Circuit training

After my plea for some guest pictures, there has been a lavish response so thank you to all who contributed.  This one is from Jenni Smith, who during a short holiday walked along the coast from Stonehaven to visit the spectacular Dunnottar Castle.

Dunottar Castle

After our recent cool mornings, it was good to get up to a warmer day today with no frost to be seen.

I was feeling pretty perky, all things considered and after breakfast, I had a few of those adventures that the mice have while the cat is away (Mrs Tootlepedal is visiting her mother).  I emptied the dishwasher, tidied up the kitchen and put a load of washing in the washing machine and had the place looking quite neat by the time that Dropscone came round for coffee.

I did mix in some of the usual routine with all the fun.

There were at least three robins in the garden this morning.


A siskin looked rather alarmed by the prospect of featuring on the blog.


A chaffinch basked in one of the sunny moments.  I thought it might have an eye injury when I looked closely at the picture…

chaffinch in plum tree eye shut

…but a second picture taken a moment later showed that it was just shutting its eyes and stretching.

chaffinch in plum tree eye open

Regular blue tits were in evidence again.

blue tit

And the goldfinches paid a visit much to the alarm of the siskin who cleared out at speed.


Dropscone brought some of his excellent scones with him and I opened a new packet of coffee beans to grind so we had a high quality ‘sip and scone’ session.

He has been having some very annoying computer problems lately so once again I am keeping my fingers crossed that I avoid any such difficulty.

After he left, I had another look out of the window….

greenfinch in plum tree

…and seeing a greenfinch enjoying the sunshine, I thought that I could have a bit of that too so I had a quick snack and got my cycling clothes on.

At 50°C it was likely to be pretty kind on my chest so I embarked on a 27 mile circular tour, hoping to do some basking in the sun myself.  Sadly, although a little sunshine caught some larches along the Wauchope road soon after I set out….


….it didn’t last and once again, I suffered from seeing some distant sun as I went along….

View from callister

…but didn’t get much myself.

The prevailing mood was brown…

View of ewes wind farm

…but as the windmills were going round very slowly, I didn’t mind too much.

At this time of the year, with the sun struggling to get up into the sky, cycling views are very binary with a bit of colour to one side of the road, as in the scene above, and none on the other side as in the picture below which was shot in full colour mode.


As you can see, there was a bit of threatening cloud about but it sportingly held off until the last few yards of my trip.

I did all the small amount of climbing in the first 12 miles of the trip and after passing this colourfully roofed barn at Kennedy’s Corner…

Kennedy's Corner

…it was mostly downhill and downwind all the way home.

I stopped to take a picture that combined a ruin and a bare tree,  double pleasure for me….

Ruin near Chapelknowe

…and it was just as well that I wasn’t going fast because I had to stop again a moment or two later to let a rush of traffic past.

tractor with hay

The road was unusually busy today.  I don’t normally meet anything on this section.

I had two more larch moments to record on the way.  One at the start of the new Auchenrivock road…

Hagg on Esk

…and one at the far end.

Auchenrivock larches

I really wish that the sun had been out when I stopped here as it is my favourite place for colour at this time of year on a sunny day.

Thanks to the gentle wind and the relative warmth, I managed a respectable 13.5 mph for the trip without having to breathe too hard and got off the bike feeling well enough to spend some time giving it a good clean and lubrication before I put it away.

I am still coughing from time to time but I really feel that the end is in sight at last.

While I was cleaning the bike, I enjoyed a bit of late colour against the house wall.


At this time of the year, the hours between three and five o’clock in the afternoon are a rather dead time, not time for evening indoor entertainments but too dark unless the day is very fine, to do much walking or snapping outside.  It is my intention to try to make use of this time to do something useful rather than sit around grumpily waiting for spring so today I put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  This was a momentous occasion as it started off another year, 1897.  (We began with the first edition in 1848 so we have come a long way.)

Mrs Tootlepedal rang up to say that all was well in the south so it has turned out to be a good day all round.

The flying bird of the day is an imperious looking chaffinch.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Circuit training

  1. I do enjoy your comments about the birds! Glad you were able to ignore the cold long enough to have a good ride. The photo of the colourful leaves against the house is beautiful – you really must go into postcard/notecard production (the robins alone would complete a series!).

  2. It must have been a good day overall, you’re seeing more robins and blue tits than I remember that you’ve seen in the past, and you were able to get back on the bike again after a lengthy absence.

      1. Up and down I’m afraid haven’t been able to get back commuting the way I used to and still wan, but I haven’t given up. The winter’s coming fast now, despite the mild weather of these last couple of weeks, and quite frankly I don’t fancy commuting in the cold yet. Yes, I’ve grown soft, lazy, and consequently, have a few too many extra pounds to carry on my trusty Pioneer. Considering having a go at spin classes at the local gym, just trying to sort a roster to fit in with my shift work.

      2. The spin classes sound good. I would go if there was one near enough. I hope that we get an early spring and you can get going again.

  3. So glad you are feeling well enough to go on a bike ride. It tickles me to see how different birds with the same name—such as robins—look in Scotland and in Maine. Fun! Finally, nothing better than a bare tree AND a ruin. That would be enough to make my day.

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