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Posts Tagged ‘rosa moyesii’

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Hull  yesterday.  As well as Roman bakers, he saw Hull Minster.

Hull minster

We had another dry day here today, cool and cloudy in the morning but (very) warm and sunny in the afternoon.

I inspected the flowers after breakfast.  Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t think that I have done justice to the back door clematis yet so I had another go.  It is terrific.

back door clematis

That one stem should produce so many flowers is a wonder.

However, Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite flower of the moment is this elegant iris.

 

iris

I like the Rosa Moyesii which has done very well this year with bigger flowers than usual.

moyesii

Mrs Tootlepedal  bought this meconopsis at the Buccleuch Centre pant sale last week and it is settling in well.

mecanopsis

I had hoped to get a good long cycle ride in today but I got a call to go and see the doctor who had had a look at my recent blood test results so I had to  leave the garden and  see what she had to say.

It turns out that my blood iron level is very low so she gave me me a small iron girder* to nibble on to get my levels back up.   This may explain why I have been finding it quite hard to get the energy up to go cycling lately.  Once I am going, all is well but I have been struggling a bit actually to get on my bike in the first place so it was pleasing to discover that there may be a good excuse for this rather than just natural laziness and old age.

When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and we went in to have a coffee and read the newspaper. Our peace was disturbed by some very excited calling from blackbirds so we went out to investigate.

There was an extremely vocal female blackbird on the fence behind the greenhouse…

agitated blackbird

Other birds were agitated too so I was walking  round behind the greenhouse to see if there was a cat among the pigeons so to speak when my eye was caught by a slight movement in the green house itself.

sparrowhawk in greenhouse (2)

No wonder the blackbirds were agitated.  There was a sparrowhawk in the greenhouse and it was getting pretty agitated itself.

sparrowhawk in greenhouse

Mrs Tootlepedal opened the greenhouse doors fully and she went round one side and I went round the other and the sparrowhawk took the hint and flew safely out and away.

The blackbirds calmed down.

I took a picture of one of the nice effects of Mrs Tootlepedal’s planting…

daisies

…and went back inside from where I watched more peaceful bird scenes.

We had visits from jackdaws…

jackdaw

…a dunnock…

dunnock

…siskins and redpolls…

siskin and redpoll

…and a pigeon in the plum tree.

pigeon

Some sparrows tried to get a fight started but it quickly fizzled out.

sparrows

After lunch, I went out to check on the bees in the garden.  There were plenty about today, both honey and bumble.

bees

Then I got into my my cycling shorts and was ready to go for a ride when I was interrupted again by more heart-rending alarm calls from blackbirds.  I went out to investigate.  This time it was a pair….

agitated blackbirds

…who were constantly flitting about and calling.  We couldn’t find out what the trouble was as there was no hawk or cat in sight.  We had seen a youngster earlier in the day and we wondered in the end whether it had been taken by a predator and the parents were distressed.  It was a mystery.

In the end, I left them to their crying and went off for a short trip round my twenty mile Canonbie circuit.  I passed the first a few of these in a soggy verge…

march thistle

…and I think, though I am not sure, that it may be a marsh thistle (I would be happy to be corrected).

Nearby among the grasses, there was a lot of this red plant…

grass

…which Mrs Tootlepedal tells me is some kind of dock.  Between the two plants, the verge was very cheerful there.

Further on I stopped to admire the relaxed attitude of some local worthies…

galloway cows

…and then didn’t stop again until I came to Skippers Bridge, where I found the old distillery looking very handsome.

Langholm Distillery

Once home, I mowed the drying green and the greenhouse grass and did some watering in the vegetable garden.  There is no rain in the forecast for several days as the jet stream continues to snake round the top of the British Isles, keeping the fine weather trapped over Scotland.  This means that quite a bit of watering will be on the menu  if the garden is to continue to do well.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with a small choir that our church organist, Henry is getting up for the summer and I obeyed the doctor’s orders and gave my singing voice a rest. The doctor has told me not to sing for two weeks and see what happens.  If my throat is no better then, further investigation will take place.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin…

flying siskin

…and the flower of the day is a front door clematis.

front door clematis

*The iron girder came in handy pill form.

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Today’s guest picture was taken by my sister Susan on a visit to Reading.  It shows the Maiwand Lion, commemorating the dead of the Berkshire Regiment of Foot at Girishk Maiwand and Kandahar in 1880. The British were defeated at Girishk Maiwand by the Afghan army at a high cost to both sides during the 2nd Afghan war. reading lion

As the astute reader will gather from the the title of this post, it actually rained today but as this didn’t happen until the early evening and as it didn’t last long, it didn’t make much of a dent in our spell of excellent weather.

We had a sunny morning and made the most of it.  I had to pay an early visit to the health centre for a blood test and was happy to find that I still had some but I wasted no time when I got back in getting to work on the front lawn.  It lives in cold shadows over the winter and gets very mossy and the poor weather of the first four months of the year hasn’t helped it so I gave it a scarifying with our electric scarifier.  I followed this with a rake and a mow and then I topped off the treatment with a dose of seaweed buck-u-uppo.  Did it look grateful after all this? No, it still looked mossy.  Still, I enjoy the challenge.

In between the scarifying and the seaweed, Sandy came round for a cup of coffee and a news catchup.

As Mrs Tootlepedal is busy planting stuff out, she is using the sieved compost as fast as I can produce it so I sieved another batch and the contents of Bin D are decreasing rapidly.

I found time to wander around with the camera.

I often concentrate on single flowers so today for a change,  I went for quantity over quality.

potentilla

Potentilla

peony

Peony

poached egg plant

Limnanthes douglasii or the poached egg flower.  A bit of ‘egg white’ is developing on some of the flowers.

geraniums

Geraniums

geums

Geums

Solomon's Seal

Solomon’s Seal – no sign of sawfly larva yet.

I did take one shot a single flower.  This was the clematis at the front door and I took the single flower shot to show the contrast between the clematis at the front door (two flowers) ….

front door clematis

…and the clematis at the back door (hundreds).

back door clematis

I try to keep an eye out for the new arrivals and today a nectaroscordum had developed enough to get a personal portrait.

nectaroscordum

It was very breezy but I am still a bit short of cycling miles so I got my new bike out after lunch and decided to test the conditions.  It was warm but the skies had clouded over so the temperature was perfect and I set off with hopes of 30 miles or more.

However, after a few miles at a crisp speed and with not a whisper of wind in my face, it became apparent that the wind was going to make it very hard work pedalling home if I cycled too far out and I lowered my ambitions and went round the 20 mile Canonbie circuit.

This was a good decision as there was plenty to see…

field of buttercups

A field of buttercups near Langholm

bog cotton

Bog cotton at the Kerr

tarcoon verge

Beautiful verges near Tarcoon

wild geraniums

Wild geraniums on the old A7…

Pyrenean valerian

…and Pyrenean Valerian nearby.

… and the route choice turned out well as I got a good deal more help from the wind than I expected and managed to get my average over 14 mph.  This is very good for me these days.

As I cycled down the road along our garden hedge at the end of my ride, I was detained by the old Rosa Moyesii…

Rosa Moyesii

…and the honeysuckle.

honeysuckle

I hadn’t seen these earlier as they can only be seen when you are not in the garden.

The rain started not long after I got home so I had a good excuse to spend some time watching the birds at the feeder.

It was quite busy with siskins and goldfinches…

siskins

…with the siskins demonstrating why the seed level goes down so quickly when they are there.  They drop at least half of their food as the seeds are just too big for their beaks.

We have had regular visits from a small group of pigeons recently and they were back again today…

pigeon

…keeping an eye out for fallen seed.

I am hoping for a less windy day tomorrow to get a last minute addition to my mileage for the month of May but there is a hint of more rain in the forecast so time will tell.

The flying bird(s) of the day is a collection of airborne siskins.

flying siskins

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who is enjoying good weather in Aberdeenshire near the former fishing village of Collieston.

