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Posts Tagged ‘vetch’

Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce’s trip to Sweden and shows the Stockholm’s Gröna Lund amusement park as seen from the water.  With my head for heights, there would be little amusement there for me.

stockholm funfair

We had another fine and sunny day today with light winds, just perfect for cycling.  The day had been provided by those amusing weather gods as they knew perfectly well that I had arranged to take my good bike into the bike shop for its annual service this morning.  I could hear them chuckling as I drove down the road to drop the bike off.

However, I had other things to do in the absence of cycling and having put the bike in for its service, I drove further south and enjoyed an informative and useful singing lesson from Mary, the now ex-musical director of our Langholm choir as she has retired from the post.  She is an excellent teacher and if I keep going, I may even become a singer.  I live in hope.

I got home about lunch time and would have gone to the Buccleuch Centre for lunch with Mrs Tootlepedal if we hadn’t remembered that it is shut on a Monday.  Instead we brought an egg roll from our corner shop and lunched modestly at home.

After lunch, I suggested that Mrs Tootlepedal might enjoy a ten mile cycle ride using the newly repaired Tarras road and was delighted when she agreed.  We set off for a gentle excursion with wild flowers in mind.

It is an undulating route with plenty of slow sections were there is time to scan the verges…

yellow wild flowers tarras road

The hawkweed was very prolific at one point and as it was on the longest of the hills, I was happy to stop and take a picture while Mrs Tootlepedal headed ever upwards.

yellow hawkweed

I caught up with her in time to catch her enjoying the smooth surface on the newly repaired road…

Ally on new road tarras

..and she rolled on down the hill and took a moment to admire the view from the bridge at the bottom.

tarras bridge

This was the view that she was admiring.

tarras cascade

As we went up out of the valley on the other side of the bridge, we were going slowly enough to note tightly wound thistle buds, cheerful daisies, baleful horsetail and a fine grass, possibly Yorkshire Fog.

dull wild flowers

And it was here that we saw the best treat of the day, a lone orchid.

first orchid

When we got to Claygate, we headed on down the hill….

going down to Byreburn

…and did a little gentle off road cycling along the track beside the Byre Burn.

fairy loup track june

Normally it is illegal for a man with a camera to pass the Fairy Loup waterfall, which is beside this track, without stopping to take a picture, but the leaves on the trees are so lush at the moment that I could hear the waterfall but I couldn’t see it at all today.

We got down to the Esk at Hollows and took the old A7 bike route home.  We had passed many wild geraniums on our way and I took this picture to represent them all.

wild gernanium

Before we set out, I had asked Mrs Tootlepedal to keep a special eye out for ragged robin as I thought it was about the right time to see this pretty plant, and she duly spotted a clump near Irvine House.

ragged robin

I was keeping my special eye out for yellow rattle and not far from the ragged robin, I was rewarded with a sighting.

yellow rattle

I looked it up when I got home and can tell you that Rhinanthus minor, the yellow rattle, little yellow rattle, hayrattle or cockscomb, is a flowering plant in the genus Rhinanthus in the family Orobanchaceae, native to Europe, northern North America, and Western Asia.  I thought that you might like to know that.  There is obviously a lot of it about.

yellow rattle (2)

Nearby, a clump of vetch was playing host to a large number of bees.

bees omn vetch

My final picture from the outing was this set of developing larch cones….

three larch cones

…taken just before we joined the main road for the last couple of miles home when we were too busy thinking about passing cars to worry about wild flowers.

Luckily from the point of view of taking pictures of flowers in the verges and not getting too hot while cycling, the sun had retired behind some handy clouds for most of our trip, but it was out and shining again when we got home.  As a result, after I had had a cup of tea, i went out into the garden and scarified the front lawn.

I was rather dashed to find that there were three full wheelbarrows of moss to be cleared when the scarifier had finished its work.  I had hoped that I was winning in the battle against the moss, but it is more like a stalemate at the moment.

