A step back

Today’s guest picture, which comes from my Newcastle correspondent, shows her two children sitting on top of an old coal mine at Weetslade.  She tells me that you can enjoy nature here while watching planes landing and taking off and trains speeding by at the same time.  Paradise.


After yesterday’s optimism, I was back to full moaning mode again today and spent most of the day slumped in my chair.  Fortunately the gods who had organised the return of the painful hip had also organized two cycle road races at the Commonwealth Games to coincide with it so I had plenty to keep me from dwelling  on my ailments.  The fact that it was a pretty windy and often wet day outside helped me to not mind being inside.

Finally, when the bike racing was over and the weather had taken a turn for the better,  I took a few steps out into the garden.  I was trying to take a picture of a bee on a sunflower when the bee flew off but I thought that the sunflower looked so cheery that I have left it in.  You can just see the bee leaving if you look carefully.


The yellow crocosmia still hasn’t quite created the look which Mrs Tootlepedal wants with the Shirley poppies but another bunch is looking quite smart with some phlox in the veg garden holding bed…

crocosmia and phlox

…and the Shirley poppies are defying the wet and windy weather.

shirley poppy

As we had to go shopping and the sun had come out, we thought we might combine a visit to the shop with a trip to the moor for a quick spot of bird watching.  We stopped at the Kilngreen on our way and were nearly mobbed by a large flock of ducks thinking we might be bringing them some food.  They were disappointed.


This what a duck looks like when it is giving you an old fashioned stare.

We rolled on up the hill while the sun was still shining and were able to watch a hen harrier soaring above the distant horizon.  It was a job for binoculars though as this was the best that the camera could do.


There is no doubt that the year is turning as a view down the valley shows.

The greens are turning to browns.

The hill should be covered with purple heather at this time of year but a lot of the heather is obviously not well and looks like this…

There is a lot of this. I think it has been attacked by the heather beetle.

…when it should be looking like this.

And very little of this.

Large sums of money have been poured into restoring the heather moorland but it seems that they may be fighting a losing battle.

The little spell of sunshine was coming to an end so we went back to the town, did our shopping and got back just in time to avoid some very heavy rain.

If things have not improved by tomorrow as far as the hip goes, I think another visit to my physio will be necessary.  Usually just saying that I am thinking of ringing her up immediately cures minor niggles and saves me the trouble of a visit so I will just repeat that if things have not improved by tomorrow as far as the hip goes, I think another visit to my physio will be necessary.  That should do the trick.  Fingers crossed.

The flying bird of the day is a black headed gull spotted among the disgruntled ducks.

flying gull

….and a bonus.

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A step back

  1. I haven’t heard the expression ‘old fashioned’ in years! It quite took me back! My grandfather used to give troublesome young lads stares like that. The flying gulls are a treat and the moorland view is beautiful. Sorry about both the sad state of the heather and your hip.

  2. Splendid flying birds to finish with. The picture of the healthy heather was excellent too. Good luck with your hip, sorry it gave you a painful day again.

  3. Great black-headed gull pics. Sorry about the hip – perhaps worth a physio trip anyway even if it gets a bit better.

  4. The problem with catching up most recent to earlier posts is that you miss elements of plot! Sorry about the hip. Lovely hill seen. Sigh. I would love to walk it.

  5. The garden look beautiful but I was sad to see the sick looking heather. I imagine it must be quite a sight when it’s all flowering. Fingers crossed the hip was paying attention.

  6. Seems you got the rain we needed while we were away on vacation. Came home to our garden pretty much burned up from lack of rain and all our tomatoes have some sort of giant black spots on the bottom of every one. 😦

    That is a shame about the heather.

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