A day of armless fun

A splash of colour

Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s walk along the Thames.  She saw these two unusual boats in a dock near Tower Bridge.  Not the usual rich people’s yachts.

A splash of colour

I have a wonderfully shiny bruise on my arm so I thought it might be a good plan to have a very quiet morning.  It had rained heavily overnight again so things had time to dry out while I lazed about.

Apart from a quick visit to the corner shop for milk, I didn’t poke my nose out of the door until after lunch when Mrs Tootlepedal summoned me out to see a red admiral butterfly on a marigold.

red admiral on marigold

I looked around and found that it wasn’t alone.  There were several Red Admirals and Peacocks on one of the buddleias.

One flew off to bask on a wooden plank.

It is very cheering to see the butterflies just when we were beginning to think that they might not arrive at all this year.


I looked at the greenhouse grass and decided that arm or no arm, it needed mowing and got the hover mower out and did some of it.  Mrs Tootlepedal offered a cup of tea so I left some still to do and went inside.

It was fairly sunny by now and Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a trip to the Langholm Moor to look for interesting birds and kindly finished the mowing while I collected my cameras.

We saw plenty of harrier and buzzard action when we got to the moor but they were in teasing mood today and would fly quite close to the road until we stopped the car at which point, they gently eased themselves into the middle and far distance, no doubt chuckling in a raptor sort of way as they flew off.


Not a bad day for binoculars but not much good for cameras.  I looked at the view down to the Solway instead…

Solway Firth

…but it wasn’t much better with a lot of haze and a curiously flat light.

The heather was looking good in parts and at one stage, we stopped opposite one of the peat banks which are cut for fuel.

Heather and peat

We were hoping to see goats but they were obviously well away from the road so we went down into the Tarras valley and parked for a while there.

Mrs Tootlepedal watched a couple of harriers hunting across the hill while I went to look at the river.

I walked along the narrow road to find one of my favourite spots.

Tarras road

Tarras cascade
There was plenty of water coming over the cascade after the night’s rain.

In spite of a sunny appearance to the day, there seemed to be a hazy sky and the light was very flat indeed so I went back to the car, took a picture of the bridge….

Tarras Bridge

…and then we went home.

We stopped on the way back down to take a picture of Castle Hill where I had photographed the charity horse riders on Sunday.

Castle Hill

I walked up that ridge from left to right and considering how hard it is to climb, it looks amazingly gentle when seen from the side like this.

When we got home, I had a look round the garden.

The sunflower is enjoying the warm spell
new plants
Two of Mrs Tootlepedal’s new plants looking well set
The yew, which after yesterday’s pruning is mainly acting as a sort of clothes hanger for the perennial nasturtium.  It will come again.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal set about doing some major pruning to a rose so I helped out with the shredding and there was so much material that the box had to be emptied three times.  There is no doubt that looking after a flower garden takes a lot of doing.  I am glad that I live with someone who is not afraid of hard work.

From time to time, I checked on our blackbirds, hoping to get a shot of them eating the rowan berries.

Getting ready to pounce
Almost there

….but I was never quite at the right place at the right time.  Most of the berries have already been eaten so I may have missed my chance for this year.

I was tempted into using the colour picker on my Lumix to take an arty shot of the fuchsia.

fuchsia art

…but perhaps I should have resisted the temptation.

My arm was a little sore so I went in and caught up on my correspondence for a while while Mrs Tootlepedal finished clearing up after the rose pruning.  When she came in, I went out and mowed the middle lawn (very slowly and carefully).

I was tempted by the colour picker again….


…but I think that I like the full colour version of the clematis by the front door in the evening light better.


Mrs Tootlepedal came out to enjoy a sit in the garden in the sun while the tea was cooking and we were overlooked by a half finished robin.


In spite of the overnight rain, the weather at the end of August is looking a lot better than the first half of the month (no doubt because the children have gone back to school) but unless we get a very dry spell soon, everywhere is beginning to have that slightly soggy autumn feeling even on a sunny day.

Still, my back is much better and I have reached my minimum cycling mile target for the month so mustn’t grumble.

And a poppy in some sunshine is always a cheerful thing.


As a point of minor interest, the bread making machine and I made a set of rolls recently and since there were too many for us to eat at once, I froze a couple, something which I have never done before.  We let them unfreeze naturally today and they were as good as new.  I was was very pleasantly surprised and will definitely try freezing rolls again when I next make them.  I realise that this will not be big news to people who freeze bread regularly.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A day of armless fun

  1. Loved all the butterflies and the water pouring over that cascade but feel, like you, that the colour picker didn’t do anything for the fuchsia. Glad that your back is improving, you must be doing something right.

  2. The yew certainly had a good haircut, but I have faith in Mrs. T’s vision – the garden as a whole is proof of that. I remember the chicken that was so closely shorn – have you posted an update of its regrowth? If not, would you please? The boats near Tower Bridge may not be yachts, but I’ll bet the mooring fees there would be enough to make your back teeth ache.

  3. I know the flat light that you speak of. Trying to take nature photos in it can sometimes be frustrating enough to make me give up and wait for another day, but I’m glad you didn’t give up. The butterflies are beautiful.
    I’m not crazy about the color picker but in certain situations it might be useful.
    I like the sunflower close up. It’s something many people never see.

  4. I liked the full color version of the clematis better than what the color picker image was, but it doesn’t hurt to play, and you’ll find a time when using it comes in handy.

    Days with light as flat as you had today are generally better for close-ups, like the pretty butterfly photos.

  5. Love the butterflies, my garden is playing host to them to. Mrs Tootlepedal and I have thins in common, I am an embroider and a gardener. I don’t belong to the guild any more, the highland branch closed due to lack of interest .

  6. Yes, a good day despite a sore arm. Hope it is soon better. Glad to read you made your biking goal. Could you remind me what it is? Also, where you live is very beautiful, regardless of the light.

    1. I am trying to average 350 miles a month at a minimum and I hope to do a bit better than that in the autumn months in case December gets too cold and icy to do many miles.

      1. Very impressive! We are likely to reach 200 this month, and you are a shining example for us. Bike on!

  7. Love the sunflower and the butterfly photos. The blackbird has a teasing look in his eye and just waiting for you to put the camera away before he downs another berry! Pleased to read that your back is better and hope your arm follows suit quickly.

  8. Those boats are excellent. I liked the colour picker shot of the clematis. I know this is going against the trend but there are loads of full colour clematis just lying round in gardens if you want ti see one.

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