Then my flute pupil Luke came and we practised a simple arrangement of a Scott Joplin tune which I had acquired from the internet at a modest price.  It is a wonderful world where I can think that I might like to play a piece by Joplin, look on the internet, find a piece, buy it, print it out and be playing it within five minutes of having had the idea.

After Luke went, I had a walk round the garden in the evening sun and enjoyed Mrs Tootlepedal’s French rose…

rosarie de

…and a glowing Icelandic poppy (the dead header needs to work harder)….

icelandic poppy

…and the argyranthemums which Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out in the chimney pot outside the kitchen window.

argyranthemum in chimney pot

A new clematis has come out near the pond.

purple clematis

Then it was time for tea, a second helping of yesterday’s slow cooked beef stew.

Since it was still a lovely evening after tea, I improved the shining  hour by mowing the middle lawn.  I am definitely winning the battle against the moss there.

In all this activity, I didn’t have any time to spend watching the birds, so there is no flying bird of the day today.  A flower of the day appears in its place,  a case of going from the  sublime sparrow to the ranunculus.

pale ranunculus

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows an art installation by Christo in Hyde Park in London.  My sister Mary saw it and tells me that it is made up of 7,506 barrels.  I can see that it is really big but whether it is good art, I cannot tell.

Bulgarian artist Christo's pyramid in the Serpintine made up of 7.506 barrels

Our new spell of fine weather continued today with a fresh feel brought on by the brisk wind.  It was dry and sunny though and Mrs Tootlepedal got through a power of work in the garden.

Our neighbours Ken and Liz dropped in to say hello to Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden.  They were very impressed by the number of bees on the astrantias.

bee on astrantia

I was too.

I had to leave the gardener working as I went off to see the doctor.  The result was a clean bill of health, though I have to keep taking the iron tablets, and permission to go back to the church choir and try some singing.  I am going to take care to try and avoid straining my voice by improving my technique if I can.

As I crossed the suspension bridge on my way to the Health Centre, a passer by pointed out something strange under the town bridge.

tree at bridge 2

I had a closer look when I got back from seeing the doctor.  It was a substantial tree, snapped off near the base.

tree at bridge

 

The recent strong wind must have done for it and the rain that followed must have floated it down the river.  I don’t know how long it has been pressed against the bridge.

Back in the garden, Mrs Tootlepedal and Liz had looked at the cotoneaster and been even more impressed by the number of bees on it.  I went to check it out.

 

They were right to be impressed.  There were bees all over it.

bees on cotoneaster

I thought that the roses were looking well today and I took pictures of some of them.

lilian austin rose

LIlian Austin

rosa complicata

Rosa complicata

yellow rose

Crown Princess Margareta

rose goldfinch

Goldfinch

Among all these riches, our single Melancholy Thistle….

melancholy thistle

…did look a bit lonely.

As I like furry plants, I was happy to see that our Stachys or lamb’s ear has started to flower.

stachys

 

After lunch, I decided to face the brisk wind and go for a pedal.  It was hard work going uphill and into the wind at the start of the ride and I was happy to stop for a breather and a picture after 5 miles.

Callister gate

The countryside is very lush at the moment and the grass is growing at a good rate.

dock

As are the docks at the top of Callister.

I stopped again at 10 miles and saw plenty of vetch beside the road…

vetch

…but the most noticeable thing was another snapped off tree. This one was sticking through the hedge but luckily had fallen away from the road.

fallen tree

It is always a hard time for trees when strong winds arrive when they are in full leaf.

After the first 14 miles, the wind was less of a nuisance and I was just getting up some speed when I had to stop because of a number of these.

orchid

I like to see orchids and hope to see many more but these were the only ones that I saw today.

A friendly wind blew me home and made up for the struggle on the outward part of the trip and I managed just over 30 miles and this brought me up to my target for the month.  As there are several days of the month still to go, I am hoping to make a dent in my mileage backlog which is too large for comfort.

