A slight dampener

Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker who is on holiday in Oban.  He found a sunny moment among the clouds to visit Dunstaffnage Castle.

Dunstaffnage Castle

We had a reasonable day today, breezy at times but with no rain until late in the evening.  However, we were not able to make the best use of it as Mrs Tootlepedal was struck down by a bug and had to spend the day in bed.

This meant that I thought it best to spend quite a lot of time hovering about trying to look as though I might be useful.

I did get out for a short pedal in the morning and because of a combination of the brisk wind and a desire not to get too far away from the patient, I stuck to my outdoor gym and went three times up and down the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse. This gave me an undemanding twenty one miles without ever being more than three and a bit miles from home.

A break in the clouds let the sun light up a green field as I got near to Wauchope School.

green field

I  kept a fungus eye out as I pedalled and looking at the verges, I saw these…


…and these…
…and this…
…and this…
…and these

They were hard to miss.

On my third go up, I stopped to look at some fence posts, as one does.

fence post lichen

There seemed a lot of interest (to me) on the first one that I looked at so I looked at the next one along too.

fence post lichen

Those little spots of red caught my eye so I looked at the next one along….

fence post lichen

…and it was covered in them.

British soldiers lichen
They look like British soldiers lichen to me, an army of them.

The next post didn’t have any of them on it at all…

fence post lichen

…and the last post was mainly moss.

fence post moss

All this was within ten yards.

I must stop and look at fence post more often.

I was joined by the minister on my second run back to the town.  He had done a longer, hillier circuit and had found the wind very hard work so I was pleased to be skulking about in the valley bottom where the wind was quite strong enough for me.

I made some soup when I got home and had to eat it by myself as Mrs Tootlepedal wasn’t in eating mode.

I hung around in the afternoon in case I was needed and fitted in the crossword, some dead heading, some compost sieving and a little bit of Archive database work, topped off with a look at a couple of choir songs.

I did take the camera out into the garden but the wind had got up a bit and it made taking pictures quite tricky.

There was colour to be seen…

rudbeckia, buddleia and orange hawkweed
The last of the rudbeckia, a second bloom on a buddleia and the second flowering of the orange hawkweed

…and the temptation of another fuchsia shot was too great to resist.


The sharp eyed will see a bee on the right hand flower.

It went up there.

bee in fuchsia

There were plenty of poppies to deadhead but there are still many, many more waiting to come out.


They may look a bit fragile but they are obviously pretty tough.

Sadly, the bug meant that Mrs Tootlepdal could not go off to see Matilda, as her custom is on a Thursday but she was well enough to be happy to snooze in bed while I went off to play recorders in Carlisle in the evening.

Susan drove me down and all six of the group were present tonight.  Roy, our librarian, had put together a really good set of six part pieces from his extensive library and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The good weather couldn’t last and it was raining heavily again as Susan drove me home.  Mrs Tootlepedal was slightly better which was heartening although I don’t think she will be running a marathon tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a hoverfly, helophilus pendulus (as far as I can see), on a daisy.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “A slight dampener

  1. I hope that Mrs Tootlepedal is up and about again soon. Being of the fairer sex, she won’t have taken to her bed lightly (replier taking cover).

  2. It would be a mighty bug that would fell Mrs. Toot. No doubt she’s using her time in bed to plan about four months’ worth of gardening – to be done in the next week, of course. Still lots of green in your neck of the woods – very pretty.

  3. Because they are so tall (relatively) and thin I think the red tipped lichen is a pin lichen, also called the lipstick powder horn. It’s a very close relative of British soldiers but they’re usually shorter and more stout.
    Older wooden fences are a great place to find lichens and mosses. I was looking at one not too long ago myself.
    I hope Mrs. T. recovers quickly and completely.

  4. Yes, best wishes to Mrs. T. Hope she is soon up and about doing all the things she loves to do. I must say, the pattern on that hoverfly is gorgeous.

  5. You can add me to those wishing Mrs. T a speedy recovery.

    I must remember to check out any wooden fence posts that I come across, as your macros of the lichens and mosses really caught my attention.

    It’s the middle of October, and the garden is still providing so many beautiful flowers that it’s hard to remember that it’s so late in the season. I hope that the food items from the gardens have done as well this year.

    1. The veg crop has been a bit variable but we are still eating the potatoes and onions and we have had turnips, beans, carrots, beetroot, lettuce and spinach so we mustn’t grumble. And there are still a lot of apples.

  6. Your fence posts are very interesting and colourful indeed and your garden flowers just keep on giving. I hope a vase of them reached Mrs T to aid her recovery.

      1. I guess that is why most fungi I find is flat lichen unless we have a particular rainy spell–which doesn’t happen much! Yours are so colorful!

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