Posts Tagged ‘runner bean’

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s recent walk.  When the walkers stopped for lunch, a local resident pestered them for a share of their sandwiches and got very hoity toity when they refused.

andrew's peacock

We had some welcome sunshine today but I had a busy morning  and the only part of it that was spent  on my bike was when I cycled up to the High Street.  I was there to do some archiving business and take some pictures which I had printed out for a fellow camera club member up to her.  As our new archive base is in the newspaper office and the camera club member works there, I was able to hit two targets with a single arrow.

I got home in time to entertain Sandy to a cup of coffee.  He bought with him some delicious home made muffins which a friend had given to him.  We were able to send him off with some rhubarb and potatoes in return.

When he left, we went out to do some work in the garden.

I mowed the middle and front lawns and then took time out to have a walk round.

The sun  flowers continue to attract customers…

sunflower witht wo bees

…and the buddleias are equally popular.

four butterfly panel

Since it was a sunny day, I looked for sunny flowers and found a lot, some of them in the vegetable garden.

six yellow flowers

The St John;s Wort is a little garden paradise all on its own.

st john's wort august

Although I intended just to take yellow flowers today, in the end I couldn’t ignore the reds.

fuchsia, cosmos, poppies

The rambler rose is producing some late flowers.

late rambler rose

And some of the poppies are soldiering on.

red poppy

This is a  sweet pea…

sweet pea

…and this is a sweet bean.

sweet bean

Actually, it is a runner bean but its beans tasted pretty good when we had them for tea.

Having had a rest, I put the push mower away and got out the hover mower to do the greenhouse grass. I had to put it away pretty sharply though because it started to rain heavily.

I had just about got inside when the rain stopped.  I went out and it started again.  This happened a couple of times and then I had an idea.  I said very loudly to Mrs Tootlepedal, “I am giving up the idea of mowing and I am going in!”

Then  as soon as the rain moved off to annoy someone else, I nipped out and got the mowing finished.

I made some soup for lunch using an onion and some potatoes that didn’t look as though they would store well and after we had had lunch, I settled down to work on the computer as the weather continued to be unreliable.

I got the charity return for the Archive Group under way.  This was only nine months late, but that makes it quite prompt for me as I hate filling in forms and always leave it till the last possible moment (and beyond).

I was just copying some music as a relaxation after the form filling, when Mike Tinker popped in for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit.

Not long after he left, my flute pupil Luke came and then it was time for tea. It had been a busy day.

The weather looked a bit settled by the time that we had finished our meal, so I suggested to Mrs Tootlepedal that we might try the walk that had been rained off yesterday. She thought that this was a good idea so we set off, armed with an umbrella this time just in case.

When you look at the size of the tree that was washed up on to the bank just before the Auld Stane Brig by last weekend’s flood, you can’t but feel that is was lucky that it didn’t go through the bridge and bang into it.

auld stane brig with tree

As we walked up the hill towards Hallcrofts, the sun came out and in typical fashion it also started to rain.  Luckily the sun stayed out and the rain soon went away, so that by the time that we had got to the track through the recently felled wood, it was a beautiful evening.

view down becks burn

Considering that the wood looked like this in February of last year…Becks wood felling

…the amount of new growth is amazing and instead of crossing the stream by a bridge surrounded by gloomy conifers, we walked among young ash trees and luxuriant grasses and plants.

becks burn bridge

Mrs Tootlepedal hadn’t visited the wood since before it was felled and she was staggered by the changes.

Having crossed the bridge and walked up to the track on the far side of the burn…

becks track

…we walked home very pleased with our decision to go on our walk.  We stopped on the way to admire a rainbow…

becks track rainbow

…and the view of Warbla in the evening sun…

view of warbla from becks track

…and to chat to friends whom we met along the way.

While I photographed the bigger picture, I asked Mrs Tootlepedal to keep en eye out for smaller things of interest.  She spotted scabious,  a well nibbled fungus, and a good crop of crab apples.

scabius, crab apple, fungus, be cks track

We got home at eight o’clock, conscious that the long summer nights are coming to an end in a month and shorter days will be back again all too soon.

The flying bird of the day is neither flying nor early but it has certainly got the worm.

blackbird with worms


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Today’s guest picture was sent to me yesterday by Mike Tinker but was taken by him  in New Zealand in March.  It shows a Protea which he saw there.  This is a bit odd as it is a native of South Africa.  Perhaps it was on holiday too.

proteaWe were a bit discombobulated today as it was a pleasant day with light winds from the start.  As result, people were walking around saying, “Well. it’s all right so far….” and there was a general sense of unreality.

In the end though, Mrs Tootlepedal got stuck into the gardening again and I went out to help her.  The general business is tidying up plants that are over, cutting back bushes, digging over the vegetable garden where beds have become free and making the garden look and feel cared for.  She is succeeding in that last aim.

I took some time out to take a picture or two.  A day or two of good weather has perked up the flowers.



The latest clematis to appear, hidden behind the azaleas.


The pansies have lasted brilliantly since they were planted out in the spring.


Varied nasturtiums yawn for the camera


I was following a bee when these Ligularia curlicues caught my eye


The dahlias continue to delight me.


Those who like the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov will recognise that this is the Bum of the Flightlebee

We stopped for lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal returned to the fray but I went out on the fairly speedy bike to check out the progress of my injured leg.  It has survived trips of 20 and 25 miles in the last few days so I risked a gentle 30 mile spin today.  Once again, there were no complaints.  I didn’t stop for any photographs as I was concentrating on smooth pedalling and always being in the right gear in order to keep any needless pressure off my joints.

I did stop once to eat a few dates and take a drink when I was about half way round and a burst of bright red rowan berries  across the road was hard to ignore.

rowan berriesAs you can see in the foreground, vetch is prominent in the verges.

vetchThe rowan berries were very pretty but as they are a sign of the approach of autumn, they were not entirely a welcome sight.

I had planned my route so that I would get blown home by the light breeze and this worked out well.  Mrs Tootlepedal was still out in the garden when I got back, though she told me that she had been in for a rest.

Among other things, she had tidied up the plants along the vegetable garden fence….

clematis and Bobbie James…and I thought that the result looked good.  And so did the runner beans….

runner beans…which will soon be appearing on the tea table.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played some new pieces with difficulty.  At the end we rose from our seats with co-ordinated groans (but perfectly in key of course).

As I started to write this post, the time came for the ISS to pass overhead and we went out to watch it cross the sky.  I didn’t take a picture of it today as I thought readers might still be recovering from the excitement of looking at yesterday’s effort.

In all the business of gardening and cycling, I completely forgot about a flying bird of the day until the light had begun to fade so a fuzzy siskin was the best that I could do.


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Today’s guest picture shows live steam at Llangollen.  It was taken by my friend Bruce on a recent visit.  I would have liked to have been there too.

LlangollenI woke up at six o’clock to see glorious sunshine peeping through the bedroom blind.  What an opportunity to get up early, take some photographs and go for a cycle ride and all before breakfast, I thought.

And went back to sleep again.

It was still reasonably fine, although the sun had gone in by the time I eventually got the fairly speedy bike out of the garage at ten o’clock.  My plan was to test out the defective knee on a ten mile trip (or a little longer if everything felt good) and then see whether there were any after effects.

In the event, I managed thirteen miles, including the gentle climb up Callister, and only felt a little stiffness while on the last mile.  I stopped just once to celebrate the fondness of a bright orange lichen (Xanthoria parietina, the golden shield lichen) for battered concrete fence posts.

lichen on concrete

All the posts on this stretch of road host this lichen.

lichen on concretelichen on concreteMrs Tootlepedal was still singing in church when I got back so I invited Dropscone round for a cup of coffee and Mike Tinker, exhibiting finely honed coffee scenting skills, dropped in to join us.

As far as golf goes, Dropscone is still affected by shanking in his short game so listening to the story of his round on Saturday was a very traumatic experience for me as I suffered badly from the same ailment in the last couple of years before I wisely gave up the game.

After Mike and Dropscone had gone, I clipped the last two box balls on the front lawn and then trimmed the hedges beside them.

box ballsI needed a rest after that so Mrs Tootlepedal, who had returned from church, took up the hedge trimmers and continued the work.  I had used garden shears for the box balls but an electric trimmer for the hedges and as it soon started to drizzle, Mrs Tootlepedal didn’t get much done before she had to give up.  I hardly need to add that as soon as she had got everything safely indoors, it stopped raining.

I took a few flowers pictures before the rain started.

phlox and geranium

Phlox and geranium make a colourful corner


The poppies last about a day each but new ones keep arriving.


The perennial nasturtium buds have turned to flowers


There are geraniums all over the garden.  This one is in the back border.

rambler rose

The rambler roses are beginning to come out at last

runner beans

The runner beans are looking more promising by the day.

As the weather looked gloomy, Mrs Tootlepedal settled for what she had done and retired inside to watch the ladies Tour de France cycle race up and down the High Street in Paris in heavy rain.  We were reminded of how dangerous cycling in the wet can be by the unnervingly frequent sight of these expert bike handlers crashing to the ground while negotiating the corners.

During the afternoon it started to rain in Langholm too and I was glad that I had got my little pedal in while it was still dry.

