Getting around

The famous Manchester Science and Industry Museum

Today’s guest picture comes from a visit that my brother Andrew paid to Manchester in January.  It shows the museum of science and industry where he attended a cotton mill demonstration.

The famous Manchester Science and Industry Museum

The day started out with rather gloomy weather but I was able to keep any blues at bay with a visit for coffee by the eponymous purveyor of these:

drop scones

Getting rid of a pile of these with a cup or two of coffee and conversation is exactly the way to spend an hour on a cold morning in February.

When Dropscone had left to go and attempt a little soggy golfing, I walked up to the town to get some advice about a fierce and peremptory warning which had appeared on my car’s dashboard.   Luckily the garage was able to calm any fears and I overrode the warning when I got home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre by the time that I got back so I spent a little time looking out of the window before I had my lunch.

There were plenty of chaffinches in view, some coming in low….

flying chaffinch

…and some trying to sneak in unobserved…

flying chaffinch

…while the camera caught some when horizontal…

flying chaffinch

…and some on the diagonal.

flying chaffinch

In between times, a robin perched for a portrait, once for a long shot….


…and once for a close up.


I might have seen more birds but a flashing (but unsuccessful) raid by a sparrowhawk cleared the garden of small birds entirely.

I had some lunch and since the weather had improved a lot, I got the slow bike out and pedalled off up the Wauchope road.

Some overnight rain had left the river running strongly…

Wauchope cascade

Wauchope cascade

…and I had a steady accompaniment of the sound of rushing water as I went along.

I stopped to admire a rock which was acting as a sort of compendium of lichens….

lichen on rock
The rock, which is about a metre across, with two details.

…and to take a picture of an alder catkin.

alder catkins
The river is lined with alders at some points

After yesterday’s punishing ride home into the wind, I made sure that I was riding uphill and into the (lighter) wind on my way out to today so that I enjoyed a return that was both more restful and a great deal faster today.

I stopped to enjoy the little spate where the Bigholms Burn joins the Logan Water shortly before they jointly become the mighty Wauchope, which then skips and jumps down its full three miles length before it joins the Esk..

Bigholms Burn

I limited my journey to 15 miles today as I had other tasks to do before the day was out.

After I had had a shower, Mrs Tootlepedal joined me and we tested out the car by taking my fairly speedy bike down to the bike shop in Longtown for its annual service and a new chain.  We stopped as we crossed the Skippers Bridge and checked out the work on repairing the damaged cutwater.

Skippers Bridge repair

There was no-one working today which was not a surprise as the water was licking at the bottom of the scaffolding and had obviously been over it earlier in the day but work had must have been under way for some time and the repair was looking impressive so far.

The car worked well and we dropped off my bike and went onto to a local garden centre where Mrs Tootlepedal bought her seed potatoes for this year. We are trying a new variety which will be exciting.  She also bought some dahlia seeds and we hope that they do as well as last year’s crop.

I bought a packet of gaudy cornflower seeds which I hope will give me a photo opportunity or two during the summer.

Gardening is full of hope.

After tea, I went off to the Archive Centre where I met our new data miner and was on hand to offer helpful advice as he completed his first edition.  I was able to put another  week of the index into the database while he worked so it was a useful session.

There was a bare tree to be seen on my bike trip…

tree at wauchope school

…and the flying bird is one of the lunch time chaffinches.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Getting around

  1. The robin looks happy today. I’m glad the sparrow hawk missed him. Maybe that’s why he looks so happy.
    I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that scaffolding with the river washing over the bottom planks.
    I can’t wait to see this year’s crop of dahlias. Last year’s crop was amazing, having come from a packet of seeds. They should compliment the cornflowers.

  2. Good to see your rivers are flowing so well. I think I’d be quite reluctant to work on that scaffolding when the river is low let alone after heavy rain! Does your bare tree have mistletoe in it or are those clumps witches’ brooms?

  3. A wonderful looking plate of scones from Dropscone! No wonder you look forward to his visits. 🙂

    A nice selection of chaffinches at the feeder, and the robin does look particularly pleased to have evaded capture by the hawk. The water looks to be running fast and wild, too much so to see any dippers. Or do they brave such torrents?

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