Back on an even keel

Today’s picture shows Marlow Lock on the Thames and was taken by Mrs Tootlepedal on her phone with a slightly smudged lens.

Marlow Lock

Figures released today show that we had 35%  more rain here than our yearly average in 2012.  Considering that we had two pretty well rainless months in spring, it says a lot for the amount we have had since then.

2013 has started relatively dry but very grey and today was no exception.  It has been very warm though and I looked forward to getting out with Dropscone for a morning pedal for the first time in a good few weeks.  He turned up bang on time and off we went.  It may have been warm but it was also very windy and I was pleased to be well wrapped up as we went over Callister.    We took our time battling the breeze on the outward journey to Paddockhole  but the return trip was correspondingly easy.

Still, we had worked up enough appetite to enjoy the traditional Friday treat of treacle scones with the coffee.   It was good to be back in a familiar groove.

I hadn’t taken my camera with me on the ride and it was so gloomy that capturing busy small birds was hardly worth while…though I did try.

greenfinch shouting
A greenfinch warns a goldfinch off
A chaffinch thinks better of trying to boot a greenfinch off

I soon gave up and went to have a shower.

After my shower, I had enough energy to go for a little walk round the Kilngreen and the Castleholm.  On the Kilngreen, the ducks were lining up for a fly past…

flying mallard

…or a swim past.

mallards swimming

I like this futuristic picnic bench echoing the swirling waters of the Ewes.

bendy bench

As I walked on, the great variety of shapes, sizes and patterns of the trees that I passed tempted me to take a snap (or two).




Even the fence posts were getting in on the act.

fence posts

I like the visibility winter gives to the  organisation of a tree’s trunk and branches.

sprouting from the trunk
Looking like the foot of a giant dinosaur.



Even the remains of felled trees were looking picturesque to me today.

Tree stump

Not to mention the wounds from fallen branches.

branch wound

It was a walk of about a mile on a grey day in January but it provided me with a feast of visual interest and considering that three or four years ago I would have walked round the same walk and seen nothing much, I am very grateful to have bought a camera.

After lunch, which was an epicurean treat of sardines on toast, I went down to Longtown to pick up the belt bike from the bike shop. The bike had been serviced and repaired and had  had a more durable tyre fitted to the rear wheel after my puncture of a few days ago.  One of the down sides of the belt drive is that taking the rear wheel off is a bit fiddly so I hope that the new tyre will prove to be puncture proof.

Then I went on into Carlisle where I dropped some music off for my recorder playing friend Jenny and after a cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake, I motored on to the station to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal who was arrivimng back from the deep south.

Carlisle Station
The train was a bit late so I had time to practise a night shot.

When we got home I made a celebratory meal of mince and tatties and that rounded off an excellent day.  It was good to have had a morning pedal with Dropscone, it had been fun to catch a flying duck in action and it was wonderful to have Mrs Tootlepedal for company again and to have all that rounded off with a good meal means a definite entry for the day on the credit side of the great ledger of life.   (For those of a serious turn of mind, I should point out that having Mrs Tootlepedal home was in fact better than having mince and tatties for tea.)

Today’s flying bird is another of those passing ducks.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Back on an even keel

  1. Those pictures of the ducks are fabulous! All that moisture and moss makes my sinuses act up just looking it it! We have a lot of gray days in the winter here. It’s always hard to adjust to. You get rain, we get snow!

  2. great capture of the Mallard in flight. I like the trees also.. we have a lot of moss here, I think that it is beautiful.

  3. Night photos, eh? I can’t help but mention you failed to capture any nocturnal creatures! 🙂

    Good to hear the bike is bike in working order. Now please be a good fellow and bring your camera on your bike rides.

    1. Dropscone doesn’t have the stop and snap temperament and so I only take the camera on solo rides. There were few badgers to be seen on the platform at Carlisle Station.

  4. Well, that’s nice, a really jolly post. Glad things went so well and especially enjoyed the flying duck at the end.

  5. Hello Tom, Wishing you and yours a Healthy,Happy and Prosperous New Year.
    Your Blog is just great for us Muckle Toon exiles, keep up the good work.
    In the past I mentioned the Mountain blackie also known as the Ring Ouzel,are they still in the area. Cheers

    1. Regarding the ouzel, I haven’t seen one but I don’t get up into the hills as much as I would like. The RSPB site says that they arrive in March so I will look out for one then.

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