Get up and go gone

Today’s picture shows the scene that greeted us when we rose.


Although some spring flowers have indeed appeared….

yellow crocuses

….the weather doesn’t seem to realise what date it is and keeps on thinking that it is still midwinter.

The snow meant that I was confined to barracks when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir.  Once again I was condemned to look out of the window for want of anything more constructive to do.

angry brambling
You might think that the incoming brambling would have seen that there was an empty seat.
greenfinch and chaffinch
This chaffinch hasn’t noticed it either.

You can see that the snow had slacked off and when Mrs Tootlepedal returned from church, I was able to walk up to the Archive Centre in some light rain and get a bit of work done.  By the time that I got back, the rain had stopped and there was even a ray of sunshine.

chaffinch in plum tree

I took the opportunity to take the camera out to see how the frogs were doing.

frogs in conference
Frogs in conference.
Frog looking hopeful.

I had met Leo, Gavin’s grandson while I was out and I suggested that he might like to come and see the frogs.  He arrived later in the afternoon and inspected the pond.


When asked for his considered verdict on the frog experience, he replied, “Don’t like frogs.”  His grandfather took him off to feed the ducks.  Chacun à son gout.

As well as frogs, I recorded the fine snowdrop avenue along the back path.  They haven’t been discouraged by the weather.  Mrs Tootlepedal points out that the secret may be in their name.

snowdrop avenue

I took a picture of a blackbird nibbling on a crushed fatball….


…and settled down in a comfy chair to think about when I should go for a pedal.  I was still thinking about this an hour or so later when Sandy rang to suggest a visit to the Moorland Bird Feeders.  I got packed up and off we went.  It started promisingly with some lapwings making their plaintive cries while displaying on the moor behind us (too far away to snap) but once we got settled down to bird watch, there seemed to be a strange lack of birds on the feeders for us to watch.

A passing cyclist was interesting…

There is a road among all the grass.

…but not what we had come to see.

There was the odd pheasant about.  This one was showing the full extent of its tail.


After a while there was a sudden rush of three woodpeckers.  I caught one flying but the light wasn’t good enough for a sharp picture.

flying woodpecker

It was headed for the seed on a feeder post.


One of the others preferred the peanuts.


They soon went off and all the birds seemed rather twitchy although we couldn’t see any hawks about.  Sandy went out and repositioned his camera onto the feeder post that the woodpecker had been using and we settled down again.  Not a bird arrived.  We sat in gloomy silence.  After a while one or two small birds tentatively appeared and disappeared but in general this was the smallest number of birds we have ever seen at the Moorland Feeders.

I got a few shots…

great tits
These great tits seemed less alarmed than the other birds.
Usually there are dozens of chaffinches about but today there were just a handful among the great tits.

The light wasn’t very good and there still were no birds so we got fed up and went home.  You don’t feel the cold too much when you are sitting out and watching birds but you feel it quite a lot when you are sitting out and not watching birds.   We could see plenty of snow lying on the tops of the English hills.

Hills with snow

Mrs Tootlepedal had been out during the afternoon at the première of the LAODS production of The Sound of Music in which she is a nun and returned reporting that things had gone well.  I am glad because I am going to see the show tomorrow.

In the evening, I made a tasty chicken stew for my tea.  I was pleased that it was tasty because it is going to last me for three days.  While I was making it, I noticed a snowdrop that Mrs Tootlepedal had picked and put in a vase for our B&B guests.

They are easier to snap when you don’t have to crouch down in the garden.

Note:  This is my 1000th post since I started my daily diary in mid June 2010.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank anyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings and in particular to warmly thank those who have taken the trouble to make a comment.

WordPress take a lot of trouble to give me statistics for the readership of the blog and they would be quite impressive if they weren’t complete hogwash.  According to them I have 1059 followers but since on a normal day I get 60 to 70 visitors, 980 of my followers don’t follow me.  Baffling.

On top of that, it is quite possible that many of my visitors don’t actually read the blog because I must admit that I have sometimes visited a blog to see what it was like, skimmed through it at double speed to see if there are any interesting pictures and never returned.   Just to check, I would like to ask anyone who has read this far to spool back up and click on the snowdrop picture to enlarge it.    I know that I have some readers who don’t care for the pictures and some who never bother with the text so it will be interesting to compare the recorded number of visitors today with the recorded number of clicks on the picture.

Today’s flying chaffinch is hard to take in.  It really was flying.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

50 thoughts on “Get up and go gone

  1. I, for one, look forward to your daily posts, and try to leave a comment that lets you know that I have read your aphoristic ramblings. The same thing irks me, most of the people who have followed my blog have done so only in an attempt to promote their blog. That’s OK, I follow ones that I actually enjoy, and ignore the rest. I look at the search engine terms that people outside of the world of WordPress use to find my blog, and hope that they found the answers that they were looking for.

  2. Congratulations on your 1000th post! I look forward to your posts because I enjoy quite a variety of things about it: your sense of humor, following Mrs. T’s heroic efforts in the garden, pictures of your lovely robins, learning about bikes, “visiting” another country through someone else’s eyes . . . and even your photos of spring flowers on a day such as this when we’re poised for another foot of snow. Sigh.

  3. I didn’t know you could count who enlarged a photo. Can it tell if I edit typos in my head? The numbers are awesome! Pretend that each one would comment every day except that they are working toward world peace at the moment. We all need our delusions.

    BTW, I really like the snowdrop. The frogs are interesting and multiplying, I fear, as we speak!

