Steadily busy

deer fence for veg

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Mary Jo from Manitoba, is entitled “Alcatraz on the Assiniboine” and shows the lengths she has to go to keep the deer off her vegetables.  It makes Mrs Tootlepedal’s anti-sparrow pea fortress look a little small.

deer fence for veg

I was woken several times during the night by rain pounding on our Velux windows and was not surprised to see two large puddles on the lawns when I got up.  It was still raining after breakfast when I walked up to the Welcome to Langholm office to do my tour of duty.

As usual, I settled down to do some Archive Group work on the computer when I got in but unusually, I was constantly interrupted by people coming in to buy DVDs and booklets.  Mike Tinker also came in to look at the Camera Club exhibition and Archive Group treasurer Nancy dropped into to compare grandparenting fun over the Common Riding so I was not short of things to do and people to talk to.  I will finish off the Archive Group work later.

It had stopped raining shortly after I had got to the Welcome to Langholm office and with one or two brief exceptions, it stayed dry for the rest of the day without ever looking as though it might not rain at any time.

I had a walk round the garden when I got back but the very brisk wind made taking pictures hard.  Once again, it was pleasing to see that the miserable weather had not discouraged the bees from visiting.

bees on poppies

I like to think that some of the local honey that I bought at the producers’ market may have come from our garden.  There are other hives about though so it may not be true.

Thanks to the chilly weather, the garden is at a bit of a standstill at the moment, though a few dahlias are battling the elements.


A new and blue hosta has come to join the others.


I had lunch and decided to risk a heavy shower and go for a cycle ride.  In the event, the roads were running with water in places but it stayed dry.  It was blowing very briskly so I did one of my valley bottom hugging three lap runs to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back to get my twenty miles in.

It was hard work going uphill and against the wind.  Even on the flat in the more exposed sections, I was struggling to go at 10 mph. Conversely of course, the trip back down was a breeze!

My eye was caught on the way up the hill by a very pretty pink flower in the verge.


I think it is yarrow and I found it hard to say whether the white flower next to it was the same plant or not.


Nearby, there was some interesting lichen….


…which deserved a closer look.


You can’t get anything much more interesting than that, I am sure you will agree.

Although the river level in the Esk was not as high as I thought that it might have been after the heavy rain overnight, there was plenty of water flowing over one of my favourite cascades on the Wauchope.

Wauchope cascadeWauchope cascadeWauchope cascade

The power of the water, even in a small river like the Wauchope, is awesome.  I took good care not to get too close to the edge of the bank.

My bicycle was glad of a moment’s rest in the battle against the breeze.

Bloch field gate with bike
The field has been mowed for silage

As I came to Langholm for the last time, I whizzed past my South African correspondent, Tom, who was pedalling up the hill in the opposite direction with his niece.

I have fitted my new wing mirror to the bike….

wing mirror
It is held on by a velcro strap

…but it might need refitting as it was fine at low speeds going up hill but when I was going at speed back down the hill over the bumpy road, it dropped out of position a lot.  (If you have straight handlebars, getting one that fits into the bar end is the best solution.)

Almost as soon as I had got home, I went out again.  This time I was picking up Sandy in the car.  It was the first time that I have been to his new house.  It is very neat and well decorated but he has a few things still to come before it is completely done.

He has an interesting shed in his garden.

Sandy's shed
A piece of living history: ideal for a bicycle and a lawn mower.

Our plan was to drive a little bit up the road and pick wild raspberries.  As a plan, it worked out very well and we did just what we had meant to do.

My haul looked like this….

Sandy's shed

…almost exactly a pound of fruit and it quickly became three small pots of wild raspberry jam.  They will not last long.

As well as the raspberries, which were unusually good in quality, we saw a butterfly and it is doing duty as the flying bird of the day today.  It flew off soon after I took this picture.

ringlet butterfly



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Steadily busy

  1. Yarrow does come in a few different colors. Pink and yellow are common but I’ve never seen either in the wild.
    The texture of the pixie cup lichens is more pebbled than I have seen.
    I have straight handlebars on my bike but my mirror is a lot like yours and held on the same way. It does move occasionally.

  2. One of our neighbours still has her Anderson shelter in its original position and grows plants on the earth mound.

    Is that a solar powered electric fence in the first picture? Looks like a serious bit of kit.

    1. That’s exactly what it is. We have about 1600 feet of wire in the five rows around the garden. Started with three, the deer got in. Added one more. More deer. Finally put up the projecting top row, prison yard style, and that seems to do the trick. Knock wood . . .

      1. Good luck with it, when we ran the project on the farm we had trouble with deer eating the young trees. It seems there are more deer in the UK now than there ever have been, though we rarely see them.

  3. Thank you for the shot of the bike mirror and the accompanying advice. My aim is to get one that doesn’t vibrate so much that the images are totally blurred – but given the state of many of our streets, it could be a challenge!

  4. Loved the cascades on the Wauchope! The way that your mirror is held on doesn’t look very solid to me, but I tend to over-engineer everything or lean towards things that are much heavier than they have to be to get the job done. I hope that it works out for you.

    1. Lightness is a big consideration for a cyclist and the rather iffy binding means that I can take it off easily if I am transporting the bike.

  5. Great post, I like your wing mirror. I should get one, because turning this old neck around doesn’t get any easier, cheers.

  6. Your pictures of the cascades are magnificent and I loved the raspberries too, what a beautiful colour they are. Sorry about the wind though.

  7. The cascades are most impressive after all that rain.
    You did well to pick so many wild raspberries – I am sure the jam will be delicious.

  8. Beautiful, beautiful, as always. Thanks for including a picture of your new bike mirror. Clif and I have been talking about getting one for each of our bikes, and the one you have looks like it is just the thing..

    1. No one has ever accused me of being wise before so I am very happy to have such a nice accolade, especially from someone who has as much to think about in their own life as you do Julie x.

  9. Great photos of the water cascading over the rocks- you can see their power. Lucky you picking all those wild of my favourite fruits. Took me ages to work out where your bike mirror was attached – thank goodness you posed your bike so well in front of that gate to I could work it out!

  10. Yes, the yarrow is a beautiful colour. I have seen pink yarrow before but not quite as dark and strong a shade as your plant. It could be that a bee fertilised the plant with pollen from a garden achillea but I have often suspected that the colour denotes different minerals or a different Ph in the soil. It could also be a natural dimorphism. Who knows? I don’t!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: