Going the wrong way

Today’s guest picture was sent to Mrs Tootlepedal by the leader of the church choir, Muriel.  Muriel, who is a keen photographer, was at the Canonbie show and took this picture of some old fellow smiling inanely as he went up for a prize.

getting the shield

After yesterday’s rest, my legs were in mellow and co-operative mood this morning when Dropscone arrived after breakfast.  There was a strong and chilly east wind blowing so we decided that a ride round the traditional morning run in the wrong direction would be the best plan.

For once, a decision was the right one and after ten miles with the wind mostly behind us, the return ten miles into the wind turned out to be well sheltered from the blast and we kept our average speed up pretty well.

Dropscone’s scones were even bigger and better than usual but my appetite was up to the challenge.

After he left, I had my shower and then went out into the garden to see what Mrs Tootlepedal was up to.  I was hardly out of the door before she called me over to show me a beautiful new poppy.

pink shirley poppy

It was undoubtedly the best yet from her mixed packet of seeds.  To make things even better, another white one had come out and two more striking flowers pushed themselves in front of the camera to go with it.

shirley poppies

The plums are ripening well…


…and my diet mostly consists of plums and potatoes at the moment.  Mrs Tootlepedal made plum crumble today.

Near the back door, the orange hawkweed has had a second lease of life.

orange hawkweed

Then I got out the slow bike and pottered up to the High Street to visit the chemist and was pleased to find that it was actually open today.

After lunch (potato soup), we took things easy – Mrs Tootlepedal, because she had had a long day with Matilda in Edinburgh yesterday and I, because I was trying to keep my legs sweet for a planned longer cycle ride tomorrow if all goes well.

It wasn’t too long though before we were back out in the garden as the front lawn needed mowing and Mrs Tootlepedal has embarked on a comprehensive redesign of several beds.

I couldn’t resist taking another shot of the pretty poppy…

pink shirley poppy (2)

…as it will be gone by tomorrow and another of the same sort may not appear.

Mrs Tootlepedal paused from her garden redesign to dig up most of our main crop potatoes…

main crop potatoes

…which have done well and seem to be slug free unlike the earlies.

While I was in the veg garden, I noticed a pair of French beans trying a little ballet pose.

french beans

A white butterfly fluttered past me and settled.

white butterfly

Past the greenhouse among the sunflowers, yellow and orange crocosmias grow together.


For some reason which is not apparent to me, as it was a very pleasant day as far as the weather went and tomorrow is supposed to be fine as well, the birds attacked the sunflower hearts with tremendous gusto today and by five o’clock they had got through two complete fillings.

busy feeder

This was a typical scene.  As a result, flying birds were ten a penny.

flying sparrow

flying chaffinch

Although I have done very little today, the fact that it was a largely  sunny day and I had a pedal, mowed a lawn and then rounded the day off with a trip to Carlisle to have a tootle with our recorder group meant that it was officially classified as a very good day.   The tootle was most enjoyable and my legs were happy about things too which was a bonus.

The official flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Listening to my legs

Today’s guest picture shows a Venetian scene.  My daughter is there, working at the Venice Film Festival.  It’s tough to work in these conditions but she puts up with it.VeneziaMy legs had been grumbling a bit yesterday on the way back from our cream tea and they were positively mutinous this morning so I hearkened to their discontent and put them through nothing more strenuous today than a pedal up to the High Street to visit the chemist.

I could have avoided even this gentle exercise if I had known that the chemist would be shut when I got there.

I did manage a little walk round the garden…

clematis….where I managed to avoid taking a picture of the poppies for once.  Three or four clematis plants seem to able to ignore the chilly weather.

clematisAs the wind was from the east and quite brisk, I was pleased not to be out on the bike.  Sometimes the legs know best.

The sunflowers at the end of the drive have reached great heights…

sunflowers…and even though we have lost quite a few to the recent high winds, there are several sturdy plants still standing.  I was able to get a good picture of them as Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off in the car at the crack of dawn to catch a train to Edinburgh.  Matilda’s mother has hurt her back and lifting Matilda, who is a large baby, is difficult so Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to give her some assistance.

I took a not very good picture of a not very exciting plant…

geranium…just to celebrate its longevity.  These little blue geraniums have been in flower for several months now. 

