A little strained

The Old A52 Bridge in Derby

Today’s guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew who was prevented by bad weather from doing anything more interesting than cycling to the shops in Derby but still found time to take this picture of the old A52 Bridge across the Derwent.

The Old A52 Bridge in DerbyWe had a lovely sunny day today but with a distinctly autumnal chill when we got up.  It would have been a good day for a pedal and as I only needed 22 miles to take me to 500 miles for the month, I would have been quite keen to go if I hadn’t had things to do and people to see.

The things to do related to the first meeting of the 2015-16 season of the camera club and the people to see included Dropscone who came for coffee.  He was in cheerful spirits because he won another senior golf competition last week and has ended his season with his handicap lower than when it started, always a satisfactory state of affairs.

To tell the truth, even if I had had nothing to do and no one to see, I wouldn’t have been able to go cycling because I  am suffering from a calf strain.  This was doubtless brought about by staggering from tussock to tussock on our walk yesterday.  I am hoping that sensible behaviour today will sort it out promptly.

I was able to walk gently round the garden where I encountered a patriotic range of colours: red…

fuchsia and poppy
Fuchsia and poppy


phlox and nicotiana
Phlox and nicotiana

and blue….


…and some not patriotic ones too:  violet…

michaelmas daisies
Michaelmas daisies

…and yellow.

yellow flowers
Rudbeckia and sunflower

There was additional white….


…and green….

runner beans
Rampaging runner beans

…and green and white.


Mrs Tootlepedal had been at a church choir practice but she didn’t take long after she came back to get to work in the garden and I tested out the calf strain with some gentle mowing of the drying green and greenhouse grass.  I also had a first go at sieving some of the compost in Bin D and in spite of the material not having been there very long, it yielded some very usable stuff and Mrs Tootlepedal had it dug in almost before I had sieved it.

I couldn’t let a day go by without a parade of poppies….

poppies…and then I went in for lunch.

After lunch, it was time for a visit to the information hub on the High Street and the opportunity to dispense information to any passing tourists.  In fact, quite a lot of the tourists didn’t pass but came in and I was able to sell  both a Langholm Walks leaflet and a booklet with a  brief history of the area as well as give out useful advice on several subjects.   I think the total of ten visitors was my busiest ever day in the tourist information points over the years.

On my way home, I was passing the Health Centre when a strange squeaking made me wonder what they were doing to the patients.  A little investigation led me to this very unexpected sight.

Health centre birds nestTucked up in a corner of the entrance way was the source of the squeaking.  I only had my phone with me but they look like baby swallows.  If they are, they are going to have to grow up quickly if they are going to leave with the others.

When I got home, Mike Tinker visited to tell me that his buddleia was covered in butterflies.  I went round with him, camera in hand, but needless to say, the butterflies had all disappeared by the time that I got there. I shall try again if we get another sunny day.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off for a cycle ride and I started shifting the compost from Bin A into Bin B.  It had heated up so well in our recent spell of warm weather that there were signs of ash in the centre of the heap.

In the evening, My flute pupil Luke came.  His flute wasn’t working but luckily I was able to diagnose the fault and repair it (a rod had worked loose) and we had a good practice.   He is going to do grade exams with a music teacher at school so I will concentrate on playing duets with him and improving his technique.

I recently bought a new bird feeder and some bird food which promised to attract blue and great tits to the garden.  It seems to be working.

blue tit
A blue tit in the morning
great tit
A great tit in the evening

If we get a coal tit too, I will be a really happy person.

On the old feeder there was business as usual with birds coming from all sides…..

siskin and chaffinch…and chaffinches supervising things…

chaffinch…and a blue tit visited that feeder too….

blue tit…but it was only a flying visit.

The gentle gardening seems to have helped my calf strain and I am hoping to be at full speed again tomorrow.

A few days of kind weather during August helped me to achieve my highest monthly cycling mileage for the year so far and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some calm weather in September to continue this good work.  I am also going to try not to fall into any holes.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “A little strained

  1. As usual, I have only myself to blame, but I haven’t seen 500 miles a month all summer. So, able to rationalize anything, I try to convince myself that this sluggish state is serving some purpose, and promising myself that next summer will be different.

  2. That’s too bad about the calf strain. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been hummock hopping.
    There’s nothing better than a hot compost pile. The heat should have killed any weed seeds.
    It looks like you’ll be eating beans for a few days. Some friends gave me some that they grew and they were delicious.

  3. I wondered whether you might have hurt yourself yesterday as I have often felt awful after struggling through bogs. Glad you are feeling a little better. The new feeder looks very impressive. I hope you have a warm and sunny September. Lots of walking and cycling for you, Mrs T can work marvels in the garden and the baby swallows will be able to grow up and learn to fly properly before they have to leave.

  4. A lovely bridge photo, and a pretty spiffy looking new feeder. The upper part reminds me of the cone of silence in “Get Smart”! (‘tho you may not know of that old series in Scotland)

  5. The new feeder may also attract a passing woodpecker if you’re lucky!

    September is starting out hot here, and you normally get our weather a few weeks later, so you may get a warm, dry spell later this month. I hope so, you’ll be able to cycle, if you avoid holes and bottomless bogs, and the flowers will last longer into the fall.

  6. I love that second last pic of the bird that seems suspended in the air. I’m sorry about the calf strain. I have vivid memories of losing a boot in watery clay soil in a dam that was drying up while trying to rescue a stuck cow. I couldn’t lift my foot up without leaving the boot behind. The next day I had similar issues with my calves. I hope it improves soon. The bird feeder looks to be working very well. I hope it attracts some coal tits for you. The poppies look beautiful again.

    1. I lost a shoe in a bog on the walk but it was on the other leg to the strain so I can’t blame that. I fear that it is another symptom of old age.

  7. That flying chaffinch looks like he (?) was intentionally posing. Also, POPPIES! Love them.

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