Thrice visited

Today’s picture shows the Market Place in Langholm.  The bunting is in preparation for Langholm’s Great Day.

Market Place

In marked contrast to our recent weather, we had another fine day today and I got up early and went up to the moorland feeder station because Cat Barlow had told me that she would be ringing birds early in the morning.  Sandy came up too but there was no sign of Cat so we hung about looking at  birds while we waited.  There were several woodpeckers about, bickering with each other.

This one came nearest to us.

After a while, it became obvious that Cat wasn’t coming so we went home and had a cup of tea and a slice of toast.  I put my mobile phone on charge and it popped up with a message from Cat saying that she wasn’t coming which explained her absence.  She said that she would be up later as she was having a lie in after getting home for  a late night because she had been ringing gannets.  She leads a varied life.  I cancelled a planned pedal with Drop and waited for her call to go up.

Meantime, Sandy went home and I took a stroll round the garden.

Rambler rose
The rambler rose along the new fence is doing well.
icelandic poppy
The Icelandic poppies continue to provide splashes of vivid colour. They never seem to stop flowering.
There is blue everywhere
Turks Cap Lily
Mrs Toot is very fond of these lilies and they pop up all over the garden.
The lawns are criss crossed by scurrying blackbirds on important business.
Goldfinches are more common again after a short absence.

I am not showing so many bird pictures from the garden just now because there is nothing really new, nevertheless the feeder is usually pretty busy.

busy feeder
My supply of seed goes down alarmingly quickly.

About 11 o’clock, Sandy and I decided to go back up to the feeder to see if Cat was there.  She wasn’t so we filled up the feeders and lurked about for a while.  I saw this bird…

young robin

…which was new to me.  I thought that it might be something exciting but Cat and Alison Tinker both told me that it is a young robin.  I learn something every day.

I am pretty certain that this is a young great tit because the black stripe doesn’t go very far down its front.

great tit

At this stage, I got a text from Cat saying that she would be starting ringing at one o’clock so we went home again.  Sandy took my new digital voice recorder away as he was going to a conversation meeting during the afternoon.  I had a quick lunch and went back to find Cat and a friend busy rigging her nets.  It had got a bit windy and the sun was out and both these things make the nets easy for the birds to see so Cat didn’t expect a great catch.  A loud squawk announced the arrival of a young woodpecker but otherwise few birds hit the nets.

The woodpecker was charming, except when biting Cat on the finger.


Cat’s skill in releasing the birds from the netting and gently handling them during the ringing is a joy to watch but my joints were nagging a bit and the catch had no novelties to photograph so I made my way home after a while.  I intend to go back again tomorrow morning when she will be ringing again.

Once home, the garden called and I gave the middle lawn a quick mow.  Mowing little and often, every day if possible, is the principle of transcendental lawn care (TLC). Time spent on lawn care is time well spent.

Mrs Toot was able to pick the first sweet peas of the season.  It was a bit of a problem as the sweet peas have been grown in strong netting to stop the birds chewing them to bits as they grow.

Sweet peas
They are grown for cutting.

I spent some time dead heading roses and was pleased that these white roses looked not too bad after clearing off the dead and soggy ones.

white roses

Looking about, I was struck once again at how Mrs Toot sprinkles her favourite flowers all round the garden rather than having banks of them in one place.  Here is a scattering of delphiniums.

There are many others around the garden.

During the day I had finished clipping the two front box hedges and Mrs Toot had done one at right angles and I thought that the result looked quite neat.

Box hedges
Box hedges are a pleasure to clip. The chicken still needs a trim.

There are plenty of hedges left to do so there is no danger of getting bored.

New yellow flowers have been spotted…

They are called alstroemeria (but of course, you knew that).

After a lot of standing around through the day, I thought that my legs needed stretching so I got the slow bike out and pedalled the three miles up the road to Wauchope School.

Wauchope school
Long since closed as a school and now a private house

I passed some shorn sheep on my way which were showing the reason for the their gathering which I had witnessed yesterday.

shorn sheep
Luckily the wind was tempered for them and it was quite warm.

Sandy brought the recorder back with some recordings of conversations among Langholm’s senior citizens which had been going on.  We are going to experiment with transcribing some of these to see how they come out.  He told me in passing that a photograph of his from our recent exhibition had won a prize in a local photographic shop’s competition.  It will now be entered in a national competition.  I was impressed.  It was a jolly good photo so it deserved to win a prize.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came and while Mrs Toot and Mike enjoyed a glass of wine, Alison and I enjoyed playing good music as well as we could (fairly well tonight).

Today’s flying bird is this rather scruffy greenfinch.








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

15 thoughts on “Thrice visited

      1. We have herds of sheep here in the high desert, and I see them from time to time shepherded in roadside fields. I assume they shear them for summer, though I have never seem them that way; otherwise, they would die!

  1. The flowers, hedges and lawn in your garden are a delight to the eye. I wish I was there in person to admire it all.

  2. Your garden is a wonder – lovely to see photos of it. How long have you been working at it to get it as it is now? Did you start from scratch?

    1. We moved into the house in 18974 and over the years Mrs Tootlepedal has changed it a lot, not least by removing several enormous but inappropriate trees for such a small garden.. At this time you can safely say that the garden is her garden and it is in a state of constant amendment..

      1. Congratulations to Mrs. Tootlepedal – your work is brilliant. Not surprised at the constant changes – such is the way with gardens.

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