Pedalling and paddling

Today’s picture shows the first snowdrop to be out in the garden this year.


Today offered another cycling window amidst a poor forecast and Dropscone appeared very promptly in his anxiety not to get caught in the predicted rain.  We went round the traditional morning run down through Canonbie and back over the hill to Wauchope School and home.  This meant dodging a number of small trees which had fallen across the A7 bike path and a great number of potholes on the Glenzier road which had been dug out and made nicely rectangular by the roadmen but unfortunately not filled in yet.  All this meant we had to keep our noses well down and our wits about us as we pedalled along.

The invigorating effect of cycling with Dropscone was shown by the fact that I did roughly the same distance as yesterday but sixteen minutes quicker.  When I say invigorating I might mean exhausting.  And of course there were no photo stops for a breather.   Still, the excellent scones more than made up for the extra effort required to get to them.

We had the best of the day for our pedal and the weak sun was strong enough at one moment even to show our shadows as we pedalled.  It soon turned nasty though and the rest of the daylight hours were full of heavy rain or strong wind or both.

There were birds to be seen.

A starling swinging in the breeze on the fat balls
two bramblings
Two bramblings, a male and a female, waiting for scraps from the feeder above.
brambling at feeder
Up above a brambling just gets the brakes on in time

I put on my wellies and a pair of waterproof trousers and walked up to the town to go to the bank.  I needed the rainwear as it was very wet and miserable out there.meeting of the waters

On my way back I came past the Buccleuch Centre where a small design defect provided me with a fine waterfall to watch.

Buccleuch Centre

And then I paddled my way home along a soggy Henry Street.

Henry Street puddle


As I came back to the house, I noticed this fine bunch of snowdrops beside the dam.


While taking the picture, I managed to drop my lens cover into the dam and it was threatening to float away and disappear through the grill under the road but I just managed to fish it out.  I will have to take Zyriacus’ advice and glue a bit of string to it and attach it to something so I can’t lose it.

It had got very dark so I concentrated on some sitting targets while peering through the window.

A rather portly chaffinch checking things out.

Another one gave me a very hard stare.

staring chaffinch

A greenfinch looking lordly.
A robin doing some groundworking.  Promising shoots in the picture.

I did capture a couple of bits of feeder action.


goldfinches and siskin
There seemed to be a lot more siskins about today.

Perhaps the recent cold weather has brought the siskins here.  They are small but feisty birds.

siskin goldfinch

After lunch it was too dark even for sitting birds so I gave up and did some work on the computer.  A member of the choir came round to get a bit of guidance on reading music in the bass clef.  It is very good seeing members taking the singing seriously.

Even on such a grey day as this, the days are getting noticeably longer and what with that and the appearance of the snowdrops we are definitely beginning to think about the garden again.   I still have to finish spiking the lawn so the next good day that comes will see me getting the fork out.

In the evening, Susan gave me a lift to Carlisle where all six of the recorder group were present and we enjoyed a good evening’s playing.  We were even quite well in tune which is not always the case with recorders, especially if players change parts and instruments as we do.  Susan’s car suffered a slight malfunction when we left  but in the end we got safely home.

Another flying chaffinch was found to do duty as flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

I should add for the record that the combined wind and rain led to the end wall leaking again. It is very annoying.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

13 thoughts on “Pedalling and paddling

  1. we don’t have any bulbs blooming here. It sure is nice to see snowdrops.. looks like it was very, very wet. I’m not happy when starlings come to my suet feeders, they hog it and keep the little birds away..

    1. You can get suet feeders with a cage to go round them to keep off the bigger birds. I’ve got one and put it on if there is too much competition.

  2. Great robin shot. Sorry about all the rain, but glad that you managed to get your pedal in early.

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