Two sunny days in a row!

Today’s picture, sent by my friend Bruce, shows two ducks visiting his garden.  I can’t make up my mind as to whether they look shifty or fierce.

bruce's ducks

It was breezier today and a little bit colder in the morning but it was another beautiful spring day and the sort of day that compelled you to take too many pictures.

New flowers are appearing in the garden.  Here are a blue and white pair of Jacob’s Ladders.


And a fringed tulip with a Welsh poppy.

tulip and poppy

Things are getting exciting.  The apple blossom on the espaliers is looking literally brilliant…

apple blossom

..and between my paintbrush and two hard working bees, we should get more than two apples this year.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir as usual and she was telling me that since she made an appearance in the sports results in our local paper after the sportive, she has been asked for fitness advice.  She gave some out and was very pleased to see the recipient out on her bike as she came back from church.

I used the time to put some work in on transcribing flute band tunes and now have only two to do.  When she got back from church, we did a little furniture shifting to make a room ready for a visit from her mother, who is coming to stay for a fortnight.  As her mother is 96, a visit away from home is no small thing.  We are going to fetch her tomorrow.

When my help was no longer needed, I took a picture of one of our siskins….


….and then got the slow bike out to have a look for some nuthatch shots.  I found birds at both nest sites.

A nuthatch approaches the nest hole.

I didn’t have any problems waiting for the birds to arrive as there was a great deal to delight the eye while I was hanging about.

A tree at the first nest site
A tree at the first nest site
Lots of trees at the second nest site
Lots of trees at the second nest site

I didn’t have to wait too long for birds at either site.  At the second site, the two birds swapped sitting duties.

This one was going in…
…and this one came out for a breath of fresh air.

I couldn’t linger too long because I had to get back home for some lunch (luckily I had made some bread in the morning and had five varieties of cheese on hand) before leaving for the Castleholm for a second time.  This time it wasn’t birds that drew me there but the sound of thundering hooves.  There was horse racing to be seen.

horse racing on the Castleholm

There were only four races so that there were quite long gaps between each race.  I was able to entertain my eyes quite easily though.

The bottom bend
The bottom bend

Beside the back straight

I went to the start and finishing straight for the second race.

second race
They’re off.
The first bend
The first bend
The finish
A lady jockey takes the prize

For the third race, I went to the back straight where the start was.  While I was waiting, I visited an irate oyster catcher who was letting everyone know that it wasn’t happy with the traffic.

oyster catcher

I was just getting organised to take a fine picture of the start, when the starter let them go before I was ready and this was the best that I could do.

Part of the field
Part of the field at the start
Getting away
And away they go.

Although it was a mile and quarter race on quite heavy going, they were still racing at quite a lick when they past me for the second time.

Round the bend
Brave riders.

I didn’t wait for the last race as Mrs Tootlepedal had expressed an interest in going for a pedal.  I was a bit tired after yesterday’s ride and walk but it was too good a day to waste so we got the bikes out and pedalled round an abbreviated (14 mile) version of the morning run.

The wind was noticeable but not a problem and the temperature was perfect.  We were an object of interest to the locals as we pedalled by Tarcoon.

Local interest

I returned the compliment.  I don’t think that I have ever seen a cow in a field looking more like a cow in a field.


We passed another example of spring on our way and also another example of the sort of thing that I wouldn’t have noticed until I got a camera.


We had hardly got home before it was time to go out again.  This time we went to the Buccleuch Centre to hear a concert given by the Langholm Town Band, our local brass band, and its junior section too.   The band played really well under its new conductor and particularly in the second half, was really crisp and lively.   I am very traditional in my brass band tastes and some of the more modern music, however well played, didn’t appeal to me but there were quite enough  numbers that did so that I enjoyed the evening a lot.  The conductor himself delighted the audience by playing an elaborate air varieé on the tune My Grandfather’s Clock, using four different instruments as he did so.

During the morning, I thought that I had seen an entirely new bird species in the garden but it turned out to be an albino, either a  redpoll or a siskin as they are very similar in size and shape.  I notice that it has been ringed.

albino redpoll

The flying bird of the day is definitely two siskins.

two flying siskins













Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Two sunny days in a row!

  1. A blog full of delights, I thought the horses going so fast was very clever and I enjoyed the oystercatcher very much.

  2. Well, what an action packed day. Wonderful shots of the riders coming round the bend. How you had enough energy to go out in the evening after all that, I do not know – but glad you enjoyed the concert.

  3. In my opinion all ducks are secret psychopaths. I loved the cow, round here the horses look a bit like that, they all seem to wear cow pyjamas. 🙂

      1. There are a few on my blog but mostly from quite a distance. The best one is on this post next time I’m out that way I promise I’ll try to get a better one. 🙂

  4. Fantastic horse action, cool! Nice oyster catcher, I’ve not seen one of those, yet! Your first cow photo really made me laugh out loud what a shot & narrative, thanks!

  5. The ducks are being obsequious. I could tell. And that cow . . . awesome. I have been a cow fiend for years, having grown up on a Holstein farm, but I have lost a bit of the fervor the last couple of years. I’m sensing a revival! Great pic!

  6. fantastc to see the leucistic redpoll.. very nice.. this bird is leucistic – lacking in pigment rather than it being absent all together (albino).. This is not a bird I have rung, if you have any more photos of the ring, it would be interesting to see if any of the numbers are visible.. also a ringer may remember this bird, being so unusual. loving the blog C

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