I stuck to my good resolution and instead of going for a walk or doing some mowing when I got home, I went in and put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  I was inputting data for 1897 and noticed a report of a car being seen in the town.  Modern times are creeping up.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had a good time playing sonatas while Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike caught up on the news and sipped beer.

The flower of the day is another bee on the cotoneaster.

bee on cotoneaster

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is a second helping of vegetables from our daughter’s allotment.  She is obviously doing a good job there.  Mrs Tootlepedal is very envious of the beetroot.

annie's veg

I didn’t have very much time to look at our veg today as it seemed to start to rain as soon as I went out into the garden in the morning.  It didn’t rain very hard and soon stopped after I went in but when it had done it two or three times,  I took the hint and gave up any thoughts of flower pictures or lawn mowing and devoted myself to crosswords, music and occasional ill tempered muttering instead.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see Matilda in Edinburgh and I avoided the garden and any more rain by making for the hills (or at least one of the hills).

Now that I was clear of the garden, the weather got much better and I was able to enjoy the flowers beside the track as I walked up to the Meikleholm Hill.

Meikleholm flowers

There were no cattle on the hill so I was free to walk where I liked and the sheep took my presence very calmly.

sheep on Meikleholm

I was vaguely hoping that I might see a lot of orchids as I walked round the side of the hill but the hillside was covered in tormentil for the most part….

tormentil

…and it was obvious that I was a few days too early for the orchids.  One or two were to be seen in an early stage….

vetch and orchid

…and there was more vetch than orchids to be seen.

I climbed gently round the back of the hill until I came to the gate on the col….

Meikleholm gate

…which marks the divide between Wauchopedale and Eskdale.

Eskdale was looking beautiful.

Eskdale

I did think about going through the gate and further on along the ridge but there were enough grey clouds about to persuade me that  a route nearer home might be advisable.  Indeed as I walked over the top of Meikleholm Hill back towards the town, the wind became very gusty and the temperature dropped a little so I feared the worst.

Whatever the weather, it is a treat to walk along the top of this hill….

Meikleholm Hill view

…and I soon got some splendid views across the town (click the pic for a bigger view).

Meikleholm Hill view

This side of the hill was covered in low growing cow parsley….

Meikleholm Hill

And although I saw one or two early orchids, the vetch was still easier to spot.

Looking across the Esk to Castle Hill, I could see a big scar made by clear felling the woods there.

Tree felling in the Longfauld

After a last look up the valley…

Milnholm

I love the gentle curves in this view and the many shades of green

…I left the open hill and took to tracks through woods and along meadows for the rest of my walk….and of course, the sun came out.

tracks and paths

On my way I saw a red admiral butterfly basking in the sun….

tracks and paths

…a wall engulfed by spleenwort…

spleenwort

…decorative wild flowers….

umbellifer

…and I crossed bridges both small…..

walk 2 bridge

…and large.

walk 2 bridge

I got home after a four and a bit mile walk in a very cheerful state of mind as I hadn’t expected to get such good walking weather.

When I went out into the garden to pick some spinach leaves for my tea not long after I had got back though, I found it was pouring with rain!

After tea, Susan came and we went off in her car to play recorders with our group in Carlisle.  We are meeting monthly now and it is an extra treat to meet and play when it is not quite so routine as it has been for many years.

The standard of biscuits with the après-tootling cup of tea has not dropped so it was a satisfactory visit all round.

No flying bird or bee today.  Instead a yellow dung fly takes the starring role.   I met it on the hill and I think it was finding a place to lay its eggs

dung beetle

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows a very nice bridge that my sister Mary met in the Lake District last week.  You can see Lancrigg Hotel in the background.  She tells me that Wordsworth used to sit and write poetry there.

Lancrigg Hotel in the background where Wordsworth used to sit and write poetry.

