Laying it on

Today’s guest picture, sent by Maisie’s mum, shows Maisie’s granddad being well looked after during his visit to NZ.  I hope he and Alison get back safely as I am missing our Friday evenings of music and conversation.

tucking in

Unlike the shirtsleeve weather in New Zealand, there was ice about here when we woke up and cycling was not recommended.  Mrs Tootlepedal, who was working the early shift, went off on foot and I phoned Dropscone and scrapped the morning run.  This was a bit of a sacrifice as it meant missing the usual Friday treacle scone.

As a result, I had plenty of time to look out of the window and there were a few uncommon visitors to look at.

After a lengthy absence, quite a few greenfinches dropped in.
And gave us a new slant on things.
great tit
A great tit on the plum tree.

A coal tit had a good look at a nest box that Mrs Tootlepedal put up a year or so ago but flew off again without going in.  It would be nice if it was used this spring.

The usual suspects were around as well.

A blackbird on the lawn…


…and a blackbird in the bushes.

There were lots of chaffinches of course doing various things.

Diving and jumping
Climbing and swooping

And the universal robin posed prettily on the chimney.


By the time that I had looked at the birds for a bit, the temperature had risen enough for me to get the slow bike out and try a little pedal.

My 12 mile route took me along the Wauchope and at times the river is lined by hazel and alder, all covered in catkins.

alder and hazel

I stopped to watch the water pour over a little cascade near Wauchope School.


I crept carefully down to the river bank and looked back.


Then I pedalled onwards to the top of the hill at Callister Hall.  Even with a light wind behind me, I had plenty of time to look at the lichens in the wall as I passed.  I stopped at one point where there seemed to be many different  sorts in a few yards of wall.





The wall was like a work of art.  On the other side of the road, a different colour was to be seen


The return journey was helped by gravity but hindered by a head wind so I was quite happy to stop when I passed a very colourful lichen at the Bigholms.


I got home just before Mrs Tootlepedal got back for lunch.  She was working again later in the afternoon so after lunch, I was just thinking of going for a walk by myself when it started raining lightly.  I didn’t go. This was lucky as the weather and the light got steadily worse and I was better off staying at home practising my flute (much needed) and playing around with the photo editor. 

It was our 46th wedding anniversary today and I had booked Mrs Tootlepedal into a plush hotel for a spa visit and pampering, bought her some expensive jewellery and prepared an evening meal in the form of a prawn risotto.  (One of those statements is true.)  Mrs Tootlepedal and I enjoyed the risotto at a candlelit dinner in our own kitchen and we followed it with some very good cheese and rounded things off with a dried apricot or two.  A feast.

I always have a bit of nice cheese in the house but tonight our cheese board was much enhanced by the arrival of  a box of cheeses during the day, courtesy of our thoughtful elder son, so we had no less than six cheeses to chose from.  We chose them all.

A trio of flying birds of the day today.

three flying birds








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

48 thoughts on “Laying it on

  1. Congratulations on such a milestone! The celebratory meal sounds delicious. I loved your pictures of the Wauchope moving along in such a pretty way.

  2. First of all, Happy Anniversary!
    Second, your waterfall shots are great, I love rushing water!
    Third, the greenfinches are beautiful! I never saw one before. 🙂

    1. First, thank you for your good wishes. Second, I love rushing water too so you are obviously a person a great taste. Third, yes they are handsome birds.

  3. Congratulations to two remarkable people, Mr and Mrs Tootlepedal! Your blog, (+ birds & friendship) is a gift to all of us! I do hope your son sent you some blue cheese?

  4. Congratulations to you both! Your risotta and cheese board sound lovely and very special. Of the birds, the expression on the slanted greenfinch made me laugh – he looks so stern! Glad you got out on the bike. ~SueBee

  5. What a shame you missed your treacle scone. The lichen photos were lovely, especially the rust coloured one, I’m not sure I’ve seen one like that. Congratulations on your anniversary!

    1. It’s all down to the New Hampshire Gardener who has got quite a few of us looking more carefully
      around us as we walk.

      I am going to thank you once here for your recent flood of kind comments, all of which are appreciated.

  6. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.
    Splendid bird pictures, and of course the robin is a winner. Amazingly colourful lichens.

  7. Happy 46th wedding anniversary. I got married on the 23rd of this month after an engagement lasting 14-15 years. I have a way to go to reach your beautiful milestone 🙂

      1. Hahaha! I guess, as this is my second one and Jason’s first I wanted to be absolutely sure it would work for both of us. He is my best friend and we are also the biggest procrastinators. It does feel different being married. Its so much better and we both just feel complete now 🙂 .

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