Every little helps

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Sue who sent me this shot of a Christmas visitor to her bird feeders.


Either my eyes are getting dimmer (and my camera’s sensor too) or the cloudy days are getting greyer and greyer.  It was a really miserable day today with very little light filtering through from above so it was just as well that there were things to do indoors while the rain pattered down outside.

Mrs Tootlepedal did some serious clearing out of our utility room and I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.

I did look out of the window from time to time but there was not much to see.  Just a lot of raindrops…


…a soggy looking siskin…

wet siskin

….and a clueless coal tit.

coal tit

The utility room clear out led to many agonising decisions regarding throwing away things that had sat unused and unloved at the back of the same shelf for thirty years but which were still obviously entirely necessary for the well being of the house and/or far too good to throw away.

We managed to get rid of quite a lot of stuff.

After lunch, the weather improved to the extent that it actually stopped raining but it was still tremendously grey.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some shopping and I got out the slow bike again and set off for a short spin.

Although it looked very gloomy when I started, it improved a little and I got an hour of gentle pedalling in before I thought it was dark enough to come in again.

I did take a camera with me but it wasn’t a day for cheery scenic photographs so I concentrated on some water shots and visited a couple of my favourite little cascades on the mighty Wauchope.

wauchope cascade

After the rain, there was a fair bit of water coming down the river…

wauchope cascade

…with more rushing to join it from across the road.

wauchope cascade

I did basically the same ten mile trip up to Callister and back as I had done yesterday but put in a diversion to Cleuchfoot to add an extra couple of miles.   This took me across the Glencorf Burn…

Glencorf burn

…which has a handy sheep catching gate.

Glencorf burn

There was not much to see today but a couple of well furnished fence post tops caught my eye.

My lichen grip is sketchy but this might be Parmelia sulcata or a similar lichen

lichen on fence post

It looked very striking on a dull day.

The second fence post was more varied and seems to have two different sorts of lichen on it.

lichen on fence post

I put one of these images into the Google image search and it suggested that it might be a lilac!  Maybe AI still has a bit to go.

When I got home, we were visited by Mike Tinker, who had enjoyed his walk yesterday too.  When we told him that Mrs Tootlepedal had been doing some heavy  “spring cleaning” in winter, he told us not to mention it to his wife Alison under any circumstances.  Mike likes a quiet life.

If you read this Alison, it was just a little decluttering, nothing serious at all.

My ambition to eat a bit less has been hampered by the fact that I keep on eating more.  I am afraid that 12 miles on the slow bike won’t do much good but it can’t do any harm so I will continue to take any small window of cycling opportunity that appears in the gloom and hope for some better light to go with it.

No chance at all of a flying bird of the day today so a paddling blackbird will have to do instead.

paddling blackbird


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Every little helps

  1. I’m intrigued at your “slow bike”. I can somewhat guess at what it entails, but have never encountered the term before. Perhaps I missed something, joining the party a bit late?

    Your lovely cascade at the mighty Wauchope looks quite similar to some along our rivers in the hills here. They are entrancing wherever you may find them.

    The lichen in the middle of your second shot is very similar to some we have here, but definitely nothing like a lilac. Perhaps Google needs to know about the gray season you’re in.

    1. I have two bikes, a fairly speedy road bike and the slow bike whihc has hub gears, a solid back tyre and a belt drive so it is pretty indestructible and I use it mostly for trundling round the town. It is handy at this time of year as it doesn’t need any maintenance.

  2. Ah yes I have a resolution to de-clutter, thanks for reminding me as already I have managed not to start. Love the lichen and the rushing water.

  3. I love the photos of the rushing water and the paddling blackbird. I have been doing a little clearing out recently and I have been surprised at the amount of useless things I had been hanging onto for all these years!

  4. But at least it wasn’t snowing. I like seeing the water rushing through the brooks and streams.
    I wish we had fence posts like yours. Shield lichens are probably one of the most common so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was what the first one was.
    I’d love to get a look at that second post.

  5. Liked the paddling blackbird – most suitable for a wet day. The cascade photograph on the Wauchope has come out very well.
    Congratulations on the turn-out.

  6. Decluttering can be quite heart-wrenching and you know after agonising over whether to get rid of something and finally deciding it’s time has come the moment it leaves the property you’ll be needing it.

  7. Nothing like a blackbird imitating a duck to bring a smile to my face. I also liked the shots of the water cascading down the slopes.

    It’s harder to eat less this time of year when your body wants extra calories in an effort to keep warm.

  8. Yes, that paddling blackbird made me smile, too. As for decluttering…always feels good when it’s done.

  9. “The utility room clear out led to many agonising decisions regarding throwing away things that had sat unused and unloved at the back of the same shelf for thirty years but which were still obviously entirely necessary for the well being of the house and/or far too good to throw away.” We go through this periodically here. I am by nature, a packrat.

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