Today’s picture shows my middle sister Mary getting out and about on her newly installed hip.   Hip hip hooray.


She got out a lot more than I did today.  Mrs Tootlepedal was still laid up with a mild indisposition picked while by visiting foreign parts (we should have boiled the water before drinking it) and I was feeling a little bit tired after the holiday fun so we stayed very firmly in.  It was a gloomy day outside with that persistent strong wind still blowing so not going for a pedal was more bearable than it might have been.

For once, I really did perfect the art of doing nothing today.  I got a bit bored and put on my jacket for a walk at about eleven o’clock in the morning and noticed that I was still wearing it at five o’clock in the afternoon although I hadn’t been further than the garden all day.

In the garden, the tulips are full of promise….

promising tulips

…and the pond is full of tadpoles…


…and a lone snail.  I don’t know whether it is the same snail but there is a snail in the picture of some flowers in the pond which I took later on.

pond flowers

The daffodils show little sign of wilting and in sunshine or shadow, they continue to light up the garden.


Out in the shed, the blackbird is patiently sitting on her nest.

blackbird on nest

Other blackbirds were available too.


I stirred myself enough to make a loaf of bread in the bread maker (three minutes hard labour) and then settled down to watch Bradley Wiggins lead his men to victory in the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia.

I had one or two goes at snapping the birds but conditions were not favourable and I discarded most of the results but kept a shot or two of the redpolls who are present in quite good numbers.

flying redpoll
In the air
And on the ground

The one on the left is one of those that Cat ringed.

Late in the afternoon, Mrs Tootlpedal felt well enough to come downstairs for a cup of tea and a piece of dry toast which was welcome.  At the same time I rang Sandy, who had been up north visiting his son, and we arranged to go off to the Langholm Moor to see if we could see the newly arrived hen harriers.  Sandy has been up to see them during the week I was away so he drove us up and positioned the car in the best viewing spot beside the road.

Within minutes a harrier flashed by and soared up into the sky before I could get a good shot.  You’ll have to take my word that this is a hen harrier.

hen harrier

I’ll go up again when the light is better.  The moor looked very grey and forbidding under the clouds.  Not a patch of green was to be seen.

Langholm Moor

We were able to see three harriers flying along the skyline and this was very pleasing as hen harriers are a much persecuted species and in short supply generally.  The trouble is that instead of harrying hens, they live mainly on grouse chicks when they are on the moor and as shooting grouse is big business, hen harriers are not welcome visitors and are persistently shot and poisoned by keepers (allegedly).  On the Langholm Moor they are running a lengthy experiment to see of the they can find a way of keeping both conservationists and shooters happy.  I personally doubt that this is possible.

We are promised a couple of days of warm weather and I hope to be able to post luscious tulip shots as a result.  We shall see.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.  Following on from the theme of the day, I thought it looked rather reminiscent of a harrier jump jet in vertical landing mode


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “Harried

  1. Amusing comment on a splendid flying bird. Glad to hear that Ally in improving, what bad luck picking up such a nasty bug. The garden looks splendid, no wonder you didn’t go any further, such a lot to look at there.

  2. Best wishes to Mrs T for a full recovery soon. Also, hope you have some sun today to bring out the colours in your garden. Liked the beady eyed blackbird and harrier jump jet siskin among others.

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