Me and my girl?

Today’s guest picture once again comes from NZ  but this time not from my neighbour Liz.  It shows Maisie in the garden reading a story to her littler sister Frances.  It was sent to me by Jennie, Maisie’s mother.

Maisie reading

Here, another cold, grey, windy day easily persuaded me to let Dropscone battle round the morning run by himself and judging by his expression when he arrived carrying treacle scones, I had made a good decision.  At times, coming back into the east wind, he had had to cling on to the handlebars to stop himself being blown off the road.

While I was waiting for Dropscone to arrive, I got the electric mower out and mowed the drying green and the grass round the greenhouse.  Mrs Tootlepedal was out while I did this and was a bit sad to find that I might have mowed over some fritillaries.  Needless to say, I was a bit sad too when I found out.

After our rather meagre Lakeland daffodil experience on Wednesday, I took the opportunity to photograph a few of our own clumps.



Wordsworth would have been pleased.

Although the flower garden is basically yellow and white at the moment, here and there other colours are to be found.

The flowering currant is currently flowering

My plan had been to have an easy morning, eat treacle scones and go for a walk or a short pedal after lunch but once again the weather took a hand and dashed my hopes with heavy rain.  I turned my hand to having a bit of crumpet making practice instead.  I didn’t use the sourdough today as I wanted to concentrate on getting the pan and rings sorted out.  I found the right pan for the job and got the heat about right too and some of the results almost looked like crumpets.


Crumpets, for those who are not familiar with them, are simply an excuse for eating large amounts of butter.  You toast the crumpets lightly before eating them and the melted butter runs into all the little holes on the surface.  I may not be producing crumpets that have that truly professional look but there is nothing wrong with the taste.  Now that I have a better idea of temperature and batter consistency, I will try again with the sourdough.

I was thwarted by the rain in my plans to walk about taking truly interesting pictures of stuff but watching the garden birds was quite exciting in itself today.  We had a visitor who stopped for longer than usual.

male sparrowhawk
An adult male sparrowhawk had come to have a look around.

The squeamish should skip the next picture because the hawk returned a short time later and having sized up the job, picked a small bird off the feeder with grace and speed.

male sparrowhawk

It returned once again later in the day but without catching any prey this time.

The small birds were amazingly unruffled by all this and were back at the feeder within minutes of the hawk’s departure each time.

The experience hadn’t done anything to improve their manners.



siskin and chaffinch shouting

There were some more restful moments.

chaffinch on bench

And sometimes a look was all that was needed to keep other birds at bay.

I managed to find things to do indoors to while away the day while Mrs Tootlepedal went shopping in the afternoon and in the evening, we both went to the Buccleuch Centre,  Mrs Tootlepedal to perform in the cast of Me and My Girl and I to be part of the audience.  The show was very enjoyable, being well acted and sung and very competently staged.  There was none of that audience nervousness that you sometimes get when watching an amateur performance of a musical. From my point of view, it was a little curious as owing to a shortage of males in the cast, Mrs Tootlepedal appeared dressed very convincingly as  a member of the men’s chorus.

By coincidence, I took a picture of a pot of violas this morning that she had been given exactly a year ago as a thank you for helping with the costumes then.  They started in the house, have been in the garden and have now returned indoors.

The gift that keeps on giving.

The strong winds are set to continue for some time but at least it seems that it is going to get a bit warmer over the next few days and it isn’t quite so miserable battling the breeze when it isn’t freezing cold as well.

The flying bird of the day was nearly the sparrowhawk….


…but my shutter finger was too slow and so a chaffinch it is once again.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Me and my girl?

      1. The ‘steady hand’ is entirely down to the brilliance of the camera rather than me. I do try to keep the windows clean just because I shoot through them such a lot.

  1. Mrs Tootlepedal made a superb job of playing a man in the chorus and her performance on the spoons was excellent. A great show.

  2. Some pretty amazing photos across the board. It’s about time that the sparrow hawk rewarded you by posing for a few photos, since you’ve been fattening up the hawk’s meals for it.

  3. At last the sparrow hawk has stopped hiding. Not sure how the birds on your feeder are going to feel if they keep getting picked off for his lunch though. To him it must look like a tasty buffet display. The crumpets look delicious, I haven’t had any for years because they aren’t all that nice without a ton of butter.

  4. Today’s photos run the gamut from beautiful (Maisie and her sister) to brutal (hawk’s buffet). A striking collection. And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find something warm and crunchy that will absorb a lot of butter . . .

  5. Ah, the circle of life, I’ve gotten to experience it out my own front window on several occasions. Such gorgeous photos, once again. And your crumpets look much more appetizing than our rather pale “English muffins”.

    1. Some people hate sparrowhawks because they eat the little birds but I think that they are fantastic to watch and as you say are just part of life.

      1. Yes, I have what I believe to be a sharp-shinned hawk that likes to use my feeders as its own personal buffet. I was able to get two very nice photos of it last winter but I can’t seem to figure out who to share it with you. I always know when the hawk is about by the sudden slamming of birds into the large front window. As we have quite an overabundance of European sparrows, I’m always a bit hopeful it will go after those!

  6. So, are crumpets easy to make? You seem to imply this and I can almost smell them cooking. Glad the sparrow hawk had something to eat too, even though it’s a bit like pick and mix with the enormous selection of goodies in your garden.

  7. I also think the crumpets look delicious. Homemade ones so much better than the horrible rubbery ones in the shops. I read your post to my husband who commiserates with you about the fritillaries. He has managed to mow, strim, tread on and dig up a number of my plants over the years. Clare

  8. The crumpets looked delicious – nice job! There’s one store here in town where I can buy them… now I’ll be heading over to fetch a pack! I skimmed right by the hawk, but did notice he’s a spectacular bird. ~SueBee

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