In and around

Today’s picture shows an example of Mrs Tootlepedal’s craft skills.  I can’t say what it is because we don’t talk about it when it’s in the room.


She has been working very hard to get it finished for the festive season.  Today was an ideal day for indoor work because for most of the morning, the whole town was a sheet of ice.  On top of that, there was a cold and persistent rain.  The only good thing about this was that I got to wear my yaktrax in earnest while I put the wheelie bin out and topped up the bird feeders.  They worked very well.

My recorder playing friend, Susan, found it literally impossible to take more than a step outside her house on her walk to work because it was so slippery and had to go back inside and borrow a set of spikes from her father.

We did not cycle.

By half past ten, it was just safe enough for Arthur and Dropscone to struggle round for a cup of coffee and it was still so wet and gloomy when they left that I couldn’t take a sensible photograph until 12 o’clock and then only with difficulty.

two siskins

The length of the rain drops in the picture shows how slow the shutter speed had to be, even at an ISO of 6400, to take a picture at all.  As usual, the photo editor can almost make night into day.

Shortly afterwards some goldfinches arrived at the peaceful scene was disrupted.

two siskins
This was as near to a flying photo as I could get.

The length of the raindrops may also show the heaviness of the rain at this time.

I had topped up the flat plate of seed and it drew a variety of birds.

wet blackbird black beak
A wet blackbird with a black beak
A wet blackbird with a yellow beak
A wet blackbird with a yellow beak

I think that the black beak in the top photo does look as though it may be getting a yellow tinge so I take it that it is a young blackbird growing up.

A female blackbird was lurking under a feeder nearby.

female blackbird
The blue tag shows where something has been planted

You mustn’t think that only blackbirds visited the flat feeder.

blackbird chaffinch robin
A round table discussion, the robin has the floor.

I did try to get a flying picture but blurred wings were the order of the day.


By the time I had taken this last picture, it was already getting dark again.

We were busy doing Christmassy things as although there is still plenty of time to go, the post office sets limits to how sensible you can be.  Through the wonders of the internet, I managed to discharge my responsibilities (pleasant ones, I should add) to my children and I dutifully walked up to the town to post early for Christmas with a light heart, especially as  by this time, the rain had stopped and the ice had melted away.  It was too late for a walk so I went home again where I was just in time to have a cup of tea with Nancy who came visiting.

It is wonderful how a sociable cup of coffee in the morning and a sociable cup of tea in the afternoon can mitigate the gloomiest of days.

The day continued in its cheerful vein, when Luke, my flute pupil came with more evidence of practice.  I told him that now school has ended for a while, he would be able to practice really hard.  He nodded his head with enthusiasm.  A fine boy.

I finish with a blue tit in the rain this morning and the hope that the weather will be better tomorrow.

blue tit

A note to Ruth: it looks as though I will be helping with the newspaper for the blind on Friday again so I shall see you there.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “In and around

  1. That is truly a wonderful elephant, Is he going to remain in residence at Wauchope Cottage or is he due for a flit at Christmas?
    I heard from a neighbour of yours whose birthday is today that very icy conditions had prevailed in Langholm this morning. My first thought when I heard this report was that the blog would be just from Mr. Tootle today, no peddling possible.I’m glad the Yaktrax are working well.

  2. It sounds as though you made the best of a rather horrid day! I love your dry comments on the bird pictures.

  3. I hope we won’t need to get our skates on for our Friday “trip” down the High Street for the recording session. It is great that we have in you another expert in the town to help us.

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