Fingers crossed

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary’s visit to Kew Gardens.  The sedentary minded can view the gardens from this land train.

Kew Gardens 6 May 2018 006

We had a fair day here today with very occasional sun, a good breeze and some late rain.  It meant that Mrs Tootlepedal could garden until she was exhausted and I could do some lawn care and go for a walk.

I had hoped to have my new bicycle by now but an enquiry to the bike shop revealed that it might not even be ready for tomorrow.  I hope that it will be but I have steeled myself for more delay.

Anyway, in the absence of cycling, I scarified the front lawn and collected up huge quantities of moss to the great interest of our resident blackbird who followed behind me pecking up food for his family.

baby blackbirds

I got a better picture of one of the youngsters later in the morning.

baby blackbird

They seem to be bigger than their parents so it is no wonder that the parents have to keep busy to feed them.

The dead heading of daffodils goes on (Mrs Tootlepedal must have hundreds of daffs in the garden) and the dead heading of the tulips has just started (she has hundreds of these too)  I counted over eighty of the red tulips in the narrow bed at the end of the drive and as Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she only planted twenty, they have done remarkably well.

There is other colour about.

lithodora and primula

But still some daffodils and lots of tulips….

daff and cowslips

…and the long lasting cowslips too.


I sieved a little compost which Mrs Tootlepedal promptly used for planting out a recent purchase and then it seemed to be lunchtime.  Time flies when you are having fun.

After lunch, I went for a walk in the hope of seeing bluebells.

I saw fine blossom in the park as I walked though…

park shrub

…and many unfolding ferns along the way…

fern unfolding

…but best all, I saw the bluebells.


I had time on my hands so I followed a track that the local mountain cyclists use through the woods.  At times it looked very inviting…

cycle track through wood

…and at times it looked truly terrifying.  I wouldn’t be able to tackle a track over bumpy roots and  fallen trees, through small streams and up and down steep banks so I take my hat off to those who do.

I am more interested in looking at things as I walk along.

There was a lot to look at.  As I took too many pictures, I am going to add only the barest number of words.

larch cones
Larch keeping its cones over the winter.
A view at the end of the track down the hill
Lichen on a wall
And more blossom
I went to another bluebell wood but it wasn’t quite ready yet.
There was interesting moss to make up for the lack of blue
hairy moss
Very interesting moss
The dandelions were in good condition
Spring comes to the old Langholm Distillery
river esk
Looking down the river Esk from beside Skippers Bridge
skippers Bridge
And looking back at the briodge
Wild flowers beside the river
An old friend getting his feet wet
cherry blossom river esk
Blossom between the bridges

It was a delightful stroll and only needed a drop or two of golden sun to make it perfect.  I got a little splash of sunlight near the end of the walk but it only lasted a moment or two.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been working hard in the garden while I was out and by the time that I got back from my walk, we were both quite tired enough to make going inside and having a cup of tea seem like a really good idea.

Once inside, we got planted and didn’t go out again.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Mike I enjoyed a small glass of Old Speckled Hen, a quality bitter beer, and then, while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal caught up on all the news that was fit to hear, Alison and I enjoyed some good music, ending with a Partita in G by Telemann .  This was a really good way to end an enjoyable day.

If only my new bike would appear all would be well with the world.

I have put out some fat balls at the feeder and they attracted the attention of a sparrow today.  It is the perching bird of the day.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Fingers crossed

  1. You’re very lucky to have those bluebells so close. They’re beautiful things.
    That’s a fine shot of the young blackbird. The family must know they won’t be bothered in your yard.
    The white wildflowers look like anemones.

  2. A most enjoyable walk with many lovely photos – thanks for taking us along! The young blackbird is most engaging, and does look as though it would take a lot of feeding.

  3. Check the weather forecast, I’m sure that your new bike will be ready on the first day of a week of rain. 😦 At least that’s how things go for me most of the time.

    You know that the local birds are getting tame when they follow you around for food, and that’s not a bad thing, as your photos of the blackbirds show.

    It was a pleasure to see the bluebells and other flowers from your walk, along with Skipper’s Bridge and Mr. Grumpy.

  4. Your photos are like a box of delights…full of all things that I love…especially birds, the bluebell wood and Skippers Bridge. Don’t expect the bike until the middle of next week and if it turns up earlier- you’ll be doubly surprised and happy!

  5. Such lovely bluebells and the mosses and all the rest of plant life. There’s nothing quite like taking a walk in nature and seeing what has sprung up (so to speak.) Hoping the bike arrives. But will we get as many lovely pictures when you’re on wheels?

    But then I cheated and read the title to your next post (I always seem to be somewhat behind). Don’t know that I’ll get to reading it this late, but I suspect you’re a happy fellow by now!

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