What we’ve missed

Trent and mersey canal

Today’s guest picture shows a fine boat on the Trent and Mersey Canal.  It was encountered by my brother Andrew as he was cycling along the tow path.

Trent and mersey canalIt was a rather disappointing morning as we woke up to be greeted by yet more rain.  Instead of cycling, I did useful things like putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and finishing off the fund raising cards.  This took me neatly up to the moment when Dropscone arrived bearing scones.  He had been even more active than I had been and had already visited Carlisle on an errand.

By the time that he left, the day had taken a distinct turn for the better and I was able to walk up to the town to deliver the cards and order fresh supplies of coffee without any need for a coat at all.

After lunch the sun came out and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with the driving for the disabled, I watched the birds for a while…..

chaffinch and blue tit
The birds come in all shapes and sizes
siskin and chaffinch
This siskin stood patiently waiting on the back of the chaffinch for quite a few seconds until it flew off.

…and then took a walk round the garden.

Special Grandma and a day lily
Special Grandma and a day lily are not bothered by a little rain.

There were others interested in the flowers too.

beesI took the opportunity to sieve a little compost.

A cycle ride seemed in order but a brisk wind had arrived with the sunshine and not wanting to tax my legs too much, I got the slow bike out, loaded up the cameras and set for a gentle pedal-an-shoot outing up the Wauchope road.

It took me well over an hour to do the eight miles to Cleuchfoot and back but I did leave the bike at the roadside while I wandered about on several occasions.  The slow pace suited my knees, which were mumbling and grumbling about doing any cycling at all.

I stopped at Pool Corner to admire a great heap of slow worms…

slow worms…which had arranged themselves very artistically.

There was quite a lot of water coming down the Wauchope so I thought that a visit to my favourite cascade might be a good idea.  It was a very good idea for me but the light was in the wrong place for my camera and I couldn’t capture the scene at all well.

Wauchope cascadeI tried again at a little cascade further upstream.

Wauchope cascade
The light was better here because the sun had gone in for a moment or two.
Wauchope cascade
The bigger picture

There were plenty of flowers to look at as I went along.

wild flowersMany of them had accompanying wild life.

insectsThe road up to Cleuchfoot is very pastoral

Cleuchfoot..and has an excellent surface!

The celestial artist had been dipping into his palette to paint a splendid variety of lichens onto the stone walls.

All within ten yards of each other

Some trees were so covered in lichens that the pine needles had to fight to get through.

lichen covered treeAs we get towards the end of summer, the brackens start to take over the world, reaching out ever further.

brackenI got home before Mrs Tootlepedal and was enjoying listening to a startling test cricket match on the radio when she arrived.  She wasted no time in getting on with the gardening and I went out to help her dig up another row or two of potatoes.  They are continuing to look healthy and slug free and should keep us going for some time.

We had some of them in a feta, tomato and potato bake which I made for our tea.

While I was out I had a look at some flowers.

astrantia and tropaeolum
The better light let me get sharper pictures than usual of astrantia and tropaeolum

Mrs Tootlepedal spotted that the first calendula of the year had come out.

A tiny fly had spotted it too.

The wind had dropped and it was lovely wandering around the garden on a warm summer evening though it did give us a slight sense of loss for all the warm summer evenings that there haven’t been this year.  Still, one is better than none.

After tea,  Sandy and I went up to the Archive Centre but the internet connection was on a go slow so we didn’t get as much work done as we would have liked.  We consoled ourselves with a refreshment at the Eskdale.

Just as I typed the last few words of this post, the international Space Station flew over Langholm.  Mrs Tootlepedal gets regular emails tellingnher  when to expect to see  it and it is very punctual.  We had a cloudless sky and for once I was prepared, with the camera on a tripod and the correct settings in place.  I didn’t have a remote control so there was a slight wobble when I pressed the 13 second shutter release but this is probably the steadiest picture of something travelling at 17,000 mph that I am ever going to get.

International Space StationI calculate that it travelled 61 miles while the photograph was being taken.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.  These seem to have returned to the garden in good numbers after a short absence.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “What we’ve missed

  1. The water going over the mossy rocks makes me wish I could sit by that scene for a while. We’re very dry again and need rain.
    That’s a great shot of the space station. I’ll have to check and see if its orbit takes it anywhere near here.

  2. Wonderful photo of the space station, as well as the close-up of the calendula; the gradations of colour in nature are always so impressive.

    I’ve been thinking about your wet and miserable weather. It’s unfortunate that it’s marring your summer, but don’t you often sit inside your snug and dry cottage and appreciate the new end wall?

  3. Thanks Mrs. Tootlepedal – just saw the ISS soar over Toronto! Have now signed up for alerts! Big thanks to Mr Tootlepedal for the fantastic photos of the flora and fauna and countyside I once called ‘home’ (and always will).

  4. I love your particularly plump bird at the beginning, and the idea of one waiting quite literally on another at the feeder. The slow worms fascinate me; I assume they are actually snakes? And I love the wobble in the space station’s trail, it makes it much more interesting, to my mind.

  5. I like the shot of the space station, wobble and all. Are you going to try to photograph the meteor shower next week if weather permits?

    I can’t imagine having to wear a coat in August, and here I was thinking about complaining about the heat here, which really hasn’t been too bad this summer.

    As always, I loved the photos!

  6. I fear you have had the worse of the recent showery weather. Living on the east coast means a lot of the rain has fallen before it reaches here. No raging torrents, so admirably captured, round here!

    Great shot of the celestial bus, I must sign up for the timetable 🙂

  7. I always enjoy the diversity and cleverness of your shots. The cascades look quite impressive, the rounded birds very amusing and the lichen is indeed a beautiful palette. The slow worms were kind to give you such an artistic display also. What interesting creatures they are. Lovely clear macros as usual, Tom.

  8. The cascades are all looking wonderful and I enjoyed the piggy backed birds of all shapes and sizes. Your space station photo prompted us to locate and download the notification emails, too, but we have little hope of capturing it as you have. The Bean Counter is very much enjoying the cricket as well.

    1. The cruel joke here is that the Australian Ski team has sought advice from the cricketers as to how to go downhill so fast.

      I hope you see the space station. We like to watch it any time it goes by on a clear day.

  9. That’s a neat shot of the space station! Wow, we’d never get that sort of shot here, too many city lights to see any stars most times. Very impressive!

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