A feast of siblings

Blencathra summit

Today’s guest picture shows my brother Andrew taking his own picture in misty conditions on the top of Blencathra (868m) in the Lake District today.  The climb was fun, the views from the summit were terrible.

Blencathra summit

It was pretty gloomy here  in the morning so I wrapped well when I went out on the fairly speedy bike for a traditional forty mile Sunday morning run along flat main roads to Newtown on the line of Hadrian’s Wall near Brampton and back.  Still, it was very calm so pedalling was a pleasure.  Even better was the fact the the very light wind was behind me on the return journey.

As you can see from the pictures which I took while the fairly speedy bike was resting as I tucked away a banana and some apricots at Newtown…


…the weather had improved considerably and I pedalled back in gentle sunshine.

Not long after I had got home, we were visited by my Newcastle correspondent and her children Leo and Hannah….

Leo and Hannah
A healthy diet and a strange finger

…who had come in the hope of seeing frogs.

We couldn’t show them frogs but we could show them tadpoles and snails.

snails and tadpoles

The snails were in especially good shape.

pond snail

Not wanting to waste an unexpectedly good day, I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a walk in the afternoon.  She was happy to come as she wanted to inspect a possible source of garden manure on our route.

The roads are lined with daffodils now…


…and wild flowers are beginning to appear.

celandine and dandelion
A host of celandine and a single dandelion

I was struck yet again by how mossy the trees and hedges are in the area round Pool Corner.

mossy hedge

The possible manure looked very promising and the views on the walk were good as well, even though the sun had faded away.



There were small things to admire as well.

lichen and bracken
Brilliant green lichen and the chopped stems of bracken

Our route home took us through the woods and I made a diversion to show Mrs Tootlepedal the little waterfall there.

Becks cascade

We climbed up beside the cascade and looked down on the water from above.

There were all kinds of fungi to admire as we tramped through the soggy woods.


I thought that this might be orange peel fungus but it seems to be too red.  There was a lot of it about.

Everywhere we looked, we saw more fungi

As we came down to the Becks Burn we saw the the strange sight of a blob of frogs spawn on a well chewed tree stump…

peltigara and frogs spawn

…and during the walk we saw many fine crops of dog lichen.

There were some more signs of spring about as well.

larch and primrose

The most cheerful sights on the walk were the many clumps of golden saxifrage carpeting the forest floor and lining the ditches beside the track.

golden saxifrage

When we got home, I had time to put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and have a little sit down before another set of visitors appeared.

This was three of my siblings, my sisters Susan and Mary and my brother Andrew (who had recovered from his vigorous walk up Blencathra earlier in the day).  They are spending a day or two in the Lake District and had taken time out to come and have a meal with us at the Douglas Hotel.  It was a merry gathering with excellent food and abundant conversation as we caught up on our various doings.

I didn’t have a lot of time in all this to watch the birds but I did catch a glimpse of the sparrowhawk.  It was flying away empty handed today.


I was pleased to spot our robin with the injury several times today.  It looks to be surviving very well.  It showed me its good side today.

It was very fluffed up when I saw it in the early morning

I am unaccountably tired so I won’t ramble on any more.  The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “A feast of siblings

  1. That’s a lot of daffodils. I can’t think of a place where I’d see as many.
    The red cup fungus looks like scarlet cup fungus (Sarcoscypha coccinea) which is also called scarlet elf cup.
    A tree stump is a really odd place to see frog eggs. I wonder if something was eating them.

    1. Scarlet elf cup looks like a good suggestion. They were unusually regular which made them look rather curious, as though they had been dropped rather than had grown naturally.

  2. I was fascinated by the snail photo – I’ve never seen that before. (I feel as if I’ve never seen daffodils or wildflowers, either, but that’s just because it’s been a long time and it’s going to be longer. Grouse, grouse, grouse.)

      1. It will never end. We will plant radishes in the snow and go swimming amid the icebergs. By the time we get to deer season we will have to use snowshoes to navigate the path to the mailbox.

        Or I could be wrong. I’ve made mistakes before.

  3. Beautiful assortment of photos, and especially loved the tadpoles and snails. The frog spawn on the trunk was interesting too.

    The view from the summit reminds me of hiking Mount Washington back in New Hampshire, many years ago. Misty and quiet.

  4. I wonder if the eggs that you found on the tree stump were salamander eggs possibly?

    While you didn’t say it, I think that this day would be one that went on the plus side of the ledger. A wide variety of subjects that you photographed, a good bike ride, a walk, and a family get together, it sounds like an excellent day to me.

  5. Amazingly bright fungi.
    Your siblings had a very enjoyable evening, thank you to you and Mrs T.

  6. I really love the scarlet elf cup, it is such a bright colour. We saw it on our flower class field trip before Easter. And it has a perfect name. Apparently they just show up in Spring.

  7. I like the new leaves on the Larch (I think). They always look like little paint brushes. It is not at all surprising that you were tired at the end of the day!

  8. That really is quite an impressive amount of moss on those branches! What a lovely day of cycling, visitors and walking you had. And we get to benefit too from the gallery of sights. My favourites are the fungi and lichen and the adorable fluffed up robin. I’m glad to hear a new manure source has been found too. Manure and compost are extremely important! 🙂

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