Dropscone, who is a hardier man than I, dropped in for coffee after having been round the morning run.  He had found the wind quite hard to battle against at times but he had enjoyed himself.  He tells me that he was out playing golf in the terrible rain and hailstorm that we encountered on Saturday but it had been short enough that he had more or less dried out before he got to the end of the round.

After he left, I made some potato and bean soup and enjoyed it for my lunch with some sour dough bread and goat’s cheese.  My Mediterranean diet seems to have slipped a bit north for the moment.

I spent the afternoon lounging in a hot bath and practising on my new flute (after I had got out of the bath of course).

I found some time to stare out of the kitchen window.

busy feederAs you can see, the feeder was in demand.

siskin and chaffinchBut as I was in restful mode, I took a couple of peacefully perching chaffinches to reflect this.

chaffinchchaffinchIn the evening, my flute pupil Luke came for his lesson and we embarked on the tricky question of fingerings for high notes and trills.  As I have to look these up myself, it may take some time before we have mastered these.  Luke’s music reading is coming on very well and we are now trying to install that mental metronome into his head that is essential for playing in ensembles.

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had gone off just after six in the morning, returned at eight in the evening.  Unsurprisingly she felt a little tired but perked up when she found that I had prepared a restorative dish of semolina for her.

A chaffinch just squeezed into the frame to make flying bird of the day.




Today’s guest photo shows a bird which my brother met on a visit to Tiritiri Matangi Island near Auckland in New Zealand Tiritiri Matangi Island Aug 2014 - 8After the rain showers of yesterday, we enjoyed a day without any rain at all today and very welcome it was too.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir after breakfast and I took a walk round the garden.  I could hardly hear myself think at the poppy bed such was the throng of insects visiting the poppies.

poppy with bumble beeIt seemed that every poppy had it own visitor.

poppy with hoverflyThere are many quieter berries in the garden at the moment.

garden berriesIt was too good a morning to stay in the garden so I took the slow bike out and went for a gentle ride down to the Kilngreen and up the Lodge Walks.

The ducks on the Kilngreen eyed me up in the hope of food….

mallard….and black headed gulls flew past in effort to feature as flying bird of the day.

black headed gullOn the Castleholm I could see the first tree foreshadowing the coming of autumn leaves.

autumn treeIt was a pleasure just to be outside on such a sparkling morning.

When I got back home, I watched a coal tit visit our feeders, the first that I had seen for some time.

coal titMrs Tootlepedal returned safely from church and after a cup of coffee set about mowing the drying green combined with a little more clearing out of plants that were now surplus to requirements.

This sort of thing is too strenuous for me so I got some sour dough bread on the go while she was working. 

Then it was time for an early lunch.  We were going to take advantage of the fine weather and light winds to visit Middlebie, twelve and a half miles away, where kindly people were serving travellers with cream teas.

The road to Middlebie is hilly and we left ourselves plenty of time so that we could enjoy the scenery as we went along.

When you get near Middlebie, the country opens up and the Solway plain lies in front of you.

view of Solway plainMrs Tootlepedal remarked that if you woke up to a view like this every day rather than the view of the surrounding hills which greets us in Langholm, you might well have a very different view of the world.  She is probably right.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen some bright orange fungus in a tree when she had pedalled along this way a fortnight ago and I was looking forward to seeing it but in the intervening time, it had turned white and when I tried to photograph it, the Hotts Burn got in the way and I couldn’t get close enough to it for Pocketcam so I photographed the Hotts Burn instead.

Hotts BurnThe hall at Middlebie has a modest frontage….

Middlebie Hall…but like the Tardis, it is much bigger inside.  These cream teas are very popular though and even at half past two, it was nearly full and we we were lucky to find  two empty seats to squeeze into.   The scones and cakes were tasty and just what was needed half way through a twenty five mile ride.

We didn’t stay long and were soon on our way home, caressed by a favouring wind.

As I say, the route is undulating…

Mrs Tootlepedal cycling

Mrs Tootlepedal going downhill and Mrs Tootlepedal going uphill.  There was little chance to snap he on the flat.

…and we stuck to a very steady speed.  This was just as well, as I have had quite a heavy week of cycling and my legs were asking plaintively if there was any chance of a little sit down soon.

As always when the sun is out and the wind is from the west, the last few miles home from the top of Callister were an unmitigated cycling pleasure but on this occasion it was even more pleasant to sink into an armchair and relax when we got in.

We made a pizza for our evening meal and considered that the weekend had been a great success.  Even the sourdough bread turned out particularly well.

Among all the black headed gulls that I saw in the morning, a lone herring gull took the honour of being elected flying bird of the day.

herring gull






All hail

Today’s guest picture is a bit of a cheat as it is of a guest but not by a guest. 

Dropscone and ScottStanding beside Dropscone leaning on his carbon fibre machine is the minister, Scott posing with his very new and stylish Bianchi bike   He joined us for our morning run to Gair and back today and we found that our speeds fitted well together so we all enjoyed the ride.  Scott may be carrying a pound or two more than us but he has the advantage of youth on his side and things balanced out well.   He has only recently taken up cycling seriously and it won’t be long before he will be going too fast for us.

The heavy jackets were on because although it was reasonably sunny as we pedalled along, the temperature was still well below the August average, barely getting above 10C.  The wind was very light though and we managed to hit the 15 mph average speed just as we got home which was very satisfactory for a 22 mile ride with a thousand feet of climbing.  I was pleased that I was able to keep up with two such flash stylish bikes.

We had coffee and scones when we got back and Dropscone had brought some of his excellent treacle scones.  This upset the rest of my day as treacle scones should signify Friday and to have them on a Saturday meant that I had great difficulty working out what day it was for the rest of the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been hard at work delving in the garden while we were pedalling and by the end of the morning she had shifted an enormous clump of ornamental grass from one end of the lawn to the other.


Gardeners will know just how heavy a clump like this is.  It looks good in its new position.

Her poppies in the new bed last for a day or two each but they are replaced by new ones at a very satisfactory rate.  I dead headed no less than seventy stems the other day and another twenty or thirty today.  They are so pretty that my shutter finger twitches every time that I go past them.

Four ages of a poppies.   The flowers are Shirley poppies and the seed head comes from an opium poppy.

Four ages of a poppies. The flowers are Shirley poppies and the seed head comes from an opium poppy.

I append a panel of three other plants that caught my eye.

euphorbia, astilbe and tropaeolumAfter lunch, as the weather still looked fine, I suggested a drive to the White Yett, followed by a walk to the Monument and beyond.  Mrs Tootlepedal took up her binoculars and off we went.   At the car park we met a couple of visitors who had come from Newcastleton.  They told us that there had been very heavy rain there and were wondering if they had time to get to the monument and back before it rained here.  We assured them that it wouldn’t rain and they followed us up the track. 

After a few minutes walking, I wasn’t quite so confident as I had been…

monument…but the clouds passed and we arrived at the monument in sunshine.  The visitors were very impressed by our weather lore but not so impressed as to stay at the top of the hill for long.  We had a look down at the town…

Langholm from Whita

This is the New Town. The industrial building in the foreground is a textile mill, now closed.

…which was bathed in sunshine.  The large tree in the dead centre of the picture is our walnut tree.

We walked onwards along the ridge as I was hoping to take a few more heather pictures.  The tide was in along the Solway and it was gleaming in the distance.

SolwayLooking behind us at the monument to check the weather….

monument and clouds…we thought that we could risk going on.

Our target was the gate in the wall below.

view from WhitaThe views from the ridge are very good…

View from Whita…but the camera doesn’t like them as much as I do as the sun was not in the right place. You can see the expanse of heather that we walked through a couple of days ago.  Just for interest, I zoomed in on the wood at the bottom of the hill that conceals the moorland feeders.  The feeders are set out on each side of the ride down the middle of the plantation where the car is parked.

Moorland feedersWe met a friend who was walking his dogs and then turned to walk back up to the monument.  The temperature had fallen a bit and the wind had risen.  This made us a little nervous about the possibility of rain.  The windmills on Craig Hill were twirling around merrily in the sunshine….

windmills…but looking at Castle Hill made us quicken our pace.

view from whitaThe nearer we got to the monument, the faster we walked.

monument and cloudsAs we got over the summit, we were still in sunshine but it looked to be a race against time to get to the car as the rain swept down the valley towards us.

gathering rainstormAs our race pace these days and the progress of a snail are hard to differentiate, it was a race that we lost by two hundred metres.  That may not sound far but the rain and hail were so savage that we were soaked through and the road was awash by the time that we got to the car.

