More slow progress

flooded field

Today’s guest picture shows a spectacular water meadow on my brother’s recent walk from his house in Derby.

flooded field

We had a slightly less gloomy day today both medically and meteorologically.  I felt quite positive, though still pretty wheezy and I noticed an improvement on Mrs Tootlepedal, though she thinks she is never going to get better!

I had an errand to run for Mrs Tootlepedal in the morning and a couple of bills to pay in the town as well so I made two excursions to the High Street and, very daringly, I went on the slow bike to discharge the business.

Although it was still chilly, the clouds were a lot higher and the wind was very light so it seemed like a pleasant day.

Certainly there was much better light for watching the birds when I got home.

Our little gang of robins are still skipping about and posing for the camera.


And plenty of birds kept me busy refilling the feeder a couple of time during the day.


The better weather seemed to have calmed things down and there was no violence to be seen today.


There was no trouble in finding flying birds either.

flying chaffinches

In the absence of a lot of goldfinches and siskins, the chaffinches had a quiet day and I thought that the tableau below had the sober look of a Victorian gentlemen’s club.

flying chaffinches

The clouds got even thinner as the morning went on and there was even occasional glimpses of brightness so I took Mrs Tootlepedal up a light lunch and then got the slow bike out to see if my legs were up to a short excursion up the Wauchope road.

To say that I took things easily would be correct.  Indeed, I proceeded with such care up one short hill that my bike computer actually thought that I had stopped and went into pause mode.  I did stop and few yards further on and went down to look at the river.

Bessie Bells

You could almost say that the sun was shining but there was no blue sky, just moments when the clouds were so thin that the sun could shine right through them.

It made for kindly cycling though so I got back on and went as far as Mrs Tootlepedal’s old manure mine where I had another walk to break up the cycling.

Manure mine

It’s a grand spot for a walk, with interesting trees….

lichen and cones


….a gate….


…a delightful riverside path through a little wood….

Woodland walk

…with both moss….

mossy tree

…and lichen to add interest…


…and then another gate to bring you out of the wood and back into the field.


Although it was well above freezing, there was still an icy patch or two in well sheltered spots….

field with icy puddle

…and these were surviving even though the puddles that had caused them had long since drained away from underneath them.

field with icy puddle

I have received a letter from the association of Langholm lichens complaining about my statement yesterday that the only colour on the go at the moment is being provided by mosses.  They felt that I was underselling the wonders of lichen so I was happy to stop a bit further up the road where there is a vibrant lichen display on a wall.



I got up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and then resisted the temptation, which was quite strong, to add a few more miles and turned and headed home.  I was very happy to find that I could do seven miles of gentle pedalling without any bad consequences and even had a little tootle on my flute to celebrate.

I added to the glory of the day by doing a load of washing and giving the car a rather superficial wash.  If all this seems to indicate a miracle cure, I would have to point out that everything was done at a snail’s pace with plenty of serious resting in between.  I have some way to go yet.

The New Hampshire Gardener asked whether the lichen on the plum tree which appeared a couple of posts ago might be a tree lungwort so I used the better light today to take another picture of it….


…and my book suggests that it might be Lobaria scrobiculata, the textured lungwort rather than Lobaria pulmonaria, the tree lungwort but since I know nothing, any lungwort wizard out there is welcome to put me right.

After a relatively lively day, I settled down to a very quiet evening in and Mrs Tootlepedal and I enjoyed a light meal of scrambled eggs on toast for our tea.

I am looking forward to a little more progress for us both tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day caught what brightness there was.

flying chaffinch




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “More slow progress

  1. Glad you are feeling better and I hope Mrs. T. follows suit. It’s beautiful to see your part of the world slowly waking up through your pictures. It seems chaffinches dominate your feeders like the transplanted sparrows do mine… I love the spindly legs supporting the round body of the no-nonsense robin.

  2. A bit further south, we also had a brighter day, with no drizzle. Very pleased to see the improvement to your day with a great selection of photos. Hope you both continue to improve.

  3. Good to hear there is progress on the health front, however slight it may be. Great comment about the computer pausing – made us laugh out loud! I’d like to walk that path between the two gates.

  4. I do hope Mrs Tootlepedal feels better soon. If she is like most gardeners being stuck indoors is hard to bear.
    I like the shot of the gate by the stone wall.
    I don’t know much about lungworts either but if I had to bet on it I’d bet that one was the textured lungwort as well.

  5. You sound much better than just two days ago, and Mrs T sounds like she is getting there. I’m pleased to hear it. The woodsy path is enticing. Fair play to lichens!

  6. Thanks for quietening those disgruntled lichens…you have me contemplating the mosses and lichens in my own back yard which is a definite bonus. Gate photos were wonderful. Glad things are brightening 😊

  7. Glad to hear that there is some improvement for both of you and wish you both continued steady progress.
    Loved the picture of the path through the woods.

  8. It’s good to hear that both of you are improving as far as your health is concerned. Also, the more photos of robins that you post, the more fond of them I become. I enjoyed the lichens as well, any color this time of year is most welcome.

  9. Pleased that you are both back on the road to recovery and the cycling road too. Everyone loves a photo of a gate, robin and lichen so all’s well everywhere!

  10. I also am pleased to read that both you and Mrs T are making some improvement. You have managed to find some really interesting and attractive things to photograph – the icy patch, the lichens, the woodland gates, the chaffinches and the robin.

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