Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s recent holiday trip to Mablethorpe.  He was gratified to find that they had erected a fine carving of him in honour of his arrival.  (He doesn’t usually wear the crown when he comes for coffee.)


The forecast had been for snow, rain and strong winds so we were pleased (but not totally surprised) to find the sun shining brightly when we got up.  Even with just a light breeze, it was pretty cold though.

The weather made a drive to Carlisle pleasant enough except that it was for the purpose of putting Mrs Tootlepedal on a train to London.  She is going to visit her mother for a while and she will be sorely missed here.

I combined  my taxi work with a little shopping and got back to Langholm in time for lunch.

Then I combined making a cheese toastie with looking out of the window.

It was a mainly chaffinch day today…


…though a goldfinch turned up and tested out the fat balls which I have recently added to the bird feeding supplies.


It didn’t stop.

There was plenty of chaffinch action….


…though the little blighters would persist in being just off the edge of the frame.


Every now and again, one did hit the centre of the viewfinder…


….and possibly another chaffinch half a second later.

After lunch, I cast a speculative eye on the weather and thought that I might risk the 40% chance of rain offered by the forecast and do a brief five miles up and five miles back along the Wauchope road.

It started to drizzle almost as soon as I had set out but I persevered in the hope that it would stop.  Then it started to rain quite hard but once again I persevered in the hope that it would stop.  After I had done three soggy miles, it did stop. The sun came out.

I looked behind me….

rain cloud over Wauchope

…and decided not to go back the way that I had come but to take a wide circle round to the right under that blue sky in the hope of dodging the black cloud.

This turned out to be a very wise decision and I enjoyed a rain free ten miles back to Langholm.

There were quite a few threatening clouds about so I pressed on but after they all passed me to the north, I felt confident enough to stop for a photo opportunity at Irvine House…

Irvine House bridge

…just to show what a nice day it was.

I looked at the wall beside the road.


Half a mile further on, I looked back across the Esk valley…

view of Eskdale

I made one last stop when I found a small bunch of coltsfoot beside the main road.


My timing was good because not long after I had got home, another heavy shower drove me out of the garden.

Before the rain came, I had had time to notice the first chionodoxa of spring….


…and then the second, third and fourth ones too.


I checked on the frog spawn in the pond and in spite of some frosty mornings, it looks as though there is a strong possibility of tadpoles surviving.


Time will tell.

A moment of sunshine tempted an unwelcome visitor to take a nap on a flower bed.


I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t keep trying to catch the birds at the feeder.

Between cats and sparrowhawks in the garden and pesticides in the fields, little birds have a hard time.

I started work on getting the new raised beds into place and in between showers  this afternoon, I made some progress.

Having received some excellent pizza making tuition from my son, I made one of my own for my tea.


It was not quite up to his standard but it was quite tasty.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played some music while Mike sipped an exotic beer and watched Gardener’s World on the telly.  This was their first visit for some weeks as they have been in New Zealand visiting family and it was good to get back to playing again even though I was rather rusty.

The flying bird of the day is one of the many chaffinches.  There was no other choice today.

flying chaffinch




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Farewell

  1. The coltsfoot and chionodoxa are very beautiful, especially wearing raindrops.
    The landscapes are spring like and I hope to see some much like them this weekend.
    The pizza reminds me of a bicycle wheel. Possibly a fine example of a subconscious bubbling to the surface.

    1. I was really pleased to see both flowers as we are badly in need of some colour in our lives at the moment. Now, I hadn’t seen the bicycle wheel in the pizza at all so it must have been subconscious….or perhaps just a copy of the one that my son had made on Thursday.

  2. GREAT POST as always! The frogs have started their evening chorus here now. Your frog spawn reminded me of that. I finally have a couple of posts about our birds for you to look at. Your bird photos are always so amazing how you get them in flight. I can’t seem to accomplish that with my camera. 🙂

      1. As I tend to take as many varied pictures every day as I can for the blog, i can’t afford to take too many sighting shots as I am already pressed for time to go through the ones I take. If I am really trying to take a good shot, I put the camera into continuous mode and keep the finger down as the birds pass but this means a lot of time to go through the results so I don’t do it often.

  3. That pizza looks fantastic! As for cats and birds…I sometimes wonder why I love both, but I do. Bon voayge to Mrs. Tootlepedal.

  4. Chaffinches rule. I’m glad you escaped total drenching but had the opportunity to record the changing sky and life’s stirrings below.

  5. Keep the photos of the flowers coming, not only are they beautiful in every way, but at least in your photos I can see a few flowers from time to time since our weather is so poor here.

    I’m sure that it goes without saying that you’ll miss Mrs. T while she’s gone, but we’ll also miss the updates on her work in the garden as well.

    I’m happy for you that the worst of the weather held off long enough for you to get out on the bike again, as I also liked the photos that you shot while you were out.

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