We had to wait until the shower eased off before it was safe to drive down to the town but by the time that we arrived home, the sun was out again.  We were so wet though that a complete change of clothes was needed before we could enjoy a well earned cup of tea.

As if all of this was not enough excitement for the day, Mrs Tootlepedal kindly cut my hair before our evening meal, rendering me, needless to say, quite light headed..

I used the photo editor in the evening to change one of the shots that I took on the hill to black and white.

sheep's skull

Found in a crevice in one of the walls on the hill.

And I used a plug-in that I thought gave another photo a touch of the drama that we actually felt as the storm loomed up.

topaz view from Whita


In between the pedalling and the walking, I found a moment to catch a flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch







Slow day

Today’s artistic guest picture was sent to me by a fellow blogger Marie who saw a guest picture from my daughter-in-law of a cruise ship in Leith and was reminded of the days when she worked in the cruise business. It shows the Swan Hellenic ship, Minerva.

cruise shipWe had a cool and dry morning to greet us today.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help create a sound recording of the local newspaper for the benefit of customers who cannot read it for themselves and then disappeared in the direction of Edinburgh to visit the world’s greatest baby.

garmin route 22 Aug 2014I got out the (fairly) speedy bike and embarked on a circular trip.  The little map on the right shows a gap in the circle which was caused by my failure to start recording the journey until I was two miles out.   (You can click on the map for details of the ride.)

This route had only two thirds of the climbing that my last excursion had and this was fortunate as my legs were a bit equivocal about cycling today.  They were fine as long as I didn’t tax them at all but they began to grumble if I asked them to put a bit of effort in. 

Still, the views as always were very enjoyable as I went round so I didn’t mind taking a bit of time.  The farmers are busy cutting the grass and these cylindrical bales were to be seen on all sides.

DSC_0011 (2) bales near GairJust as I joined the old A74, I saw a sight that used to be common but is much rarer these days.

DSC_0012 roadside horse grazingThere are some very bright rose hips in the hedges this year.  My phone couldn’t do justice to their cheerful redness.

DSC_0014 (5) rose hipsThere was an occasional hint of rain as I got near the end of my 32 mile trip but it came to nothing and I arrived home dry but a little tired.

After some suitable refreshment, I took a walk round the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal has been a bit aggrieved that her packet of mixed poppies hasn’t produced any white so it was typical that on the day when she was away, several mainly white poppies appeared.

_DSC2032 white poppy_DSC2036 pale poppyThere was more white to be seen as well.

_DSC2030 (2) japanese anemones

A cloud of Japanese anemones

_DSC2056 campanula

And a mist of campanulas

As I was taking these pictures, a blackbird kept an eye on me.

_DSC2038 blackbirdAlthough the garden is past its best, there is still a lot to please the eye.

_DSC2039 fuchsia

_DSC2040 mint

The delicate flowers of mint.

_DSC2041 (2) sedum

We will know that it really is autumn when the sedum finally comes fully out.

The most colourful spot in the garden is the bed at the end of the drive.  It has nicotiana, cosmos, phlox and sunflowers.

_DSC2043 end bedThe sedum will attract butterflies if the weather is good when it comes out but meanwhile, the other flowers are trying their best. 

red admiral

A red admiral or Vanessa Atalanta butterfly on a knapweed.

After lunch and a look out of the kitchen window…

_DSC2047 perching birds

Enjoying the sun.

A siskin and two greenfinches find some space.

A siskin looks for a perch among a sparrow and two greenfinches.

…it was time to go to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen.  I wasn’t expecting to do any informing but to my surprise,  I had eight visitors.  I have to admit that six of these came in as one family and one of those was in a pushchair and didn’t need any information except to find out when they could go out again.  

I was going to go down to the waterside to check on Mr Grumpy  when I locked up but some very dark clouds persuaded me to cycle straight home.  It was a good thing that I did because we soon had a heavy shower.

The day brightened up again though and I was able to mow the middle lawn.  Because of the frequent wet weather I have had to put the cutters on the mower up and this has let weeds spring up.  A close cut keeps the weeds down without the need for weed killer and when I look at the lawns now, I shed a little tear for the glory of July when they looked just as a lawn should look.

The plums are ripening very well and thanks to an unplanned surplus of milk, we are now living mostly on plums and semolina. 

A hovering chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.