After our brief burst of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, we were promised a day of continual rain and temperatures of no more than 13°C to start the new week off.  I was prepared to spend a day indoors, well wrapped up, doing those useful tasks which had been neglected while the great outdoors had been so tempting recently.

However it seems that changing weather patterns have made it harder than usual for the big predicting computers to grind the data accurately enough to give a reliable ‘day ahead’ forecast and in real life, we enjoyed a dry-ish day with occasional bits of rain and a  very tolerable 17°C temperature.

As a result, I only did some of the useful tasks that I should have done and not quite as many as I would have liked. Walking round the garden and getting out further afield kept interrupting my work flow.

I did spend most of the morning putting a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, catching up with correspondence and memorising songs for Sunday’s concert and I only got out into the garden just after midday.

I took a few pictures with my phone camera to see how it took to flowers.  I tried it on a wide view…

lupins

…and a close up…

geum

A fancy geum

…and on a decorative shrub…

spirea

A spirea

…and I thought that it did quite well.

My Lumix is getting quite unreliable as the zoom keeps sticking and I am thinking about a replacement.  An article I read suggested that compact cameras have had their day now that phone cameras are so good and it is true that when conditions are perfect, a phone can do a good job but you don’t have anything like the control that you need when things are not so helpful.

I couldn’t take a satisfactory picture of some white flowers with it at all.

I made and ate some potato soup for lunch and then went out and mowed the middle lawn and took some more flower pictures with the Lumix.

I found a pretty flower in one flower bed just the like the wild one which I had found beside the road a day or two ago.  I was very pleased…

vetch

…but Mrs Tootlepedal was most unhappy.  “That’s vetch,” she said, “It’s a pest, get it out of there.”

I pulled it all up as best as I could and realised that it was indeed a bit of a problem as it had crept and crawled all over the bed.

I turned my attention to safer plants.

spirea

Another spirea showing an elegant curve

chimney pot

The chimney pot has just got its annual implant

There were a few bees buzzing around.  This one was sampling the comfrey.

bee on comfrey

In spite of the forecast, the weather seemed to be set fair for a bit so Mrs Tootlepedal and I ventured out on an unexpected cycle ride.  Once again we went up the Wauchope road but on this occasion we added a little extra by visiting Cleughfoot and did eight and a half miles.

I got some additional exercise by stopping to take flower pictures….

geraniums

Wild geraniums lining the roadside near the Auld Stane Brig

…and then racing to catch up Mrs Tootlepedal who, as you can see in the picture above, wastes no time in disappearing into the distance.  Still, when I do catch her up, she is a very useful extra pair of eyes scanning the verges.  She spotted this fine thistle.

thistle

I spotted one of those dandelion-like flowers which are not dandelions.  It is probably a hawkbit….

hawksbit

…and I was not the only one to have spotted it.

Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t spot lichens but I do.

lichen

Wall art

It wasn’t very windy so it was very enjoyable cruising through the countryside looking at nature.  The scenery was sometimes pastoral…

Cleuchfoot valley

The road to Cleughfoot

…and sometimes watery.

Wauchope Watery

Wauchope Water at Bessie Bell’s

We stopped for a while at Bessie Bell’s so that Mrs Tootlepedal could marvel at the changes that time and rushing waters have brought to a favourite picnic spot when the children were young.

I looked at wild flowers.  They weren’t hard to find.

broom, geum, crossowort and buttercups

Broom, geum, crossowort and buttercups

The broom has just come out so it can be described as a new broom, I suppose.  It is very yellow indeed.

broom

The birdsfoot trefoil nearby had a lot of red about it…

birdsfoot trefoil

…and was looking very pretty.

When we got home, we were joined by Mike Tinker for a cup of tea and a biscuit and by large numbers of sparrow families who were enjoying the fat balls outside the kitchen window.

sparrows

After tea, i went back to the song learning and put one into the computer which helps by playing the music for me so I can’t cheat and look at the words which  I tend do if I am picking out the part on our keyboard.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we started work on a Haydn trio sonata.