Collieston

We had another day today which would have been very welcome in mid summer and it is becoming pretty clear that it will be very unlikely that summer, when it comes, could be any better than late spring has been.  It may well be all downhill from here on when this good spell ends.

Still, we are really enjoying the lovely weather while it lasts even though it does mean that quite a lot of garden watering is going on.

watering the lawn

I have given both lawns a soaking and Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy in the flower beds with hose and watering can.

I should add that we are not at all keen to get one of the torrential downpours which they have been getting in England.  A light shower would do very well.

I had an early look round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal.

I couldn’t get past the best of the rhododendrons without clicking my shutter finger.

rhododendron

The Rosa Moyesii is more modest but very pretty too.

rosa moyesii

I had to admit that I was wrong and Mrs Tootlepedal was right (there’s a surprise) because when I looked really closely at the Veronica, I could see that it is blue after all and not pure white at all.  I had to look pretty hard though.

veronica

A blackbird took a good look and agreed that it was blue.

blackbird

Our walnut tree is almost fully clothed.  It is one of the last trees to get its leaves.

walnut

I didn’t have the long to enjoy the morning sunshine as I was doing my very last stint in the Welcome to Langholm Office.  After many years, I have decided to retire as a welcomer.  I had quite a few people to welcome today but I still had enough time to put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive database.

While I was at work welcoming people, Mrs Tootlepedal was also doing some welcoming. A friend from the choir and her partner, Anita and Nick who live in Canonbie, had been visiting the dentist in Langholm and took the opportunity to come round and look at our garden which they had seen on this blog.  They gave the new bench a test and declared that it was as good as sitting in a National Trust garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal was very pleased at such a nice compliment.  Not being a photographer though, this whole event went unrecorded.

I passed a gull as I crossed the suspension bridge on my way home at midday…

gull

…it was probably wondering where all the water has gone, The river is very low.

There was plenty to see in the garden when I got there.

Beside the front door, another clematis has just come out…

clematis front door

…and almost hidden beside it, is a tiny lily of the valley.

Lily of the Valley

Across the drive, Mrs Tootlepedal has some very vigorous variegated hostas.

hosta

After lunch, I mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green and then got my cycling gear on and took the new bike out for a spin.  It was really very hot and I was wondering if I would get cooked but luckily,  a surprisingly cool and steady wind kept me at a reasonable temperature and I enjoyed a thirty mile run which brought my total on the new bike up to 250 miles.    I think that I can safely say that it is going to suit me very well.

I wasn’t the only one keeping cool.

bull keeping cool

The verges were full of interest.  I saw these flowers when I stopped for a drink after ten miles.

Gair road wildflowers

And I saw these beside the old A74 near Kirkpatrick Fleming.

Old A74 wildflowers

The dandelions may have gone over but there was ample yellow colour near Sprinkell…

Sprinkell road (2)

…and looking ahead at this point, I think anyone would have to admit that it looks like a good day and place for a pedal (even taking the vast amount of traffic into consideration).

Sprinkell road

When I got back, I had time to admire the Japanese azalea…

Japanese azalea

…before my flute pupil Luke turned up.  We are making steady progress even though wonderfully sunny weather does not make flute practice the first thing one thinks of doing.

After a really nourishing tea of mince and tatties, I went out and sat on the new bench and admired some late colour.

evening colour

Then I mowed the middle lawn and trimmed the edges which was a good way to end the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen a baby thrush in the garden while I had been out cycling and when she came out to admire the lawn, she spotted it again.   I fetched my camera and found that it had flown up onto a fence and was making quite a noise.

Baby thrush

Curiously it was joined not by its mother but by a blackbird which was making a noise too.  Then a small flock of sparrows started to join in and I went over to see what the racket was all about.

It was a dratted cat, stalking about among the flowers below, seeing what little birds it could snaffle. In  my view, cat owners should feed their animals so much that they lose their appetite for birds…. or at least keep them in their own gardens.

