Two pedals and a tootle

Today’s guest picture shows my sister Susan and a friendly penguin at Sunley Hall, a magnate’s mansion.  She was visiting it  in the company of my brother who took the picture.

Sunley Hall with penguin

There was a bit of drizzle about and a gusty breeze but Dropscone and I were not discouraged and had a good morning pedal of twenty two miles out to Gair and back.  Our local quarry seems to be providing stone for all and sundry at the moment so the only fly in the ointment was a steady trickle of big lorries passing us in every direction.

It is quite a hilly ride but the bonus was that the hills and the wind combined in a helpful manner to let us do the last 6 miles at an average speed of 21 mph which always cheers old men up.  It makes us think that we might be real cyclists.

Mrs Tootlepedal was at a church choir practice and got back in time to join us for coffee.  After Dropscone had left for home, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that as the day was warm and almost sunny, she would like a pedal too and since I was in my cycling gear already, I accompanied her up to Wauchope School and back.  We stopped so that I could take a picture of some bright orange lichens on the Auld Stane Brig.

The shady side of the parapet has a lot of this stuff.
lichen close up
A closer look.

The two cycle outings took up most of the morning but I did have a moment before the second ride to do some feeder staring.  A new visitor appeared today.

A redpoll

After weighing up the scene, it joined in.

redpoll and siskins
Siskins pointedly ignoring it.
redpoll and siskins
It pointedly ignored the siskins and got stuck into the seed.
redpoll and siskin
There was some discussion later.

I think that there were two redpolls about and I hope to see them again tomorrow.

The light was just good enough to catch some action today.

Intent on trouble

After the second ride, I took the camera out into the garden.  Spring is definitely springing.

There were scillas, bobbing about in the breeze….



…and Jet Fire daffodils nodding…

Jet Fire daffodils

…and chinodoxa looking for some drying sunbeams.


A new wallflower is just starting…


…and the garden is starting to look a bit brighter all round.

There were two frogs in the pond.  This was one of them.


That was the only opportunity that I had for taking pictures because I went off to play music with Mike and Isabel in the afternoon and by the time I got back, the light had been overtaken by grey clouds.  The enjoyment of the music more than made up for being inside though.

My flute pupil Luke came in the evening.  He has obviously been practising hard and is improving all the time.  He has  even been doing his breathing exercises.

The rest of the evening was spent in trying to sort out one of those annoying computer problems that haunt you because you don’t know what is causing them.  I had been asked to update one of the websites that I manage but was unable to get my FTP link to work, rendering updating impossible,  Fortunately for me, Luke’s dad is a computer professional and he kindly came round when all else had failed and pinpointed exactly where the root of the problem lay.  Even more luckily it could  be sorted out by a quick download and I was able to update the site successfully.

This rounded off a very good day after yesterday’s doze.

A flying bird was available too.

flying chaffinch








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Two pedals and a tootle

  1. Think that you might be real cyclists?! With the mileage you put in on your bike, I think you more than qualify. Wonderful to see that spring is springing for you. We’re still waiting for Mother Nature to pass along that message!

  2. I have yet to see a redpoll around here this winter, they normally arrive in December and hang around until the first of March.

    I’m partial to the flowers again in this post. At the rate things are going, you’ll have roses in full bloom before we see our first dandelion.

    1. Things are a bit stop start in the garden at the moment and we are still in with a good chance of getting a frost. We usually get quite a lot of redpolls but they have been very rare this year.

    1. Real cyclists wear club vests and don’t smile at or even acknowledge cyclists on bikes with straight handlebars when they meet them. I am a leisure cyclist.

  3. You’re riding your bike, which makes you a cyclist. Although we haven’t met in person, I am quite confident that you are real. That makes you a real cyclist. The fact that you managed a 21mph average speed for six miles makes you a very good cyclist.

    1. I’m red hot down a gentle hill with the wind behind. It’s all the rest that makes me believe that I have some way to go before becoming a real cyclist. I’ve never shaved mu legs for instance.

  4. Your garden flower photos have cheered me up, considering the long-term forecast here is for it to stay well below average for temperature, hovering just above the freezing mark for the next 10 days. I’m beginning to doubt we will see spring!

      1. Yes, it’s been a terribly long and brutal winter (as reported in Quiet Solo Pursuits’ blog). I hope we get some nice, spring-like weather and don’t go straight to hot, humid and dry. But then, I guess it’s silly to be concerned about what the weather may or may not do, as there is no controlling it! Normally I try a bit harder to make the best of it, but this winter has seemed never-ending.

      2. It seems from this distance to have been very difficult to live with but the bloggers that I follow whom it has affected all seem to be remarkably cheerful.

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