A pedal and a tootle. Hooray!

Today’s guest picture, taken by my sister Mary on her recent visit to Somerset, shows the fine church at Ilminster.

Ilminster Church

We woke up to a rather grey day morning today but it was dry so we both set off on our bicycles after breakfast.  My target was a gentle twenty miles by way of a double trip to the lower slopes of Callister and back.  This offered me a journey without much climb and a regular break from cycling into the wind.  As a result I enjoyed it, at least until the last two miles which my hip informed were probably two miles too many.  Still, I could walk when I got off the bike so that wasn’t too bad at all.

On my second lap, I passed a wild eyed lady with a bucket of manure in her back bag speeding down the hill towards Langholm.  This turned out to be Mrs Tootlepedal who had combined her ride with a visit to her manure mine.  We both felt that we had earned our coffees.

Under orders from my body to be sensible, I spent the rest of the morning idling about, doing the crossword and looking out of the kitchen window.   The sparrows were everywhere.

A young sparrow perched on the feeder waiting to be fed by its parent.

Others found the lawn to be a bit safer.


Mrs Tootlepedal discovered that the sparrows have been nibbling some of her new seedlings.  She is not as fond of sparrows as I am.

There is a least one family of blue tits visiting regularly.   I saw one perching….

blue tit

…and one flying.

blue tit

The phlox is doing well and we have three colours out at the moment.  Here are two of them together.


Yet another clematis has also appeared.  Mrs Tootlepedal has a great number of clematis spread over the garden.


After lunch, I took advantage of a sunny spell and mowed the middle lawn….very slowly.

Sandy arrived while I was doing this and we went off in the car to the manure mine.  Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had seen some interesting birds while we were in the area in the morning but since Sandy and I had our cameras with us in the afternoon, there was naturally not a bird of any sort to be seen.

We had to make do with the vegetable kingdom instead.

A strikingly yellow bracken signals the turning of the seasons.
One of my favourite gates.

With added insects.

knapweed with insect

When we got back to the car, we drove a little further up the road and went for another short walk.

The countryside is gradually turning from green to brown.
wild flowers at Glencorf burn
But there are still plenty of wild flowers to be seen.

We saw a curious growth and I would be pleased of anyone can suggest what it is.

curious growth

I foolishly lifted up one of the gates that we passed through and that set my leg to complaining again so we didn’t linger and returned home for a cup of tea.

Scott, the minister of the church where Mrs Tootlepedal sings in the choir, came round during the day to get some advice regarding the purchase of a new bicycle.  He is taking cycling seriously as part of a healthy lifestyle and feels that pedalling might be more fun on a speedier bike than he has at present.    It is very difficult to second guess what someone else is going to find suitable so I offered him a go on my speedy bike to see if that was the sort of thing he might like.

He had never used toe clips or drop handlebars before, let alone the combined brake and gear shifters that I have but he bravely took up the offer and turned up in the early evening ready to go.   A quick adjustment of the saddle was all that was needed and off he went.  I must say that I was expecting to find that he had fallen off at the first road junction as using toe clips for the first time can come as a shock but he returned in very good order after cycling round fourteen hilly miles at a crisp speed.

You can see that he doesn’t like to be conspicuous when out on a bike.

scott on my  bike

I look forward with interest to see what he buys in the end.

As Scott left at the front of the house, we had another visitor round the back.

duck at Dam

We haven’t had any ducklings in the dam this year so it was good to see at least one duck about.

In the evening, Susan  took me to Carlisle where we met with the other members of our recorder group and sorted out the music that we are going to play in a concert in September.  The concert is being given by a small vocal group who will be singing English madrigals and we are providing four five minute spots by way of variety and to give them a breather.    As a contrast to the madrigals, we are mostly playing early dances, pavans and galliards and suchlike.

The flying bird of the day is one of the army of sparrows.

flying sparrow


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “A pedal and a tootle. Hooray!

    1. I am reliably told by my friend the doctor that it is the bedeguar gall on a rose- can be green, yellow or red. Caused by gall wasp Diplolepsis rosae. It is quite spectacular, about the size of a tennis ball.

  1. Your birds are humorous, flowers beautiful, and photos excellent! However, did you have to include the fern changing color already? Signs of the approach of fall are appearing here also, way too soon to suit me.

  2. That curious looking outcrop seems to be a bedeguar gall which can be found on wild roses (dog roses).

      1. I very rudely omitted to reply to your kind comment (I was falsely under the impression that I had). I will now rectify this. You are too kind and if I could attend I certainly would.

  3. Always a good feeling when you can help someone get into cycling! Starting riding seriously at 18 and I’m still in the saddle at 64. It’s a wonderful way to introduce a little adventure into your life while staying healthy.

  4. Congratulations to Scott for getting off to such a good start with his bicycling. Also to yourself for managing an enjoyable ride and taking care not to overdo it. Mrs T is collecting a commendable amount of manure. No wonder your flowers look so good.

  5. The phlox are lovely – I especially enjoyed the purple and, with the white to contrast, it makes a wonderful photo. Cute sparrow shots today, and the duck! Glad you had such an enjoyable ride and were so sensible in your activities!

  6. very lovely blog, glad you enjoyed your bike ride, all the shots are fantastic, i must invest in a new bike soon. i miss riding but i love walking more really. 🙂

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