start.

Even so, the nerines round the chimney pot are doing very well.

nerines

We managed to repair the wires on the espalier apples and turn all the compost from Bin B into Bin C and then from Bin A into Bin B so we are ready to start the whole composting cycle again.

The wet roads and the constant threat of a shower put me off proper cycling but I did go out on the slow bike later in the day to see if I could see a dipper by the river.

I could.

dipper

It was on the same rock as last time.

I saw another even more patient bird while I was out.

carved owl

As the rain was holding off, I cycled along to Pool Corner and watched the Wauchope flowing over the caul there.

Pool Corner

It is very soothing watching running water but the road out of the town…..

Pool Corner

…looked inviting so I pedalled up the Manse Brae and along the road at the top….

Springhill

…just far enough to be able to turn off and get a good view of Warbla and the Auld Stane Brig.

Warbla

Those are grey clouds and not blue skies behind the hill so I didn’t push my luck and turned and pedalled back down the hill while it was still sunny.  I was not best pleased therefore when it started to rain quite hard out of a blue sky and I scuttled back home as fast as I could.

But……every cloud has a silver lining they say and this rain had a multicoloured bonus for me.

rainbow over Henry Street

I was happy.

After tea, I went off to the first meeting of the new season of the Langholm Community Choir.  There was quite a good turnout and some new music that I liked so it was an enjoyable evening and a good start to the new session.

Instead of a flying bird of the day, I am showing two pictures of butterflies.  There were plenty of them about today between showers.  I don’t know where they go in the rain but it can’t be far away because they appeared almost immediately after the sun came out. It was  day for red admirals.

This one may have been drying its wings after a shower.  The symmetry is astonishing (to me at least).

red admiral

This one was getting stuck in.

red admiral butterfly

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Today’s guest picture shows Justin half way up the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District  yesterday.  He was accompanying my brother Andrew to the summit and had paused to admire the view.  My brother took the picture.

Old Man of Coniston

I am going to break with habit and start today’s post with a picture that I took last night after I had posted yesterday’s offering.  Clear nights have been  a rarity lately so this view of the moon just breaking free of a layer of thin cloud was very welcome.

Moon

I have not been sleeping as well as I would like recently so it took me some time to get up and have a late breakfast this morning and Mrs Tootlepedal had long departed to sing with the church choir before I managed to get the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a traditional Sunday morning 40 mile run down the flat roads to Newtown and back.

I was very pleased to see that although Genghis the Grasscutter…

Canonbie by pass

…had slaughtered most of the orchids along the Canonbie by-pass, a few….

orchids

…had escaped his vengeful blades.

There was a westerly wind blowing with quite a bit of bite in it so I had to pay attention to my bicycling and didn’t stop to take any pictures until I paused for a breather and a banana on the bridge at Longtown on my way home.

The River Esk at Longtown

The River Esk at Longtown

When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had driven to Carlisle yesterday, we had noticed that the knapweed on the banks of Aucherivock diversion were beginning to make a show so I stopped just before I got to Langholm today to show the knapweed in action.

knapweed

Auchenrivock diversion wild flowers

Thanks to the hedges on the Brampton road sheltering me from the worst of the crosswind and the kindly wind helping me up the hill on my way home, I managed to knock a few minutes off last Sunday’s time for the same journey and averaged just under 16 mph for the trip, a very good speed for me these days.

When I got home, I took a look round the garden.

blackbird

It seemed to be full of blackbirds.

The roses were as gorgeous as ever…

roses

…and they have been joined by a buddleia…

buddleia

…which I am hoping will attract hordes of butterflies into the garden.

The poppies come and go quickly…

poppy seed head

…but I think that this new pretty little Fuchsia will last a bit longer.

Fuchsia

I went in to have a cup of tea and watch some of a very exciting stage of the Tour de France.  It got a bit too exciting and the strain of watching it got too much for me so I went back out into the garden for another look round and to pick some more blackcurrants.  I am hoping to make blackcurrant jelly if I have the patience to pick enough of them.

Mrs Tootlepedal has a red flowering potentilla which has been a bit disappointing after some early promise but it has just started to flower again.

potentilla

I hope that it continues to make progress.

The nasturtiums need no encouragement.

nasturtiums

More roses caught my eye.

roses

Lilian Austin and the revived Ginger Syllabub

I went back inside just in time to watch a most horrendous crash in the tour as the leaders whizzed down a hill.   They were going down a narrow and twisty road at 70 kph.  On my own ride earlier on I had gone down a wide and straight road at 50 kph and I thought that that was quite scary enough.  These tour cyclists are  very brave men.

I append a quote from Cycling News that gives you an idea of just how hard these fellows are.

 

“X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”

While the crash was dramatic and the injuries fairly serious, the team remains hopeful that Porte can be back in action before the season is over. If all things go to plan, then they say that he could be racing again by August.

The other person involved in the crash, got back on his bike and finished the race.  When he was asked if he was hurting at all, he replied that he couldn’t tell yet.

I take my hat off to them.

After the stage was over, I went back out to pick a few more blackcurrants and have a last look round the garden.

new white flowers

Two new white flowers

clematis

A clematis with a big smile

astrantia

A fly turning its back on the beautiful centre of an astrantia

bee on ligularia

A bee among the twists and turns of the ligularia

I didn’t have long to look around as it was soon time to get showered and changed, ready to go out for a meal with the ‘old man’ of the Coniston climb, my brother Andrew.  He is on a touring holiday with his wife’s nephew Justin who comes from New Zealand and he kindly took the three of us out to the Douglas Hotel for an excellent meal.    We enjoyed good food and stimulating conversation.  It was interesting to get a New Zealand perspective on our present political situation in the UK.

The non flying bird of the day is one of our resident blackbirds, taking a dim view of life this afternoon.

blackbird

Note: I wish that I had had my flying bird camera to hand during the afternoon when I saw a sparrowhawk arrive in the garden, do a handbrake turn and disappear into the middle of our neighbour’s holly tree.  A very large number of starlings made a hasty exit from the tree in short order.  It was an unusual sight as mostly the sparrowhawks swoop down and pluck their prey  off a feeder, a branch or the ground.  I have never seen one fly into the middle of a thickly leaved tree before.

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who visited Kew Gardens yesterday with my sister Susan.  They went to the water lily house.

Inside the water lily house

I had had a look at the weather forecast last night and as a result I had thought that an early start would be best for cycling.  These sort of plans often turn out to be more theoretical than actual but today I managed to achieve my object and was off on my bicycle while Mrs Tootlepedal was still in the land of dreams.

I had an appointment with some coffee and treacle scones later on so I stuck to my standard 20 mile round trip to Canonbie and back.  The wind was brisk but in a helpful direction, the sun was shining and my legs were in a good mood so I stuck to pedalling and didn’t stop for any pictures.

This left me with time for a walk round the garden before Dropscone arrived for coffee.  It was a good morning to be out among the flowers, with plenty of gently sparkling colour….

geranium and potentillas

A geranium and two potentillas

…and some ‘in your face’ wow factor.

geranium

Hard to ignore

peony

Very hard to ignore

The peonies were at their best…

peonies

…and the Sweet Williams were dazzling.

sweet williams

The orange hawkweed was attracting insects….

orange hawkweed

…and the pond was rich in frogs.

frogs

I enjoyed the the effect of the surface tension of the water.

A young Rosa Goldfinch flower was almost perfect…

Rosa Goldfinch

…and Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed the waterfall of tropaeolum down the side of the yew.

Rosa Goldfinch

I just had time to admire a white campanula….

campanula

…before Dropscone arrived for coffee.

He had been playing golf at Kelso yesterday but he had been afflicted by an appalling outbreak of shanking which had spoiled his day.  (Shanking would spoil any golfer’s day to be fair.)  As one who was been afflicted with the same disease in my playing days, I was able to offer a sympathetic ear to his troubles…..and enjoy his treacle scones at the same time.  This eased the pain.

By the time that he left, the sun had gone too but it was still dry so I mowed the middle lawn, thinned out the abundant gooseberries on the gooseberry bush with Mrs Tootlepedal’s help and had another look at the flowers.

Even without the sun, they were still looking good.

