Sunshine and shadows

Today’s picture shows a very smart tram in Zagreb.  It was sent to me by my sister Susan who was there recently.

Zagreb tram

We have hit a spell of much better weather and even though there was still a north easterly wind, it was wonderfully sunny and much warmer than it has been.  We had B&B guests so that meant a late breakfast for us and then Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a choir practice.  I loaded myself with the long lens, the camera and a tripod and wobbled off to the nuthatch nest on the slow bike.

Sadly, either I couldn’t quite find the right place to stand or I was just an hour out on the sun’s position. Although I stayed for three quarters of an hour, with nuthatches coming and going every five minutes or so, I still didn’t get the pictures I wanted because the nest was in shadow but as soon as the nuthatch poked its nose out, it was in bright sunshine.

nuthatch nose

There was certainly no shortage of food about and the birds came back with well stuffed beaks.

nuthatch with food

I did see both adults at the same time at one moment.

two nuthatches

You can see that I wasn’t managing the light very well and I gave up and went to look for a dipper instead.   There was an obliging bird flitting about just above the Sawmill Bridge.


You can see that there was plenty of food about here too.

I arrived home at about the same time as Mrs Tootlepedal and she took advantage of the good weather to do a lot of gardening.   She has finished her quilt so she has time on her hands now.  I hope to photograph the quilt tomorrow.  I mowed the middle lawn and took a few flower pictures.

We had a very prolific clematis at the garage door but two consecutive hard winters had killed it and today we saw the first flower open on its replacement.

clematis montana
Mrs Tootlepedal is very pleased that it has taken so well.

The ballerina tulips are still alive and well but are definitely nearing their end.  They were very vivid in the strong sun today.

ballerina tulips
Unusually for me, this photo has not been treated in any way in the photo editor, apart from a small crop.

The sunnier weather has certainly brought some colour to the garden and the yellow azalea was looking good.  It is not fully out yet but it is trying hard.

yellow azalea

A euphorbia shows a good range of colour and mini bristles in its flowers.


I was minding my own business having a rest indoors after mowing the lawn when a call came to go out and see something strange in the street.

It turned out to be Bruce, taking the bowser, which is used to water the hanging baskets in the High Street, home for a service.

bowser and bruce
Another completely spontaneous un-posed shot.

It is a self propelled vehicle with a pump, a horn and a flashing light but unfortunately when it was tried for the first time this season in preparation for the coming of the baskets, the pump didn’t work so Bruce has the task of sorting that out.

It makes a change from Guthrie

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went on a short cycle ride on the same route as I took yesterday, hoping to find my lost glove on the way.  We had no such luck but it was very pleasant to be pedalling in the warm sunshine.  Obviously there had been a leak of our travel plans to the heron community as we had hardly started before we saw this heron standing on the caul at Pool Corner waiting to be photographed.


It was still standing in exactly the same place when we came back an hour later.

Mrs Tootlepedal at Cleuchfoot, our turning point.
blasted tree
A blasted tree on the Cleuchfoot road.

Obedient to my new regime, I had a rest when we got back while Mrs Tootlepedal returned to her gardening.  Then  I set to on the Archive talk for the Walking Festival.  I had  nearly finished it when I needed to get up and stretch my legs.  I hadn’t looked out of the window at the birds all day so I did that first.

A siskin catches the evening sun.  It looks as though it has been ringed.
A jackdaw looks a bit stunned to find itself in a chimney pot flower bed.

I went out into the garden.

This is my favourite corner at present.

Then my flute pupil Luke came with a lot of evidence of hard practice.  I enjoyed listening to him play with great zest and we played a couple of charming duets as well.  It is nice to see someone learning to get real pleasure from playing music.  He tells me that he is the only one in his music group at school who has stuck to it and still plays an instrument.

After tea, Mike Tinker and Sandy came to have a run through the archive talk and while we were chatting in the garden, waiting for Sandy, we were visited by a very large bumble bee which went on to enjoy the sole clematis flower.

bumble bee

It was good to see that it had survived the recent cold weather and we hope it is joined by many more soon.  While we talked, a starling tried to stick to the seed feeder but the flapping of wings required was too great an effort and it didn’t hang around long.


The run through of the talk with Mike and Sandy went well and I promised to finish off the bits which I have left to do and Sandy and Mike arranged for another rehearsal on Wednesday.  They are taking their responsibilities very seriously.

The chaffinch for the day is another shot of  the dipper which I saw in the morning.

flying dipper

Everything looked lovely in the sun today.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Sunshine and shadows

  1. I’m having much more respect for your capturing of birds in flight. I’ve been trying to get some, and they are too quick for me most times, even with bursts of shots.

  2. I’m still very much enjoying your great photos and witty commentary on the pictures and life in general! I never miss my evening catch-up with what;s happening in the garden at Wauchope Cottage and in the Muckle Toon.

    How I wish I could hear the Archive talk, I’m sure it will be very entertaining.

    1. Yes. Visit the Wauchope Cottage website in the blogroll for details. We do it more to meet a varied bunch of people than to make money to live on.

  3. It’s a pleasure to look at the colourful garden pictures and I also enjoyed the ‘blasted’ tree, a wonderful outline.

  4. Thanks to Tootlepedal Luke has taken a real interest in flute playing. I’m not surprised that the rest of his class has given up, you cannot learn a musical instrument by distance learning, i.e. over the internet.
    Thanks again for giving Luke the chance…………….Luke’s Grandad!

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