_DSC2061 flying chaffinch



Today’s guest picture is the result of the purchase by my younger son of a 50mm prime lens for his camera with his birthday money.  When he told me about it, I assumed that he was going to be taking striking street photographs of Edinburgh but oddly enough, he had a different aim in mind.   The lens looks promising.

MatildaAfter the cycling and motoring treats in yesterday’s fine weather, today arrived in marked contrast with strong winds and frequent showers.

Unfortunately for Mrs Tootlepedal, she was off to attend a ‘fun day’ with her driving for the disabled group.  Things started badly for her when a lorry accident closed the road just a couple of miles before her destination, leaving her with a circuitous diversion on narrow roads to get there.  When she did get there, the rain was not in a forgiving mood and as her job when the driving events were going on entailed standing in the middle of a field where umbrellas were banned in case they spooked the ponies, the fun was strictly rationed.

She is a hardy soul though and came home soaked but pretty cheerful in the circumstances.

Fortunately for me, I had nothing to do in the morning and took the sensible course of retiring back to bed after breakfast and indulging in some world class relaxation while the rain hammered on the windows.

When I did get up, the rain had stopped for a moment and the sun had come out.

I looked out of the kitchen window.


At full speed, the birds look relaxed as they land on the feeder but the camera shows that it takes a lot of concentration.

I ventured out.


The marigolds glowed in gratitude for a little sunshine.

One marigold was very cautious about opening fully out in case of more rain.

marigoldI don’t blame it as it soon started to rain again.

One of the astrantias is having a late burst.

astrantiaI had lunch and caught another sunny moment through the kitchen window.  You wouldn’t think that such a dainty perching bird ….

siskin….could turn into this a moment or two later.

siskinThere was no shortage of flying birds today and several shots were spoiled by unwanted extra fliers.

flying birdsI hate filling in forms but as a trustee of the Langholm Archive Group, which is a registered charity, I have to complete an annual return to OSCR, the charities regulator and finally, a month after the due date, I managed to pluck up enough energy to do it and post it off.  It will probably come back with a rebuke for errors and omissions but at least I have got it out there.

I celebrated by waiting for a heavy shower of rain to pass over and then going out for a quick walk.  It was warm and sunny but I didn’t dally because there was no way of knowing when the next shower would arrive,  Nevertheless, I took a picture or two as I went round Gaskell’s Walk.

I liked the waterfall effect of plants over the wall at the top of the Manse Brae.

manse braeAnd I stopped to admire my favourite fence post.  It has a little garden of various lichens its top.

fence post lichenI am amazed by how many different sorts of lichen grow in such a small area.  There are even more striking ones on the same post.

fence post lichensOn the stones of the old bridge, a sheet of white lichen was being gently coloured in.

lichenFurther on, I came across a little fungus too.

fungusI might have seen more but someone had been along the path with a strimmer.  This made it very satisfactory for me as  a walker keeping his feet dry but not so good for me as a snapper hoping to see interesting things at the path edge.

Gaskell's Walk

You wouldn’t think that it had been lashing with rain half an hour earlier.

I pushed on, hoping that the sun would stay out while I walked.  There was an excellent view of Whita from Stubholm.

WhitaWhen I got down to the path beside the park, a clump of Himalayan basalm towered over my head. It is generally regarded as a pest in spite of its pretty flowers.  It certainly takes a hold when it is established.

himalayan balsamOn the other side of the path, the wall beside the park is another garden in itself.

Park wallYou could hardly guess that there is a stone wall behind all that growth.

In the end, it turned out that I could have taken my time on my walk as it was still sunny long after I had got home.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre by myself.  Sandy is on holiday and Jean is still in hospital.  I called in to see her on my way but she was too tired to receive visitors as she has not been very well lately.

I managed to concentrate enough to put two weeks of the index into the database but I am still a bit behind the data miners and will have to pull up my socks if I am to catch up with them.

In one of the short sunny spells, I did manage to catch a chaffinch on its own as flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch





Good route choice

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Matilda’s father, shows the great lengths that he and Clare go to in order to keep Matilda entertained.

Matilda and washing machine

We were blessed with another dry day today with occasional sunshine and light winds. After the success of the gentle pedal and walk yesterday, I thought I might be able to venture on a longer ride today so I girded my loins and set out on the (fairly) speedy bike after breakfast.

garmin route 20 Aug 2014I was interested to see whether I was able to add a few hilly sections to my cycling and by chance, I had agreed to fill the Moorland feeders for Sandy as he is going on holiday.  To get to the feeders requires a stiff climb up the road to Claygate and then another climb when you turn off onto the little road to the feeders themselves.