  4. I love snowdrops! This year was the first year I picked on and actually looked at it’s beautiful face. They are very intricate. Congrats on the 1000th post.

  5. Hello and Thanks for your excellent Blog I admit it is the only one I follow. however I also note I have never deleted one. I am delighted that you can tell who enlarges photographs, as I often do! but admit to only leaving a reply once, I thought you would be far too busy to read comments, your blog makes my day! literally.

  6. I look forward to your blog very much, it’s the first thing I read every morning. Agree entirely with MJ’s comments for reasons as to why I like it. Except of course for his bit about another country as I am only a few miles up the road. And congratulations on your 1000th blog!

  7. How splendid to have composed 1000 blogs, it is not too much to say that I am stunned at your industry. I have enjoyed everyone that I have looked at, think you are a great photographer and a witty writer. I thought today’s flying bird was special.

  8. Congratulations on 1000 posts, I love reading every one. And I like reading all the comments too. Do you have scone stats???

  9. I, for one, am looking forward to your posts, they are a fixed item on my to-do-list every morning while I have a first cup of coffee and the morning cigarillo. Word by word I read your report, since your sight at the world in Langholm, your adventures in gardening, birdwatching, music making, even pedalling interest me very much. Your excellent photographies present a very lively picture of the beautiful part of Scotland you live in. The variety and amount of activities you are able to pack in a single day fill me, being at the same age, with envy. So please keep on with your work. It means a lot to a lot of people.

  10. Congratulations on your 1000th post and I am delighted to say I have read every one of them and could not start the day without reading it. I think I cram a lot into each day but it is nothing compared to you except perhaps on a Wednesday when my group of friends go walking. You will be pleased to know that my Grandson Leo enjoyed feeding the ducks but he did not like the gulls as they kept stealing the bread meant for the ducks.
    Keep up the good work as you give many people all over the world a smile to start the day.

  11. Hi Mr Tootlepedal,
    Congratulations on your thousandth post.
    I read and enjoy your blog most week days and do a catch up of the weekend posts on Mondays and always enjoy your photographs. As instructed I have clicked on the snowdrop – you see we are obedient out here in reader land.
    I have not forgotten your request for some photos of my environment (Western Australia – near Julie Goyder) and will clean up my act and get them to you, my only excuse for tardiness is that the weather has been very hot and humid (Miss Julie can attest to this) and my home computer has had an intermittent fault which we have finally fixed by replacing ever component except the case!!!

  12. Splendid pictures. The flying chaffinch was a winner. I am most impressed with the snowdrop lined path.
    And along with all the others, congratulations on your blog, which is always interesting not to mention witty and amusing comments.

  13. COngratulations on your 1000 blogs, that’s a real achievement. I don’t comment as much as I should but I read it most days and I love it. Every time.

  14. Congratulations on 1000 posts! I try to read most days. You’ll be glad to know that I’m using it to procrastinate. I should be doing fascinating PhD ethics applications. Happy to see that Leo made the landmark post. His sister would have been more enthusiastic about the frogs.

  15. I love every one of your blogs and thank you for all the pleasure and entertainment they give to this exile. Thank you!

  16. I really enjoy reading your blog, I sometimes miss a day but catch up when I can. I wish my photography skills matched yours, your pictures are often beautiful and always interesting. I hope the weather soon changes so you can do some more pedalling and get your poor joints moving more easily. Keep up the good work, looking forward to the next 1,000!!

  17. I have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your photos. Your photos are beautiful. I love the birds and frogs. A couple of years ago I made a frog pond. Every year the frogs come and I have a lot of frog spawn. This year was no exception. Two weeks ago I had 3 lots of frog spawn, now I think it may die from all the snow we had last week.

  18. I love the last photo – the way you’ve caught that split second when the wings look folded. Great stuff (and i clicked your snowdrop!).

  19. To have 1,000 of anything is impressive; to have 1,000 blog posts is truly remarkable. Well done and I am looking forward to Post #2,000. Incidentally, having 1,000+ followers is also quite remarkable as I am managed to accumulate only 1/5 of those in nearly the same time as you. Clearly, there is much to be said about quality work drawing a crowd.

  20. A big congrats on 1000 posts Tom, WOW! I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that many. I loved the snowdrop avenue photo, very inviting to want to walk down and enjoy. The water drops on the crocus, awesome! And kudos on the macro frog, he smiled so nice for you.

  21. Congratulations on 1000! Very impressive. I’d feel chagrined to share my own stats. I dutifully clicked on your photo but I expect my tardy bog reading lessens it usefulness as data.

    On the subject of stats I will note that there are several blogs that I “follow” and only occasionally read, although they do pop up in my wordpress reader. I always make time read this blog, of course even if it is not on a daily basis.

    The frogs eyes are are gem-like. A semi-precious stone maybe? If there isn’t a folktale to that effect, there should be.

    1. You are very good. I didn’t mean to put pressure on any reader but perhaps I did do that without thinking. The thing about the frogs eyes is of course that they are completely unblinking which makes them otherworldly.

  22. Congratulations on reaching 1000 posts! The snowdrop shot is beautiful and very striking. It’s a close second to my favorite, which is the chaffinch you caught perching in flight! What a great shot!

  23. What a lovely post! All of your photographs were nothing less than I would expect… Of course! But, I have to say I really loved the one that you didn’t take this time, and that would be the picture of you riding through a sea of grass! Nice illusion.
    PS: I’ve never met a little boy who didn’t like frogs! 😉

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