The unexpected scone (et Le Tour des Eglises)

Today’s picture shows a pair of charming twins enjoying some sunshine on a morning outing.

sunkissed twins

I was enjoying the same sunshine on a morning walk of my own.  At 2° it was a touch too chilly to cycle so I decided to enjoy the fresh air of a wonderful morning while Mrs Tootlepedal went to sing in the church choir.

I wasn’t the only one.  A number of gulls were at their posts taking in the rays as well.


The resident mallards were glinting in the sun as I walked along the Kilngreen.


I often imagine that mallards, with their clean blocks of colour, are produced by some painting by numbers kit of the sort that I used when child.  They weren’t the only things in the Ewes Water.

dog paddling
This is called doggy paddling.  Rather them than me.

As I strolled along, the gulls left their posts and wandered by, doubtless wondering whether I was a bringer of bread.  They kept an eye out for possible food gifts.



And then flew off disappointed.

They look quite different when viewed from above the wingspread.

I walked over the sawmill bridge and although I was going to use the new path along the river, I thought it worthwhile to take a peek up the Lodge walks first.

Episcopalian Church
The old Episcopalian Church, now a museum for the Armstrong Clan.
Trees on the Lodge Walks
Trees on the Lodge Walks

As you can see, everything was looking very pretty in the low winter sun.

I returned to the new path.

It wasn’t long before I fell in with a heron cooling its heels on the banks of the Esk.


Although the sun was warm on the cheek, the snow has not finally left the hills round the town.

Timpen Hill

At river level though, it was very pleasant.  I enjoyed the pine trees in the sun.


…both near and far.


Just as I was going to cross the river, I looked up at the hole in the tree trunk where the nuthatches had their nest last spring and to my surprise I saw first one and then another blue tit emerge from the nest site.

blue tit

I caught a glimpse of a nuthatch nearby keeping an eye on things and it will be interesting to see what happens.

Because I couldn’t walk across the Scholar’s Field after I had crossed the river (it is entirely given over to building works for the new Primary School now), I walked back along the opposite bank of the Esk and I was glad that I did this because it let me look at a female goosander.  My friend Jean has been telling me that they are always about but this was the first one that I had seen for some time.


I walked back along the Esk and then took a detour into the Park before going home.  A fond dog owner asked me to take a picture of his dog.  I was happy to oblige.


Since it was Sunday and I had already taken a picture of one church, I thought that adding another would be appropriate.

Parish Church
The Parish Church with Mrs Tootlepedal singing away inside.

I like the added decoration of the poplar tree shadows focussing on the building.

Parish Church bell
This is the bell that calls the faithful to worship.

I made my way home and was just making a cup of coffee for Mrs Tootlepedal on her return from the church when a shadow fell across our threshold. It was Dropscone on his bicycle.  I was surprised because it was Sunday and with religious observance, Dropscone always plays golf on a Sunday morning.  It turned out that he had gone up to the course but no one else had so he had turned to cycling round the morning run instead.  To my delight, he had also carried three treacle scones round the course in his knapsack.  We soon demolished these along with a few cups of coffee.

I did have time in all this excitement to look out of the window at the plum tree.

A greenfinch considers life.
A chaffinch
A chaffinch just sits there not thinking of anything much.

The good light let me catch a couple of quite sharp chaffinches approaching the feeder.


Good detail in the wing in this shot

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy preparing the B&B rooms for a visitor who was walking in the neighbouring hills for a couple of days so she didn’t have time to come out cycling.  I got the belt drive bike out and went round the same run as Dropscone had done in the morning but in the opposite direction. I felt that that I had already taken more than enough pictures for the day so I only stopped to take one more on my way.  I Since it was Sunday, I decided to add to my church collection and here is the parish church at Canonbie.

canonbie church

I got back just in time to let Mrs Tootlepedal away for a practice at being a singing nun in the Sound of Music and soon welcomed our B&B guest who had been very lucky with the weather for his hillwalking.  Disappointingly, he told me that hills had not been alive with the sound of music as he walked but that he had enjoyed the views.

Here are two bonus photographs courtesy of the fine weather.

A rare flower shot:

They have survived several inches of snow landing on top of them very well.

And a frog in the pond  (I hope it doesn’t get frozen solid tonight):

frog in pond

I am continuing to feel pretty perky and I am hoping that the couple of days of feeling bad recently were just a blip.

The evening was spent quietly in cooking and lazing about.

The flying bird of the day, in spite of available chaffinches, goes to another cruising gull.

flying gull












Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “The unexpected scone (et Le Tour des Eglises)

  1. you sure have interesting days.. I really like the intense lighting in your photographs, they are all lovely.

  2. Lovely flowers – I know spring will come here, but I’m very jealous of your early signs of spring! Do all goosanders look like that, or is she having a particularly bad hair day?

  3. I loved the Episcopalian Church, it looks so quaint. Over here in the states, everything is stamped out as if done by cookie cutter, it may be cheaper that way, but it’s far less interesting than the array of architecture in your area.

    1. This is now a museum but is not in great repair so they are looking for somewhere more solid, By coincidence their place of choice is another old church.

  4. Your photos of birds in flight always amaze me. Another thing that amazes me is that all those scones don’t make you fat! It must be the cycling, which reminds me….

  5. My favourite today is the “33 gulls on post”. Also the one of the parish church (even if I would have removed the van in the background).

  6. Still enjoying every word. Today’s pictures were lovely, the light was just right. We were married in the Episcopalian Church in June 1968, so thanks for the memories as they say.

  7. So many fine churches. I had almost come to assume that they are all splendid old stone buildings in your area but the Episcopalian one proves me wrong. Not as grand, but still very nice, especially nestled away in the woods.

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