I shooed the cat away and there were no fatalities.

The mother thrush, flew up to join her infant and she became in that moment, a quite unusual flying bird of the day.

flying thrush

 

 

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I found today’s guest picture while looking at last month’s files.  It shows two pelicans which my sister Mary met in St James’ Park in April and it should have appeared before now. She describes the pelicans as “resting from their ‘amusing the tourists’ activities.”

Pelicans resting from their 'amusing the tourists' activities

After the slightly cool air yesterday, today was back to early summer warmth and at 19°C, it was at the perfect temperature for me as I don’t like it when it gets too hot.

I had to start the day with a trip to the garage to get a new spare tyre fitted to the spare wheel as the one we have had on since we bought the car has mysteriously got a spilt in the side wall and was irreparable.

Then I mowed the middle lawn without finding very much grass on it and followed that by going on a nuthatch hunt by bike accompanied by Mrs Tootlepedal.

We passed a large bank full of ribwort on our way to the Jubilee Bridge.

ribwort

The nuthatches were very busy going to and fro to the nest with food when we got there.

nuthatches

I like they way that they always have a cautious peer out of the nest hole before emerging.

nuthatches

Mrs Tootlepedal kept an eye out for tree creepers but although she saw one, I couldn’t get the camera into action quickly enough.

She doesn’t entirely share my enthusiasm for hanging around for yet another few minutes to see if I can get a better nuthatch shot so we set off across the Castleholm to see what we could see.

There was no shortage of treats.

red horse chestnut

This is an example of the Aesculus × carnea, or red horse-chestnut an artificial hybrid between A. pavia (red buckeye) and A. hippocastanum (horse-chestnut).   I thought that you would like to know that.

hawthorn

Could this tree have tried any harder?

conifer

Or this one.

My favourites were the pair of Noble Firs on the corner of the new path,  They have more going on than most trees.

Noble Fir

We went back by the Jubilee Bridge and I stopped for another look at the busy nuthatches….

nuthatches

…while Mrs Tootlepedal went home for a cup of coffee and some gardening.

While I watched the nuthatches, a blue tit and a wood pigeon watched me.

blue tit and wood pigeon

On my way home, I passed a very furry flower.

furry flower

When I got back, I had a cup of coffee and got on with some gardening too.  I mowed the front lawn and then sieved some compost.  Mrs Tootlepedal is busy planting things out from the greenhouse and compost is always welcome.

While I was mowing the lawn, a neighbour called by and said that she had just been trapped in her house for twenty minutes by a huge swarm of bees in her garden and had only got out when the bees had moved next door.  She asked my advice as to her best plan of action.

Feeling that, “Run like the clappers!” was probably not the most useful answer, I suggested telephoning the council and she said that she would do that.  I went to warn my neighbour Liz of the possibility of a swarm of bees but when we went round to check, there was no sign of them at all.  They must have swarmed off somewhere else.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I had noticed a sparrow disappearing into a crack in Liz’s wall…

sparrow in Liz's wall

…but when Liz investigated, there was not enough room for a nest and the sparrow must just have been enjoying the shade.

In between mowing and having lunch, I took the chance to look at flowers.

peony

A peony was almost out.

Ranunculus

A new purchase which Mrs Tootlepedal describes as a ‘fancy buttercup’. Money well spent in my view.

Rosa Moyesii

The first flower on the Rosa Moyesii

Mrs Tootlepedal was glad to see the rose in flower has she had feared for the health of the plant earlier in the spring.

I was pleased to see more aquilegias.

aquilegia

As it was still a wonderful day after lunch, I mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green and felt very virtuous for having completed a clean sweep of the grass during the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal was making a splendid job of edging the middle lawn with shears so I set about neatening the front edge of the same lawn with a spade and then edging the front lawn with the strimmer.  Though I say so myself, by the time we had both finished, the lawns looked quite neat.

Front lawn

The front lawn with azaleas

middle lawn

The middle lawn. Sparkling edge work from Mrs Tootlepedal

It is a pity that the plum tree in the foreground hides the rhododendrons which frame the top corner of the middle lawn.