I was out in the garden doing some deadheading yesterday when I accidentally knocked the head off an iris.  Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it might flower indoors if she could find a suitable vase and she was quite right.  I took a picture of it on the kitchen table and we were surprised to find that two of my cameras thought that it was quite a different colour than we did.  It still looked good though.

iris

It looked a much darker purple to us.

The sharp eyed will notice that somehow or other, a greenfly has got to the flower.  How it had manged this, when the flower was brought into the house completely unopened, is a mystery.

If all the forecast cold and wet days are as nice as this one turned out to be, I won’t complain at all.

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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Flamborough Head last month.  He was hoping to see many puffins but they were few and far between.  He did see this one standing rather implausibly on a very steep cliff face.

Puffin

I had several plans for the day and most of them required some decent weather so it was very fortunate that we did indeed have a fine, dry day.

I started out with a tour of the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal for the purposes of plant dead heading.  I made a brief diversion to finish turning the compost from Bin C into Bin D and next in line (you may have guessed this if you are paying attention) will be turning the compost from Bin B into the now empty Bin C.

Sandy came round for coffee, taking a break from some extensive decorating that he is doing at home and when he left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set about making some more compost.  She has been doing some large scale tidying up in the garden and we got the petrol shredder out and turned the debris into some good looking compost (it went into Bin A).

Then I mowed the front lawn.  Later in the day, I leaned out of upstairs windows and took pictures of the front and middle lawns and some of the  beds around them.

Front lawn

Middle lawn

By then Mrs Tootlepedal had been round with the lawn edger which always makes things look better.

Having done the compost shifting, the shredding and the lawn mowing, the afternoon was free for a cycle ride.

I walked round the garden with camera in hand before I went.

cosmos and marigold

The cosmos and marigold are pretty but they are a reminder that the year is moving towards autumn

nasturtium and achillea

Nasturtium and achillea

Rosa Bobbie James

Rosa Bobbie James with plenty more blossoms to come

The cardoon is growing ever bigger.  The leaves have a wingspan of at least six feet and the flower is now looking me straight in the eye.   Mrs Tootlepedal and I are being slightly haunted by thoughts of The Little Shop of Horrors.

cardoon

I put the camera down, cleaned my chain and pumped up my tyres and set off.  The wind was lighter than yesterday so I ventured a little further and took time to stop and record some of the wayside flowers as I went.

An orchid and a cloud of unidentified yellow stuff

An orchid and a cloud of unidentified yellow stuff

Another little yellow fellow and pretty in pink

Another little yellow fellow and pretty in pink

Unfortunately at some stage I must have put my thumb on the lens of the Lumix because I found that I had a wonderful collection of blurry images instead of fetching pictures of banks of meadowsweet and clover lining the roads.

I did get my phone out to record a striking bank of vetch.

vetch

The roads were sprinkled with vetch for much of my trip.

vetch

With the wind in a more friendly mood, I managed my thirty miles today at a slightly better average speed than I achieved over  the twenty miles yesterday.  As far as I am concerned as a cyclist, the wind is a much bigger factor than distance when it comes to enjoying or not enjoying a ride as much as you would like.

I had a last look round the flowers and spotted two more flowers that signal the turning of the year, pink and white phlox.

phlox

Mrs Tootlepedal weeded round the gooseberry bush and I picked enough of the fruit to have a plate of stewed gooseberries for my supper.  I like gooseberries but Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t so I shall just have to eat them all myself.  What a dreadful fate.

In the evening, Sandy came round and we went off to the Archive Centre for the first time for several weeks.  Annoyingly, although my computer connected to the wi-fi hotspot without any trouble and I was able to enter some data, Sandy’s laptop wouldn’t oblige at all for some unfathomable reason so we didn’t stay as long as we planned.  All the same, some work was done and we rewarded ourselves with the traditional refreshment at the Eskdale Hotel afterwards.

