Steady work

Forth Bridge

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, who was working under the shadow of the Forth Railway Bridge today and kindly sent me this fine picture of the noble structure.

Forth Bridge

I had a day of constant but gentle activity with little time for staring out of the window or visiting the pond so the usual number of frog and battling siskin pictures is greatly reduced.

It was a fine dry day with quite a bit of sunshine but this was balanced by a brisk wind.

I discovered just how brisk the wind was when I went out on my bike at ten o’clock.  I had hoped to pile a few miles on but in the event, I had to lower my expectations considerably after the first ten miles took me just on an hour battling into the wind.  You might think that battling into the wind is always rewarded by being pushed home but my course was a sort of square and I ended up with one quarter against the wind, two quarters with cross winds and only a quarter with the helpful shove.

I managed thirty miles in the end but at a very slow speed indeed.

I didn’t have the mental energy to stop and take a lot of pictures so I settled for one of a fine gorse hedge near Gair….

Gorse hedge

…and one of a gang of English trees gossiping across the road near Battenbush.

Two trees.

I just had enough time for a shower and lunch when I got back before I had to go out to a meeting with Sandy and the lady who is project manager for the scheme for a community takeover of our local newspaper.  She was hoping to involve the Archive Group in her planning and we explained what we might be able to do (not much unfortunately but we will try our nest to help)

Sandy and I arranged a walk after the meeting and I cycled home, took a quick look at the garden where the crocuses have revived a bit…


…and the tadpoles are developing well….

…before walking along to the Town Bridge, where I paused to admire a gull on a rock and a goosander doing some fishing.

Gull and Goosander.

Looking from the other side of the bridge, I could see Sandy patiently waiting for me to arrive on the Kilngreen.


He tells me that he was sitting and thinking and not just sitting.

We took a moment to admire the bird life…..

Ducks and heron
Mr Grumpy is looking is age.

…and the riverbank crocuses


…before crossing the Sawmill Brig and touring the Castleholm.

The wall beside the bridge has a lot of blue green algae on it and I finally managed to get a definitive picture which confirmed what the New Hampshire gardener had showed me.  Our algae is strangely furry just like his.

A bit different when you look really closely

We were looking at the cones on a Noble Fir when strange blue objects caught our eye.  Research tells us that these are the male flowers of the fir.

Noble fir flowers.

We could hear a nuthatch singing in the tree beside the Jubilee Bridge but it took a passing walker to point it out to us.  It was too far off for a good picture but it is satisfactory to know that it is there.

All round our walk, we could hear robins singing and we saw quite a few as we went along.

This is just a sample. The one in the middle has lost a lot of feathers somehow.

We looked at flowers, both big…


…and small.

A hazel flower on a hairy twig.

We pottered round the pheasant hatchery and enjoyed this omnivorous tree eating fence wire of all sorts.

Tree with wire

After crossing the Duchess Bridge, we made our separate ways home and I was impressed by the colourful show of Mike and Alison’s cherry tree.

Mike and Alison's cherry tree

I took a moment to look out of the kitchen window when I got in…

siskin and chaffinch
A tiny siskin gives a chaffinch some advice about going elsewhere.
siskin and goldfinch
The goldfinch is in for a shock.

…and then went out to see what Mrs Tootlepedal had been up to in the garden while I was walking.   She is very happy with the neat appearance which our neighbour’s new fence gives to the vegetable garden.


It makes the plot look much more purposeful.  We will have to wait and see whether it will make the vegetables grow better.

I then made a risotto for my tea and went off to a choir practice with our local choir.  The choir is working well at the moment and the practice was most enjoyable so it rounded off a day of continuous pleasure and hard work.

I did catch a flying bird of the day during my brief look out of the window.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Steady work

  1. I love how things look so different the closer we look, like the algae. Yours really looks just like ours, and so do your hazel flowers and branches.
    The fir flowers are beautiful things. They remind me of our larch flowers.
    I’d hate to be the woodcutter that meets up with the wire eating tree but I’d love to have that cherry tree in my own yard.

    1. The fir flowers are pretty and it is a tribute to my lack of observation skills that I have noticed them before although I have often looked at that tree.

  2. What an astonishing bridge! The variety and size of bridges in your area beats the pants off the selection around here. Interesting to see the photo of your veg garden – it’s quite a good size – no wonder you’re often wandering out to get a leek so late in the year!

    1. The veg garden does look quite purposeful, doesn’t it. The trick is to try to spread the produce over the year and not get too much at one time but this is much easier said than done.

  3. My you are going to treading on lots of froglets later in the year! Lovely photos from your walk. It must be your musician’s ear that can help you to distinguish different bird songs. When you video can you record sound too? Hint! Brilliant veg plot but so much hard work!

  4. Some interesting photographs there. The one of the “Sitting Thinking Man” is particularly good – in the hands of a lesser photographer it could easily have lacked the “Thinking” dimension. 🙂

  5. The tadpoles are making good progress! I like the gossiping English trees. They look as if they are having a good, very long laugh about something. The Ents were always among my favorite characters in “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies.

    It is interesting how trees can become living fence posts, ingesting wire and nails. Unfortunately, the wire rusts away. New Hampshire makes a good point about not wanting to be the woodcutter meeting up with that tree later on.

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