Far from a rolling stone

Today’s picture, which was taken by Bruce this morning, shows the results of all our rain and wind as a tree blocks a riverside walk and baffles his dog.

bruce's tree

Bruce dropped in on his way home to tell me that he had seen a man dragging a sack across a field.  This led us to wonder if perhpas a drag hunt was afoot so I got the belt drive bike out and pedalled up a rising road until I could scan the surrounding hills.  Sadly no sight nor sound of horsey activity could be seen or heard.  I did notice a tree by a wall.

Becks burn

I returned home and made coffee for Mrs Tootlepedal and myself and as I poured the cups out, Arthur appeared at the door. Naturally I assumed that he had smelled the coffee but it turned out that he wanted to make use of Mrs Tootlepedal and her metal detecting skills.  His wife had dropped her tiny hearing aid somewhere in front of their house and he felt that a metal detector might help in this search. Mrs Tootlepedal went off looking very hopeful but sadly returned without having found the hearing aid….or indeed any buried Roman treasure.  It is early days for her though and practise will undoubtedly help her hone her skills.

While she was out, I tried the light.

chaffinch, brambling and goldfinch
It was all right for sitting targets like this array of chaffinch, brambling and goldfinch.

It was harder to catch flying birds but I enjoyed the sight of a chaffinch trying to sneak under a watching greenfinch’s radar later in the day.

chaffinch coming in low

It was very windy during the morning and after my short pedal to hunt the hunt, I thought that I would see if the wind was lighter in the afternoon.  It did die down a bit and I took the belt drive out on a short excursion, camera in back pocket.

Following the instructions from my landscape book to take less conventional pictures, I stopped to note this curvaceous little stream cutting through a field….

curvy stream

…but returned to more conventional fare with a small but sturdy bridge further up the road.

bridge at Blochburn foot

I continued up to Wauchope School and took the road to Cleuchfoot for a  change.  It wasn’t long before I passed a tree with a very fine multicoloured collection of lichens and  moss indeed.  (Note on today’s blog title: rolling stones gather no moss.  I roll but I do gather moss.  Sorry if you had realised that already.)

tree with lichen

I though that the whole tree was worthy of a shot in its own right.

Tree at Cleuchfoot
The trees have a hard time round here.

While I took this picture, my bike was standing patiently by the roadside, courtesy of the excellent kick stand it now has.


If I hadn’t got the kick stand I would have had to lay the bike on its side which is not a good thing to do.

Just before Cleuchfoot, I took a picture of one of my favourite low level views.

The cloud was well down on the hills behind.

The picture looks very peaceful but a brisk wind was blowing as the sight of these tussocks bending in the breeze nearby shows.

windy tussocks

Fortunately it was now blowing me homewards.  I stopped with difficulty to catch another mossy wall with tree.

bloch burn foot

I was thinking of adding to my collection of bridges by photographing the one at Bessie Bells but I couldn’t because it wasn’t there.

no bridge at Bessie Bells

Here it is in its former existence.

Bessie Bell's


Its disappearance is a product of the relationship between landlord and tenant in which the landlord will not pay the tenant for any improvements he has made during his tenancy.  When the last tenant took over, he found that the previous tenant had removed the existing bridge which had built  so he had to build a new one.  In his turn he has removed the one he built.  It seems to be a very odd way to go on.

The absence of the bridge did allow me to stand on one of the buttresses and take a picture of the rapids beneath…

Wauchope at bessie bells

…and although I don’t really like blurry water, I took one just to see how it came out and on this occasion, I think it works quite well…

blurry bessie bells

…but I won’t make a habit of it.

I couldn’t resist another shot of the bike standing waiting for me because I like my new kickstand so much.


One of my correspondents has pointed out that having a kickstand makes me a very uncool cyclist.  I cried for ages when I read that but before you get too sympathetic, it was with laughter. Coolness and being Tootlepedal are antithetical constructs.   I do know a serious cyclist who is considering having two toes amputated on both his feet in his quest to save weight.  Now that would be cool…but sore.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had gone out for a walk and had left me a message to phone Sandy.  When I rang him, he told me that he had set up the bird feeder cam and it was working well  so I jumped back on the bike and pedalled up to have a look.  The results were more than satisfactory and interested parties can see some of the shots he was able to take posted on his blog.

I got home in time to welcome Mrs Tootlepedal back from a five and a half mile walk.  She’ll be fitter than me if she keeps this up.

The unseasonably warm weather has persuaded some primulas in the garden that it is really springtime.


This is a bit ominous.  If things come out too early in general, they are likely to be clobbered by frosts as there is still plenty of time left for winter to get a grip on us.  Although it pains me to say it, we probably need the temperature to go down quite a bit and quite soon.

I did get a rather gloomy flying chaffinch during the day.










Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “Far from a rolling stone

  1. Excellent post as always. In my humble opinion, you should spend less time reading what “experts” say you should do, and more time shooting photos. It doesn’t matter if it’s the trees, walls, bridges, landscapes, whatever, I love your photos!

  2. Reading your comment on Sandy’s blog I see your favourite Danish TV programme Borgen is back on BBC 4 on Saturday nights again so that will give you something to look forward to on a Saturday night.

  3. Such a wealth of good photographs as I never did see, I think I liked the moss/lichen on the tree trunk best. What a silly arrangement about that bridge, they need their heads knocking together.

  4. A picture of a vanished bridge is even more memorable than the bridge itself. I hope the landlord’s rates are at least low. I like the blurry water.

    The Blade is looking sharp, kickstand and all. More of my bikes would have kickstands but they interfere with the child trailer I often pull in warmer weather.

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