The flower of the day is a poppy….

poppy

…and the flying bird is a sideways siskin.

flying siskin

I will try to find more time for staring out of the window and get some better flying bird shots.  Recent ones have been pretty poor.

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows Queen Mary’s garden in Regents Park in London.  My sister Mary was passing through last week.

Queen Mary's garden, Regent's Park

My day was divided into three movements, Adagio, Moderato and Lento.

The morning was very adagio indeed and the casual observer might have had quite a lot of difficulty in telling whether I was asleep or awake.  It was a pleasant and dry day so I roused myself enough to walk round the garden.

The most striking thing there was the first opium poppy of the summer.  It was hard to miss.

opium poppy

It was joined by a newly out clematis which is shown here flanked by two Dutch irises.

iris and clematis

The mixed cornflowers continue to please the eye.  One had been joined by a friend.

cornflowers

The warmth had brought out another first, a day lily, seen here with a gorgeous courgette.

courgette and day lily

There is abundance on all sides.

geraniums and philadelphus

Geranium and Philadelphus

Among the flowers, a diffident young blackbird posed for me.

blackbird

I went back in and kept an eye on the bird feeder.  There were regrettable incidents of sparrow stamping.

siskins and sparrow stamping

The sparrow was more than up for it though and the siskin flew off unable to shake it loose.

A visitor for Mrs Tootlepedal arrived and while she was being shown round the garden, I noticed that the Astrantia was attracting even more bumble bees than usual.  It seemed as though almost every flower had a friend.  The Cotoneaster was a draw as well.

white tailed bumble bee

There were other bees.

bee on astrantia

Although I am very happy to see so many bees about, I would be happier still if they were joined by some butterflies.  We are a butterfly free zone at the moment.

After the quiet morning, a bit more action was required so I got the fairly speedy bike out and set off to see where it would take me.

There was a brisk wind in my face and I was far from a bundle of energy but I pedalled steadily along in a low gear and soon found myself at Paddockhole, 10 miles from home.  I was seriously  thinking of turning back at this point, fed up with the constant wind but curiously enough I found myself pedalling on up the hill to Corrie Common.

A cow was cross that I had disturbed her and stamped her foot.

cow

Once at Corrie Common, it only seemed sensible to go on to Lockerbie and return to Paddockhole by the other road so this was what I did.

I stopped to photograph the golf course at Lockerbie, which was looking very well kept.  This may be have been helped by the fact that there didn’t seem to be anyone paying golf on it.  It is much easier to keep a course looking neat if it doesn’t have a lot of old men on it hacking chunks out of the turf.

Golf course Lockerbie

Cycling home with the wind behind was a treat and I stopped again to add to the recent wild flower collection.

vetch and rattle

Vetch and rattle (I think)

My reactions weren’t very quick today and I saw several interesting plants, including an orchid, but by the time that they had registered on my conciousness, I was well past them and too lazy to go back for a second look.

For the first time, I saw all six of the new windmills in action though some of them seem to be sited behind a ridge rather than on top of it which is odd.

Windmills

Still they were all going round so perhaps the owners know what they are doing.

Those interested in the cycle route can click on the map below for further details.

garmin route 5 July 2016

The gentle speed was in keeping with the tempo of the day.  In my defence, it is a very undulating route.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had only just come in from a hard afternoon of work in the garden.  She had been doing lots more hedge trimming….

hedge trimming

…but there are still some left to do.

The late afternoon and evening provided a tranquil end to the day.

I realise now why the years seem to go quicker as I get older.  It is not that time moves more quickly at all, it is just that I move a lot more slowly.

The flower of the day is a Martagon Lily with its dancing shoes on…

martagon lily

…and the flying bird is a sparrow.

flying sparrow

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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.

poppies

clematis

The latest clematis to appear, hidden behind the azaleas.

pansies

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

nasturtiums

Varied nasturtiums yawn for the camera

Ligularia

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

dahlias

The dahlias continue to delight me.

bee

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.

siskin

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