The clematis at the back door is over but fortunately the climbing hydrangea is stepping to fill the gap.

Hydrangea

I saw a little stem of Rosa Goldfinch which. showed neatly how the flowers turn from yellow to white as they mature.

Rosa Goldfinch

A cotoneaster in the back bed was buzzing with bees but they were rushing around in such an excited fashion that I couldn’t get a picture of them so I settled for the flowers themselves.

cotoneaster

An overview with bee

cotoneaster

A close up

I looked at three old friends….

iris, clematis and peony

…checked out the blue lupin which has reached the opening up stage…

lupin

…and went in to stew the gooseberries and make some soup for lunch.

And that was that.

I arranged to go for a walk with Sandy in the afternoon but shortly after lunch it began to rain and didn’t let up for ages so I did the crossword, put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and practised being a bass and in this way, managed to fill in the rest of the afternoon.

Without the sunshine, it turned into a rather cold and miserable day and Mrs Tootlepedal, who would have liked to be out in the garden doing useful things, got rather gloomy too.  It didn’t feel like June at all.

Earlier in the morning, we had thought of going on an outing but it was just as well that we couldn’t think of anywhere to go.

On the plus side, the rock hard gooseberry thinnings turned out to be quite eatable when stewed…..and with a good splash of sugar added.

The forecast is for a much better day tomorrow and I hope that they have got that right as I am helping out on a guided walk and it won’t be much fun if it is raining.

The flying bird of the day is a single cotoneaster flower taken in the morning sunshine.

cotoneaster

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is something Dropscone saw in the moat when he was visiting Hever Castle  last week.  He is pretty sure that it is a bird.

goose

It was a miserable soggy, grey and windy day in the morning and I wisely found things to do indoors.  With seven songs to have off by heart for our Carlisle concert, any time spent going through them is valuable so it wasn’t a wasted morning.

I even shifted more old photos off my computer onto an external drive which is good in two ways.  It makes my computer run a bit faster and it puts them in a safe place in case of computer disaster.

It wasn’t raining in the afternoon so I went out into the garden.   There is a lot to see there even on a rotten day.

The Icelandic poppies were able to hold up their heads today but I had to hold on to the stalk of this one to stop it swaying in the wind for long enough to get a picture of it.

icelandic poppy

The vegetable garden is coming on a bit each day.

Blackcurrants, strawberries and gooseberry all look as though they will be fruitful.

soft fruit

Chives….

chives

…and potatoes are progressing well too.

potatoes

Mrs Tootlepedal is busy constructing a pea fortress against the marauding sparrows and I hope to have a picture of that when she has completed the edifice.

From the vegetable garden, I walked along the back path and found plenty to enjoy there too.

colourful corner

Definitely a colourful corner

rhododendron

The wow factor

I read in an informative blog that trilliums have three of everything and when I looked, this turned out to be true…..

trillium

…although our two little plants are sadly quite a bit worse for wear.

Moving onto the front lawn, I was surrounded by azaleas.  We transplanted this yellow one last autumn and Mrs Tootlepedal cut it back quite severely.  As it is an old plant, we wondered whether the move and the haircut might be too much for it but we need not have worried.  It is thriving in its new place.

azalea (3)

Another one was moved and placed beside it and it too is doing well.

azalea (2)

If I can find a sunny day, I will try to get a pretty picture of the lawn surrounded by azaleas.  This is the third development of spring after the daffodils and tulips.

I went onward, out of the front gate and round the back of the house where I could enjoy the first of the potentillas along the back wall.

potentilla

There are more to come out and they will last for months.

I went back into the garden and took a picture of two of the remaining tulips.

potentilla

The wind and the rain have knocked a lot of petals to the ground and there was quite a bit of tulip dead heading to do.

I had to leave the garden then and go off up to the health centre where I had a very minor operation on the side of my neck .  This left me with a few stitches covered in a theatrical sticking plaster so I look not unlike Frankenstein’s monster but in a modest way.

The whole affair was quick and painless and I was quite able to mow the greenhouse grass when I got back.  The weather had improved a  bit by this time but I thought it was sensible not to go for a pedal or a walk so I contented myself with a few more flower pictures.

Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out a striking blue flower in the back border I had noticed it before but I had passed it by, thinking that it was just another bluebell.  It was in fact a camassia…

camassia

…and well worth a proper look.

There are Welsh poppies popping up all over the place…

welsh poppy

…and I have put one beside a white potentilla in the frame below.

welsh poppy potentilla

The last flower of the day is a nectaroscordum, another flower that blushes unseen…

nectaroscordum

…unless you lie on your back and look up.

)

Or hold your camera facing upwards and hope for the best.

The rhubarb was badly affected by the lack  of rain but I managed to find enough stems to pull to have rhubarb and custard for pudding at our evening meal and that made a dull day end on a brighter note.

The flower of the day is one of our neighbour Liz’s plants, a really stunning azalea on the banks of the dam…

azalea

…and a singing blackbird on our front hedge is the bird of the day.

blackbird

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Today’s guest picture(s) come from Dropscone’s highland holiday but were not taken by him.  They are the work of his recorder playing daughter Susan, who made the montage, and show scenes from their visit to Dunrobin Castle, the falconry there, the seaside and a nearby broch.

dunrobin

We were once again the beneficiaries of a Scandinavian high pressure system which is keeping the moist Atlantic weather well away from us.  Although not quite as sunny as yesterday, it was still a fine day and a welcome degree or two warmer.

I spent the period after breakfast getting myself mentally prepared for the arrival of the first scones for what seems like an age.  Luckily when Dropscone arrived bearing the scones, they were well up to standard and my anticipation was fully rewarded.  They went down well with some Honduras coffee.

After Dropscone left, I walked round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal, sporadically doing some dead heading and lending a hand when she needed one but mostly looking at flowers and insects and snapping away.

marigold and Crown Princess Margareta

A marigold in full bloom and Crown Princess Margareta full of promise

The dahlias were attracting a varied clientèle at their pollen bars

dahlia with bee

Though it was possible to find some bee free blossoms.

dahlia

I wandered into the vegetable garden to pick up some apple windfalls and eat a few raspberries.  I had picked enough raspberries recently to make a couple of pots of jam yesterday so I was happy to see a few more still there today…

rasps runner and courgette

…but the runner beans and the courgettes are pretty well past it now.  We have eaten a lot of both.

I was joined in the vegetable garden by Attila the Gardener who declared the the time of doom had come for the cardoons and tore them out of the ground.  They have big seed heads.

cardoon seeds

Walking back through the flower gardens, I recorded three different varieties of potentilla.

potentilla

They seem to flower endlessly.

While I was pondering on this and that, I was disturbed by some vigorous chattering from small birds and looking across the road at our neighbour Liz’s house, I saw a curious sight.

sparrows on wall

The noise came from a small flock of sparrows which were greatly excited and were sticking and unsticking themselves from the wall her house.  There must have been something to eat there but what it was, I can’t imagine.  I have never seen this behaviour before.

I left them to it and went off to mow the drying green and then went in to do the crossword and have lunch.  I had hoped that my Mediterranean diet while I was in Marseille would have made my brain work better but there has been no noticeable effect so I had  a sardine sandwich for lunch.  I live in hope.

After lunch, I watched the birds for a while.

blue tit and robin

Two cute favourites

coal tit

A determined coal tit

I refilled the fat ball feeder and this provoked a flurry of activity from the sparrows.

sparrows

Mrs Tootlepedal went off in the car to visit a garden centre, get her eyes tested and then roam a retail outlet and I got the fairly speedy bike out and went off for another short ride.

The weather has been quite breezy lately so I have been trying to do a twenty mile ride each day rather than wait in hope of a calmer day and then do a long trip.

Today I did 22 miles to Gair and back.  The way home has slightly more downhill than the way out but the easterly breeze evened matters out so I did the outward  and return journeys in an almost identical time.

I stopped near Gair to take two contrasting views from the same spot.