In the course of the afternoon, the other two tenors from our Langholm choir came round for a practice as we have a concert this Friday.  It was one of those practices which leave you with the feeling that what you really need is some practice.

Later in the afternoon, I went up to collect the spare wheel with its new tyre and I sincerely hope that I have spent money on something that I will never use.

I left Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden when I got back and went in to make a belated cup of tea and I was rather surprised when she came in behind me in a great rush shutting the door firmly as she came.  The swarm of bees was back and in our garden.

However, by the time that I had picked up a camera and gone to have a peer through the glass in the back door, they had already moved on and were swirling about above our neighbour Irving’s roof.

bees swarming

A few minutes later and they were gone.  They seem to be on a tour of the New Town.  We are assuming that they are honey bees but we don’t know where they have come from as we don’t think that anyone nearby has a hive.

After tea, I went off to the final practice of our Langholm choir before the concert and my feeling that more practice was required turned out to be fully justified.  I will have to find some time to go over the music tomorrow.  It is unfortunate that both the choirs that I sing in are having concerts at pretty well the same time.  Being a very rough and ready singer, I am rather overwhelmed by the number of songs that need to be mastered.

My ideal choir would sing interesting music every week but never have a concert.

No bird of the day today but the flower of the day is the peony which finally came out fully in the afternoon.  It was well worth the wait I thought.

peony

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from my daughter Annie and shows two of her friends deep in conversation in her Brixton garden.

parakeetsThis weekend the Muckletoon* Adventure Festival is in full swing with a cycle hill climb yesterday, mountain bike rides, guided walks and trail running today and 30, 60 and 90 mile cycle sportives tomorrow and a host of other supporting events as well.  In previous years I have done the 60 mile sportive while Mrs Tootlepedal did the 30 miles, taken part in the cycle hill climb and rushed about taking photos but this year I decided that I would take a break.  I was due to take some pictures of a bird ringing session tomorrow but this has been cancelled due to the threat of rain.

A forecast of wet and gloomy weather had helped me make up my mind and it was soggy when we got up.  Still, it was warmer than we expected so we put  rain jackets in our bags and set off for a very gentle ride far from the energetic competitors of the main events.

We were keeping an eye on the roadside  verges and Mrs Tootlepedal reckons that if you go over 9mph, you can’t check them out properly so, by and large, we maintained a modest pace.

It paid off.

Our route took us up quiet back roads…

Barnglieshead…past belted Galloways, our local breed of cattle….

belted galloways…and through many displays of red campion, geraniums, geums, trefoil, cow parsley, silverweed and…

two clovers

….two sorts of clover

rattle and bedstraw

…and rattle and bedstraw

We were just at the highest point of the 14 mile ride and on our way home, when Mrs Tootlepedal said, “It’s starting to rain.” It was.  Two minutes later, I said, “The sun has come out.”  It had and greatly to our surprise (and delight), the rain vanished and the sun remained out for the rest of the day.

It was warm and the garden looked fresh and welcoming.

lupin and anemone

Colours shone in lupin and anemone

astrantia and rose

Understated class

frog

Frogs basked in the sunshine

After lunch, I mowed the middle lawn in celebration and Mrs Tootlepedal continued planting out the flowers that she has been raising in the greenhouse.  In the end, I decided it was too good a day not to go for a walk so, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal slaving over a hot trowel, I set off to visit the top of Warbla to enjoy the views.

It was a beautiful day, warm but not too hot and with a cool breeze in my face.

Pool CornerMy route took me past Pool Corner where I stopped to check on the slow worms.

slow worm

They were enjoying the warmth too.

I had taken a picture of a geum in the garden before I left and I found a wild one in the hedgerow as I walked up the Manse Brae.  The contrast between the two shows the skill of the plant breeder.

geumsI crossed the Auld Stane Brig and turned up onto the hill.

WarblaI was soon looking back down the hill, first to a lovely wood on the side of the hill….

warbla wood…and then down into the town from the top of the hill.

