No wonder he’s grumpy

Spanish bench

Today’s guest picture is a Spanish bench.  Dropscone doesn’t reveal whether he actually sat on it or merely photographed it during his recent holiday in Majorca.

Spanish bench

There was no sitting around for me today after breakfast as I was anxious to get a short pedal in before the wind got too frisky.  It was brisk enough to make the start of the twenty mile trip hard work but, once again, it was coming from a direction which suited my route so I enjoyed myself.  I was too busy pedalling to stop to take any pictures.

I did walk round the garden when I got back and marvelled once again at the good value Mrs Tootlepedal has got from her packet of mixed cornflower seeds.


I also noticed a bee getting stuck into a nasturtium.

bee on nastirtium

My chief business wasn’t looking at flowers though, as there was important stuff to be done.   The drying green, the greenhouse grass and both the lawns needed cutting and I managed to do the first three on the list before I had to go inside for a sit down.  The front lawn has had to wait until tomorrow.

After lunch, I pedalled up to the Auld Stane bridge and looked back up the road.  First a couple of quad bikes appeared…

Benty ride out

…and then some bowler hatted heads…

Benty ride out

…and finally some horses.

Benty ride out

The rider in the centre of the front row is the young man who has been elected by the townspeople to be cornet for this year and carry the flag round our common land on Common Riding day.

This was the first of several ride outs which take place in the week before Common Riding week.

The cornet was escorted by over fifty mounted followers…

Benty ride out

… and they turned off the main road and headed for the hills.

Benty ride out

They were bound for Bentpath, six miles to the north of Langholm where they would sit down to speeches, songs and refreshments.  Much later in the day, they will return to Langholm, coming down into the town from the Castle Hill ridge (which appeared in yesterday’s post).  They will be tired but happy.

I went back home and enjoyed the last kilometres of another stage of the Tour de France and then, rather than mow the front lawn, I  set out for a short walk in pursuit of a flying bird of the day picture. Our feeder is not up at the moment.

I paused to admire Mrs Tootlepedal’s ‘back garden’ along the dam at the rear of our house.

Dam flowers

She has got three varieties of potentillas, mixed with crocosmia, alchemilla mollis and fuschia to brighten up our rather grey wall.

dam flowers

It wasn’t long before I saw and heard a flying bird.  A gull was being very vociferous as I walked down past the church…

flying gull

…and on the bank below, Mr Grumpy was looking rather small and harassed.

Mr Grumpy

The two things were connected.

Gull and heron

There were two gulls harrying the heron.  I don’t know what he had done to annoy them but they were certainly annoyed.  When I got nearer, they turned away and Mr Grumpy took the opportunity to make himself scarce.

flying heron

It was one of those days when there were flying birds to be seen on all sides, noisy oyster catchers high in the sky above and silent ducks low over the water below.

oyster catchers and mallards

Some non flying birds were also to be seen on the banks of the river.  It was parent and child time at the Langholm Bridge


oyster catchers

I crossed the bridge and walked onto the Kilngreen and was surprised to see Mr Grumpy pay a flying visit.


I think that he was hoping for food from a car which parked but when they didn’t open their door, he flew off.

I watched the black headed gulls circle about…

black headed gulls

…and then I walked over the Sawmill Brig and up to the cricket ground where a match was being played.

Langholm were batting and at five wickets down, needed a good partnership from the two who were in.  They did their best….

Langholm cricket

…striking the ball in all directions…

Langholm cricket

…but it was an uphill task, especially as I heard a wicket fall as I was leaving the ground.

I had hoped to go out and photogrpah the riders when they returned from the Benty ride out but the light was too poor by the time that they were due to return so instead, I picked some strawberries and gooseberries, stewed the gooseberries, made some custard and ate the gooseberries…..followed later by the strawberries.  Life is hard.

Mrs Tootlepedal picked some rhubarb, roasted it and shared the custard.  She is always ready to help me out.

Too many pictures already so no flower of the day today.

The vociferous gull should really have been flying bird of the day but it was needed for the storyline so one of the black headed gulls receives the honour instead.

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “No wonder he’s grumpy

  1. I’m afraid that the gulls were harassing Mr. Grumpy because he had probably taken one of their young as his lunch. Yet, I don’t feel too sad for the gulls, they will often take the young birds of other species, it’s a bird eat bird world out there.

    Great photos one and all, you can never have too many photos in a post for my taste.

    1. I have seen bluejays here steal and eat the young of the swallows nesting in our shed. They didn’t eat anything except the heads. One lone youngster fledged that year, because the parents had built the nest between two boards in the rafters. That little one was in the far back of the crevice, and escaped the jays.

  2. I saw a heron today and it was the picture of serenity with not a feather out of place. Watching it stand in one place was pretty boring though. I think Mr. Grumpy’s life is far more exciting.
    The rear garden is pretty with all the different varieties of potentilla blooming together.
    I like the black and white color scheme of the black headed gull.

  3. I also like today’s flying bird – you don’t usually see gulls with feathers in all directions like that.

    And re. the rhubarb – after using what I need for baking my default seems to be stewing it – must try roasting some!

  4. After not visiting your beautiful blog for some time, it was wonderful seeing good ol’ Mr Grumpy and your flying birds and beautiful garden. I paused at the picture of Mrs T’s back garden and imagined she must put her rubber boots and stand in the little canal to tend that part of the garden. While life has been upside down over here in recent times, it did me good to see things at normal on your spot in the world! 🙂 ~SueBee

  5. I really admire your gull shots. Mine are usually blurry but your action shots are very sharp! I read your reply to Brenda about cycling attire. Here in Ipswich we have a vintage cycling club and they enjoy dressing up and riding to picnic events. It is certainly a change from the modern lycra. 🙂

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