Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s sister Elizabeth, who is visiting her daughter in America.  It was taken on the Monticello estate (home of Thomas Jefferson) which is near where her daughter  lives. It shows a hotel for insects, and she assures me that there are many insects in this part of the world.

Charlottesville April 2015 005Although it has been chilly and windy lately and the road gritter was out again last night, in general there have been enough sunny spells to keep our spirits up.  Today was almost one continuous sunny spell, although it was only 5° when I set out on my bike to do a little training.

Rather than go for a cycle ride, I decided to see if I could cycle up a 1½ mile, 600ft climb twice in a row without wrecking myself.  I took the climb at a very steady speed and stopped to take a photo or two with my phone at the top.

White YettThe white van rather spoiled the view so I disappeared it on the computer when I got home.

White YettThe monument and the McDiarmid memorial were looking very good in the morning sun.

monument and memorialI rolled gently back down the hill and then climbed back up it again, still slowly but quite comfortably.  The view was still good from the top.

white yettI was at 272m or 892ft when I took this picture.  The bottom of the climb is at 86m or 282ft so the climb is almost exactly 600ft.

Once again, I rolled gently back down the hill, as I am a decidedly cautious descender these days and spurning the chance of a third go at the hill, I rolled on home, having done just under eight miles in almost exactly an hour.

Fortunately Dropscone was soon at hand with some reviving treacle scones and I was very happy to find at the end of the day that my legs were none the worse for the exertion.  The point of the training is a cycle event in Cumbria on Monday which is fifty miles and has 3500ft of climbing.  I realise that eight miles and 1200ft is a bit on the short side but I haven’t been feeling at my best lately so knowing that I can do some steady hill work is very reassuring.

During the day, I had quite a few strolls round the garden and I paid particular attention to the tulips.  Mrs Tootlepedal has some very decorative miniature tulips out at the moment.

Miniature tulipMiniature tulipI love the geometry of the internal workings of the bigger tulips.

tuliptuliptulipThe joy of six.  I am sorry (but not very) to have so many tulip pictures but it was a day for repetitions.

I had seen some promising wild garlic, which is an allium, on my walk yesterday and today I saw a tame  allium in our own garden.

alliumI checked the gooseberries to see if the insects were still at work.

gooseberry with beeThere seems to be plenty of pollen about in spite of the freezing mornings.

The plum blossom is looking not too bad either.

plum blossomHaving said that we never get any sparrows at the feeder, we are getting quite regular sparrow visits now.

sparrowMrs Tootlepedal had spent the morning doing some useful shopping and among other things, came home with a very reasonably priced log splitter from Aldi so we won’t keep having to borrow Liz’s from next door. I split a few logs with it.

In the afternoon, having almost finished the work on the front room, Mrs Tootlepedal turned her attention to the garden.  With some modest help from me, she put in our potatoes for the season.  I took time out to sieve some compost for her to add to the potato bed and when I was not needed, went off and mowed the gauss round the  greenhouse and on the drying green grass.

After a very brief discussion, it appeared that we were both more than happy to turn over the bulk of the front lawn to a wild flower meadow.  It lies in the shade for a lot of the day for most of the winter months and is hard to keep up to a good standard.  It will be interesting to see if the plan for the mini-meadow works out well.

While Mrs Tootlepedal continued to slave over the potatoes, I took another photographic stroll.

I am mazed that I ever thought that euphorbias were dull.

euphorbiaDiscreet, yes but dull, no.

There is a flourishing rosemary plant beside the greenhouse.

rosemaryIn a spirit of repetition, I had another go at catching the apple buds.  My big zoom lens had found it hard to do them justice so I gave Pocketcam a go.

appleIt was more successful.

The final picture of this tour was perhaps the fanciest daffodil that we have in the garden.

daffodilIt was really nice to be out in the garden in the sunshine once more, watching Mrs Tootlepedal at work and if there are two things that I enjoy, they are sieving compost and mowing grass so we were both very cheerful.

I made a trip to the High Street during the morning to get in new supplies of Ethiopian coffee beans and while I was doing that, I called in at one of our art galleries and picked up an object which Mrs Tootlepedal had commissioned from a local potter.

tea bag bowlIt is a unique vessel specially made to put our tea bags in to dry before they are recycled, hence the handy holes in the bottom.

A recent survey claimed that retired Danish ladies are the happiest people in Europe but as I sit at my tidy computer desk, typing this entry in a warm, dry, well lit room, with some economically chopped logs glowing in the stove, I am giving them a jolly good run for their money tonight.

The flying bird of the day is a wide winged chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “Repetition

  1. That’s what retirement is all about: Doing things you love to do in your own sweet time. As for the wildflower meadow – sounds nice enough, but isn’t as easy to come by and needs a lot of work too.

  2. The views of the hills are beautiful as always.
    Will you tear out the lawn to create a meadow or stop mowing and just let the flower seeds that are already there grow? I did that one year and couldn’t believe all the flowers that were just waiting for me to stop mowing.

    1. Mrs Tootlepedal just happens to have a shake and scatter box of wild flower seeds to hand so the plan is to scarify the lawn to get rid of as much of the moss as we can, then mow a central strip and let the rest grow with the addition of scattered seeds.

  3. The birds and leaves on the teabag holder are just perfectly done, and so sweet. Your potter is a true artist. Please give her or him my compliments, from across the Atlantic. Also, your tulip photos are breathtaking.

    1. We were very pleased with the tea bag holder. You don’t quite know what you are going to get when you ask for something to be done specially for you but the artist came up trumps on this occasion.

      1. The good way to approach split logs is to imagine you have to drive through the chopping block, too: plenty of power does the job admirably.

  4. Very clever van disappearing! The tea bag bowl is very cute, the tulips inner workings beautiful and the fancy daffodil very impressive, but my favourite today was the rosemary 🙂 Good luck with the cycle event on Monday…your preparation ride must have been heartening.

  5. It’s good to hear that you’re enjoying life so much right now. I can see why, beautiful rolling hills and flowers to photograph, along with the birds. I’d be very content there too.

  6. So glad the day went so well for you, the new room sounds fabulous after all those years of misery. The chaffinch in the plum tree image is just right for putting on a mug in a National Trust shop! Pleased also to read about your hill climb being so successful.

  7. So nice to hear you’ve had a lovely day and are feeling contented and happy. I agree the inner workings of the tulip photos are splendid. The landscapes are lovely. One day I’d like to work out how to make things disappear from a shot too. Yes, it will be interesting to see what comes up in the flower meadow. 🙂

  8. I also am amazed that you ever found euphorbias dull. I love them in both their wild and cultivated wild forms.
    Great that you’re going for a wildflower meadow. I love the picture of the bee – you’ll get even more with that meadow!

  9. Most satisfying that you managed the double climb, and were rewarded with some excellent views.

  10. Well done TP ,that climb x 2 was no walk in the park I have no doubt you and your team will complete the 50 mile trek. good luck.

  11. The flying bird of the day is beautiful. The hilltop views and the bumblebee photos are very good too. I am very fond of miniature bulbs so your tulips appealed to me, especially the yellow one.

  12. I’m glad to hear it was a happy and productive day. The tulips are lovely and not at all boring and I’m looking forward to seeing your wild flower lawn take shape.

  13. Gorgeous tulips. I remembered as I looked at your flower photos, the lovely roses from last year and got a thrill thinking that you will soon be posting photos of them. I really like that piece of pottery Mrs. T commissioned.

    From following your blog, I think you live quite an idyllic life.

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