Casting a clout

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia who is back in England and went to visit an enormous limestone quarry with a geological interest group.   Her picture shows the Torr Works (after a Mr. Torr, nothing to do with Glastonbury) in the east Mendips. It is a Carboniferous limestone quarry.

Torr WorksWe finally got a summer day today, complete with fluffy clouds, light winds and some genuine (but not excessive) warmth.  After long discussion with my knees, I decided that a day of light exercise not on a bicycle was the best idea and I started it by sawing some logs.

Dropscone has  recently taken advantage of the arrival of his oldest son for a family gathering to  get him to cut down a small sycamore tree that was getting too big for his garden.  Somehow, the tree, only partially sliced up, had arrived in our garden and I am going to turn it into logs for our new stove.  The major length of trunk was about six foot long and nine inches in diameter and although this is nothing to a man with a chain saw, it was quite a task for me with a rather blunt bow saw so I took it in stages throughout the day.  (The sawing of a log doesn’t take too long but the sitting down and recovering is a lengthy business.)

My first break was for a walk round the garden.

polemonium and veronica
Polemonium and Veronica, young and fresh.
tulip and azalea
A very tired tulip and an azalea coming out three weeks late with the flowers clashing with the leaves.
Neither of these lovely flowers come high Mrs Tootlepedal's approval list.
Neither of these lovely flowers come very high on Mrs Tootlepedal’s approval list.

My next break was for coffee and scones with Dropscone and Sandy.  Dropscone had been round his favourite morning cycle ride but had been much hampered by the council’s current enthusiasm for covering the back roads with gravel.

After coffee, I went with Sandy for one of our favourite walks along the banks of the river from Hagg on Esk to Irvine House and back.  We use a fisherman’s path which has some useful aids along the way.

Fisherman's pathWe were able to watch dippers, wagtails, sandpipers, mallards, oyster catchers and goosanders as we walked along but they were in flighty mood…

This goosander’s disappearance was typical

…or perched too far away for a good shot.


There were plenty of other things though to keep the eye entertained as we walked along.  There were too many wild flowers to record even a fraction of them.  I don’t know what this one is, but there were a lot of them along the way, growing to three or four foot in height.

unknown pink wild flower

unknown blue and yellow
I should know what the blue one is but I don’t recognise the yellow ones at all
We saw the first bracken of the season getting ready to unfurl.

There were arty grass opportunities…

grass…and tiny insect shots….

insect with wild flower…as well as butterflies….


The reverse dotted one on the left landed on my sleeve.

…and fishermen.

fishermanThere were two  fisherman and they looked like a pair of men who enjoyed standing in running water without having to be too pestered by fish.

We sat on a bench beside the river and Sandy remarked that it seemed like an idyllic spot.

Esk near Irvine HouseI couldn’t disagree with that.

After a last look down the river…

Esk…we went back to the car and on the way home, we passed Mrs Tootlepedal going in the opposite direction, off to help with pony driving for the disabled.

In  her absence, I had a light lunch and sawed the rest of the main trunk into logs.  I interspersed the sawing with some light mowing and compost turning.  It was so warm that I had to take my jumper off.  In fact, it was such a nice day that every time that I went into the house for a little sit down, I was forced to come back outside almost immediately just to enjoy the warmth again.

Both Mrs Tootlepedal and the starling family…

starlings…made a welcome return.

In the evening, I met up with Sandy again and we went to the Archive Centre as usual on a Thursday and while he got to grips with setting up a refurbished computer, I put a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the database.

It was such a relief to get a decent day today that I nearly didn’t look at the forecast in case it depressed me.  Unfortunately, I did look at it and it did depress me.   After another reasonable day, we are back to low temperatures and very strong winds at the weekend,.  Ah well, summer was good while it lasted.

On our river bank walk, we went very close to a dipper’s nest in a hole in a small cliff next to the path and as we passed going up river, a dipper shot out of the nest just above my head, giving me quite a shock.  As we came back down river, it did the same to Sandy.  The flying bird of the day is a snatched glimpse of this shocking bird on its way to the nest site.

flying dipper

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Casting a clout

    1. A pleasure. I would like to have got it a bit sharper but you have to take what you can get unless you are prepared to set up camp for a few hours.

  1. So many excellent shots today. I did like the arty grass and the shocking Dipper. The flowers probably are: pink – common valerian, blue – bugle and yellow – yellow pimpernel. The river definitely looks idyllic and very Scottish with the fly fisherman.

  2. A truly wonderful day! Filled with beautiful flowers, birds, and the gorgeous river. They say that heating with wood warms you several times, when you cut it, when you stack it, and when you burn it, so you should save cutting it for one of those cold, damp days, and enjoy the nice weather more.

  3. What a splendid post full of lovely photographs especially the wild flowers. Glad about the wood for your fire even if it is hard work cutting it into logs.

  4. I’m so glad you had a lovely sunny day. Sawing logs doesn’t sound like gentle exercise though. 😉 Thank for sharing all the beautiful insect pictures. Another daily treat of pictures. The river looks like a wonderful spot to relax.

  5. Lovely photos! Even the starlings, which we consider a bit of a pest, are endearing. If you can’t be on the bike, your walk along the Esk appears to have been excellent compensation.

  6. It looks like a splendid day, full of interesting things to see and do, and a very pleasant time by the river. Fishing must require a great deal of patience.

  7. That river looked like a glorious spot to spend a glorious morning! I’m glad you got a bit of fine weather and hope the cold spell doesn’t last long this time.

  8. I’m glad you finally got some good weather. It looks like. Lovely walk on a nice day. I don’t like the sound of that gravel though or the tree sawing.

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