Bowled over by Bertha

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by the mother of Luke, my flute pupil.  They have been on holiday and enjoyed this atmospheric view of Loch Leven from their holiday cottage in Glencoe.

Loch Leven

We had another day here of being buffeted by ex tropical storm Bertha, although we got off lightly compared with the north-east which suffered from some severe flooding.

Mrs Tootlepedal wasn’t deterred by the wind and sneaked out for a six mile pedal after breakfast.  Dropscone and I weren’t so hardy and assembled for coffee and scones without the bother of earning them through cycling.

I spent some time wandering through my files trying to find pictures suitable for the Canonbie Flower Show but the sheer volume of photos that I take makes choosing from them a really tricky business.  On top of that, I find it hard to work out which digital images are going to look good when they are printed and often have to discard results which I thought were going to look quite satisfactory.  I have a few more days until entries close so I will have another go tomorrow.

I certainly didn’t take any competition winning shots today, though I did look out of the kitchen window….

A siskin and chaffinch
A siskin extends its usual courteous welcome to a visitor

…and took a walk round the garden in one of the sunnier spells.


This is the first of the rudbeckia to appear.  Mrs Tootlepedal had hoped that they would come out at the same time as the red crocosmia but for reasons which are not clear, they always come out just as the crocosmia go over.  Other rudbeckia in neighbouring gardens are always out earlier.  It is one of those things which are sent to try us.

A young blackbird enjoyed the sun while it was out.


We are trying to get the best out of our rather slug riddled potatoes so I made a pot of potato soup for my lunch and Mrs Tootlepedal had some potato salad.   Our diet for the immediate future will contain quite a lot of potato and beans.

After lunch I combined taking the car to the garage to get a slow puncture fixed with visiting Isabel, who lives next door to the garage,  for a tootle with her and Mike.

I brought along the first few pages of a serenade by Kahn and after a preliminary play through, the jury is out on whether it will be worth persevering with.   We will give it at least one more go.

The puncture turned out to be a problem with a leak at the rim of the tyre and this was easily fixed and I was able to pick up the car when we had finished playing.

When I got home, I had a cup of tea with Mike Tinker who had kindly come round to inquire about the state of my hip and to check how Mrs Tootlepedal had got on with some worm wee fertiliser from his wormery which he had given us.

In spite of a short shower as Mike left, the day had brightened up a lot  and I had another walk round the garden.


Mrs Tootlepedal has planted sunflowers all round the garden but Bertha had shown no mercy and two of the tallest ones had been felled by the brisk winds during the day.

Potentillas are very durable and long flowering plants and this one in the veg garden was unaffected by wind and rain.


Marigolds are not so hardy but I was taken by the fading colour of one in the front bed.


The rambling rose which provided some of the flowers for the Common Riding Crown has one or two little clumps still on the go.

rambling rose

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and although he has been on holiday, he has managed to squeeze in a bit of practice and he played very well.  I am a very rough and ready player myself and I will have to practice a bit more if I am to keep up with him.  I think that I am going to buy a new flute as I am playing enough to make getting a better model worthwhile.

If I do get one, I will certainly have to practise as they are not cheap and it would be a waste of money to have one and not use it well.

I found a flying sparrow of the day, neatly outlined by some marigolds in the bed behind it.

flying sparrow




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Bowled over by Bertha

  1. With as many excellent photos that you take, I can see how sorting through them all could be time consuming.

    I don’t know if this will help, but to save myself the frustration of trying to find my better photos, I created a folder that I named “Special”. Then within that folder, I created four more, Birds, Insects, Flowers, and Landscapes. When I shoot a photo that I think is extra special, I copy it to the appropriate folder. That means that I have two copies of it saved, but that’s not all bad either. Every once in a while, I go through the photos in the Special folder and see if I think that they are still worthy of saving as special, and delete a few that I have better versions of the same subject saved.

  2. The rambling rose is very pretty and glad the slow puncture was easily fixed. Good luck with finding and purchasing a new flute, it will be good to make a much better sound. I agree about the fading marigold.

  3. You are very fortunate in your pupil. Practising while away on holiday indeed!
    I’m sorry your garden has had a battering – it is still very windy here with branches and fruit still falling. The young blackbird and rambling rose photos stand out today for me.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the London cycling on Sunday. We set off to visit new grandaughters who were getting their parents together over lunch (which we were bringing). We had to battle through the last of Bertha, and the subsequent shunts of lunatic drivers into each other, but had not realised that most of the roads in South London were closed for bicycles, as were others because of local flooding. After some hours of struggle we gave up and managed to get back home, and so have no snap of the day for you to show Lila and Rosa to Matilda

    1. What a disaster. I hope you will be able to try again soon with camera in hand because we are always keen to get high quality babies in our guest picture of the day.

  5. Nice flying bird of the day and I quite liked the fading marigold. Also, that’s a lovely guest picture again today.

    I don’t envy you the task of choosing flower photos for the contest as I think most of yours are wonderful. Perhaps some of the stunning lilies you’ve snapped recently?

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