Hill test

Today’s guest picture is a fine mossy roof spotted by my daughter on her recent jaunt to Hampshire.

Mossy roofThe forecasters had promised us a sunny day but there was little chance of a suntan and a reasonable chance of getting wet  in the morning.  I timed my visit to our corner shop with such precision that I caught one of the showers.

Still, I put some of the time spent indoors to good use by using the bike to nowhere in the garage.  I am not working very hard on it but I did increase the time spent pedalling and even going gently, my legs knew that they had been in action after quarter of an hour.  I think it is going to be harder than I thought it would be when I get out on the roads again.

There was a steady supply of small birds at the feeder and I was pleased to see two or possibly three redpolls.

Having varying success at dealing with big seeds.

One got quite fierce and tried to cow another.  I take it that they are both young males!

redpollsA pigeon turned up to lend a hand with clearing up the fallen seeds.

pigeonAs well as staring out of the window, Mrs Tootlepedal and I continued the work of clearing all the stuff out of our front room.  We took the opportunity to throw a lot of ancient possessions out as we did so.  This is always a wrench but the chances of us ever watching Grease on video again are very limited so we didn’t cry too much.

After lunch, the weather looked a bit more promising so I drove up to the moorland feeders to see how the hide was coming along.

Moorland hideThe team have obviously been working very hard.

I stepped inside and took a view through the window and found a blue tit near at hand.

Moorland hideNear the hide, the team have created the Ritz of bug hotels.

bug hotelI can understand why there are no tits in our garden as they all seem to be up at the moorland feeders.  Even when I strolled down the centre of the glade, they were not put off.

great tit and blue tits
A great tit and two blue tits

The weather seemed not too bad with high clouds in one direction….

clouds at Broomholmshiels…and blue sky in the other…

Tinnis…so I decided to give my knee a little hill work and set off down the road to the banks of the Tarras water.  The first part of the trip was through open country and even in winter, there was colour to be seen in the trees.

Tarras treesI soon came to birch woods and the road took a turn downwards.

Tarras roadIt was quite steep going down but a lot steeper coming back up again.  The birch woods were a delight with lichens to be seen on every tree.

Sometimes to excess

On the other side of the river, commercial conifer planting sweeps inexorably down the hill.

Tarras treesI reached the flat beside the Tarras Water and stopped a while to enjoy the rippling sound of the river…

Tarras water…and to have a little rest before tackling the uphill section back to the car.

I had to stop to take a picture or two as I went up the hill as I was anxious not to overdo things.  A lichen on a slender tree trunk made me think of my knee for some reason.

lichenAnd I stepped into the wood to snap a mossy clearing with a mysterious boulder.

boulderI managed to go slowly enough to get back to the car without difficulty and was very pleased with how well my knee went.

Later in the day though, my muscles in both legs felt as though I had walked miles rather than a few hundred yards.

When I got back, we had another go at the front room and made very good progress.  My back had been much better ever since I got up and I was a bit worried about annoying it but the worst seems to be past and a little light lifting hasn’t done it any harm that I can feel yet.

I have been able to cut down my painkillers to a few paracetamol a day which is a great relief and if things go as they are, I should soon be able to do without them too.    If I could just get a good night’s sleep, I would be a happy man.  But then I wouldn’t have anything to complain about so I would be sad.

In the evening, Sandy took me across to Newcastleton where we attended a Liddesdale Camera Club meeting.  The visiting adjudicator was commenting on our entries in the “Colour” competition.  He was very complimentary about all the entries and I think that the prints in particular were of a good standard.  In view of that, I was not too unhappy to fail to catch his eye when the prizes were dished out and correspondingly, Sandy was very pleased to get a well deserved second and a third.

The flying bird of the day is a very vocal chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Hill test

  1. Very entertaining post. Great to see you out and about again and glad to hear that your knee held up ok. Those blue tits certainly do have it made and that hide looks like it will hold a coach load!

  2. Whenever I have used an exercise bike I never seem to cycle far as I find it so boring and therefore, tiring! When outside in the fresh air with things to see and progressing along instead of being stationary I am sure you will do very well and will soon be cycling miles with very little effort. I love the photos of the mossy clearing and the colourful trees.

  3. Wonderful bug hotel! And as for the wooden knee…
    Is that boulder what they call an erratic, do you know? Left behind by retreating ice?

  4. I enjoyed seeing the mossy roof photo your daughter took, and the very stern looking redpoll at the feeder. The mysterious boulder makes me want to serach around, look for buried treasure as it certainly looks like a long lost marker. Glad you’re walking about more and more.

  5. I loved the high cloud, the Tarras water and the lichen that looked like your knee. Glad all your ailments are progressing albeit not fast enough.

  6. So many things I enjoyed about this post! First off, I adored that close-up of the pigeon! 🙂 Also, that blind looks fab and I would love to visit your moorland feeders, that looks like an amazing place! Those blue tits are a delight. Your landscapes were lovely today and I was happy to tag along with you on your walk. Thank you for providing an escape from the drab and dreary scenery outside my window!

  7. Sorry I somehow got unsubscribed but I am back again. Love the tits. And your outing photos are beautiful. Are you finding slowing down, as frustrating as it is, affords you more time to pay attention? I will think of that lichen now whenever my knee reminds me of it.

    1. I can’t idle about as I would wish as the knee gets just as tired from standing as it does from walking and of course I can’t hop up and down banks when I see something that need further investigation. The knee tree was right next to the road.

      1. I live in a fidgety world at the moment, standing, sitting, walking and even lying down are all momentary pleasures. But…things are improving.

  8. I like the knee tree lichen, I can see how your mind was working there. I’m sure when you’re out on the bike it will be easier with scenery to distract you.

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