Caught out

Today’s guest picture shows a gold mine in New Zealand found by my neighbour Liz on her tour.  She didn’t find any gold though.


I had made a plan to get up early today and go for my morning cycle ride before breakfast.  The point of the early start was to avoid the ‘rain later’ of the forecast.  The plan had two imponderables: a) would I actually be able to get up at 7am? and b) would I beat the ‘rain later’?

I achieved the first objective but failed in the second.  In fact, I was just at the furthest point of my trip to Gair and back when the rain started.  It was light at first but got steadily heavier as I pedalled into a increasing breeze and I was thoroughly soaked by the time that I got home.  Still a plate of porridge and a cup of tea restored my equanimity.

After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a church choir practice and I went up to the town to do some business in the rain.  I called in at the Archive Centre, where one of the regular data miners was hard at work, to pick up some finished data sheets (which I started to enter into the database later in the day) and produce some more blank sheets.

Once home, there was coffee and a crossword to keep me busy and as always, plenty of action outside the kitchen window.

Goldfinches are visiting in numbers at the moment.

Goldfinch full house
A full house

As soon as one left…

goldfinch leaving

…another arrived.

goldfinch arriving

There wasn’t much fun to be had in the rain trying to photograph flowers but I have put together a patriotic red, white and blue composite just for the sake of it.

patriotic composite

I am still waiting for a decent spell of sunshine to encourage the many waiting tulips to come out.


The rain is keeping the pond filled which must be good for the tadpoles.


After lunch, there was a promise of some dry weather and Mrs Tootlepedal and I decided that a pedal would be in order.  The rain took quite a while to clear and I was lucky to be standing at the window with the camera in hand when the small birds disappeared at speed.  The reason?

The sparrowhawk
It looked around but when it didn’t see any available lunch, it flew off again.

The small birds waited for a few minutes and then were soon back at the feeder….some just as badly behaved as usual….


…but some more restful.


The rain slackened to a light drizzle and Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off up the Wauchope road.  The rain soon became negligible and we enjoyed a gentle pedal in light winds up to Westwater and back.

At Westwater, the bank of the felled woodland was sprinkled with primroses…


…and there were many elsewhere beside the road on the way up.

Mrs Tootlepedal enjoys being able to freewheel at low speeds down slight gradients on the way back but I find this a bit boring so while she eased her way along, I stopped to say hello to a couple of fence posts, one concrete and one wooden.

fence posts

They repaid closer examination.

fence posts

We stopped at Bessie Bell’s on the way home.  The water was pouring through the gap where the old bridge used to be.


There were wild flowers there too.

colts foot

By the time that we got home, the sun was actually out and for an hour or so, and it was a lovely day but very soggy underfoot still.

Some birds were still being rude to each other…

siskins sparring
Siskins sparring

…but once again there were more restful characters about too.


There were quite a few redpolls about today which was a pleasure as they are attractive little birds.

The evening was given over to music. First my flute pupil Luke came and then I went to play trios with Mike and Isabel.  Both were good experiences.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch showing just how hard they are finding it now to get a seat at the table.  There is always a goldfinch or a siskin or a redpoll there first.









Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Caught out

    1. Looking at the RSPB map you should see them in the winter on the south coast but perhaps it has been too mild this winter for them to need to come south.

  1. What a great lot of spectacular photos! That first one of the goldfinches is quite stunning and I loved the rain drops on the tulip. Love the tadpoles, as well, and the sparrow hawk. It sounds like you had a very satisfactory day, despite the rain.

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