Happy birthday

No guest picture today as there has to be a space for the magnificent birthday cake cooked for me by Mrs Tootlepedal on the occasion of my birthday.  Because of my advanced age, it was impossible to cook a cake large enough to hold an appropriate number of candles so in the finished product, the candle is a decimal fraction of 0.0136986301 (approx) of my accumulated years.

birthday cakeOwing to the distribution among us of dodgy knees and persistent coughs, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a quiet day today.  I did contemplate a morning pedal but it was a very dull and grey day and the trip to Edinburgh yesterday had been quite tiring so I didn’t contemplate it for very long.

However the weather did brighten up a bit as the morning went on and I was able to point a camera at a colourful show in the plum tree….

blue tit and goldfinch…catch a worm meeting its end on the lawn….

blackbird with worm…and admire the trim lines of a dunnock under the feeder…dunnock…and a queue of chaffinches up above.

chaffinchesWe were promised a bit of brighter weather after lunch and this indeed appeared so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do a little shopping, I took a stroll round Gaskell’s Walk.  At the moment, it is a perfect walk for me, with a level surface, no big hills and at a mile, just about as far as I can go before needing a reviving cup of tea and a sit down.

I had Pocketcam with me and kept my eyes open as I tottered round.

Park WallThe stones on the park wall were covered in lichen and closer examination shows that there is often more to the white sheets than meets the eye of the casual passer by.

Park WallThe sun came out as I walked along the track past Stubholm….

Stubholm…and I liked the soft, late autumn colours of the larches and grasses on Meikleholm Hill across the valley.

MeikleholmI saw a glitter among some moss beside the path.  At first I thought that it was raindrops on the moss but once again, a closer look showed me a different story.

mossAlthough I must have passed this spot many times, I have never knowingly seen this attempt at Christmas decorations by a moss before.

There was a variety of fungus and lichen to enjoy as I walked out along the path and back by the road.  Some on wood….

fungus and lichen….and some on stone walls
lichenThe local sheep kept an eye on me as I went by.

sheepThe biggest fungus was this roadside beauty near the old manse….

fungus…but the most interesting thing that I saw beside the road was this ghostly hand reaching out from under a hedge.

fungusI can’t find anything like it so I would welcome suggestions as to what it might be.  There was more nearby.

fungusThe Wauchope was quite full but flowing gently as it approached Pool Corner….

Wauchope…and I took my last two pictures on my walk nearby..

peltigera and toadflaxThe lichen on the left is peltigera and Mrs Tootlepedal suggests that the little blue flower on the right might be ivy leaved toadflax.

The walk got me home nicely in time to watch Scotland play Tonga at rugby.  Just to be confusing, they were playing at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock which is a soccer ground.  It wasn’t the most exciting game that I have seen but Scotland played competently and won. These have both been quite rare occurrences in recent years.

I did have a quick look round the garden before I sat down to the rugby match.

Lilian Austin and Special Grandma
We still have roses out, though not quite at their best it must be said.

For my birthday evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal made me a very nice plate of mince and potatoes and then we went out to the Buccleuch Centre to listen to a concert by the Langholm Town Band, to celebrate the production of a CD of their playing.

I used to play in this brass band a long time ago but there is no question but that they are playing to a far higher standard now than when I was a member and I was very impressed indeed by their work.  Although I was very impressed by their playing and ensemble skills, I found the programme rather dull and sadly lacking in opportunities to tap my feet or smile.  This was a fault in me though as I like brisk marches with rollicking bass solos and overtures from popular operas rather than the more serious modern arrangements and compositions that brass bands tend to play these days.

After yesterday’s failure to provide a flying bird of the day, I have got a double take to make up for it today.

goldfinch and chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

42 thoughts on “Happy birthday

  1. I’m 15 minutes late wishing you a happy birthday, a day which, as you no doubt know, you share with Saint Cecelia, the patron saint of musicians. Sorry she let you down a little this evening, but she clearly inspires your own practice.

  2. And a Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Tootlepedal! Looks like a lovely cake Mrs. Tootlepedal made for you.

    That is interesting ghostly hand fungi. Haven’t seen anything like it over here, at least yet. The Pacific Northwest does grow quite a variety of fungi though! I enjoy reading about the attention you give to life underfoot.

  3. I envy the variety of birds you have, and would love a walk in such beautiful country. We received a couple more inches of snow overnight, and it is still lightly falling.
    My niece and I share the same birthday, which is coming on Monday. She is celebrating tonight, sweet 16, and will be bringing some friends here to have a sleepover. I may end up in the wood shop before the night is over…Happy Birthday, Mr. Tootlepedal 🙂

  4. I’ve never seen that lichen with the green apothecia before, so I’m not sure what it is other than a crustose lichen.
    The photo of raindrops on the moss spore capsules is excellent and would win any contest that I was judging. It isn’t often that you see that.
    The spatula shaped club fungi could be Multiclavula vernalis. They might also be young velvet stalked fairy fans (spathularia velutipes), but I don’t think so.
    The hills were beautiful there today. Happy Birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday Mr T and may you have many more of them 😀 . I loved your little birds in the tree. Such pops of colour! I really enjoyed those beautiful little mosses with their autumnal finery on. So much beauty right under our feet, laying unseen for the most part. Pocket cam is working very well. Mrs Ts cake she made looks divine.

  6. Fungus schmungus – how about that cake! Judging by the amount of luscious looking filling oozing from between the layers, Mrs. T. must be rather fond of you! Just think – this will be your last birthday with the aching knee – next year you’ll be able to do that long ride on the day. Happy birthday!

  7. What a delicious looking cake. Was baffled by the decimal figure.
    The moss bells are, I nearly said, very striking. You have to be very observant to see details like that.

  8. One last best wishes for your birthday even if a day late. The cake looked delicious I could almost taste it. Loved the birds in the plum tree and all the variety of mosses, lichens and fungi. What an eye you have for such things these days. You have certainly opened mine.

  9. A very Happy Birthday to you for yesterday! I am sorry the programme for the concert wasn’t to your taste – I think I agree with you about brass band music and perhaps they should have included at least a couple of traditional pieces. The visiting birds to your garden were beautifully photographed – the bluetit looks very perky and I like the sleek dunnock. An enjoyable walk in sunshine (!) with so much to see.

  10. Belated Happy Birthday, Great cake and fungi and have never seen a dunnock looking so resplendent. Hope Mrs T is feeling recovered and knee is waiting patiently.

  11. Wishing you a belated happy birthday. Tried to do so on the day from my iPhone WordPress app but it would not cooperate. Really love the Christmas decorations and that enticing autumnal road by the larches.

  12. Happy Birthday, Mr T. All the best for the oncoming one.Many thanks for all the beauty you are sharing and presenting to us. My compliments to the lady at your side.

  13. Better late than never… Happy Birthday my friend! I’ve just returned from my vacation and have hundreds of email to reply! 🙂

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