Ever increasing circles

Today’s guest picture shows a most unusual gardener who was at work in Regent’s Park as my sister Mary walked by.

The Regent's Park gardenerMy day started with double fun at the health centre where a novice vampire took a little blood from me and a kindly lady stabbed me in the shoulder.  With my blood test complete and my flu jab administered, I was able to face the rest of the day with equanimity.

When I got home ready for my breakfast, I found Scott, the minister there, dressed in fashionable black cycling gear and hoping for some company for a cycle run.  I didn’t think it wise to take exercise before I was certain that my flu jab wouldn’t react so he left for a solo excursion.

I was just about to do something (I can’t remember what but it would have been very exciting I am sure) when my mobile rang.  It was Sandy calling to say that his car had given up the ghost at the Moorland bird feeders and asking if I could come and rescue him.  When I arrived, we discovered that curious strands of what looked like horsehair were coming out of his exhaust pipe and we diagnosed silencer problems.  I took him home and he arranged for his car to be collected by the local garage.

I was just back and walking round the garden, when the minister returned from his cycle ride in time for coffee.  He had got a puncture yesterday from riding along a lane where the hawthorn hedge had been recently cut but he had not had a puncture today so he was very cheerful.

When he left, I went out into the garden again.  I am receiving cognitive therapy treatment which will hopefully stop me instinctively taking a picture every time I see a Shirley poppy but it is not working yet.

Shirley poppyShirley poppyIt had almost been frosty first thing in the morning and I liked the little jewels this had left on the leaves of the perennial nasturtium.

nasturtiumThe glorious weather of the last month is set to break with a vengeance tomorrow so Mrs Tootlepedal and I buckled down and trimmed the hedge along the road in the sunshine.

Like us, it has seen better days.

While we were at work on the hedge, our neighbour Liz was trimming a tree.

Liz in a tree
She was getting really stuck in.

Beneath her tree and on the banks of the dam, there are some seriously big mushrooms.

They don’t look very perky but they are growing bigger all the time.

Further along the dam, behind our house, the potentillas are reaching the end of their flowering season at last but the fuchsia on the very end of the house is still flourishing.

potentilla and fuchsiaWhile I was wandering around taking pictures. Mrs Tootlepedal was trimming some of the hedges inside the garden too.

neat hedgeThis is called the division of labour.

By now, it was time for lunch and soon afterwards, Sandy arrived on his bike and we went off for a short ride.  I was a bit tired from yesterday and we had both had flu jabs in the morning so we settled on a fourteen mile gentle route.

I stopped from time to time to take a photo.  I am still trying to master monochrome so I looked out for single trees with good contrasting backgrounds.

monochrome treemonochrome treeBut it was colour that caught my eye most when I saw that the bracken on one side of the road had turned quite brown while on the other side it was still green.


Just after we passed the bracken, we came to the junction where we should have turned for home.  “Let’s go the other way,” said Sandy, adding another two miles to our distance.  I felt quite perky so off we went.  When we got to the next junction where we might have turned for home, a voice was heard.  “Let’s go the other way,” said Sandy adding a couple more miles to our trip.  Off we went again and with Sandy in full flow, we were about to add another couple of miles, when we came across a tractor with a hedge clipper attachment.   The road was covered in thorns so we instantly stopped and turned back.

“We could go down here and back along the main road,” said Sandy.  “Let’s go the other way,” I said and we added another couple of miles including two quite stiff climbs to our jaunt and ended up doing an easy 14 mile journey that took us 23 hilly miles to complete.

Sandy cycling
Sandy going up one of the smaller hills.

We had a nice cup of tea and two biscuits when we got home.  It was a beautiful day and the wind wasn’t as strong as had been forecast so we had enjoyed ourselves and the views as we went round the ever increasing circle.

When Sandy left, I had another stroll round the garden.

bees knees
You may not think much of this picture but it is literally the bees knees.
I found an astrantia without a bee on it.
Roses coming and going

In the evening, Sandy and I went to the Archive Centre and Sandy scanned some interesting pictures which a local man had helpfully brought in and then helped me finish putting two more weeks of the newspaper index into the database.  All this took so long that we didn’t have time for our weekly refreshment.

When I got home, a half moon was just sinking behind a strip of cloud and I had a quick shot at it.  Although the result is far from perfect, I thought that it made a striking image.

moon and cloudThe flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.  I took it with my new macro lens through the kitchen window which accounts for the slight ghosting.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Ever increasing circles

  1. Mr Tootlepedal I love visiting your blog. Especially today when I made the mistake of switching on the television news. Switched the darn thing off again as quickly as possible and threw myself into your blog. Feeling better now.
    Today’s post was quite the bees knees. Ha ha. Couldn’t help that one slipping out!

    1. Photoshop CS6. I treated myself. It has a range of sliders for each colour in the conversion process and should be good when I have worked them out a bit more.

  2. I love looking at your blog at the end of the day here in New England. This is the first photo you have posted that shows the whole Fuisia , can’t seem to spell it, bush or vine or whatever it is. Covered with those amazing blossoms, and set off by the potentilla, it’s a spectacular sight! You’d shown only close-ups of the flowers before, and they are wonderful; but I was so surprised to see the whole thing!

    1. The close up fuschsia (named after a Mr Fuchs) shots generally come from a different and more cultivated bush but this standard bush on the back wall has really enjoyed itself this year. The town is full of stunning examples.

  3. Your moon photograph is remarkable; I couldn’t stop looking at it. Never have seen one like it before … and there are many, many moon pictures.

  4. Beautiful flowers still, and the half moon shot is spectacular. And thanks for reminding me I must get a flu shot (it’s not offered where I work now, I have to get this done myself).

      1. True enough. I got my shot today, I was stabbed at the local pharmacy. I guess I can’t complain about her technique, it was free.

  5. Well, if the cognitive therapy treatment doesn’t get you to stop shooting the Shirley poppies, winter will. 😉

    I see that the macro lens did well on the bird, but I think that bee’s knees are taking it too far. 😉 It will also do well on landscapes when its focal length is correct for the scene. It should help you get even sharper images for the competitions that you enter.

    I also liked the moon shot and the first black & white photos.

    1. You are right about winter. As regards the macro, I have tried it once or twice on landscapes but I haven’t had many good clear days in spite of our recent dry spell. I am intending to get a portable hide and may be able to get closer to birds and then the macro will come into its own as it is sharp.

  6. What a beautiful day for your ride. The lawn and hedge trimming has been done to immaculate effect.

  7. I like the monochrome shots very much. I have seen the curious autumn colour-change phenomenon before – some trees here are half orange and half green. Must be something to do with which side gets most of the sunshine or shade, heat or cold I suppose. I’m obviously making this up as I go along!

  8. I’m glad the cognitive therapy isn’t working, those Shirley poppies are lovely. The black and white photos are great, especially the moon.

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