Getting there

In the absence of a guest picture today and in spite of a answer to a flood of requests, a flying chaffinch takes centre stage today.


You can see from the relatively clear picture, that it was a much brighter day in Langholm today and that matched my mood as I too was much brighter all round.  I am not out of the woods yet because I can’t do much in the way of physical exercise without getting puffed out so cycling will have to wait.  I did think about a pedal today but good sense made an all too rare appearance so I didn’t actually do any.

More painful was refraining from mowing the lawns which are to be heard weeping gently as I walk past ignoring them.   I did think of mowing them but a searing glance from Mrs Tootlepedal when I mentioned it soon put that idea to bed.

All this enforced idleness and the better weather gave me a chance to wander round the garden after breakfast.  I never fail to be impressed by how much roses change each day.


Three days ago,, these two appeared in the blog as promising buds and baby, look at them now.

They will go quickly too though unlike the Japanese anemones and clematis which hang on for a long time.  Here are one of each together with a very unexpected rhododendron flower which shouldn’t be out at all.


I was just about to make some coffee when Dropscone dropped in with a fresh supply of scones.  He also brought a large bucket of whey protein powder which he had got at a very advantageous price on a two for one offer.  This stuff is to help recovery after a hard pedal.  That will be the day.

I had a lot of time to watch the birds in the morning.  I took the picture of the chaffinch at the top of the page at 1/1250th at f6.5 and just to how that the results of the photographer are greatly assisted by slow flying birds, here is a departing tit taken at exactly the same settings.

tit flying off

They flap their wings so much faster than the chaffinches that they are hard to pin down.

Sparrows are more obliging sometimes.

flying sparrow

And the birds were literally queuing up to get into the shot.

flying birds

We had a good number of goldfinches today and I was hoping for a goldfinch flush but a chaffinch squeezed in at the back of the shot.


On the ground, a hedge sparrow or dunnock put in an appearance.  The large number of cats visiting us tends to put off the birds that feed on the ground so it was nice to see one.


The robin that is around at the moment seems to have got the cat message and approaches the feeder from the plum tree instead of from low bushes.

There’s a late plum up there too.

Mostly the plum tree is full of chaffinches though.

chaffinches in plum tree

In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the health centre to look after the desk at a flu clinic.  I should have been there myself, getting my jab, but my cold stopped my going so I got into the car and made a short excursion instead just to get out of the house.

I drove  a  couple of miles up the Wauchope road to see if I could spot a buzzard or two.  They are often flying round there when I am out on my bike. I found a place to park and admired the view….

Whita in sun and cloud

…which was a good mixture of sunshine and cloud.

I looked at a little waterfall in the Wauchope which the recent rain had made loud enough to notice.


Not seeing any buzzards, I moved back down the road a bit and got out of the car to stretch my legs.  A buzzard immediately came out of some trees and wheeled and turned across the sky above me.  I dashed back to the car and as a I picked up my camera, the buzzard straightened up and headed off.  They do it on purpose you know.

I could hear it sniggering.
I could hear it sniggering.

I consoled myself with a picture of my favourite ruined cottage.


Our trees have not really started to turn in earnest yet but some cold weather over the next couple of days may see some change in colour.

As I drove home, I saw a heron standing on the top of the weir at Pool Corner…

heron at Pool Corner

…and that put me in mind to visit the Kilngreen while I was out and about to see what the ducks and gulls were up to.

A little ducking…..


….a little waving….


…and a stately fly past.


I was thinking about going to Carlisle to play recorders in the evening but my friend Susan was in Wales so I would have had to drive myself  which was not an appetising thought and one of the group, when consulted, thought that I had a Christian duty not to share my cold about so i took the hint and stayed at home.

The flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches.

flying goldfinch


sunflower and moth


On a point of information, a helpful reader emailed me to say that the moth that appeared in a post the other day is an Angle Shades moth.  It is a Mediterranean moth which migrates north.   I’m surprised that you didn’t all know that.







Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Getting there

  1. Lovely photos. Loved the ducks and all the birds. I cannot go past a waterfall or babbling brook without a good look for little fish or other forms of nature. Always the child within needs to be amused 😀

  2. I’m sorry that I misled you as to the family of the moth.

    It’s good to hear and see that I’m not the only person whom the birds tease by only appearing when I’m not ready to take their photo, I thought that it was just me. 😉

    1. It is in a lovely spot but perhaps closer inspection would reveal a great deal of dampness. Very few usable cottages are allowed to go to seed round here.

  3. And quite right admonished Mrs T. you to follow your namesakes (Thomas Aquinas’) advice: “Quiescendo et sedendo anima fit sapiens et prudens.” (Resting and sitting makes the mind wise and prudent.) See to it that you recover soon.

  4. Back on the morning run, some hedge cutting but no problems. Weather was good till the schoolhouse and got really wet on the last 4 miles

  5. Glad you are starting to feel a little better. Well done for taking the advice of family and friends. Hope to send you some Croatian pictures soon.

  6. Very sorry that your cold has been so persistent. Do hope you will get your energy back soon, though you still manage to do a lot anyway and take some excellent photographs!

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