Today’s guest picture is from September.   I needed a drop of sunshine to cheer me up so I have picked one from my sister Mary’s portfolio.  It comes from a visit to Budleigh Salterton

Beach sculpture

Once again, the drumming of raindrops on the roof was the accompaniment to our breakfast but as the forecast was for dry weather in the afternoon, with a possible glimpse of the sun, I wasn’t too downhearted.  The arrival of Dropscone for coffee bearing a bag of perfectly formed and good looking drop scones helped matters even more.  He also brought a gift or persimmons, a fruit which I have never encountered before and one which required researching on the internet before eating.

I tried one and it tasted good but I think that they need to ripen a bit more to be at their best.

The rain eased off and the morning light wasn’t too bad so I spent a little time peering out of the kitchen window.

coal tit
A coal tit nearly misjudges a landing
greenfinch and goldfinch
A greenfinch and goldfinch working in pecking unison

I changed the feeder  and this brought a change in visitors.


As the plum tree sheds its leaves, the perching birds offer better photo opportunities.

goldfinch and chaffinch

An excellent crossword cheered me up even more and after lunch, a quick check on the weather forecast, which showed a mere 10% chance of rain and a spot of sunshine at four o’clock, sent me out on the slow bike, ready for a leisurely photographic pedal.  Mrs Tootlepedal preferred to use the bicycle to nowhere indoors.

I was quietly confident.  There had even been a half moment of brightness and the rain had stopped.  Everything was set fair.

That there had been a lot of wind and rain though was not in doubt as there were few leaves in sight and plenty of water flowing over the caul at Pool Corner…

Pool Corner

…but the larches on the bank above the river had survived the wind and rain and were looking colourful…


…and a 10% chance of rain seemed fair odds for a cyclist.

I lost. Within minutes of getting going, the other 90% had disappeared and the rain managed the whole 100%.  It continued.

The wind got up.

The rain got heavier.

I got fed up.

I went home.

I stopped for two watery pictures.

cascade beside Wauchope raod
A mini cascade coming off the hill and under the road…
Wauchope cascade
…where it joined the Wauchope near my favourite spot.  My phone did a good job in low light.

When I got home after a feeble five miles, Mrs Tootlepedal was pedalling gently away while watching a forecast that promised a new and bigger storm for tomorrow night.  What fun.

I retired and practised some singing.

In the evening, we went to our Langholm Sings choir meeting where some of the practice paid off but some evidently required a bit more work.  It is a really good feeling though when all the parts came together.  Choral singing is good for the soul.

The choir committee have had to change the original date of one of our Christmas concerts and we are now engaged in a sort of musical chairs to find a new date which suits everyone.  As soon as a date is suggested, three hands go up to signal unavailability and as soon as another date is suggested, three different hands go up….and so on ad infinitum.  It is quite frustrating.

Rather annoying, the stars were out when we went to the choir.  Fine weather is no good when it is dark.  Mrs Tootlepedal still has some bulbs left to plant for next year and we are beginning to wonder if she will ever get them into the ground.

Still, I did mange to find a flying bird in a rain free moment this morning.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Unreliable

  1. Persimmon fruit and the leaves of the tree are quite beautiful in the fall. This year the satiny orange globes are very abundant on the west coast of North America. But beware, there are two kinds. One you can eat like an apple. This kind, Fuyu, which is non-astringent, has a flat bottom.The other does, indeed, need to ripen almost to a liquid. This kind, Hachiya or astringent, has a pointy bottom. After ripening, it loses its astringency and makes a very good holiday pudding (American Thanksgiving or Christmas). There are other varieties but those are the most common.

  2. Maybe you’ll get a few hours of fair weather between the storms. I liked the larch trees and the cascades. We have a few larch trees around here, but they’re hidden behind other trees, so I can’t photograph them.

  3. I also liked your watery pictures. Persimmons were a pleasure we discovered when we moved to the North Island – catch one at the perfect moment and there is little to beat the taste 🙂

  4. Choral singing is good for the soul… and the brain, and the body, and the company. In fact, there’s nothing to beat it for good all-round goodness in my view.
    Love Mary’s northern hemisphere penguin!

  5. The larches are lovely; we don’t have them here (though we do have persimmons). I have an ignorant American question: Are drop scones things that are flat on both sides and seem to also be called Scotch Pancakes, or are they sort of lumpy balls? I looked online and found both.

  6. Very fine picture of the Wauchope rushing over a fall – even if the weather was not very fine to go with it.

  7. Lovely river and cascade pictures and the flying bird is a good one. It is very difficult to find suitable dates for Christmas performances this late in the year – I hope something is found for your concert.

  8. We have a persimmon tree here, a male and female planted by the old owner’s parents. It is the Hachyia type, and it is a race with November rains to get good fruit. Quite soft and bright orange when ripe. They are good this year, apparently liking the summer heat.

    No treacle scones this week at Market. Still waiting…

  9. I’m not sure I would get much work done if I had your bird views through my window. I’d be tempted to drink tea and biscuits/cake and just watch them for hours. Your great shots capture the birds in lots of amusing positions. What great entertainment. I get quite distracted on my verandah when birds visit the bath. (Un)fortunately the mosquitoes usually drive me back inside again so I don’t get too far behind. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a persimmon. New varieties are sold in the shops here but I’ve been told the old variety tastes best a long as it is left to ripen properly.

    1. I think that ours are the new variety so we will have to put up with less taste but less need to pick exactly the right moment to eat them. The birds at the feeder are endlessly entertaining so I do try to ration my staring time.

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