Spring in the step


Today’s guest picture come from ex-archivist Ken who tells me that this odd structure is designed to filter pollutants to the  equivalence of up to 300 trees. It is situated at Haymarket at a busy junction close to the bus station.

mechanical tree

Spring arrived  today and even if it is, as they used to say on the posters outside theatres, “For Two Days Only”, it was very welcome.

There was sun all day, no wind at all in the garden, no hint or threat of rain and a reasonable temperature.

Mrs Tootlepedal was very happy and got a power of work done in the garden and I was pretty cheerful too.   There had been a light frost overnight so I waited for the temperature to hit eight degrees before I set out on my slow bicycle.

This gave me time to admire a goldfinch on the feeder….


…and walk round the garden.

There were bees on the crocuses…


… and frogs in the pond…


…getting ready for the start of a handicap race (though one contestant may have got distracted).

This was my individual pick of the day.


Talking of crocuses, I noticed that the camera had recorded two quite different colours on a set of crocuses growing side by side…


…even though they are exactly the same colour.  Light is a funny thing.

And of course, if I ever get bored there is always plenty of moss to look at in the garden.

garden moss
Just a small sample.

I was quite happy to delay setting off on my slow bike as I wasn’t aiming for a long ride because pushing the slow bike along is hard work and my knees are feeling the recent efforts a bit.

It was a grand day for a slow pedal though and I enjoyed my thirty miles a lot.   I had noticed a sign regarding road improvements near the end of the Winterhope road so I took a short diversion to investigate.  Things looked promising as I found a brand new pothole free surface but sadly, it didn’t go on for long…

Winterhope road
The end of the road

…and I was soon on the old road again.  I went far enough to take a picture….

Winterhope road

….and then turned back and joined the Callister road again where I stopped to take a picture of the bridge at Falford which I often cross.

As it is at the bottom of a steep hill, I am usually going too fast to think about stopping but after my diversion today, I was going at a more suitable stopping speed.

Falford bridge

The gorse along the road to Gair is always out early and it is looking good already this year.


I went up to Kennedy’s Corner where I enjoyed the variable geometry of these three roofs.

red roofs

From there my route was downhill onto the Solway plain and I could look over the Solway Firth to the Lake District hills beyond as I came over the top of the hill.

view of skiddaw

On my way down to Chapelknowe, I passed a unusual lamb.  I think that these two are Jacob sheep.


Once through Chapelknowe, I headed down to Corries Mill and on my way, I met a rush of traffic.

pony cart

I was happy to pause while it passed my by.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been reading an interesting book about our end of the border between Scotland and England called ‘The Debatable Land: The Lost World Between Scotland and England’ written by Graham Robb, so I was happy to sneak over the border into England on my way and get a picture of the tower and church at Kirkandrews-on-cycEsk  in part of the Debatable Lands.

Kirkandrews tower and church

It was still a lovely day when I got home and unsurprisingly, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden.  I took a look round and was very pleased to see that the hellebores were still looking good,  the fancy primroses had more or less survived the frosty nights and the sun had brought the winter aconites out.

flowers march

I think that the crocuses look at their best in the late afternoon sunshine…


…and I like a semi circle of them which Mrs Tootlepedal has arranged round the foot of the silver pear.


Our friends Mike and Alison have returned from seeing their grandchildren in New Zealand and Mrs Tootlepedal laid on a pot of tea and a fancy iced cake or two to welcome them back.  They had gone through a rather alarming experience when a cyclone had pushed a high tide under the floor of the beach house where they were staying but other than that, they had had a wonderful time.

I will have to practise my flute now as regular Friday night music should resume.

We are hoping for another sunny day tomorrow and perhaps on Monday too but after that we are back to cool weather with the threat of rain and even snow again.  Ah well, it was nice while it lasted.

A goldfinch, the flying bird of the day, is rather different from the usual chaffinch.

flying goldfinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Spring in the step

  1. I should be interested to know what Mrs Tootlepedal made of Graham Robb’s book. I absolutely loved the first one I read by him, on France, and loathed the second, on Paris.

  2. It looks like a beautiful spring day, complete with flowers, frogs, and flying insects! I also liked the bridge at Falford and your other photos from during your bike ride.

    I hope that the weather forecast for the future is incorrect, and that you’ll have more nice weather for a change.

  3. What a lovely day you had! The flowers are looking lovely, especially those gorgeous purple crocuses! I like the view of the Lake District hills and also the bridge at Falford. I agree, they do look like Jacob sheep.

  4. Wonderfully colourful spring pictures, thank you. The air filter is quite the thing – not as lovely as the equivalent trees, but doubtless very efficient.

  5. I think I’d rather see the three hundred trees.
    I spent the day looking for spring flowers and found a few, but nothing as beautiful as what you saw.
    It’s nice to see the snow free landscapes. Ours is melting, but very slowly. I’m glad you’re seeing nice weather and I hope it lasts.

  6. A most absorbing read. While I too would “rather see the three hundred trees” I was fascinated by the ‘mechanical tree’ and wonder what the filters consist of. Beautiful views and flowers – and fascinating frogs!

  7. Wonderful spring photos with all the fresh brightness of spring colours. Great view of the Lake District and the flying goldfinch looks as though he’s enjoying the sunshine as well.

  8. A beautiful day for a ride, and I loved the photo from Corries Mill, with the windswept tree and horse traffic. Must be a good prevailing wind up that way.

    The lighting and how it affected the crocus photos is interesting. Late afternoon or early morning for photos seems to work better for me as well.

  9. I have a sad tale to tell about gorse. It is lovely when it blooms along the sides of the roads around here, but it’s considered an invasive species. I have yet to understand why it behaves so reasonably in your neighborhood, but turns into a blight here. I’ve watched it spread along the coast from county to county and there seems to be no way of stopping it (though many remedies have been tried.) It seems as though there are any number of examples of plants (or animals) that do quite well in their native environment, but are not suited to be moved elsewhere.
    If you’d care to read about our experience with gorse, here’s a Oregon History article about our problems: https://oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/bandon-fire-1936/#.WrgaG9MbPew

    1. Here in southwest Washington, land owners are supposed to eliminate gorse. It is not a very well enforced rule. Scotch broom is also looked upon with disfavor. It was introduced maybe a century ago as an ornamental. Too bad the gorse will not behave; it gives so much clear and bright early colour.

      1. “supposed to” is all well and good, but eradicating this invasive species is almost impossible without expense and intense effort.

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