Today’s picture is an ox eye daisy from the garden.  It was the nearest thing to a glimpse of the sun here on this mid summer day.


Dropscone was away on family business and the weather was gloomy in the extreme so I sensibly decided not to go for a pedal and walked up to the town to collect a large bundle of medicines from the chemist instead.  I took the opportunity to look in at the photo exhibition which was not very busy.  This was a bit disappointing as although I wasn’t expecting crowds, I did hope that quite a few people would visit it.  There was an article in the local paper about it today so maybe that will stimulate some interest.

I noticed a collared dove in the plum tree during breakfast and hoped that it was not sheltering from some enormous flood.


In the gloom, an allium moly provided a pleasant contrast.

allium moly

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work and I passed the time by staring out of the window.  We had a lot of starlings around today.  I think that there must be one or two families about.

A starling eyeing up the feeder.
two starlings
One starling leaves as another sweeps in

There were siskins about too, kicking other birds off the feeder.  This one is steadying itself after vanquishing a rival.


The day wasn’t quite as bad as it promised to be and I did venture out from time to time to buy provisions from our local shop and check if the grass was growing.

We seemed to have quite a few larger birds today.

This blackbird looks as though it has been banging its head against a brick wall.

We feel a bit like the blackbird looks because we have got to midsummer day without having had any noticeable spring let alone any summer.  It has been a strange seasonless sort of a year with minor outbreaks of very warm weather at the wrong time and persistently cool temperatures for what seems like months on end, leavened by the odd sunny day.  We have lost our characteristic south westerly winds and have sat under a north easterly flow instead.  This has meant less rain than usual but the flowers are late in the garden and some things haven’t really grown at all.

I am usually pretty phlegmatic about the spring and summer weather, reckoning that the avoidance of weather extremes is a good price to pay for some wet days but somehow this year has got to me a bit.

Luckily I have plenty of birds about to stop me brooding about it.

A cartoon starling
starling and siskin
A young starling and a baby siskin discussing the unreasonable demands that parents make on children.

I made a bowl of carrot soup for lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal decided to go to Hawick to purchase some embroidery essentials and I put a week of the paper into the archive index.  When I had done that, I walked up to see how the afternoon curator of the photo exhibition was getting on.  There was a bit more action and I enjoyed an instructive chat with Melanie, one of our exhibitors, who is an experienced photographer and happy to pass on tips and advice.

I got back home and went out to check the roses.

white rose

red rose

It hadn’t rained enough to harm them.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that it had rained so hard on her way back from Hawick that she was afraid that the car would hydroplane off the road.  We had had nothing like that here so once again, it seems,  we had escaped the worst of the local weather in the town.

I went to look for ducklings but only found a lonely drake.


In the evening, Sandy and I thought about opening the exhibition but it was raining so hard by then that we reckoned that no one would leave their house so we went to the Archive Centre as usual.  Jean has just moved house and was resting after the stress that moving house brings with it.  We were visited by my friend Arthur who brought in a picture of a white azalea which he acquired from Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden in exchange for a red one.  He has planted it on the first hole at the gold course and it is looking very well.


I put a second week of the paper into the index and then feeling virtuous, retired with Sandy to the Douglas, where they had fortunately put a barrel of our favourite beer back on tap.  Jason told us that the beer which we hadn’t liked last week had sold very well.  This is bad news as it means that he might get it in again.  It had stopped raining and the late evening turned out to be the best bit of the day.  Judging by the weather warnings from the Met Office , it may be the lull before the storm.

Today’s flying bird is a starling.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Unsprung

    1. Quite a lot. A weather station 15 miles away from us and and a few hundred feet higher gets on average nineteen days a month in which there is significant rainfall. We should be slightly better than that.

  1. Sorry the weather got you down for a while and hopw all the lovely pictures you took today cheered you up, I liked one of the roses in particular. I hope the photographic exhibition goes well now it had been in the paper. Good to know your favourite beer is back, sorry I missed it last weekend.

  2. I generally follow your blogs, they are informative and entertaining and your bird photography is fantastic! My wife and I are “down under” and experiencing mid winter – temperature range around 5 to 14 degrees. BTW we stayed at your B&B in 2007, have kept in touch with Bruce since then.

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