As well as watching the bike racing, I spent some time looking out of the kitchen window.  For some reason, the feeder was very busy today and I had to fill it three times.

Sparrows were the ones who were doing the most to eat me out of house and home.



Though there were a few siskins too.


And later on they were joined by a greenfinch

Though it was mostly sparrows.




…and going….


…in all directions at once.

We then watched the last stage of the tour and realised that this was the final act of a good set of summer sporting dramas (Wimbledon, The Open Golf, The Tour) which had given us an excuse to sit idly in front of the television set  in the afternoons lately and have helped to lessen the gloom that we would otherwise have felt at a miserable spell of weather.  We will have to be up and doing from now on.

My knee survived the cycling and gardening without getting any worse but it is still sore enough to stop me thinking of a long cycle ride any time soon.  My mileage target for the year will have to be severely pruned after a disastrous July.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre and retrieved the malfunctioning computer which had spoiled my Thursday night’s work and brought it home,  I was able to reinstall the defective Firefox browser from a memory stick and I hope that all will be well now.

The flying bird of the day was one of the sparrows and the poor light has resulted in a rather arty representation for which I apologise….but I quite like it myself.

flying sparrow

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Today’s guest picture, featuring a very fine 20cm diameter parasol mushroom growing in his garden, was sent to me all the way from Germany by Zyriacus.

ParasolHe also told me that the weather there has been very capricious, going from 40° one day to 10° two days later.  With that in mind, I will try not to complain too much about the miserable wet day we had here today.  At least it was quite a bit warmer than 10° and the wind had died down.

I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database after breakfast and then had coffee with both Dropscone and Sandy.  Sandy has just  retired and we are teaching him how to be an old curmudgeon now that he has time on his hands.

There was plenty going on outside the window as we ate our scones (and a bonus slice of walnut loaf).

busy feeder

The rain had stopped for a moment.

After coffee, I had a look out of the kitchen window and saw a young blackbird in the plum tree.  There are always blackbirds about at the moment…

blackbird..but not often in the plum tree.

There was a moment around lunchtime when it looked as though it might be dry enough for a cycle ride in the afternoon but this was a false alarm and the rain came down so steadily as to put any thoughts of pedalling firmly to one side.

siskinsIn the end  I put a second week of the index into the database so at least the wet weather was useful in that respect. I also got some singing and flute practice done and perhaps I should be glad if it rains a bit more often.

I was amused by a blue tit which came to the feeder and wasn’t impressed by a siskin on the perch above and went up and told it so in no uncertain terms.

blue tit and siskinTo my surprise, the siskin blinked first and flew off.

We had a lot of siskin visitors today.

siskinsAs it was too wet for a walk or useful gardening, I waited for a gap between the showers and nipped out and picked a pound of strawberries and made a couple of pots of strawberry jam.  There hasn’t been enough sun to make the strawberries sweet but if they don’t get picked, they rot so jam is always a solution.  I squashed up a few gooseberries and got some juice from them to help the jam set.  We will see tomorrow if this scheme has worked.

After making the jam, another dry spell let me get out into the garden with a camera in hand.  The long grass on the front lawn made the best of a bad day.

wet grassThe delphiniums looked a little morose.

delphiniumsThere was colour to be found in sheltered spots.

moss rose and lilyclematisAnd surprisingly perhaps, there was colour in the vegetable garden too.

courgette and runner beanWe had turnip, courgette and broad beans from the garden for our tea tonight.

Although the flowers were very soggy, there were quite a few bees buzzing about when the rain stopped.

poppyMy flute pupil Luke was poorly and didn’t come for his lesson.  I hope he recovers promptly as he is playing on a concert on Wednesday.

I got some playing myself though as I went to play trios with Mike and Isabel after tea,  We attempted a couple of new and difficult pieces and struggled a bit but we finished up with some old favourites so we had an enjoyable time overall.

The laptop that I use to write these posts has had so much use that all the letters have been scrubbed off the keys and if it wasn’t for the handy spell checker telling me when I make typos, the wjole pistd mifgh liik loke thes.  Using a laptop also affects my posture badly and contributes to my sore joints.  On the advice of my daughter, I am getting a USB keyboard and I am going to use that with a proper monitor so I don’t have to look down all the time.

Research showed me that I could buy a really top notch, beautifully engineered keyboard for £120 plus VAT.  Further research lead to me actually buying two for £9 from another retailer.  There are times when quality comes at too high a price.

I am hoping that this will speed up my typing and let me get to bed earlier. My posts might be a little less disjointed if that happens.

For the second day running, a flying chaffinch obliged.  It wasn’t really a day for taking flying bird pictures though.


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