I was pleased to have managed these two climbs without much difficulty but less pleased when I found that someone had been there before me and filled all the feeders up.  I went back to the Claygate road and continued my ride which took me up and down hill and then down and up again into England over the bridge at Penton.

From there my route was less hard work.  It took me down into Longtown where I visited the bike shop and was able to get a annoying problem sorted out in a couple of minutes as it came from a loose cassette which was soon tightened.  I continued home in a much happier frame of mind without any more worrying creaks and groans from the bike.

Although the first part of ride had been quite challenging, the start of the second part was largely flat as I was now down on the Solway plain.

near Longtown

The view towards the sea

near Longtown

An inviting cycling prospect with good surface and no traffic

The whole circle was just over thirty miles and I made sure that I took it at a sensible speed with the result that I was able to walk quite freely when I got off the bike…not with grace and dignity maybe but with discernible forward motion in a straight line.  This was very welcome.

Those with time hanging heavy on their hands may see the route by clicking on the little map above.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I got home, cleaning out sections of borders and putting in manure and a top mulch to improve the soil condition.  I am looking forward to seeing the results of all this hard work next year.

While I was talking to her, I noticed a flash of colour on a phlox.

peacock butterfly

A peacock butterfly

I went in and made and ate some potato soup for lunch and then went off to the Health Centre for my annual asthma check.  Possibly owing to singing in two choirs and playing the flute, my breathing has been better recently and I have been able to reduce my use of preventive puffers.  The nurse checked my peak flow and gave me a very handy little leaflet with a set of actions in it.

It has four pages.  If my peak flow  stays within 75% of target, I keep doing what I am doing.  If it gets down to about 50%, I should arrange an appointment at the health centre.  If it gets down to 25%, I should go straight to the health centre without an appointment and if it goes to less than 25%, I can stop worrying about anything.

I asked her what I should do if my peak flow improved.  She checked my age and said I didn’t need to bother about that.

It was all very reassuring.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was still slaving away over a hot spade so I suggested a drive in the car to give her a break and to take advantage of the pleasant weather.  She agreed and we set off to drive a short circular tour over the hills between the Ewes Valley and the Liddle Valley and back again.

This took us over Carewoodrigg which offers lovely views of rolling hills and sinuous valleys…

Carewoodrigg….down past Hermitage Castle….

hermitage castle….through Newcastleton and up onto the Langholm Moor.

Copshaw Road

Looking back into Liddesdale

We paused from time to time to do a little bird watching but there only the occasional distant bird to be watched though we did see a mother and one or two young partridges crossing the road as we came down into Tarras.

grouseWe stopped near the harrier nesting site but all the birds have long left the nest.  Some of the harriers are still about and we did catch a glimpse of one but again it was only fleeting so I took a picture of a fine pack of heather on the hillside instead.

Heather on the hill

The tracks relate to the hen harrier management as well as heather management

We stopped on the Kilngreen just before we got home.  Mr Grumpy was crouching again and I wondered whether he was poorly….

heronbut when he saw me, he got up and walked away.  Maybe his hips hurt too.

Among the usual black headed gulls there was a larger herring gull standing on the river bank.

herring gullThe gulls weren’t in a flying mood today and the ducks were all snoozing…

snoozing duck…so we didn’t stay long.

Back in the garden, Mrs Tootlepedal was soon at work again while I had a wander around, camera in hand.


Several clematis are going really well in spite of the relatively low temperatures.

rudbeckia and nicotiana

Rudbeckia and nicotiana

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper

And one of the cheerful sunflowers.


We put out some seeds we saved from last year’s sunflowers and the birds ate them all up.

I saw a cute young blackbird in the plum tree and rushed to get a shot.  I was less enamoured of it when I found it was eating one of my plums.  Still, there are plenty to share.
blackbird eating plumsThen I cycled down to the Co-op to get some stuff for a bacon and chick pea casserole which Mrs Tootlepedal was making for our tea and by this time that I got back, the activity of the day had caught up with me and my hip was reminding me that it was there so I descended into a comatose state for the rest of the evening.

As a result of keeping busy, there was no time to catch a flying bird today.






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