One step at a time

Today’s guest picture shows a bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal crossed by my brother Andrew on a recent visit to Stoke-on-Trent on a rainy day.

Stoke

We had a better day today as far as the weather went.  The sun was not in evidence but neither was the wind, with the result that it felt warmer.  If my knee had been in better condition, this would have been an ideal day for a long pedal but as it was, I was happy to wait around in the garden….

turk's cap and foxglove…and round the back of the house….

back wall…for the arrival of the Langholm Scone Transporter service.

DropsconeDropscone was especially welcome as he has been off officiating at the Scottish Boys Golf Championships and there has been a scone drought at Wauchope Cottage as a result.  On the down side, he had run out of treacle so, although it was Friday, treacle scone day, we had to make do with his plain scones.  We bore it bravely.

We were joined for coffee by our neighbour Liz, who was over on a gooseberry picking visit.  Luckily we had some Glastonbury cake for her, courtesy of Venetia, so Dropscone and I didn’t have to limit our normal scone consumption.

After coffee, I mowed the drying green and the front lawn and did a little helping in the garden.  Not wanting to do too much and set my knee back, I left Mrs Tootlepedal slaving away and went inside to do the crossword.

But not before is had taken a picture or two.

willow
The intricate pattern on a willow.
bee on poppy
And a bee deep in a poppy

After lunch I was determined to test the knee on a short cycle ride but was delayed for two hours by the necessity of watching the Tour de France, which is at an exciting stage. However, I did manage to tear myself away and set off up the Wauchope road with Pockertcam at the ready.

Unfortunately, the council had been up there before me….

Wauchope Road…which made things better for the motorists as far as visibility went but was a bit of a blow for someone looking for wild flowers.  Still, there was a lot to be seen.

crosswort and mallow
Crosswort and mallow
vetch and mallow
The delicate and the robust
Wauchope cascade
A passing cascade

I finally arrived at Wauchope School where I was able to enjoy the roses in the hedge….

Wauchope school roses…and walls and streams.

Wauchope viewsI turned round for home here as I thought that six miles was quite enough for a first trial, especially with a good deal of hopping on and off the bike involved.

I stopped on the way back to look at an alder.  It seemed strangely coloured…

alder…and a  closer examination showed that almost every leaf had been affected by these colourful galls.

I got home in time to see the finish of the stage and all seems set for an exciting day tomorrow.

I looked out of the back door…

bending flowers
Contrasting curves

…and then Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do a little more gardening and I took out my camera.

clematis
Two new clematis are out
poppy and astrantia
Two old favourites. The astrantia has added some coloured tips to its repertoire.
bee in clover
A bee in clover

Then I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a drive up to the Moorland feeders might be interesting.  In the event, she saw not a single bird on the moor while I had a very quiet time in the hide, seeing only an odd chaffinch or two coming near and a lonely woodpecker which kept its distance.

chaffinch and woodpeckerThere were flying things buzzing about in the sky above the feeder but they were not what I was really looking for.

helicopter and aeroplane
They were not as close together as this in real life.

On my way back to the car, a quick look at the wild flowers near the hide revealed a very busy plant indeed.

plant with insectsIt was a show stopper.

We had a last wander round the garden when we got home and then it was time for tea.  I had pulled up a couple of good looking turnips from the veg patch before we had gone up to the feeder and put them in a casserole with some lamb from our local producers market.  With some of our own broad beans and new potatoes on the side, it made for a very tasty meal.

A full day was rounded off by a visit from Mike and Alison.  Alison and I played a selection of sonatas and divisions with great enjoyment and even some moments when the composers might have recognised their works.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “One step at a time

  1. I like the flying sparrow very much. I went out the other day in search of some orchids I’d heard were on a verge but unfortunately the council had got there before me too.

  2. What a dose of cheer your posts bring. I looked up pictures various galls, enjoyed a cheery Dropscone and his bag, a canal in the yard and more beauty such a short ride away. Very sharp on the pictures as you must have hands steady as a tripod. (Allan)

  3. Lovely start to my Saturday morning reading your blog. My you do get about!
    Pleased to read that your knee is improving so you’ll be able to take longer bike rides and that means more stunning photos of the beautiful countryside around you. Thank you for sharing all the photos and tales from your home and amazing garden.

  4. I’m very glad to read that you were able to get out for a short ride. The cascades are lovely and I am always a little envious of the wildflowers you see. I am glad you managed to make do with plain scones! 😉 Your mention of the Langholm Scone Transporter service made me grin. It is a very cheerful photo of Dropscone. I’m fond of your willows as I don’t see them here and the patterns are lovely. I often see galls on eucalypt leaves here. I find them quite attractive and interesting even though it is damage to the plant.

  5. The paths along canals are wonderful places to walk. It seems that just about everywhere you look, it’s a picture fit for a calendar.

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