A small step


Today’s guest picture comes from my brother and sisters’ recent visit to Scarborough. They got got good weather for at least some of the visit as my sister Mary’s picture shows.


My cold continues to retreat, although I am not quite back to peak condition yet.  It was a dry and cloudy day but still well above freezing.  I heard a forecaster say today that if December goes on like this, it will be one of the top ten warmest Decembers since records began and I can quite believe it.

I spent some time making a venison stew for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in church and looked out of the window from time to time while I was doing it.

The traffic at the feeders was slow and this was the only occasion when there was a crowd at all.


I was disappointed that all six perches weren’t occupied but I was let down by two other goldfinches hanging around on the plum tree gossiping.


A wood pigeon stood on top of an electricity pole pretending to be an eagle.


My eye was caught by an unfamiliar shape in the plum tree…..


…and I took a closer look.  It was a wren…


I see them flitting about the garden fairly frequently but they don’t often hang about long enough to get their picture taken.  This one obligingly popped out of the plum tree and flew down onto the bench for a brief moment.


After church, Mrs Tootlepedal returned and we had a cup of coffee.  Then she went off to ride on her bike to nowhere upstairs and I thought that I might be well enough to give my lungs and legs a gentle test on the Wauchope road.

I got the slow bike out and cycled a very steady ten miles in exactly an hour which was very satisfactory.  The ten miles an hour wasn’t very satisfactory in itself but being able to cycle for an hour without making myself cough was.  I stopped to take a couple of pictures just to prove that I did go out.

Tree by Glencorf burn
A little tree beside the Glencorf Burn
Cleughfoot Barn
A well stocked hay shed at Cleughfoot

I won’t say that I was feeling any better physically when I finished but I wasn’t feeling worse and I was very happy to have got back on the bike after what seems like an age.

I went out into the garden when I got back and spotted a tiny bit of colour….

berberis fruit and thorns
A berberis showing a berry and its thorns.

I was ready for a rest after my little cycle and fortunately Casablanca appeared on the telly at just the right time and I was very happy to have the chance to take my rest while enjoying the film.  Like Shakespeare with his plays, it is amazing how many quotes the screenwriters worked into the script.

A little sunshine and no coughing will be very welcome next week as I am feeling that I need to get out and find a few fresh things to look at.

The leaves of the day were the last few still on the berberis….


…and the flying bird is a poor picture but I am pretty sure it is the first flying wren to appear on the blog.

flying wren

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A small step

  1. I’m extremely impressed with your wren shots. They are too fast moving for me to get more than a blur. Hope you fully recover soon!

  2. Clever of you to spot the wren and take its picture.
    Delighted you managed a bicycle ride.
    Casablanca is one of my favourite films. I have seen it several times, and it never grows stale.

  3. Pleased you are feeling better and managed to get out and about. Lovely wren photo as they are so quick and nimble it’s hard to get a good view of them. Wonder what the subject of the goldfinches chat?

  4. Good to hear you are recovering, and got in a reasonable ride. The wren is a beautiful little fellow, and the rest of the birds are in good form.

    We normally get a lot of rain here in December, but we are having January weather at the moment.

  5. I wonder if you have European or Japanese barberry. I can’t tell by the spines but European barberry has clusters of 3 or more and Japanese has single spines. The Japanese is very invasive here because the birds love its berries.
    It’s nice to see the green grass and hills.
    I might have to ask what your secret is for getting over a cold so quickly some day. I don’t remember the last time I had one but I doubt I’m immune.

    1. Colds shouldn’t last for more than five or six days. If they go on longer, it is probable that a second cold has been caught. In my case, being elderly and asthmatic, the lingering effects on the chest are a concern.

      As far as the berberis goes, I will have to have a look at it.

  6. When it comes to wrens, they only have two speeds, fast and faster, so any photo of them is an accomplishment! Unless I miss my guess, your ride today put you very close to your goal for the year, and while recovering from a cold, nicely done.

    It was nice to see landscape photos with colors other than white!

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