Hard times

Today’s picture is a grand tub of well sieved home made compost. What could be more satisfying?

 homemade compost

I was a bit tired when I woke up and the wind was blowing hard enough to rattle the windows so I rang up Dropscone and chickened out of the morning pedal. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work and I retired back to bed and did the crossword. I had arranged to have coffee with Dropscone in spite of not cycling so I got up again and I was grinding some coffee when he rang up to tell me that he was going to fetch his bike in his car. He had suffered another puncture and had got a lift home. All in all, considering the wind and the heavy rain showers and the puncture, I was very glad that I had stayed in bed.

Arthur joined us for coffee as soon as he had finished recording the reading of the E & L for the blind which he and a small group of volunteers do every week. Just before he and Dropscone arrived, I recorded a couple of minutes of frantic activity at the bird feeder. The picture quality isn’t great but I think the action makes up for that.

siskin putting the boot in
Those siskins are hard men
siskin chaffinch
A chaffinch can't frighten them
chaffinch siskin
Size makes no difference
siskin sparrow
Pecking and kicking now
chaffinch sparrow
They're all at it

In a moment of peace a small tit nipped in and took a seed and flew off without kicking or biting anyone.


All those shots were taken within three minutes and the same level of activity went on for a large part of the day. Perhaps the constant wind, cool temperatures and heavy showers are all making the birds short of food outside the garden.

I found a moment when the rain stopped to get a picture of a pair of the oriental poppies that have come into full bloom. They are not modest flowers.


Mrs Tootlepedal came back from work and we discussed going out for a cycle ride but the wind was discouraging so we postponed it until later in the day when the forecast promised better things. The sparrows, siskins and chaffinches had given way to greenfinches by this time.


greenfinch sparrow
The sparrow was soon dislodged
greenfinch into the wind
You can see what the day was like from the feathers blowing in the wind

Mrs Tootlepedal spent a good part of the afternoon potting on plants in the greenhouse and tending to her vegetables. I sieved a tub of compost and took some pictures.

flag iris
The first flag iris of the year
The little violas have been standing up to the rough weather well
shady corner
In the shade of the walnut tree, I like this little corner of the back path
golden philadelphus
This golden philadelphus rivals the poppies for bright colour

Mrs Tootlepedal has well over 300 plants coming on in the greenhouse at the moment. Later in the year, there will be perhaps five or six plants growing there.

busy greenhouse

At about half past four, we got ready to go for a pedal and then we spent about an hour sitting around waiting for the heavy rain to stop. I was getting ready to abandon the whole idea when the rain finally stopped so we got the bikes out and set out for a quick run up the Wauchope road instead of the 20 miles we had planned. We could see plenty of blue sky as we started out and we continued to be able to see blue sky to both our left and right as we went on. Sadly we could also see the thin strip of grey cloud straight above us, about the width of the road, which was raining heavily on us. We persevered though and the rain stopped at last. Mrs Tootlepedal turned for home at Westwater and I went on to the top of Callister just to stretch my legs.


The countryside is looking very green at the moment and having a camera has taught me to look at it with much more attention than I used to pay to it. As a result, I think I enjoy cycling more too.



As you can see, the day turned out well in the end.

In the evening, we were visited by Dr and Mrs Tinker for the usual conversation and music. They have just come back from a holiday in Wales and were looking very tanned and fit as a result.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

3 thoughts on “Hard times

  1. Fighting bird pictures are fantastic and glad photographing the scenery makes cycling more enjoyable, the views you take are certainly great.

    Thanks for the flower photographs with the promise of many more to come from the plants in the greenhouse.

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