Farewell to Bertha

Today’s guest picture comes from Fiona, my Newcastle correspondent, and shows an entry in the Kettlewell Scarecrow competition. Some of the scarecrows may in fact be her children.


After several days of wet and windy weather, things looked up today and we got a warm and generally dry day to enjoy.

I would have gone out on my bike after breakfast if I hadn’t had a visit to the doctor on my schedule.  This turned out well and she is going to try to get a MRI scan organised as soon as possible so that we can pin down the cause of the trouble in my hip and leg.

Buoyed up .by this hint of progress, I was just about to ring up Sandy to suggest a gentle cycle ride when the man himself turned up at the door on his bike, having already been round a sixteen mile circle, filling the Moorland bird feeders on his way.

I settled for a cup of coffee with him.  It is good to see that he has fully recovered from his recent pneumonia.

Mrs Tootlepedal had also been out on her bike.  She had passed Dropscone going round the morning run and met up with Tommy, the loyal South African blog reader who is visiting his old home town for a while.  He told Mrs Tootlepedal that he was pleased to be cycling in a place less windy than the hilltop where he lives in South Africa.  There, he often has to pedal hard to go downhill.

After all this excitement, I went for a walk round the garden in the sun.

Not all the sunflowers were knocked over by Bertha.

sunflowersI was amused by a confused bee who spent some time vainly looking for some pollen on a poppy….

bee on poppy…before flying off baffled.

Our clump of Feverfew is almost over…

feverfew…but the white clematis on the arch goes from strength to strength.

clematisTwo splashes of red caught my eye.  The first was the perennial nasturtium (tropaeolum) which has started to produce a new flush of flowers to go with the multicoloured berries.

tropaeolum…and the other was a Fuchsia which Mrs Tootlepedal found self seeded behind the house and which is now doing very well in one of the borders.

FuchsiaMrs Tootlepedal had dug up the onions and laid them to dry in the sun.

Plenty of potential soup there.

Mike Tinker noticed a few walnuts on our walnut tree the last time he was round and when I looked there are several but our summer is not long enough for the nuts to ripen properly and at best we may only get one or two.

walnutAfter lunch, I got the speedy bike out and went for a fourteen mile pedal.  A few drops of rain fell out of a fairly clear sky just as I started but I pressed on regardless and was rewarded by a dry and pleasant run.  As I drew near to home, the wet road showed that I had missed a sharp shower by a few minutes.

I had arranged to meet Sandy for a photographic outing and when he appeared, we combined the photography with a visit to the bike shop in Longtown where he got some advice on fitting a new mirror that he had bought and I picked up a replacement mudguard for the one that had broken recently.

Our route home took us past the Penton Bridge which spans the border between England and Scotland.  There is a class for photographs of bridges at the Canonbie show and we were hoping that inspiration might strike us.

It is a bridge that I like.

penton bridgeThe ramp on the right is a solid wall of rock, part of an anticline and much used by swimmers.

penton bridge 2The river was full of rich brown, peaty water after the recent rain.

penton bridge 3We stopped at another bridge on our way home and although it was very impressive, it was impossible to photograph because of the vegetation in the way so we had to be content with eating some very tasty blackberries…

blackberries…and snapping butterflies.

butterfly During the day, I had some time to stare out of the kitchen window and was pleased to see that the scruffy blue tit (which is moulting according to my expert commentators) had returned.

blue tit….and it had a scruffy siskin to keep it company.

.siskinThe siskin’s scruffiness might have been caused by the sheer force with which a chaffinch flew into the far side of the feeder.

chaffinch at feederThe lack of a perch was no obstacle to it.

After tea, which had a side order of beans, potatoes and spinach from the garden, Sandy reappeared on his bike and we followed the bike shop’s instructions and fitted the mirror.  On reflection, it seems to have worked.

sandy in reflective moodSandy went off on a six mile ride to test it.

During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal was working on my computer at some business for the embroiderers’ syllabus for the new season.  I had my phone in my hand and out of the blue, it asked me if I wanted to take a silly picture.  I did.  This is it.

phone kaleidoscopeThe list of things which I never realised that I wanted to do is endless.

The flying bird of the day is one of those reliable chaffinches.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Farewell to Bertha

    1. The bridge view wasn’t a crop. I took a second view with the lens zoomed up. The onions are good like most of the veg this year. It is just a question of getting them dried out well for storage now.

      Most of the mirrors in the shop were designed for sticking in the bar ends of straight handlebars and this was the only one that would fit Sandy’s rather fancy butterfly bars.

  1. What a crystal clear photo of some gorgeous blackberries! It sounds you had more luck with them than Kat and I did. The butterfly is lovely, but it’s that path up from under the bridge that intrigues me the most. My imagination is running! ~SueBee

    1. It is solid rock and runs at the same angle down to the river bed. It is great to jump off as you can choose a height commensurate with your courage.

  2. Excellent pictures, especially Sandy in the mirror. Very glad he is is fully recovered. It’s nice to think of you all whizzing around- pedal power!

  3. I agree, the cropped photo of the bridge and incline is a winner! I really liked the silly one also, it’s an eye catcher for sure. But my favorite is the chaffinch crashing into the feeder, that was a real catch!

  4. Well, what an enjoyable blog. I was glad you included the fuchsia, the blackberries which I could almost taste, the classy bridge and the weird picture you took on your phone. Hope the MRI scan will pinpoint the cause of your pain.

  5. Glad you received a helpful referral re the hip. Also glad to see that Sandy is back with renewed energy.
    A fine set of pictures – the bridges look good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: