Waiting for Godot or The Gasman Cometh

pheasant chicks

Today’s guest picture come from Mike Tinker.  Knowing my fondness for taking photos of pheasants, he sent me this picture to remind me of how they start out.

pheasant chicks

The planning for the day revolved around someone being at home to greet the gas man when he arrived to give our boiler its annual service.  Since we had been given a six hour window, this entailed quite a lot of hanging around, complicated by Mrs Tootlepedal spending two hours volunteering at the Buccleuch Centre and my anxiety to put a fine day to good use by cycling.

It was sunny but far too cold to cycle after breakfast so I was happy that I had arranged a dentist’s appointment followed by scone sampling with Dropscone over coffee. It had warmed up enough after coffee for Dropscone to go off to play golf while I walked round the garden…

azalea and tree peony
Things are busting out all over.
Elder lichen and moss
A garden in itself on an elder branch.

…and watched the birds.

We started in a yellowish sort of way with  siskins and a goldfinch…

siskin and goldfinch

…and then things got greener when a greenfinch arrived on the scene.

siskins and greenfinch

Greenfinches always look rather imperious even when they are sitting quietly in the plum tree.

greenfinches
Their motto might well be: Wha daur meddle wi’ me

A pair of blackbirds were busy feeding on the ground below the feeders.

blackbirds
They struck some good poses.

There was also a pair of robins and as they weren’t chasing each off the premises, they may be a couple which would be good.  I could only catch one of them at a time though.

robin

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre and I sat beside the phone in case the gasman called.  Some of the sitting was more metaphorical than actual as I made some dough for rolls in the breadmaker, hung out the washing and ate some soup and cheese for my lunch as well.

When Mrs Tootlepedal returned, I was already changed into my cycling gear and after a quick scout round the garden….

crocus and rhubarb
Progress

…I was soon cycling up the Wauchope road in chilly but windless conditions.  The sun was out and how ever much I may have been charmed by the bridges of Manchester, the views of Wauchopedale trumped them by far.

wauchopedale
This picture should enlarge a bit if you click on it.

I cycled to the top of Callister but didn’t want to get too far from home while the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service was waiting for the gasman so I turned, appropriately enough, at an entrance to one of the valves on the main natural gas pipeline into our town…

gas valve puddle

…which pretty accurately reflected our recent changeable weather.

Having climbed Callister to get to my turning point, I now had the pleasure of the gravity assisted return journey….

Callister

…back down the hill.

I stopped to admire the lichen on a concrete fence post beside the road a little further on.  It was glowing in the sunshine.

concrete lichen

I had done 15 miles by the time that I got back to Langholm and seeing that the gasman had arrived and was at work, I nipped back up the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse to add another six miles to my total.

I stopped on the way back to add to my collection of winter trees….

tree

…though at not much more than three metres in height, this one may be regarded as more of a bush than a tree perhaps.

On the other side of the road, the afternoon sun provided a very mellow gate scene for me.

Wauchope road gate

There was still enough light when I got home for Mrs Tootlepedal to point out first a robin and then a dunnock, both perching on a bush outside the kitchen window.

robin and dunnock

Although they were only a small distance apart on the same bush at the same time, the double portrait above shows them in typically contrasting style.  The robin likes to survey the world from on high while the dunnock likes to peer at it cautiously from a bit of cover.

I was just shaping the bread roll dough into rolls when Mike Tinker dropped by to see how we had done in the singing competition.  He stopped for a cup of tea while I went off for a relaxing soak in the bathtub.

As I looked out of my bedroom window, I could see some lovely evening light on Whita so I opened the Velux window and took a picture of the hill and the monument over the roofs of Henry Street.  Quite by accident, I included the window as well and rather liked the result.

reflections of henry street and whita

Since it was Shrove Tuesday, Mrs Tootlepedal made some delicious pancakes for our tea and when the rolls had risen and been baked,  the day came to a very satisfactory end.

The morning scones with the conversation and coffee had all been interesting, the washing had dried in the sun, the rolls had come out round and brown, the pancakes had been flat and tasty and the cycling had been most enjoyable and on top of all that, the gas boiler had survived for another year in fine condition.  All is good.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Waiting for Godot or The Gasman Cometh

  1. You’re lucky to have a branch so well covered by lichens and mosses in your own yard. That fruiting lichen is a beauty, too.
    I wonder if three meter tall tree has been naturally stunted by the wind. It looks like it has seen plenty.
    The window reflection looks almost like a river reflection.

    1. The stunted tree was on a very windy corner but sheep during its early life may have had something to do with it too. If it’s moss you’re after, you should see the lawns!

  2. What a satisfactory day! I like the photo of the lichen on the gatepost – the detail is excellent. I am also impressed by your elder branch covered in lichen and moss. Another beautiful FBotD.

  3. You managed a little of everything today, from landscapes to birds to the lichens, and all the images were quite good as well! It must be good to know that your boiler is good for another year, and that you don’t need to replace it yet.

  4. Oh the joy of seeing the detail in a bigger picture, as ever a joyous blog! thanks tom

  5. What lovely photos and such a range of subjects. I especially love the lichen on the branch and the bedroom window photos. What a happy day that everything turned up trumps..correction ….turned out well!

  6. That is a good way to describe the colonies of mixed fungus, lichens and moss on tree limbs. They do comprise a garden of sorts, arranged by their own choosing.

    Your birds are in fine form, and you have captured their expressions beautifully. The greenfinches seem to be vying with Mr. Grumpy, and giving him a good run for his money. 🙂

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