Gair view

Gair view

In spite of the grey clouds, it was  a pleasantly warm day for October and I enjoyed myself.  I passed some men sticking blue topped stakes into the edges of the road and asked if this was windmill related activity.  They told me that a windmill is due to be delivered to the Ewe Hill wind farm along this very road tomorrow morning.  I am going to see if I can get up early enough to see the delivery as the towers for the windmills are enormous and should make a good picture.   I am not betting any money on being able to get up early though.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s eyes passed her test and she returned in cheerful mood with many bags of soil improver for her flower beds and two bags of sand for the lawns when they get spiked.

While I was waiting for her return, I whiled away the time by looking at some regrettably uncivil behaviour in the sparrow world.

sparrows

This was caused by the fact the the jackdaws had come while I was out cycling and nearly finished off the fat balls which I had put out before my ride so there wasn’t much left for the sparrows to share.

An evening meal of cauliflower cheese rounded off a very enjoyable day.

The flower of the day is a dahlia  (and a busy bee)…

dahlia

…and the flying bird of the day is a sparrow flapping its wings like mad in an effort to get to the feeder first.

flying sparrow

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She visited  the Tate Modern Art Gallery’s  new Switch House yesterday and thought that I might prefer the view from the window to the exhibits.

Tate Modern Switch House 08.07.16 010

I had a rather disturbed night, being woken by the sound of pounding rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.  As a result I was more than happy to have nothing on my schedule for the day more arduous than nibbling on Dropscone’s traditional Friday treacle scones with our coffee.

I had a look out of the door before he came and it was still raining lightly but it soon stopped and I went out to see how the flowers had fared.

To my surprise, they were soggy but unbowed.

dahlia, rose and poppy

The birds were out in force soon too and I had to fill the feeder twice during the day.

busy feeder

After coffee, I mowed the middle lawn.  It had dried out remarkably quickly after the overnight rain and gave me no trouble.

When I had finished, I walked round the garden.

Euphorbias

Euphorbias are a source of constant interest to me.

On the edible side of things, Mrs Tootlepedal’s turnips are very good and taste absolutely delicious and the blackcurrants are very nearly ready for picking.

blackcurrants and turnips

After lunch in an exciting development, I went out and finished sieving the compost in Bin D.  Mrs Tootlepedal uses the finished product when she is planting out her annuals.  As Bin D was now empty, I started the job of transferring the compost from Bin C into it.

compost

The sieved compost ready for use and Bin C half emptied into Bin D

My joints were a bit creaky after yesterday’s bike ride so I was happy to stop half way through the transfer and use the second half  of the latest stage of the Tour de France as my siesta.  The tour this year has been very good value and today’s stage was a gripper.

After the stage was over, I went out for a walk.  The plants along the dam at the back of the house are looking good and the first crocosmia of the year has come out to join the potentillas.

crocosmia and potentilla

I went down to the suspension bridge and my eye was caught by several splashes of colour on the gravel banks between the Wauchope and the Esk.

I thought one of the splashes was a clump of orchids but it didn’t seem likely when I went down for a closer look.  I would welcome a suggestion as to what this  might be.

Pink flower by river

Nearby was a brilliant flash of yellow.  Once again, I have no idea what it is.

yellow flower by river

Both plants are growing in gravel which the river will cover when the water gets high.

I walked along to the Esk until I came to the carved owl in Mary Street….

Carved owl

…and chatted to Ian, the owner of the tree stump from which it has been fashioned.  There is still quite a bit of work for Robin, the artist, to do – beak, eyes and claws and so on and the decoration of the base….

Carved owl

…which is in book form representing the bible is still to be completed.

The proud owner told me that he thinks that the carving is greatly enhanced by its position on the bank of the river and on a day like today, I couldn’t argue with that.

Carved owl

I crossed the Town Bridge and walked down to the Ewes Water keeping an eye out for oyster catchers.  I had seen one flying down the Esk and there was another at the meeting of the waters without a leg to stand on.

oyster catchers

I walked across the Castleholm and over the Jubilee Bridge and there was no shortage of things to look at as I went along.

tree fruits

Trees had things hanging from them

hoverfly

Flowers had insects on them

berries and flower

Berries on bushes and a tiny flower probably only 1 cm across

Self heal and a nettle

Self heal (thanks for those who told me the right name for this) and a nettle

bracket fungus

A large bracket fungus high in a tree near the nuthatch nest

Mrs Tootlepedal had told me of a forest of fungus growing on a pile of vegetable matter on the neglected site of an old mill so I finished my walk by going to check her story.  She was quite right of course.

fungus at Ford Mill

I got home in time to watch Andy Murray make short work of the final set of his semi final at Wimbledon and this rounded off a gentle and restorative day for me.

