Tootlepedals to the rescue

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s visit to Fleetwood.  The port for the town is on the south side of the river Wyre estuary and can be reached by the ferry which can be seen in his picture.


It was the longest day today and the weather was fine and frequently sunny so a good bicycle ride should have been on the menu.  A very brisk wind and the total absence of any get up and go persuaded me that a short walk round the garden would be a good alternative to a long bike ride.

There was plenty to keep me interested.

The sawfly caterpillars were still to be found on the Solomon’s seal.

sawfly caterpillars

And the light was right to take a picture of the Rodgersia flowers, which are a tricky subject.


There are plenty of flowers about in the garden but it is not a time of year when there are great swathes of colour.  The daffodils, tulips and azaleas are all gone.  All the same, green is a colour and it has many shades.

front lawn june 2018

middle lawnfern

There is a patch of bright colour.

orange hawkweed

There was a bee or two interested in the orange hawkweed.

bee on orange hawkweed

I finished my walk round the garden in good time to get the coffee on for a visit from Dropscone.  It was not Friday so there were no treacle scones but he brought an enormous pile of drop scones instead.  We managed to get through them (with some help from Mrs Tootlepedal) with no trouble at all.

While we were eating and chatting, a large rook appeared outside the window.


They are impressive birds.

Dropscone went off with some rhubarb and on his way home, he passed an auction taking place at a local building  firm which has just gone into liquidation.  Many vans were clustered round the entry to the works, eager to pick up a bargain.

Langholm has lost many jobs over recent years and it was an irony that on the same day as this auction, the town appeared in the pages of a national newspaper  under a headline saying that it was reckoned to be the best market town in Scotland as a place to live.  You may be able to find the article here.

After coffee, I went out and mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green.  I am trying to take advantage of the good weather to get the grass short enough so that mowing it takes no time at all and the cuttings don’t have to be collected.

Then  I went back in for a sit down and some bird watching.

The feeder is keeping busy.

goldfinches quarrelling

flying goldfinch and siskin

But my favourite moment was looking up and seeing a goldfinch attached to the feeder pole by its beak.

goldfinch and pole

After another walk round, this time to the back of the house to look at the potentillas there…


..I sieved some compost for Mrs Tootlepdal’s soil improvement programme and was just tidying up when the phone rang.

It was Scott, the minister, who was out on a bike run.  His gear changing mechanism had failed and he was hoping that we could come and rescue him.  He was able to describe the signpost at the road junction where he was marooned and it was apparent that he was in some deep back country in the wilds of North Cumbria.  I pinned down where he was on my map and  Mrs Tootlepedal offered to act as navigator and do the map reading to get us to the spot.

It was a beautiful day to be out rescuing and the drive was a great pleasure in itself, including this wonderful view over the Solway plain…

view from shawhill

… to which my camera completely fails to do justice.

We found Scott and put him and his bike in the back of the Kangoo and drove home.  His gear failure had been so abrupt that he had been pitched off his bike but luckily he had landed on a soft verge.  Not so luckily, the verge had been full of nettles.  He was very cheerful, all things considered.

We had a late lunch when we got back and Mrs Tootlepedal went back out into the garden.  I considered a bike ride but it was still very windy and my get up and go had still not made an appearance so I mowed the front lawn instead and did quite a lot of wandering about and muttering.

I did my muttering with camera in hand of course.  The pinks are at their best.


The first calendula has made an appearance.


And some delightful small campanulas have arrived as well.


Keeping to my good resolution, I tried not to take too many pictures and went inside and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  I have another nine weeks still to put in so this will test my resolution to the full.

Mrs Tootlepedal made a delicious pizza for our tea and I followed that up with some more stewed gooseberries.  My thinning doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression on the overloaded gooseberry bush so it is lucky that I like stewed gooseberries a lot.

I hope to make better use of some good weather and long daylight tomorrow.

The flower of the day is a moss rose in the evening light.

moss rose





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Tootlepedals to the rescue

  1. Well done for acting as a rescue mission. The minister was lucky that you were at home. Lovely garden pictures plus that stunning view made reading this post a great pleasure.

  2. I should try to take fewer photos and do shorter posts too.
    I like that fern sporangia. I’ve never seen it. The forest of orange hawkweed was good to see too. It does much better there than it does here.
    It’s always good to hear about people helping each other out. I doubt you’ll ever have to worry about breaking down on your own bike.

  3. Yay, Tootlepedals! Good rescuing. I enjoyed reading the piece about your town. Have to say, it sounds like a lot of Maine towns. Beautiful, but not a lot of good jobs.

      1. We have the same problem, except it’s for the whole state. We have the oldest population in the nation.

    1. I prefer stewed gooseberries or even better, just raw gooseberries, to the jam so I will probably stick to eating as many as I can before they go over.

  4. A feather in the cap for Langholm indeed – most interesting newspaper article.
    Sorry to hear of the Minister’s mishap and the nettles. Well done for being the rescue team.

  5. I read the article that you linked to, any city that doesn’t have a McDonalds or other chain restaurant gets a thumbs up from me. I didn’t really need to read that article though to know that Langholm is a great place to live, I’ve realized that through reading your blog.

  6. No McDonalds…yay! We all know the joys of living in Langholm and all the sights and sounds around the area through reading your blog…they didn’t mention you though! Maybe you and Mrs T will be headline news next week recording your kind rescue mission.
    Love the colour of the moss rose and all the shades of green in your beautiful garden.

    1. I can’t think how the paper missed us out. Maybe I need to work harder on getting clickbait into the posts…or perhaps I should just be really happy with having such a kindly, discerning and select readership.

  7. Goodness! sympathies to Scott, the minister for landing in Nettles. That didn’t seem like such a soft landing after all. Aren’t cell phones simply wonderful for calling in the rescue squad? The weather has turned warmer here and it seems to be draining my get up and go as well. We did manage to get the painting started on the stairwell. What with replacing treads and reaching clear up to the 2nd story ceiling for the painting, it’s become quite the project. Nice to be able to leave windows open for ventilation though.
    The bird stuck to the pole with beak was amusing. Hoping you rescued the poor little thing. 😀 (just joking)

      1. Thanks for the advice, Mr T. I seriously broke an ankle almost a decade ago and it has affected my sense of balance ever since. I do not go above the second step of the stepladder these days. I leave the high wire act for dear Eric. The wall has been painted and we wait to select the paint for the new treads. It’s looking a lot brighter already! Perhaps I’ll even have a chance to post something. O_o

      2. I would just like to note that my thanks for the advice (which I didn’t consider gratuitous) was sincere. I suspect that you’re all too aware of these inconvenient ‘adjustments’ we need to make as we get older.

  8. Poor Scott the Minister! It’s bad enough falling off a bike but landing in nettles must have been very painful! Nice to see the Calendula is back in flower.

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