A day of rust

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Hull  yesterday.  As well as Roman bakers, he saw Hull Minster.

Hull minster

We had another dry day here today, cool and cloudy in the morning but (very) warm and sunny in the afternoon.

I inspected the flowers after breakfast.  Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t think that I have done justice to the back door clematis yet so I had another go.  It is terrific.

back door clematis

That one stem should produce so many flowers is a wonder.

However, Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite flower of the moment is this elegant iris.



I like the Rosa Moyesii which has done very well this year with bigger flowers than usual.


Mrs Tootlepedal  bought this meconopsis at the Buccleuch Centre pant sale last week and it is settling in well.


I had hoped to get a good long cycle ride in today but I got a call to go and see the doctor who had had a look at my recent blood test results so I had to  leave the garden and  see what she had to say.

It turns out that my blood iron level is very low so she gave me me a small iron girder* to nibble on to get my levels back up.   This may explain why I have been finding it quite hard to get the energy up to go cycling lately.  Once I am going, all is well but I have been struggling a bit actually to get on my bike in the first place so it was pleasing to discover that there may be a good excuse for this rather than just natural laziness and old age.

When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and we went in to have a coffee and read the newspaper. Our peace was disturbed by some very excited calling from blackbirds so we went out to investigate.

There was an extremely vocal female blackbird on the fence behind the greenhouse…

agitated blackbird

Other birds were agitated too so I was walking  round behind the greenhouse to see if there was a cat among the pigeons so to speak when my eye was caught by a slight movement in the green house itself.

sparrowhawk in greenhouse (2)

No wonder the blackbirds were agitated.  There was a sparrowhawk in the greenhouse and it was getting pretty agitated itself.

sparrowhawk in greenhouse

Mrs Tootlepedal opened the greenhouse doors fully and she went round one side and I went round the other and the sparrowhawk took the hint and flew safely out and away.

The blackbirds calmed down.

I took a picture of one of the nice effects of Mrs Tootlepedal’s planting…


…and went back inside from where I watched more peaceful bird scenes.

We had visits from jackdaws…


…a dunnock…


…siskins and redpolls…

siskin and redpoll

…and a pigeon in the plum tree.


Some sparrows tried to get a fight started but it quickly fizzled out.


After lunch, I went out to check on the bees in the garden.  There were plenty about today, both honey and bumble.


Then I got into my my cycling shorts and was ready to go for a ride when I was interrupted again by more heart-rending alarm calls from blackbirds.  I went out to investigate.  This time it was a pair….

agitated blackbirds

…who were constantly flitting about and calling.  We couldn’t find out what the trouble was as there was no hawk or cat in sight.  We had seen a youngster earlier in the day and we wondered in the end whether it had been taken by a predator and the parents were distressed.  It was a mystery.

In the end, I left them to their crying and went off for a short trip round my twenty mile Canonbie circuit.  I passed the first a few of these in a soggy verge…

march thistle

…and I think, though I am not sure, that it may be a marsh thistle (I would be happy to be corrected).

Nearby among the grasses, there was a lot of this red plant…


…which Mrs Tootlepedal tells me is some kind of dock.  Between the two plants, the verge was very cheerful there.

Further on I stopped to admire the relaxed attitude of some local worthies…

galloway cows

…and then didn’t stop again until I came to Skippers Bridge, where I found the old distillery looking very handsome.

Langholm Distillery

Once home, I mowed the drying green and the greenhouse grass and did some watering in the vegetable garden.  There is no rain in the forecast for several days as the jet stream continues to snake round the top of the British Isles, keeping the fine weather trapped over Scotland.  This means that quite a bit of watering will be on the menu  if the garden is to continue to do well.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with a small choir that our church organist, Henry is getting up for the summer and I obeyed the doctor’s orders and gave my singing voice a rest. The doctor has told me not to sing for two weeks and see what happens.  If my throat is no better then, further investigation will take place.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin…

flying siskin

…and the flower of the day is a front door clematis.

front door clematis

*The iron girder came in handy pill form.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A day of rust

  1. Many years ago, I had nodules on my vocal chords. I was ordred no singing for two months, and only to whisper when talking. It worked.

  2. All the flowers are beautiful but especially Mrs. Ts mini meadow and the back door clematis.
    I hope the iron pills do their job. My sister was anemic once and had to take iron.
    That is a thistle but I don’t know its name.

  3. All the flowers are beautiful, but I love the electric blue iris and Rosa Moyesii most of all.

    How did the sparrow hawk manage to get into the greenhouse?

  4. Good luck raising your iron levels, I don’t think anyone could accuse you of laziness. Lots of great pictures today, the ‘marsh thistle’ and the final clematis really caught my eye.

  5. I hope that gnawing on the iron girder doesn’t require a trip to the dentist in the future. 😉

    I also wonder how the sparrow hawk got into the greenhouse in the first place, but the fact that it did gave you the opportunity for some very good images of it. And, it was nice to see a few of the other birds in the garden again.

    The clematis is stunning, either from a distance which shows how many flowers it is producing, or a close up of a single flower. I also liked the mini meadow.

  6. That is a really pretty clematis round your back door- it is amazing how all those flowers come from one plant…clever pruning..I think! The ox eye daisies look pretty as well with the blue in the background but the great bird photos steal the prize for interest and attitude.

  7. Although I think pigeons re really rats with wings, I do like the photo of the one in the plum tree – lovely framing! How old is the clematis by your back door?

  8. Mrs T sure has the magic touch with that Clematis. It’s a favorite flower of mine, but I didn’t have a great deal of success with the one I planted at the previous house. I think I’m much better off sticking to the wonderful wild things that grow here. Apparently my job is to tame to ones that want to take over… and I delegate that job to my partner. 😀 But it’s a great pleasure to see the success Mrs T is having with her garden.
    I’m so relieved you didn’t have to chew on a non-pill iron girder. Apparently we have a difference of definition here. I picture something that might go into building a skyscraper. 😀

  9. That clematis deserved a second look. I love the white edge on that iris.

    I’ve never had that much excitement in a greenhouse.

    Glad your energy deficiency was diagnosed as just an iron deficiency. I had to take liquid iron once upon a time for that problem. It worked a treat.

  10. I went to the doctor about my lack of energy once – it seems I’m fat and lazy. Glad you had a different diagnosis. Difficult to say much about your excellent action-packed day as it’s all good.

  11. I am pleased you were diagnosed so quickly and I hope the iron tablets do the trick. I also hope the problem with your voice is as easily solved. Yes, that is a marsh thistle.

  12. I think I have told you this many times, but I will say it again – you live in a beautiful country, Tom. Your garden is coming on nicely too! Bob a few years back was given an “iron rod” to consume. He took the capsules every day for a year. (something to do with is kidneys and benign cysts in them – these were x-rayed several times a year to make sure they were not growing) The iron pills helped his energy immensely. I have decided we are never to old until we tell ourselves we are. You are not too old. 🙂

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