Making a pile

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent.  She stopped to look a new monument celebrating the world speed record for helicopter flight, set in 1986 and by chance met two of the designers of the helicopter, the Geraghty brothers, who were visiting the monument themselves.

helicopter record

Very obligingly it had rained during the night and stopped by breakfast time.  It remained rather grey so I waited around to make sure that the rain wasn’t going to come back and then went out for a 20 mile ride on my bike.  The sun even came out as I went along so I was able to ignore a brisk wind over the first three miles or so.

I couldn’t ignore a large bull beside the road.


He condescended to turn his head for a portrait shot.

bull bloch

I was honoured.

I took a look at a tree across the road…


…and then settled down to get home as quickly as possible because in spite of the sun overhead, there were dark clouds and signs of rain to the south.

It was still dry when I got back so I had a quick look round the garden.

two dahlias
A matched pair of dahlias
fly and bee on cornflower
Still plenty of pollen to be had

We are trying to make sure that we eat up the good crop of potatoes that Mrs Tootlepedal has grown this year so I had a baked potato for my lunch and then we went out to shred the pile of stuff that Atilla the gardener and her idle assistant Onegesias had produced.

I wheeled the petrol shredder out of the garage…..and then wheeled it straight  back in again as some heavy rain began to fall.  I went in and started to put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database but I didn’t get far because the rain soon stopped…and we started again.

We managed to clog the shredder up once but it was soon  cleared and we finished the pile off.

The shredder and the pile, the resultant shreddings and the whole lot tidied away.

It is a useful machine.

Our assistant helped in a supervisory role today.


After a cup of tea, I went down to the Kilngreen where I met Sandy and Mr Grumpy simultaneously.

Sandy and Mr Grumpy

Sandy and I had met by appointment and a short walk round the pheasant hatchery ensued.

There was new fungus round the bottom of one of the diseased trees on the Lodge Walks.

fungus Lodge Walks

And good views as well.

View of castleholm

The threat of rain was still about so we didn’t dawdle but there was time to look around.

buzzard and rabbit

The rabbit was on a river of a path running between green banks.

Pheasant hatchery path

As we passed the Duchess Bridge, we heard faint quacking and when we looked, we saw a duck with two very tiny ducklings at the edge of the river.  This seems to be very late for a new brood. They were too small and far away to capture on camera though.

Further on, we stopped to look at one of the trees that have been recently felled.  It had a great number of rings and might have been as old or older than me.

Tree rings

The darkest set of rings in the centre of the trunk caught our attention.

Tree rings

They had a very clearly defined border and the rings outside the border seemed to run into it in a rather arbitrary way. We had no idea how this might have come about.

We parted company at the Jubilee Bridge where Sandy walked directly home and I continued round the Castleholm and back to my car which was parked by the church.

I passed two more things which made me stop.  The first was a Noble Fir cone sticking up from a low branch just above my eye level.  I have never seen one of these cones so close before.

Noble fir cone

And the other was an oak tree covered in acorns.  We have looked in vain for many signs of acorns on the mature oaks on our walks and seen hardly any so it was a surprise to see this single tree so fruitful.

It had hundreds of acorns on it

The rain held off and it was warm enough to make the walk very enjoyable.

I disposed of a few more potatoes with a plate of stew for my tea and then sat down to watch an exciting program of highlights of the latest stage of the Vuelta in a very good mood indeed.

The flower of the day is another look at the tall lobelia.  It is a very striking flower…


…especially in a brief moment of evening sunshine.

The flying bird of the day was seen on the Kilngreen.

black headed gull





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Making a pile

  1. I love the pre-raphaelite curls on that bull. I’m glad you correctly labelled Sandy and Mr Grumpy. I think your tree photo would be a good candidate for your black and white experiments.

  2. I don’t blame the rabbit for hopping along that path. It’s beautiful.
    The tree rings are odd. It almost looks like one tree grew around another.
    I like the color of that lobelia. It’s very different from anything we see here in nature.

  3. Glad to see your winged assistant was on hand to view all that shredding.
    Yes, that bull’sl sideways glance makes a very fine picture.

  4. An excellent day despite the threat of rain. Even your cattle are more photogenic than ours, and I also love the landscapes as usual. It looks as if the tree suffered an injury at some point in it’s life, but I’m no expert on such things.

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