A small host

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my daughter Annie, shows a tree surgeon cutting up the eucalyptus tree that was blown over in their garden by the recent gales.  Sadly, it makes for poor burning so all of it will go to shredding.

tree surgeon

After two days of sunshine in Langholm, the meteorological authorities, fearing an outbreak of unconstrained merriment of even riotous jollification, put the sun away this morning and covered us up with a safe grey sky to keep us in our place.

Luckily, they had put away the strong wind too and Dropscone and I went round the morning run in our fastest time since December last year.  As we set off, Dropscone noticed this new outbreak of primroses in our drive.


They have come to join the fine display in the bed beside the greenhouse.


There were other new flowers about today.  Here are two colours of aubretia on the other side of the greenhouse.


Apart from the morning cycle, I didn’t do very much today as it was rather grey and uninviting for a walk but I did find time to make a sourdough loaf and have a first go at some sourdough crumpets following a suggestion from Jennie, Maisie’s mother, from New Zealand who is a sourdough enthusiast.

Sourdough crumpets are a good way to use up any spare sourdough starter and are remarkably easy to make, even for me.  I made  a small batch to see how they went and they tasted very good. More will follow.

I also walked round the garden looking at daffodils.  The lighter wind helped them to stand a bit taller and the lack of sunshine actually made it easier to photograph them.  Mrs Tootlepedal likes daffodils and has quite a few varieties.  Here are most of the ones that are out at the moment.

I don’t know the names of the daffs but the first two pictures show miniature earlies.



The next three are taller.




She has the standard version as well.


Needless to say, I did a little bird watching and welcomed a lone brambling back late in the day.


The down side of the siskins, as I may have mentioned before, is that they are very wasteful nibblers.  The sunflower seeds are just a fraction too big for their dainty beaks…

siskin nibbling

…but luckily the chaffinches work hard to keep things clean under the feeder.


They were busy in the air too.

This female isn’t going to stand on ceremony, she is going to stand on another chaffinch.

Some were more restful.


The birds have had to be on their toes lately as a sparrow hawk is making frequent visits to the garden.  It tends to flash by before I can pick up my camera but I got a glimpse of it today, lurking behind the branches in the walnut tree.


The temperatures through the day are rising and I thought it was time to turn my thoughts to the lawns.  I got the mower out and gave it enough care and attention to get it moving after its winter snooze and then perpetrated some random acts of violence on the moss which has taken over from most of the grass.

Distance lends enchantment to this view of the moss pasture.

Add in some crossword time,  a few moments to clean the transmission on my speedy bike and pump the tyres on that and the slow bike,  a visit to the corner shop to replenish my cheese supplies, an interval to exchange a few words with Mrs Tootlepedal and have a cup of tea with Mike Tinker, who paid us a visit, and the day was well filled with undemanding activity suitable for an elderly person.

It was rounded off with a chauffeur (Susan at the wheel) driven trip to Carlisle to play with the recorder group.  The playing was very enjoyable and we even found a piece or two which we have never played before to entertain ourselves with.

A chaffinch is flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A small host

  1. I didn’t know there were so many typed of daffodil. Could you take a photo of your next crumpet adventure? That flying chaffinch is delightful.

  2. I picked a good spring day to visit, Tom! The flowers and birds were putting on a good show. Not being exactly sure what a crumpet is, I’m certain I would hardly know the difference from a plain vs. a sourdough one. So, I’m with your other visitors above in my request for some pictures of your next crumpets! 🙂

    1. Crumpets are just batter scones done on a flat griddle and the sour dough gives them a nice bit of sharpness to offset the butter which is dripping from them as crumpets are always eaten lightly toasted.

  3. No wonder you’re partial to the chaffinches if they’re such diligent tidiers. I love the way the wings on the Day’s Flying Bird gleam as if they were a metal sculpture.

  4. Oh, those daffodils are so lovely! Such vibrant yellows! Made my day, as did your very humorous start to this post. You certainly gave me a smile today! Enjoy your crumpets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: