Another day put to good use

Today’s guest picture come from Mary Jo in Manitoba.  It shows the first flower on her Christmas Cactus.  She adds, “It’s a ridiculously large plant that someone gave to me after halving the original plant with an axe.”

Cactus FlowerAfter breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to have fun with Matilda, leaving me to have fun by myself.  I did my best.  I started off by walking round the garden which is always fun.

aquilegias
Three delicate shades of aquilegia.
hosta and iris
Hosta and iris provide more robust colours

I didn’t linger though and putting all thoughts of enjoyment aside, I went in and  finished the corrections to the mess that I made of the Archive database last week.  It didn’t take as long as I feared and I made sure that I didn’t add any more mistakes as I went along.

Having done that, I turned my thoughts to more sympathetic activities and went out and mowed the middle lawn.

Then it was back in to put a fresh week of the newspaper index into the database.

I didn’t have much time to look out of the kitchen window.

sparrow
A sparrow looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth….just about to nip down and eat my seed.

I made a pan of lentil soup for my lunch and did some weed killing and strimming while it was cooking.

I was entertained by a young starling after lunch.  It has learned to feed itself….

starling…but its route to the feeder was not straightforward.

starlingstarlingstarlingThere were plenty of sparrows about too.

sparrowsI left the birds and went back to the computer to print out cards and photographs of local views to make up into little packs which our local paper shop will sell.  This raises money for the Archive Group.  I didn’t make up the packs as I wanted to squeeze a cycle ride in.

When I got out, it turned out to be quite a bit more windy that I expected with gusts over 20 mph making life hard.  The breeze encouraged me to stop and admire the wild  flowers as I went along.

red campion
The red campion is easy to spot just now.
thistle and cranesbill
So are thistles and cranesbill
stitchwort and ajuga
But stitchwort (i think) and ajuga are found in very shady places and need a sharper eye.

I only cycled five miles into the wind before returning to Langholm but I did go through the town and out of the other side.

We have an adventure weekend coming up in a few days in the town and one of the events is a cycle hill climb so I thought that I would test my legs by trying the climb.  It showed that I wasn’t in any state to give it a real go as I struggled to get up a decent speed on the climb.  I did get to the top though and looked into the valley beyond.

Tarras valleyI don’t know why I wasn’t going well but I am going to blame my breathing rather than my legs.  I will have to feel a lot perkier if I am going to make a fool of myself by trying the event on Friday.

Once back down the hill, I cycled through the town again and did six miles up to Wauchope School and back.  I made another couple of stops on the way.

meadow verge
In places the verges are little mini meadows.
verge
Some more colourful than others
thorny bank
A thorny bank

I ended up with 21 miles and 1400ft of climbing so I was happy with that in spite of rather slow progress.

Once home, I had a walk round the garden.

iris
The straight iris bud of last night had opened into a generous flower today.
lupin
Another lupin is on the go. It makes me think of expensive ceramic light fittings.

I tend to concentrate on single flower shots and I neglect some of the fine clumps that brighten up the garden.  Here are some ox eye daisies.

ox eye daisiesThen it was time to go in, have a shower and throw away most of the pictures that I took today.  Enough is enough.

Mrs Tootlepedal got home safely and after tea, it was my turn to go off as Susan drove me down to Carlisle for a recorder group meeting.  We are playing two spots as guests in a choir concert early next month so we were working hard.  Each spot is supposed to be ten minutes and when we played through our first half pieces (with gaps for what we hope will be enthusiastic applause), they came to 10 minutes and 30 seconds.  We were quite pleased.  The second half needed trimming though.

The flying bird of the day is one of the busy sparrows.

flying sparrowWordPress tells me that I have been blogging for five years. 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Another day put to good use

  1. I like the view from the hilltop. It must have made the effort a little easier to bear.

    I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a thistle quite like that one. The white flower does look like stitchwort.

    That’s a beautiful iris!

  2. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging. That is very special and a great number of beautiful pictures and entertaining words! I’m so glad I found your blog. Good luck with the cycling event. I hope the weather is kind on the day.

  3. Thank-you from Canada. I was in your fair country in the 1970s, and it is lovely to see the countryside again, even if only through modern technology. Happy Blog Anniversary! 🙂

  4. I would certainly miss your blog and the photos of the flowers, birds, and landscapes if you were to quit once you reach your photo limit. I reached the limit over a year ago, and have been paying for the extra storage. If you did’t want to do that, maybe you could start a new blog and call it Twottlepedal or Tootlepedaltoo?

      1. That is a relief to hear! I paid up last year…. I’ve thought of adding a donate button but despite trying to follow a tutorial, I didn’t succeed. Yet. ;-).

  5. Congratulations on five years of blogging.
    I know how that poor starling feels as I seem to spend my life bumbling and stumbling when starting out on new ventures. Luckily, they mostly go unphotographed 🙂 I’m in two minds about the iris – it looked so gorgeous in bud yesterday, and today next to the beautifully understated lupin it just seems a bit too dressed up – but in a very tasteful way.

  6. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary. I am so pleased I discovered your blog which gives me great enjoyment each day. My eldest daughter tells me that by using Flickr it is possible to put photos straight onto a post without needing to use the WordPress storage. She has written out explicit instructions for me and I can pass these on to you if you wish.
    I loved the young starlings efforts very much and the lupin is exquisite.

      1. Here goes…
        1. Sign up with Flickr (Yahoo), create an account and then upload your photos.
        2. Have your blog open in one tab and the photo on Flickr you want to use in another tab. It is basically a copy and paste procedure. Click on the photo’s web address bar, right click and ‘copy’.
        3. Go back to blog, click ‘Add Media’ and then click on ‘Insert from URL’ in left hand column. This brings up a box for the URL.
        4. Right click on the box and then ‘paste’. This should transfer the image from Flickr to your post (with luck!)

  7. You have a feast of wildflowers at the moment which must make the cycling a joy. Mind you, I’m not sure I’d be attempting those hills, well done for going for it.

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