Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s trip to Spain.  She passed through El Rocio in Andalucia and discovered that it is the ‘Town of the Horse’.

El Rocio, Andalucia

We had another dry day today, with lighter winds but no sun in the morning.

This made the morning cycle ride round my customary Canonbie circle a slightly chilly affair and I only stopped for one picture.  It shows the end of the road….

Old A7 at Byreburn

…more literally than metaphorically.  It was at this point that a landslip in the early 1980s on what was then the main road between Carlisle and Edinburgh caused the transport authorities to decide to build a new Canonbie by-pass and leave the old road to pedestrians and cyclists.  As a result, 30 years later, I have a quiet route to cycle along.  It is an ill wind….

I was feeling a bit old and tired shortly after I passed the landslip and was struggling to make good speed.  I put it down to old age but stopping to clear the accumulated gunge between the mudguard and my front tyre had a wonderfully rejuvenating effect.  The collection of soggy mud and fallen leaves which I had picked up on my way turned out to be acting as a brake on my progress and clearing it off left me speeding home with a blithe heart.

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

The front lawn was looking very stripy after yesterday’s attack  by the mower….

front lawn

…but you can see the marks where I had to dig my feet in to push the mower over the moss.  It can rest now until spring when the battle to grow a few blades of grass among the moss will begin again.

I have stopped dead heading the poppies but there are still quite a few ready to appear.


The pale poppies with the pink and red fringes are the most striking but I have a great liking for the more sober varieties too.


There was quite a bit of buzzing….

dahlia with bee

…and at the last minute the sun came out and let Crown Princess Margareta really shine.

Crown Princess Margareta

We couldn’t stop to enjoy the sunshine as we had to drive off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to see Matilda and her parents. The drive and the train journey were enhanced by the sun and it was still sunny as we waited for the bus in Edinburgh…


…but I couldn’t help but have a sneaking feeling that all that sunshine was being wasted a bit.

Still, it was delightful to see Matilda and her parents and as we also got a jolly good meal, partly cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal in advance and partly cooked by Clare and Al, we thought the visit was well worth while.

The trip home was uneventful (a good thing) and we arrived home tired but happy.  It was a clear night when we got home and we are looking forward to a rather chilly morning tomorrow.

While I was having lunch before going to Edinburgh, I put the camera up at the kitchen window and waited for  something interesting to arrive.  The tousled blue tit obliged.

blue tit

I got an opportunity to show that it can fly perfectly well.

blue tit

More regulation blue tits were available too.

blue tit

Chaffinches arrived at regular intervals…




…kept on coming…


…though sparrows could be seen deep in thought as well.


I finally caught a chaffinch far enough from the feeder to make it into the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Travelling

  1. I thought the poor wee blue tit was just temporarily frazzled by the strong wind – still, if it can eat and fly, hopefully it will thrive. Good to know your enervation was due to working several times harder than you had to!

  2. Abandoned roads are always fun and interesting.
    I think the lawn looks great for this time of year. And the flowers too.
    The puffed out blue tit doesn’t seem bothered by what I would consider a problem, if I were a bird. If you zoom in on the head and bill it looks like it has the mange.

  3. I think that the lawn looks very well maintained, much better than any that we see in the States here.

    I will miss the poppies and other flowers over the winter, but I’m sure that you’ll keep us entertained with the antics of the birds at the feeder during the absence of flowers.

    It looks like the blue tit has finished growing its new feathers, either a very late hatchling, or an adult that molted late in the season. I hope that it makes it through the upcoming cold weather.

  4. Your lawn and flowers are a testimony to all the love and care that they receive through the year. It’s a good feeling though to clean and put away the mower for a rest!
    Let’s hope for some more bright and sunny days to enjoy your birds and end of the road views.

  5. The tousled blue tit reminds me of the story of the ugly duckling wonder what he will turn into. Another interesteing post really enjoy reading what is happening with you and what the weather and scenery is doing in Langholm.

    1. I am glad that you haven’t had any frogs to upset you lately. I am hoping that the only thing that the tousled blue tit will turn into is a smooth blue tit. 🙂

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