The flower of the day is not a flower at all but a very pretty patch of pale grass beside the Ewes water above the Sawmill Brig.  I don’t know whether it was a trick of the light but I don’t think that I have noticed grass of quite this colour before.

Grass beside Ewes water

The flying bird of the day is an obliging Kilngreen gull.

blackheaded gull

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Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie, who went to the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday and took a lot of pictures.  This shows one of the gardens at the show.

Chelsea Flower Show

Nice lawn and box hedges. I wonder where the designer got that idea from?

We had another spell of very pleasant weather today but between things to do and protesting legs, bicycling was not on the menu (although it should have been).

In the morning, I should have gone for a short bike ride but I did the crossword instead and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the Buccleuch Centre to visit our own local modest garden show.  Mrs Tootlepedal resisted the temptation to buy any of the lovely plants on offer as she already has many more plants in the greenhouse grown from seed than she has space in the garden to plant them.

When we got back, I mowed the front lawn and wandered about the garden aimlessly.  I did have a camera in hand.

iris

The first iris of the year has arrived.

I spent some time watching a parent and young starling on a Spirea.  The baby and parent had difficulty finding a branch strong enough to take both of them at the same time…

starlings

…but they did get together once.

starlings

There are families of blackbirds, dunnocks and sparrows in the garden at the moment but they are not co-operating with the cameraman at all.

I was round the back of the house looking at the different Potentillas which line the side of the dam there…

potentillas

…when our neighbour Liz called my attention to some tiny fish swimming about further upstream.

fish in the dam

The sun was so bright that each fish was accompanied by their shadow.  They may be tiny trout.

Back in the garden, I noted the development of the Astrantias….

Astrantia

…which I hope will provide me with many pictures through the summer.

I did a little bird watching too.

A family of starlings went for a walk across the front lawn..

starlings

…and a dunnock broke cover long enough for me to snatch a picture.

dunnock

We had been invited out to lunch at the Eskdale Hotel by an old friend Doreen, the widow of Arthur with whom I played many rounds of golf and who was an enthusiastic member of the Archive Group.   It was a very sociable affair with good company and excellent food and wine and when we got back home, the afternoon was well advanced.

Once again cycling fell to the back of the queue and I spent the time in lawn care instead, watering one lawn, mowing another and then spreading some buck-u-uppo around with a free hand.  After last year’s very wet weather, the lawns are looking rather starved and I am hoping that frequent mowing and steady feeding will get them back into good condition.

I looked at flowers too.

bee on allium

lithodora and polemonium

In the blue corner: Lithodora and Polemonium

Aquilegias

Aquilegias are everywhere in various shades

yellow poppies

The yellow poppies are hanging on defiantly, getting redder round the edges every day.

I then mowed the drying green and went inside to make a cup of tea.  I could hear a great squawking outside and when I looked out of the window, I saw a blackbird and a starling perched on the feeder pole and shouting abuse at each other.  I have never seen this before.

blackbird and starling

They were both most indignant and stood their ground eyeballing each other for quite a long time.

As the sun dropped down, it remained a beautiful and warm day and I managed to avoid several opportunities to stretch my legs any more than by going out to look at yet more flowers…

Rhodies

…and ferns.

ferns

The weather seems to be set fair for the next few days so I hope to make up for my lack of cycling.  At least my legs were quite pleased to have had a day off.

The warm, sunny weather has cheered everyone up and the the whole town seems to be smiling.

I did manage to catch a siskin to be flying bird of the day.  Unlike chaffinches, they don’t hover at all when they approach the feeder but just fly straight onto the perches so I have to be very quick if I want to have a decent picture.  I wasn’t quite quick enough today.  I will try to do better tomorrow.

flying siskin

 

 

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