Turned off

Today’s guest picture shows a fine mountain view taken by my brother Andrew in NZ when he was tramping to Silica Rapids at Whakapapa at the beginning of this month.  I may have remarked before that he is an exceptionally active chap.  The building in the foreground is a hotel.

Tramping to Silica Rapids at Whakapapa Sept 2014 - 1I was by no means an active chap myself today and the most energetic thing that I did in the morning was to make a pot of coffee for a gathering of Dropscone, Arthur and Sandy who sat round our kitchen table and enjoyed one of Dropscone’s girdle scones and a slice of Selkirk bannock while sipping.

It was a fairly dismal morning, grey and drizzly as this picture of a perching chaffinch demonstrates…

chaffinch in rain…and so it was no great hardship for me to have coffee and conversation rather than to try to keep up with Dropscone in the wet.

I am still rather upset by the failure of the independence referendum and when the conversation turned to renewable energy this morning, I found myself arguing both that when it come to renewable energy, the politicians have been made complete fools of by the big energy companies and also that people who feel that all politicians are fools are fools themselves because they are playing the game of the big energy companies who want discredited politicians to be thought of as fools so that they, the companies, can get away with doing whatever they want without regulation or responsibility.  I shall have to calm down.

After the coffee party split up, I went out and turned some compost.

It wasn’t a good day for carrying the camera so I was pleased to be able to catch a dunnock in a quiet moment.

dunnockTaking their cue from me, the chaffinches were in a bickering mood in the gloom too.

chaffincheschaffinchesI turned some more compost.

Health and safety warning:  Those of a nervous disposition should stop reading now as the next section deals with compost and may be too exciting for them.

I finished turning the compost today and here is a picture of bin C and bin D with the freshly turned compost.

c ompostThe sharp eyed will notice that bin D on the right is smaller than bin C on the left.  By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal has used the compost from bin D, the compost in bin C will have handily reduced itself in size and will fit comfortably into bin D.

compostHere are bins A and B.  By the end of the day the last of bin B had gone into bin A and it will stay there until next spring when it will be transported into bin C.  Bin A has removable sections to make getting the compost out an easy task.  The half glimpsed plastic bin on the left has been filled by Mrs Tootlepedal has got shreddings in it and will rot down at its own pace unless I feel very perky.

You can see that when it comes to elegant compost bins, no expense has been spared.

After lunch, the drizzle faded away and as it was pleasantly warm in the west wind, Sandy and I went off for a leisurely short pedal just to get the legs turning over.  Sandy has really taken to cycling and did a 34 mile circuit on Sunday which surprised even him.

It was still very grey and by the time we had got back and had a cup of tea and a biscuit, it really felt as though evening had come, although it was only four o’clock.

I took Pocketcam out when I had finished the composting just to see how it would cope with the poor light.

sweet pea
The sweet peas would brighten even the darkest day
A gaudy clematis shone out too.

Poking through the fence was a ginger syllabub rose which has been encouraged by the recent good weather to have a go at flowering for the first time this year.

ginger syllabub rose
Mrs Tootlepedal moved it which is why it didn’t flower earlier.

The Shirley poppies are slowly going over but but the Michaelmas daisies and the astrantia are holding on bravely.

daisies and astrantiaA couple of readers have commented on the marigolds so I asked Mrs Tootlepedal what their Sunday name is and she tells me that they are Calendula officinalis.  Wikipedia tells me that they have a variety of common names: pot marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold.   In our garden they are Scottish marigolds.

marigoldIn the evening, Sandy and I went off to the Archive Centre where we put 100 entries into the newspaper database.  We enjoyed a well earned glass of wine after that but the sad fact is that I am falling ever further behind the eager data miners who are about three months ahead of me.  I will have to pull my socks up and make a determined effort to catch up soon or I will be overwhelmed.  Too much good weather and too many cycling miles over the summer have been my downfall.

The flying bird of the day is an inevitable and rather fuzzy  chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Turned off

  1. I like the dunnock. It’s a bird I’ve never seen or heard of.
    Any gardener knows that compost is brown gold, and you can’t buy anything better. When people used to hire me on as their gardener the first thing I did was build a 3 bin compost heap.
    I never would have guessed that the marigold was a calendula!

  2. Thank you for naming he birds.. I like the dunnock, too. Plumage is somewhat similar to certain New World sparrows but with a different, slimmer bill that looks more adapted to insects.

  3. We’re very lucky to have a very large household compost bin provided by the city. It’s collected with the waste and recycling bins and off it goes to be turned into gardener’s gold, which we can pick up at the landfill. Also – great excitement here on the poppy front! Inspired by your many references to Shirley poppies, my friend Lucie brought me a packet of “Shirley Papaver rhoeas Double Mix” seed from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. I hope they do as well as Mrs. T’s!

    1. So do I or I shall feel guilty. We tried to set up a community garden compost scheme a few years ago but it was hard to find a site and the planners were most unhelpful.

  4. Loving the compost expo – always interesting to see another persons way of undertaking this awesome activity. I fear I have also fallen into the arguing myself into a corner trap many times, usually regarding politics and the environment. Maybe the answer is to turn more compost 🙂 and lovely to see “our” Chateau Tongariro as today’s guest picture.

    1. I have been following the compost expo closely too.
      I have a serious problem (according to my family) as I cannot pass a carelessly thrown banana skin without wanting to take it home with me to add to the ‘gardeners gold’ bin.

  5. That compost set-up reminds me of the ones we had when we lived in a village outside of Bremen in northern Germany some years back. A very nice reminder, thank you!

  6. I do so agree with you regarding the power companies and renewable energy. You expressed my thoughts in your usual inimitable way.

    Thanks for the dunnock, the sweet pea and the newly flowering Rose.

  7. I was happy to read about the composting, and pictures to go with was great. The first time I saw you mention turning compost I was wishing to see photos of the setup…so thanks for that. Love the sweet pea, my mom grows them every year.

  8. I’m sorry, I can’t leave a comment. I became overly excited at the sight of such fine compost bins and the accompanying description that it will be a while before I calm down enough to type. 😉

  9. Lovely picture of the dunnock. Always pleased to see a sweet pea. Your composting is greatly to be admired!

  10. Thanks for the information on the marigolds, I will have to write it down to remember for next spring. Do your type smell good? The kind we get here have a very strong and not too pleasant odor, but they are good for deterring certain pests from the garden.

    The Michaelmas daisies are lovely. Perhaps I will put those on my list for next year, too.

    Very interesting compost set-up, I must encourage my hubby to create something like this.

  11. Your compost arrangements are very interesting and far more sophisticated than mine. The compost looks to be of excellent quality thanks to all your hard work too.

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