Too much choice

Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter who has acquired the use of a small allotment.  She is very proud of her chard which she has grown from seed.

chardWhen I looked at the weather forecast last night, I noticed that the wind speed in the evening was recorded as ‘calm’,  i.e 0 mph.  This is exceedingly rare here and sadly it was not calm when Dropscone and I embarked on the morning run today.  Still, the wind was helping us on the way out and we cruised along in good form.  By some strange and welcome quirk of geography, it seemed not to be against us on the way back until the last few miles so we got home very cheerfully.

Turning into Wauchope Street was a bit of an adventure though, as in our narrow road there was a bin lorry, a mini digger, a car and two council lorries.  There was scarcely enough room for a slim cyclist to squeeze through.  The upshot of the work was an emptied bin and a modest trench alongside the pavement which will carry a new drain.

It was well protected by bollards as the men had their lunch break.

All this was very exciting and there was an extra buzz about our coffee and scones.

I had a report about our recent new camera club meeting to write for the local paper so I settled down to that and while I was writing it, we were visited first by Mike Tinker and then by the engineer who had come to fix the central heating.  I got the report finished and sent off, Mike went away with a card that he had kindly agreed to post for us and the gasman fixed the central heating.  It was a very satisfactory hour.

I managed to find a moment to walk round the garden among all this.

A few poppies are defiantly hanging on.
Some (but not all) of the marigolds continue to flourish
Although Mrs Tootlepedal has cleared many of the sunflowers, there are still some just coming into full bloom.

I made some onion and potato soup for lunch.  We still have quite a lot of potatoes left from the garden but our stock of onions is running a bit low.  Because they haven’t kept particularly well in the last two years, Mrs Tootlepedal planted fewer thus year and naturally, if rather annoyingly,  they are keeping very well.

After lunch, I took a moment to stare out of the kitchen window.

chaffinches keep watch
Three wary chaffinches were keeping an eye out for danger from all directions as they munched on their seeds.
chaffinches posing
A male and a female posed for me in a brighter moment.

Then I settled down to go through my photographs to pick out six, three prints and three digital images for the Liddesdale Camera Club’s first competition of the new season.    This is the camera club that Sandy and I have been going to for a couple of years in Newcastleton.

As I have literally thousands of pictures to choose from, picking six when there is no theme is a really hard task and after two hours, I finally managed the selection but I don’t think that I have managed to pick the six best from my files as the very fact of having so many options and considerations makes my head hurt…..a lot.

When I went out into the garden for a breath of fresh air after the agony was over,   I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work clearing away plants that had passed their ‘flower by’ date and hacking away at a nest of brambles in the wild corner of the garden.  She took a break and we went to pick up another ten walnuts from beneath the tree.  We reckon that we must have harvested over 50 nuts this year which makes it a jubilee year for walnuts.

I had a camera to hand and took a shot or two as we went along.

virginia creeper
A little late sun picked out a leaf of the Virginia Creeper

Mrs Tootlepedal is very fond of grasses and she was pleased with the effect of the sun on a bunch of Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberfeder’ or Silver Feather grass.  (You can tell that she was beside me as we walked past as I would never have known the proper name for it otherwise).

In the lively breeze, it was being blown this way….

Silver Feather Grass…and that.

Silver feather grass

I was able to pick another bowl of raspberries.  There are still plenty left to ripen and they are keeping their flavour well.

My efforts to live on a Mediterranean diet are pretty feeble but I am trying to eat more fish and fruit generally and along with the raspberries I enjoyed a very tasty fillet of haddock for my tea before getting a lift from Sandy across to Newcastleton for the camera club meeting.

We sat through a show of 120 photos that had been entered from various Border camera clubs into a big competition last spring.  There were several pictures that caught my eye but in the main, I feel that photographic competitions where experienced club photographers are trying their hardest tend to produce a lot of work with a glittering surface and no heart.  On top of that, the judges decisions are so subjective and often incomprehensible that I am glad that by and large I stick to local shows where the interest of the subject is often more important than the technique of the artist.

Having said that, Sandy had two pictures in the competition which both received very good marks (and deserved them).

Here is one of the digital images which I have entered in our competition.  I will let you know in due course what the judge thinks about it.

Eskdale CumbriaThe flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.  There’s a surprise.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Too much choice

  1. Great that your daughter has an allotment, I’m sure it will give her lots of pleasure, as mine does – and backache, and broken nails etc. I love chard (we call it silver beet) it does very well in my allotment in our Brisbane winter.

    Beautiful poppy photographs Mr T, are you still taking the medication!?

  2. I think your photo of that sinuous rock wall is a real winner. Also love the autumn leaves (Virginia creeper), and that is a very fresh looking sunflower for October.

  3. I agree, the rock fences lining the road looks like a winner to me. But, what do I know, I’ve never done better than second with any photo that I’ve entered into a contest. 😉

    I hope that you do well with your entries, and also that the camera club is a success.

  4. The digital image you picked for the competition look like a winner to me.I loved the colours in the virginia creeper too. Well done for trying to alter your diet a bit at least.

  5. That chard looks very healthy.
    Hope the six pictures you chose for the competition are appreciated by the judges. I really liked the one of the road and stone wall.

  6. The excitement of a new drain in a country town! Any day that road works are done is a red letter day. The marigold is a winner as I also hope the road with stone wall will be. A lovely view along the valley from that corner.

  7. So happy to see the colorful marigold. Best of luck with the photo competition! I would imagine picking 6 entries when there’s no particular theme would be exceedingly difficult.

  8. I think you’ve made a good choice with that picture. I like it very much. I have sympathy with you goi through your photo archives as I’m currently going through the ones I’ve salvaged from the old blog and my head is hurting too. I didn’t realise I’d taken so many!

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