A day of decisions

Opera House Wakefield

The guest picture of the day comes from a visit to Wakefield that my brother made a few weeks ago.   The theatre there is a  handsome but modest building as befits a down to earth town.

Opera House Wakefield

After some quite heavy rain overnight and a rather misty, murky morning,  today turned into a very pleasant day.  I might well have gone cycling after breakfast but I decided to postpone any decision about that until I had gone up to the Moorland Feeders where I was acting as a fill-in feeder filler for Sandy who is basking in the sun somewhere in the far south.

I was greeted by a rather grumpy pheasant who only got off the gate to let me through with the greatest reluctance.


I filled the feeders and found that it was warm enough to sit in the hide without a coat (which was just as well as I hadn’t bought one) and so I sat for a while and enjoyed the birds.

There were the usual suspects both big….

woodepecker and pheasant

…and small.

Greenfinch and coal tit
Greenfinch and coal tit
Great tit and blue tit
Great tit and blue tit

And one or two less usual things as well.

one legged chaffinch
A one legged chaffinch looking fit and well
A blackbird on top of the tall feeder
squabbling chaffinches
And the first squabbling chaffinches of the season

There was also a major fungus outbreak at the foot of a tree near the hide.

feeder furngus

I made it home perfectly in time for coffee and then I decided not to go cycling again.

It was a great day to be out in the garden though so I went out into the garden.

I was pleased to see, along with the usual red admirals….

red admirals
Ten a penny this year

…that we had a small tortoiseshell in the garden as well.

small tortoiseshell butterfly

These have been very scarce this year.

There was no shortage of bees and hoverflies (and smaller flies too) once again.

cornflower with hoverfly

icelandic poppy with hoverfly

bee on dahlia

It is very gratifying to find that Mrs Tootlepedal has planted so many attractive flowers   that the garden is filled with flight and sound on any vaguely sunny day.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy developing her new plans for the middle lawn and flower beds and while she was working, she noticed that our silver pear tree had actually produced a few silver pears.

silver pear
They are very small.

Nearby, a cotoneaster was much brighter.


The walnuts keep falling off the walnut tree, some of them assisted by jackdaws and crows like this one which was perched on the very top of the tree this morning.

I think that there may be a walnut just to the right of the bird.

Soon it was time for lunch and I decided not to go to Edinburgh with Mrs Tootlepedal to see Matilda this week.

After Mrs Tootlepedal drove off to catch the train at Lockerbie, I decided not to go cycling once again but I did get the slow bike out to deliver a message to Nancy, the Archive Group treasurer, with more cash from the Welcome to Langholm sales desk.  They sell postcards, local history books and DVDs on our behalf.

Since I was on my bike, I continued along the waterside in the hope of seeing the dipper.  It was not there but a goosander kindly took its place and posed for me.


It really was a lovely afternoon so I pedalled gently on across the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks.

Lodge Walks

My intention was to take another picture of the tiny fungi on a tree stump which I had seen on a recent walk but they had faded away almost to dust.  I looked around and saw a wonderful display of more conventional fungi on a tree stump on the other side of the road.

tree stump fungus
A veritable feast of fungus
tree stump fungus
A close up

I cycled gently home across the Castleholm and even on such a warm and sunny day, I could easily see why they had had to cancel our local agricultural show while we were away in Marseille.  Putting my foot down incautiously while pausing to admire the view  all too easily led to my whole foot and ankle disappearing into the glaur.  It has rained a lot recently.

When I got home, there was still plenty of time for a trip to Canonbie (or even further afield) but once again I decided not to cycle.

Instead, I retired indoors, practised the awkward song for our concert on Saturday (and all the easier ones a swell) and then had a long relaxing bath followed by a snooze.

It had been hard making so many decisions during the day and I needed a rest.

However, I have got my asthma medicine properly organised again and hope to be a great deal perkier tomorrow.

At last, a traditional flying bird of the day.  This was at the Moorland Feeders.  I am looking  forward to getting the garden feeders up again in the not too distant future.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A day of decisions

  1. All those decisions, no wonder you were tired! I do love the glorious colours of the flowers you photograph in your garden, they brighten up my life.

  2. It’s nice to see all the flowers and all of the beautiful insects on them.
    I don’t recognize any of the fungi. We haven’t had much rain over the last two or three weeks so they’re sparse here.
    Nice shot of the smiling crow!

  3. Though I will miss the beautiful flowers and the insects that they attract, it will be nice to see more traditional flying birds of the day.

    At first I thought that you were joking about the one legged chaffinch, but a closer inspection told me that it did indeed have just one leg. I’m glad that it is doing well despite of that.

  4. How does Mrs Tootlepedal manage to get poppies blooming for such a long period, mine are long gone.Does she sow seed throughout the summer! Hope you are back to your usual self today, after a beautiful day yesterday the black clouds are looming , they say we might get remnants of a Canadian storm!! Oh joy.

    1. Constant dead heading seems to be the thing that keeps the poppies going. If we don’t dead head them they quickly stop flowering. You seem to be going to get more rain than us.

  5. Glaur is a new one for me. Scots seem to have a knack for wonderfully fitting words for all things gloomy, mucky, and despairing.

  6. Beautiful day but so many decisions. No wonder you had to rest. But glad to read you got your asthma medicine organized. Very important!

  7. I agree with all the comments above! Lovely post, lovely photos of flowers and birds and I’m sure you were whistling as you pedalled down the Lodge Walks- just so relaxing and calm.

  8. Thank you for posting the photo of the Lodge Walks. A beautiful scene, no matter what the season.

    A very beautiful pheasant. I haven’t seen any pheasant here over this year. Occasionally we see a flock of them. Quail visit much more often.

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