A gentle day


Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my daughter-in-law Clare, shows Matilda, the world’s greatest toddler, lighting up the neighbourhood.


Mrs Tootlepedal spent most of the day either at an Embroiderers’ meeting or getting on with her painting and decorating so I very much had the day to myself.

After a quick circular tour of my body parts, it was agreed by a democratic vote that a quiet day was called for and I was happy to fall in with the suggestion.

The morning was spent doing a tricky crossword and eating grapes, followed by making a pot of leek and potato soup.  The leek came from the garden where it and its fellows are the final things left from last year’s growing season.

I met fellow archive group member Ken at the front gate but could hardly hear what he said because of the noise in the garden.

In contrast to my quiet day inside, it was echoing to the sounds of frogs in the pond…


…and it was more busy with twittering birds than it has been on any day recently.

There were blackbirds…


…and blue tits…

blue tit

…chaffinches and dunnocks raiding the coconut store…

chaffinch and dunnock

….with lots of birds at the feeder…

busy feeder

..and lots of chaffinches cleaning up the scraps down below.


Mrs Tootlepedal had seen a large group of goldfinches first thing in the morning when she got up but they had gone by the time that I emerged.   They were replaced by a small bunch of greenfinch later in the day.  (A siskin is looking on from below.)


We had been promised light rain which I was hoping to use as an excuse to sit around groaning all day but it stayed dry and so I roused myself up and went for a little walk after lunch.

A robin waved me good bye as I left.


The clouds were low over the hills…

Castle Hill from Warbla

…so it wasn’t a great day for views.  Luckily there were other things nearer at hand to catch the eye.

hart's tongue fern
Hart’s-tongue fern growing from a wall as I went up to the Stubholm
An interested sheep exchanged glances with me as I passed
Healthy looking catkins

The two most interesting things were a small flock of bullfinches and some moss.  I didn’t have the right camera for bullfinch captures and this was the best that I could do…

More interested in preening than posing

…but I did have the right camera for a large patch of moss on a wall near the open hill which had spherical spores.

moss balls

I walked up the hill track on Warbla with the intention of getting to the top but as I climbed up, the clouds came down…

view from warbla

…bringing a hint of rain with them.  I sensibly turned back down and went home by way of Gaskell’s Walk.

I liked the flowing pattern of a decaying tree stump beside the path…

tree stump

…and I was interested to see that some rather haphazard tree felling had taken place on the bank above the Wauchope when I got back to the Stubholm.

tree felling at Stubholm

My neighbour Liz had told us about this felling and I was interested to see what had been done. The felled trees have been left where they lie and there didn’t seem to be much pattern as to what had been felled and what had been left but I dare say that there is some good reason for all this activity.   Time will no doubt reveal all.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from stitching and was busy painting and the birds were still busy eating sunflower hearts.

I had to fill the feeder twice and put out a back up feeder as well to meet the demand.  A brambling appeared in the plum tree but finding the feeders busy, it had to join the scavengers on the ground.



And that was the end of the active part of my day as I sank into the sofa and watched bits of the six nations rugby tournament, wondering as I usually do these days, why the referees whimsically enforce some of the rules some of the times and ignore most of the breaches of the laws for most of the time.  But that’s what growing old does for you.  Everyone’s a critic.  There was some good rugby as well.

I made a risotto for tea which went down well and then once more did a spot of sofa surfing.

Reading the posts of some of my American correspondents, it has been very noticeable that our weather here recently has been very dull, with the temperatures confined to quite a narrow band while, as far as I can see, on the other side of the Atlantic temperatures have been going up and down like a yo yo.  Our thermometer has been creeping up lately though and we may even get up into double figures (10 °C/50°F) next week.   That would be nice.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A gentle day

  1. A day of taking it easy sounds very good right now, at least you were able to spend time shooting the birds at the feeder, and a wide variety at that.

    Be thankful for the boring weather that you’re having now after all the rain this winter. The temperature here has been up and down like a yo-yo, but where I live has missed out on the heavy rains flooding many parts of the states.

    1. We very much appreciate the absence of strong winds more than anything else. The gales in December and January seemed to be more or less continuous.

  2. Like a poem, granddaughter, frog, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird bird, field, sheep, catkin,s, bird, moss, cloud : ) you have a beautiful life! I always enjoy your posts even if I don’t always say so!!!

    1. Even if you only say so once in a while, it is still very heart warming to know that you enjoy the posts. Please feel no obligation to put finger to computer key.

  3. How remarkable that you are still eating last year’s produce, and from the garden yet, not from a storage bin (unless I misunderstood you!). The pattern on the tree stump is lovely.

  4. You have a very lovely granddaughter! You have found some very interesting things to photograph here. I especially like the moss and the hart’s tongue fern. I also think I see a female hazel flower on your catkin twig at the very top of the photo.

    1. Really? I’ll have to look again because I didn’t think I could see one. It will be most annoying if you are right because I looked quite carefully.

  5. With that smile and those eyes Matilda would certainly light up a room. It will be lovely to follow her growth through your blog.
    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen spherical spores on moss yet. They always seem to be more tear shaped. I will have to take more notice on my walks from now on.
    I also admire the flowing pattern of the decaying stump. It reminds me of a waterfall.
    It must be uplifting to see so many kinds of birds at the feeder and hear a chorus of frogs again. I certainly enjoyed the shots.

  6. Lovely picture of Matilda.
    What a variety of birds are visiting your garden.
    Liked the artistic tree stump.

  7. I believe if I had a granddaughter like Matilda I could quit grousing about cloudy days . . . because there wouldn’t be any. (On the other hand, if I think about Rob the Firefighter and the Lady Alicia for just a little while that brightens the day up too.)

    The pileated woodpeckers are swooping about in the woods laughing at me. There is no way I will ever manage a photo of either of them unless I stop taking the dogs along on my walks. Fat chance of that.

    Nice moss – nice tree stump – I’ll bet I could manage to creep up on some of those even with the dogs. I’ll try.

  8. Your weather does look like ours. We are getting some high winds, though. We lost a van to a fallen tree one year. The wind twisted the tree like a stalk of celery and dropped it across Rick’s van one year in a bad windstorm.

    1. We have been very lucky in the high winds this year. There are fallen trees all around when I go for a walk but by and large the town seems to have escaped any serious damage.

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