A useful day (with a slight blemish)

Today’s guest picture comes from the phone of Mrs Tootlepedal and shows Matilda with her mother enjoying the beach at Portobello this morning.

MatildaAs you will gather, Mrs Tootlepedal left after breakfast to visit Matilda in Edinburgh and in her absence, I put a really lovely summer day to good use.  Once again it was a bit hot for me to be outside all day so inside, out of the sun, I managed to catch up with my correspondence, pay some bills, book the rooms for next season’s camera club and put together some cards of views of Langholm for the newspaper shop to sell which will raise some funds for the Archive Group.  Outside, I put the mower blades down to a summer height and mowed the middle lawn, sawed some logs and sieved a bit of compost.  As a result of all this, I was generally feeling pretty virtuous.

It didn’t take me long to scupper any happy notions though.  I went to correct a set of 34 errors in the Archive database and through sheer stupidity, managed to correct the 34 but falsify 360 other entries at the same time.  You would think that by my age, I would be able to use ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ signs correctly.

Only a visit from a starling youngster cheered me up.

starling
First pensive…
starling
…and then demanding.  It didn’t do any good though as it didn’t get fed.
blackbird
A blackbird loitered around hopefully under the feeder.
goldfinch
And a goldfinch practised high diving.

I went up to the town to deliver the cards and buy some honey and that filled up the morning nicely.

The weather continued to be absolutely glorious.

siskin and goldfinch
The birds glowed in the sunshine.

In the afternoon, I got in touch with Sandy and we agreed that a walk would be just the thing.  He had been for a cycle ride in the morning and I didn’t want to do too much so we settled for an undemanding short walk from Whitshiels up a favourite track and back down the road.

track and roadThe shade was very welcome as we walked up the hill and once we got to the open country, a pleasant breeze kept us cool.

There was lots to see as ever.

The broom was very brilliant.

broomLess showy plants caught our eye too.

conifer claw and redcoat lichen
We were threatened by conifer claws and and protected by British Soldier Redcoat lichen.

We passed masses of blue flowers on our way up the track….

wild flowers…and walked among tiny wild flowers on the open moor.

moorland wildflowersI was hoping to see a thistle in flower but this was the nearest that we came to it.  A cheerful lichen on a roadside wall made up for my disappointment.

thistle and lichen

We were very surprised to see a pair of mallards high up on the hill,  They were surprised to see us too.

mallardsThe bog cotton has come out.  In a good year the moor can seem to be covered in snow in midsummer.

bog cottonStandard views were available.

Ewes Valley
Ewes Valley

The combination of open moor, deciduous and coniferous trees and a background of gentle hills is most appealing to me.

TimpenWe visited an old quarry on our way down the road.  There were tadpoles in a what is left a a puddle.  They will need rain soon.

tadpoles and strataI always enjoy seeing the underlying rocks telling a story of ancient twisting and bending that is hidden by the smooth blanket of green above.

Owing to the heat, our walk was taken at a very gentle pace and I didn’t have time for much more than a little research on how I was going to correct my database disaster before Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Edinburgh.  Mrs Tootlepedal was no sooner in than she was out again, going to a WRI meal in Newcastleton while I went off with Sandy to the Archive Centre where the task of correcting the errors was started.  It is not going to be so bad as I feared and all should be in order by the end of the day tomorrow.

Matilda is very happy about that.

Matilda
Taken by her mother and kindly sent to me by her.

The good weather is set to last for one more day and then the forecasters say that temperature is going to drop ten degrees and the wind will return.  We have enjoyed this week a lot and will be sorry to see it go.

The flying bird of the day is an energetic chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “A useful day (with a slight blemish)

  1. Is that a pickle Matilda is holding? They’ve always told me that I would do just about anything for a dill pickle when I was her age.

    I’m glad you’re finally seeing such fine weather. The blue flowers remind me of our great blue lobelia (Lobelia cardinalis) but I’m not sure if it grows there.

    The landscapes are as attractive as ever but I think my favorites today are of the bog cotton. I never get to see it here.

  2. The broom gives me a feeling of nostalgia, your photo has me remembering that I was fond of it in my younger years. I believe it was abundant throughout my childhood stomping grounds, and that it may responsible for yellow being one of my three favorite colors. Green and orange complete the trio.
    I really like the ‘traffic cop’ goldfinch, pensive starling, and your Ewes Valley.

  3. When you think of a good way to remember the greater than and lesser than signs, please pass it on, as I still have trouble with them too.

    My favorite photo of the day is the view of the Ewes valley, as we have nothing like that around here that isn’t packed with hundreds of houses in subdivisions.

  4. An adorable picture of Matilda and an excellent flying bird picture to end the post. Looking at that sweet smile would certainly cheer me up. I’m sure the database mistake is an easy one to make. I get those signs mixed up all the time. Lovely landscapes and the lichen is very attractive too.

    1. It was just carelessness as I know that you should always double check before making irreversible alterations to a database. I may learn sometime.

  5. Lovely flower photos. After our hike of the West Highland Way last year we were curious about bog cotton and wondered if it was used for anything. A little reading revealed that it was collected and used to dress wounds during WWI.

  6. Try as I may, I can’t help cooing over the pictures of Matilda, especially the one reminiscent of a French impressionist painting. ‘Matilda au bord de la mer.’

  7. So glad you had such a glorious day and used it well! That shot of the hills and the trees is terrific! That would make a wonderful postcard. Great flying bird of the day, too.

  8. Lovely to see Matilda again, and with a “big girl” hair do as well!
    Pah to greater than and less than – I was taught to draw teeth into the symbol; is the crocodile eating the number? Then it’s greater than and vice versa…All very confusing and thus one of those things I try to avoid if at all possible.

  9. The young birds care a joy to watch. The Canada geese are on the golf course again this year with their young leaving their calling cards on the course and greens but I don’t mind. The green keeper helps to keep the greens tidy every day anyway.

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