LangholmAt the very top of the picture of the town, you can see the rugby ground which is the headquarters of the Adventure Festival.

I looked up the Ewes Valley…

Ewes valley…and took a small panoramic picture of the view north from the hill which Photoshop kindly stitched together for me from two photos.

Langholm panoramaWarbla sits on the edge of the hills above the Solway Plain with extensive views to the south, east and west but the view to the north is the best.

There were other things to look at as well as the views.  I saw quite a few butterflies and even managed to photogrpah two of them, a painted lady and an orange tip.

painted lady, orange tip butterfliesThere have been reports of an invasion of painted ladies this year so I was very pleased to see one fluttering about on the very top of the hill, impervious to the brisk breeze.

There were birds singing galore and one hopped down the track ahead of me as I left the summit.  It kept a few yards in front of me so I suspect that I must have been near a nest.  I am not very knowledgeable about birds but I think that this one is a lark.  It kept just out of range of a clear picture.

larkThere were sheep grazing on every side and a mother and child posed for their portrait as I passed.

sheep and lambIf I was a poet this account of my walk could correctly be described as a pastoral idyll.

Warbla TrackAs I neared the end of my walk, I was intrigued by a little bird popping about on a fence beside the track,  I took several pictures and I thought that I was always looking at the same bird but….

bird on fence…the two pictures here look rather different.  Can any expert tell me what the bird is?  And are both pictures of the same bird?

Nearby, an old stable was in danger of being swamped by buttercups.

stableWhen I got home, the early evening was so beautiful that Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a cup of coffee out into the garden to sit and drink while Pocketcam scurried off to take our picture.

TootlepedalsI finish the post with a double picture, the soggy iris taken after breakfast and the hosta taken in the evening sun.  I think that they sum the day up pretty well.

iris and hostaIn spite of the excitements of the ride and the walk, the flying bird of the day is a domestic sparrow.

flying sparrow*Muckletoon: The ‘big town’,  Langholm of course.

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Today’s guest picture, shot by my Newcastle correspondent’s husband Mario, shows a small fortune in guano being sat on by guillemots on the Farne Islands.

Farne islandsIt was a very middling sort of day today after a chilly night.  It was neither too hot nor too cold, there was neither sun nor rain, it didn’t tempt you out much but it didn’t make you want to stay in.

In the end, I stayed in to entertain Dropscone to coffee in the  morning, put on a jumper and did some gardening after that and then went for a short cycle ride in the afternoon.  All in all, I put a middling day to middling use.

Dropscone’s pleasure in his golf has been slightly dimmed  by an occasional outbreak of shanking, a condition where instead of going down the middle like it should, your ball shoots sharply off to the right and dives into the nearest bush, burn or bunker.  I was much afflicted by this myself and it is one of the reasons that I don’t much miss playing golf now that I have stopped.  He is soldiering bravely on.

I mixed my gardening with photography.

Poppies

Poppies looking like over iced cakes.

roses

Scotch Burnet roses in two colours

cornflower and poached egg

Two clumps that sound as though they should be edible: cornflower and poached egg

We have loud show offs….

pansy…and discreet delights.

astrantiaSome flowers are in a state of development.

lupins

Lupins never quite seem to get to the top before the bottom fades away but these are trying hard.

iris

Almost prettier now than when it comes out.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in full planting out mode so I sieved a little compost as my contribution and it went to help 50 leeks on their way.  I also did some light mowing and helped straighten a wooden plank at the side of a raised bed which, like me, had collapsed a little with old age.

Then it was time for lunch.

It was rather a gloomy day as far as the light went and I didn’t spend much time looking out of the kitchen window.  The only bird picture from the morning was a blackbird who was watching me in the garden.

blackbirdIt is not that there is any lack of birds on the feeder…

busy feeder…because families of sparrows and starlings are eating me out of house and home.

In the afternoon, I had a cautious look at the weather forecast and ventured out for a familiar 22 mile ride to Gair and back.  In the event, conditions were very good for cycling with enough wind to make things interesting without being annoying and a perfect cycling temperature.

