A fairwell ride

Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Bruce.  He had ventured as far as Aberdeen where he saw this pillar box.  Reading the crest on the front which says Edward VII,  he reckons that it has been standing there for over 100 years.

aberdeen postbox

After some slightly warmer weather, we reverted to type and it  struggled to get over 5°C and because the air was quite damp and the wind was coming from the north east, it felt quite chilly all day.

But it was dry and the wind was light so I got out the fairly speedy bike to have a last ride on it before it went in for its service.  We had plans for the afternoon so I rather boringly went round my customary short 20 mile run through Canonbie.  Since the route was familiar and the skies were leaden, I didn’t intend to stop to take pictures but I almost always carry my camera and I couldn’t pass these characters at Canonbie without stopping for a snap.

canonbie cow

canonbie cow

And my favourite….

canonbie cow

…there is an eye there if you look very closely.

I had just arrived home when the minister, with his coffee radar in perfect working order, arrived.  He told us that he had done a 60 mile sportive in Yorkshire on Saturday and considering that he has done hardly any miles on his bike this winter, he was very pleased to have got round in good shape and at a decent speed.  Kudos to him.

When he left, I had to clean my bike to make it respectable enough to go to the bike shop and then I cleaned the bird feeders and then took a moment or two to look around.

However, the light was so poor and the flowers in such a sulk that there was nothing to see so we went off for our outing.  We combined dropping off the bike at the bike shop with a visit to a garden centre for lunch and then a bird feed emporium to buy more seed.

I took the opportunity to buy a new helmet when I was in the bike shop.  I tried many helmets on but they didn’t fit at all well and woggled about on my pointy head.  In the end, the only one that fitted well and was light and comfortable was also among the most expensive.  I bought it anyway because a comfortable and light helmet is worth a lot

When we got home, I had another look around and this time there were many frogs to be seen.


And a lot of frogs spawn.


Mrs Tootlepedal embarked on some gardening work and I tested the compost in Bin D to see if it would sieve.  It did and I was able to spread a little about on one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s new beds.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that the sparrowhawk had paid three visits to the garden in the morning so it was not surprising that there weren’t a lot of birds about today.  One blackbird caused a stir when it flew up on to the kitchen windowsill and stuck there, frozen into immobility.  Even the arrival of the window cleaners couldn’t persuade it to move and in the end Mrs Tootlepedal went out and shifted it by hand.

blackbird on windowsill

On a nearby bench, another blackbird expressed concern.


I don’t know what had happened to it.  It wasn’t trembling and I wonder if it had seen its own reflection in the window and was baffled about what was happening and where to go.  It flew out of Mrs Tootlepedal’s hand so it wasn’t fatally injured.

The few male chaffinches which came to the feeders were looking very bright.

chaffinch and siskin


But they were not as bright as some gaudy primroses which Mrs Tootlepedal purchased the other day and which are waiting to go into the garden.


The colour will be very welcome.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a good time playing a Haydn sonata.

After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and although as Isabel put it, we had some room for improvement, we enjoyed the playing a lot.

The absence of birds and the gloomy light made finding a flying bird of the day very hard and this was the best that I could manage.

chaffinch and siskin








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “A fairwell ride

  1. I, too, am a fan of the shaggy highland cattle! Re. the helmet: comfortable and well-fitting are usually synonymous with expensive, in all things ranging from helmets to clothing to footwear. Odd day in the bird world in your yard!

  2. The blackbird stuck on the windowsill and her concerned companion were interesting. Glad she flew off under her own power. One occasionally hits a window here.

    The shaggy Highland cattle are always photogenic. I do see the eye! 🙂

    It hit 72 degrees today here, but is going back to cooler and rainy tomorrow. It was a good day in the garden.

  3. Glad to know you have a good helmet to adventure out when your bike comes out of the shop. Love the Highland cattle. That last shot is fantastic. The primroses are sure to brighten Mrs. T’s lovely garden. I think the blackbird is trying to communicate something ominous.

  4. I thought the highland cattle were quite handsome also. I hope that the blackbird is well, birds sometimes do really odd things which can’t be explained. I think that the regular visits by the sparrow hawk may explain why you’re seeing fewer birds at the feeder this winter.

    Isn’t it always the way, the item that you need comes in all price ranges, but the one that’s best for you is normally towards the more expensive end of that range.

  5. Look forward to seeing a selfie with the new helmet and an MOT’d bike. Love the cattle with their bad hair day and couldn’t care less attitude…very celtic! They are the happiest frogs I’ve ever seen!

  6. I love the highland cattle. We have them here but I rarely see them.
    I wonder if the blackbird hit the window and was dazed. I saw an oriole hit a garage window once and it knocked itself completely unconscious. It was a good half hour before it woke up and flew away.

  7. My vote also goes to the (3rd) shot of the cattle with a bad hair day. Your frogs are far better looking than ours. As for the blackbird- I can’t help but wonder if he may have flown into the window. We used to have a window where our quail used to fly into. They would sometimes sit on the ground (ours had no sill) and simply look stunned. Eventually they would fly off seemingly unharmed.
    Ooops… I just looked up and saw that NH Garden Solutions had the same thought.

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