Gently does it

Today’s picture is another one from my sister Mary.  It is from Golders Hill Park.  This little park at the top of Hampstead Heath has both tennis courts and a good cafe.  I’m not surprised my sister was there.

Kenwood and Golders Hill Park Sept 2011 013

My back is far from well and Dropscone has been told to rest by his doctor so obviously a cycle ride was called for.  Honestly, it is as near to resting as you can get without falling asleep.  We pottered round our usual 20 mile morning route at a gentle 13 mph.  Well, Dropscone pottered and I huffed and puffed behind him on the slow bike but we both survived even though Dropscone picked up a slow puncture on his way after hitting a pothole.  We were able to enjoy our coffee and scones after the ride and admire Mrs Tootlepedal’s fine work at the ironing board while we drank.

After he had gone, I spent a little time watching the sparrows.

sparrow being framed

sparrow conversation

sparrow beak to beak
This was not the affectionate moment it looks

sparrow sparring

Mrs Tootlepedal was continuing her attack on the garden. That women could teach Atilla the Hun a thing or two about laying waste.  Today she was uprooting a cotoneaster.  I lent a hand in getting the root out of the ground which was not at all easy but it came up in the end.  We are acquiring another fine heap of stuff for the shredder as well as filling two compost bins with greenery.

We finished in time for a late lunch and more or less simultaneously it started to rain which was a happy coincidence.

Blue and coal tits
The sparrows went somewhere else at lunchtime, leaving the feeder for the tits

While it was raining, I put a week of the E&L into the database.  I noticed an item about the mysterious disappearance of a Langholm man in New York in late 1880.  My curiosity was piqued and I looked into him a bit further and found his story in the March 10, 1881 edition of the New York Times.  He was a stockbroker who was knocked off a bridge by a train at night and his body was found floating in a block of ice four months later.  He seemed to have passed his stop and been walking home along the track in the dark when the accident happened.  It was very interesting to see the story come to life and read a scan of the actual article from the New York Times.  I wish we had the technology (and the money)  to let researchers see original articles from our paper on line but it must be admitted that many of the articles from the E & L that the indexers read are a good deal duller than the one I found today.

In the late afternoon, the weather improved again and I went out with the camera.

wet clematis
Things were still rather wet...


battered rose
...and battered


I heard a scuffle and looked round.  I found the guilty party.  If any reader recognises this sparrow which is engaged in looting grass seed, please let the proper authorities know immediately.

Sparrow cam
Soft hearted readers will be pleased to know that it got out as easily as it got in

More colour on its last legs…

The last gasp of the spirea
Ragged rudbeckia

Mrs Tootlepedal is very fed up with these Michaelmas daisies which are going to flower so late as to be a very poor contribution to the garden in her view…

I say that it is never too late

Some things still look good.

Bright cosmos
sturdy clematis
Sturdy clematis

Later, while I was teaching my flute pupil inside, outside Ghengis Tootlepedal was reducing this….


.. to this…

no ball
The roots come out tomorrow

My son Alistair tells me that his wife Clare is visiting Canada this week. She is going to Vancouver on business so I told him to tell her to wave at any readers she passes over on her way.  If you look up and see a hand sticking out of an aircraft window, that will be her. Wave back.

The blackbirds seem to thrive in the damp weather. There are plenty of them about, usually with a worm in the beak.  This one left its worm behind when it saw me.


In complete colour contrast, this nicotiana was beautiful in the evening light.


The Langholm Show is definitely on at the weekend so I will have to spend some time this week making a final choice of photos to put in and make sure my jams and jellies are looking good too.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Gently does it

  1. I’ll be sure to look out for Clare as she passes!!
    I’m sure that you will be able to find many fine shots that would be suitable to enter into the phtography category at the Cattle Show. Some of the flower close-ups that we have seen have been well worth a first prize.Good luck!

  2. Oh my I can’t believe she annihilated that shrub like that!! LOL… obviously she has plans for that spot! I’m curious as to what she is doing now! Well at least the large birds can’t get at your seed! That is a precious picture of the birds on the feeder.

  3. Sorry you and Dropscone, unlike Mrs Tootlepedal are not back to full health and strength yet but hope the day is not too far off.

    What a splendid collection of pictures, I especially liked the first sparrow one.

  4. Well done to you and Dropscone for managing the bicycle ride in spite of impediments.
    Particularly liked your framed sparrow.

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