I took a few pictures with my phone as I went.

wauchope tree eating

The tree eaters have got more than a mile along the road now. 

Silverweed

The silverweed likes to grow as close to the road surface as it possible can

thistle

This abstract composition is a thistle. The verges are full of them just about to come out.

birds foot trefoil

There were a few patches of this very vivid birds foot trefoil on my route

On my way back, I passed Mrs Tootlepedal who was on a short pedalling excursion of her own.  I had time for a walk round the garden when I got home.  There was nothing outstanding but I liked the gentle colour of this comfrey..

comfrey…and a poppy which appeared to be being eaten by a savage hairy slug.

tulip emergingThe Rosa Moyesii has provided a blossom that can be seen from inside the garden now…

Rosa Moyesii

They just can’t help looking pretty

…and I couldn’t resist a second look at this morning’s pink rose.

Scotch Burnet roseThe evening was devoted to music.  First my flute pupil Luke came and we played some enjoyable duets and then after tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel. As usual, we had a most enjoyable time and if we started off playing a little more accurately than we finished, who can blame us.  Playing good music is hard work.

The flying bird of the day is one of those expensive sparrows.

flying sparrow

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Talking of wild flowers, today’s guest picture was taken by my daughter Annie in a man made wild flower area in her local park in the middle of London.

Brixton meadowWe got the cold and windy weather today, a day late after some overnight rain, but it was not as bad as it might have been and the garden was still looking well.  A pulsatilla held evidence of the overnight rain…

pulsatilla…but there was plenty of colour to be seen.

pansy and primulaA new, rather sombre rhododendron has come into flower and at the other end of the scale, the first philadelphus flower of the year made its appearance today.

philadelphus and rhodieThere is potential to be seen as well.

apple and roseIt looks as though we should get a bumper apple crop.

On the bird feeder front, it was nice to see two chaffinches in balletic mood as they have been very quiet lately.

chaffinchesThe main business of the day was an afternoon trip to Carlisle to sing in the end of season concert with our Carlisle Community Choir.  I am rather ambivalent about singing in concerts  as you have all the pleasure during the practices of getting tricky music right and all the danger in concerts of getting it wrong.

However,  things went pretty well and thanks to the cunning use of a local primary school choir as guest artists, the church where we sang was full and the audience gave every appearance of enjoying our singing.

The down side is that we have to wait until September before both our choirs get going again.  Mrs Tootlepadal will keep her hand in at the Church choir though.

By the time the concert had finished, the sun had come out and it was a beautiful day.  Interestingly, to me at least, in spite of the sunshine, the temperature on the car thermometer was exactly ten degrees C less than it was when we drove back from Carlisle on Friday after our cycle ride.

It was nice enough or a walk after tea so I strolled down Caroline Street (though I had to put a jacket on for comfort)….

Church…and round the Kilngreen and Castleholm.

Langholm Castle

Langholm Castle is not the best preserved old building in the country

A flash of red in a tree caught my eye…..

red flowered treeI don’t know what sort of tree this is. The flowers look a bit like a chestnut…

chestnut…but the leaves don’t.  Any suggestions?

I looked across the cricket pitch towards the clubhouse and the hill behind.

cricket clubA flock of chattering jackdaws lifted off from a riverside tree as I went past.

jackdawsI crossed the Jubilee Bridge and noticed a bright white flower among some red campion.

white flowerWe saw some yesterday too and Mrs Tootlepedal wondered if they were just a white version so of red campion.  Once again, I am open to help as I don’t think that they look quite the same.

Coming back to the house, I noticed two flowers which are more easily seen from the road than from in the garden at present.

Rosa Moyesii

Rosa Moyesii

honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Our spell of warm weather seems to have come to an end so I shall look back on the past week with pleasure that I made the most of it both from a cycling point of view and in the garden and because it ended literally on a high note (a top G, the last note of our final piece this afternoon).

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow,

flying sparrow

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