Good and bad timing

Statue of Liberty

Today’s guest picture was sent to me my former colleague Ada.  She has  been for a trip across the Atlantic.

Statue of Liberty
The tiny people at the feet of the old lady remind you of just how impressive she is.

After our lengthy spell of warm, wet and windy weather, we had a change today.  It was cold, wet and windy.

The morning looked fairly hopeful as far as the wet bit went so I turned down the offer of treacle scones and went off on my bike for the first pedal of the week.

It was quite chilly at 5°C and a brisk wind kept away any thoughts of a speedy average speed but I was well wrapped up and able to ignore some light drizzle as I started out.

The drizzle soon faded away and I enjoyed my trip out to Paddockhole and back, especially the ‘back’ with the wind now behind me.

I stopped near Paddockhole for two pictures….a splash of colour on a grey day…

tin barn

….and a miniature two arch bridge beside it.  (Two pipe bridge to be more accurate.)

two arch culvert

I had had a bit of a mental struggle to go dressed in my cycling gear and actually go cycling but once again Dr Velo had worked his magic and I felt much more positive by the time that I got home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had advanced from taking tiles up to putting tiles down and was hard at work in the bathroom so I filled the feeders and settled down to do the crossword and stare out of the window at the same time.

I was keeping an eye out for goldfinches…


…but they didn’t look too happy to have their privacy intruded upon by me….


…or a chaffinch.

There were plenty more chaffinches waiting around…

chaffinches in plum tree

…and other welcome visitors too.

blue tit
Careful research has proved that we have four blue tits at least visiting regularly.
The robin is more infrequent for which I blame the neighbourhood cats.

Because I don’t see a robin often, I have put two pictures of this one in today to try to encourage more to come.

robin on sedum
The sedums are on their last legs and will soon be pruned back to make way for bulb planting.

A much more infrequent visitor was this redpoll, a sure sign of the coming winter.


I was so perked up by my morning cycle ride that I determined to go for an afternoon walk as well. The forecast had preferred the afternoon’s chances to the morning but there were some threatening black clouds in the offing so I put on stout boots and my best ex-golfing waterproof jacket.

This was just as well because I only had time for a single look at some berries on the Kirk Wynd…


…before a few light drops of rain began to fall.  I pushed on until I got to the open hill but when the few drops turned to a steady shower….

rain over Meikleholm

…and the clouds swept in over the hills, I headed over towards the Newcastleton road and came home via the Lamb Hill.

gate and wall Lamb Hill
I like this kissing gate set into a recess in the wall.

My jacket proved invaluable and kept me dry as the rain got heavier and heavier.  Typically, the rain stopped as soon as I got back to the town.

While I was on the High Street, I purchased some more of the popular pink pellets and ordered fresh supplies of coffee beans.  These ones will come from Sumatra.

Mrs Tootlepedal had finally finished the cork tiling by the time that I got home and I must say, it looks very professional.

I changed out of my damp trousers and boots and put in some time practising songs for both our Langholm and Carlisle choirs.  We are going to have to learn several songs for a competition early next year so I am trying to improve my musical memory.   My musical memory is very poor and I stand in awe of musicians who can play whole concertos or sing an evening of songs without looking at a note or word.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had a very pleasant hour playing flute and recorder sonatas, some of which contained many of the correct notes in the right key and at the right time.  We were proud.

By the time that they left, the temperature had dropped to 2.5°C and we may see our first frost of the back end when we wake up  tomorrow morning.

The flying bird of the day is one of our small army of chaffinches.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Good and bad timing

  1. Beautiful bird pictures! I particularly liked the first one where the goldfinches are both looking at you. They kept an eye on you 🙂 The 5C is about the coldest we get here on a few really cold winter mornings. It usually happens in early February. But a week from today I’ll get to feel how cold it is in London…and in Finland.

  2. I love your gate and berries, and what I’d call a Quonset hut (do they call those half-pipe buildings that there as well?). And your guest picture came within 30 miles of my home, a new record. (not that I’ve been to the actual statue since I was a little girl.)

    1. They are among our smaller birds.
      The little bridge was fun. I had to look twice to realise that it was made out of concrete pipes and not stone.

  3. The wee robin is beautifully posed, and I do like the mossy wall with the gate. Will we see a photo of Mrs. T’s latest accomplishment? Please???

  4. I am with Susan, I thought the view over the hills was absolutely lovely, and I liked the berries too – nature’s DIY fairy lights. Hope it’s not too icy this morning.

  5. The gate is pretty cool, but then so is the wall that it’s set into. I also like the two pipe bridge, that type of bridge is a blast to kayak through if the pipes are large enough. Great photos of a variety of birds, your new feeders seem to be doing the job.

  6. Very difficult to pick a favourite photo today; the’re all wonderful. Hooray for Dr Velo working his magic again. I am yet again in awe of Mrs Tootlepedal’s abilities – is there no end to this ladies talents?!

  7. Only one robin picture is barely enough, so pleased to see two!
    Glad Dr Velo worked his magic and gave you more energy instead of taking it away.

  8. Excellent bird pictures, Tom! I was also drawn to the rusting tin shed among the green grass. The contrasting colours are very appealing. The kissing gate walls also has a lot of character with all the moss on it.

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