Today’s picture comes from Dropscone and shows the road to Lodgegill along which he rode while I was away on holiday.

Tarras May 2012

We would like to have a bit of that fine weather this week but the jet stream has done us down and we are in line for a week of cold and sometimes wet days.  It was cold and dry today and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I gave the middle lawn a trim.  Some may think that I mow the lawns too much but if you keep the grass short, it only take a few minutes to whizz over one with a push mower and it is physically very easy too compared with trying to cut long grass.

I also wandered about.

The nearest potentillas on the dam side are flowering generously.
Comfrey which Mrs Tootlepedal grows for composting purposes.
London Pride
This is London Pride, appropriate for today’s celebrations.
White spirea

I was visited by this serious looking rook.

It had literally stuffed its face at my expense.

That dark and gloomy visitor had barely left when an old man in cycling gear turned up bearing scones so I made some coffee.  Then I listened to Dropscone telling me of the nice rides he has been doing while I have been away .  I smiled on the outside and cried inside but I have to admit that his excellent scones more than made up for any pain he was causing me.  He is not going to tempt me and I will continue to do very little cycling until the medics give me the go ahead.

In the midst of coffee and conversation I leapt up as if stung but it was not pain that had caused me to start up but yet another visitor.

Only the second woodpecker that has visited us in two years.
woodpecker up close
This is the advantage of having your feeders close to the house.

After Dropscone left, I had a little time to look out of the window without being impolite,

Our redpoll was back.


We had a visitor who provided a contrast to the earlier rook.

collared dove
A collared dove. 

I hoped that the conjunction of dark bird and dove didn’t presage a great flood.  In the event, it didn’t rain.

The usual suspects were in competition at the feeder above the dove.

goldfinch and siskin

At lunchtime, we went up to to the rugby ground where a community Jubilee picnic had been arranged.  We went to sing with our new choir.  We sang the same songs as we did last night to a small but polite audience and then came home as we were waiting for a cyclist to arrive for B&B.  This gave Mrs Tootlepedal the chance to watch the Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames in London through the medium of television.  Our daughter watched the real thing in London until it started to rain too much when she went home.  I dipped in and out of the spectacle as frankly watching 1000 boats go past at 4 miles an hour taxed my limited stock of patience beyond endurance.   There were some good moments though.

We had a steady stream of birds over the afternoon.

This bird was particularly welcome as it is eating one of the gooseberry sawflies

There are hundreds of the pests on the gooseberry bush and we are losing the battle to pick them off by hand so we are trying to give the birds a taste for them by putting some on the ground near the feeders.  (Note for horticulturalists who may think that I am going mad: this is a whimsical remark meant to be mildly amusing and not a serious pest control policy.)

A pigeon always seems to have a look of hope on its face.
young starling
This is a young starling I think.
This is what it will turn into.

As it started to rain heavily in London, the sun came out in Langholm and I took the opportunity to catch a few colourful corners in the garden.

colourful corner
The yellow azalea should be out in this corner but it went over too quickly

colourful corner

colourful corner

colourful corner

I hope that we see a little sun at least over the next few days as it does bring out the best in Mrs Tootlepedal’s planting schemes.

I had a quick duck inspection and was amazed by how the ducklings have grown in a week.

There were at least five left but I will try to get a full count tomorrow

  Then our cyclist arrived.  He had had a tough time coming down from near Edinburgh through two heavy showers and in the very cold wind while rather under dressed for the conditions.  He was pleased to come into the warm house.   We were pleased to see him as he is a regular visitor and it is always nice when people come back to stay.

I am getting this resting business down to a fine art and am trying  with some success to get on top of eating a lot less to go with the diminished exercise. All the same, I hope the weather is nice enough for a short pedal tomorrow.

Today’s chaffinch is an energetic sparrow.

sparrow flying

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

6 thoughts on “Jubilation

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