A bonus pedal

St Andrews

Today’s guest picture, sent by Dropscone, shows how the greenkeeping staff at a prestigious golf course still use traditional methods for preparing the ground.  The only thing lacking is that they should have their trouser legs tied up with string.

St Andrews

I had thought of offering to go with Sandy to help fill the Moorland feeders this morning but when I woke to find that it was pouring with rain, I decided that it might be better not to bother him.

I saw him later in the morning anyway, when he came for coffee.  He is hoping to produce a blog or two arising from his recent trip to America and Mexico so I will keep an eye out for it.

The rain had stopped by the time that he had arrived and the light had improved a bit so while we sipped our coffee, I kept an eye on the birds…

…and a chaffinch kept an eye on a blue tit.

Chaffinch and blue tit

We have more tits coming to the feeder this year than ever before as far as I can remember and it is a great pleasure to see them every day.  I saw at least five blue tits at the same time today.  Generally I only see two coal tits at one time but whether the regular coal tit visitors are always the same birds is anyone’s guess.

blue tit and coal tit

We had two less frequent visitors today, a starling….


…and a collared dove.

collared dove

After Sandy left, I had a look at the weather forecast and it suggested that if I waited until midday, any of the forecast snow would be just to the north and the east of the town and there might be a chance of a peaceful pedal here before the temperature dropped again.

I did wait and there was a chance of a pedal. My phone battery was flat and Mrs Tootlepedal was getting ready to go to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh so I settled for an unadventurous 21 miles going up and down the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse three times and I met Mrs Tootlepedal going up the road as I came back down on the last lap.

I had another look at the birds over lunch.

It had been mostly chaffinches so far…


…but there was a sudden influx of greenfinches…



They took over the feeders and were soon coming and going in all directions.


Some goldfinches arrived and tried to stake a claim…

goldfinch and greenfinches

And when the greenfinches left, the goldfinches took to squabbling among themselves.


It was quite a pleasant day and I would like to have gone for a walk but I had to visit the doctor as I am suffering a little discomfort in one eye.   She assured me that there was nothing to worry about and said she would make an appointment for me to see an eye specialist at the hospital.

This might seem a bit contradictory but she explained that the eye trouble should settle down of its own accord  within six weeks or so but if by any chance it didn’t, I would have to see the specialist.  As an appointment will take  at least six weeks to come through, she reckons that I will be able to cancel it before it comes up if the eye is better but if the eye doesn’t clear up,  I would have to wait a further six weeks at least before getting treatment if I didn’t already have an appointment.  It all makes sense in a rather weird way.

I noticed this vivid shrub on a neighbour’s fence beside the road just outside our house on my way home.


It was enough to gladden anyone’s eye.

In the evening, Susan kindly drove me to Carlisle where we enjoyed an excellent evening of playing with our recorder group.  One of our members, Heather, is a music teacher and she told us that she gave a piano lesson this week to a young pupil who has moved to Atlanta.  She used Skype very satisfactorily and has learned that many music teachers are now using Skype for music lessons.  The only downside that she can see at the moment is that it is impossible for her to play duets with her pupil.

The leaf of the day is a combination of spirea and cotoneaster by our back fence….

spirea and cotoneaster

…and the flying bird is one of the chaffinches.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “A bonus pedal

  1. Your NHS waiting lists are similar to those in Manitoba – 6 months is the usual to get in to see anyone other than your GP. The colours of the “leaf of the day” are beautiful. Our colourful leaves are gone, alas, but oddly enough, most of the grass is still green!

    1. Our lawn grass will stay green all winter in a usual year. The waiting lists are far better than they used to be forty years ago when you could wait over a year to see some specialists. Of course, if people think that paying taxes is ‘stupid’, then waiting lists will be ‘stupid’ too.

  2. I hope that the trouble that you’re having with your eye clears up quickly, and that there won’t be a need to see the specialist.

    I don’t remember ever seeing as many of the tits of either species in the past as you have now, it was always a treat to see them in the past. Usually, the only time that you showed them is after time spent at the Moorland feeders. Maybe there’s more of them this year because there are fewer of the other species to hog the feeders?

  3. Glad you fitted a cycle ride even if it was dull. The piano lesson via Skype sounds interesting and I hope your eye clears up by itself though good to have an appointment if needed.

  4. How lovely to see the return of all those greenfinches in your garden which still has pockets of bright colours around. Lessons by Skype will soon mean no-one has to leave their homes! Hope you eye feels better soon.

    1. It’s quite helpful when a pupil goes to another country and still wants you as their teacher though. My eye doesn’t feel too bad at present, just very slightly annoying. Thank you for the good wishes.

  5. Best wishes for a speedy recovery of your eye. It is not so hard to get an appointment here, but it can be quite expensive, even with “insurance”.

    That is a beautiful shrub! Our blueberry bushes turn roughly that color in autumn, perhaps a bit darker red. The birds are pleasing to see, as always. We have the Eurasian Collared Dove here in Oregon as well. The species, which ODFW says is Indian in origin and started to expand its range back in the 1600s, reached here in 1988. They are beautiful birds.

    1. I never cease to be grateful for our National Health system which takes so much worry out of everyone’s life even if it is not always as perfect as we would like it to be (if we were prepared to pay a bit more tax without grumbling).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: