A measure for a measurer

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who is on the Isle of Arran, enjoying the views.

Arran view

It was a gloomy and windy day today and a bit chillier than of late so there wasn’t much motivation to do useful gardening.  As a result, I had a very leisurely breakfast and set the camera up to watch the birds when I had finished.

Once again, there were plenty of birds to watch.  I don’t think that we have had so many regular greenfinches ever before and it is good to see them as there were worries about their numbers not so long ago.

busy feeder greenfinches

Together with sparrows, they are making up most of our visitors.

busy feeder greenfinches 2

And once again they were showing that they are quite competitive.

warring greenfinches

One of the sparrows was looking decidedly off colour.

speckled sparrow

And a lone blue tit did its best to avoid being caught on camera.

gymnastic blue tit

The grey conditions and brisk wind made taking pictures in the garden slightly unrewarding but I walked about doing a little dead heading and took a picture or two as I went round.

I think that this is definitely a colourful corner…

colourful corner front lawn top

…with achillea, mallow, calendula, cosmos and phlox all doing their bit and crocosmia waiting to join in.

Mrs Tootlepedal likes the combination of calendula and cornflower in another corner of the front lawn.

calendula and cornflower

As always, I like a poppy and there are more of them appearing each day.

poppy pinkish

I watered the dahlias a lot during the last weeks of the drought and they are repaying this care by falling over themselves to come out.

dahlias together

And I know that they have appeared a lot but the little yellow roses which were given to us in a presentation pot for our golden wedding and which Mrs Tootlepedal planted out quite a bit later, are the gift that keeps on giving and giving.

golden wedding rose
Thanks are due to Marion for such a special present

Another pair of reliable flower producers are the perennial wallflowers.

perennial wallflowers

I went in and printed out some pictures for people who had seen them on-line and wanted a copy.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some organising at the Buccleuch Centre where she is a volunteer and I pulled myself together and got my new bike out and prepared to defy the brisk wind (gusts of 25 mph).

Luckily the wind was in the best possible direction and after a battle to get up the first three miles, which are uphill and straight into the breeze,  it was mostly either across or sometimes helping for the next seventeen miles and I managed to get round my customary Canonbie circuit slowly but cheerfully.

It was too grey for views and too windy for wild flowers so my camera stayed firmly in my back pocket.  The prospects for seeing wild flowers weren’t helped by the savage verge mowing over the past few days.

I had another walk round the garden when I got back.

The Californian poppies are going to be a ornament to the garden…

Californian poppy

…and just behind them one of the fuchsias is secretly flourishing.


The rose mallows have done very well but it turns out that they don’t like wind and rain very much and have a tendency to shrug their shoulders and hang their heads when the going gets tough.  But if the rains stays away, they perk up a bit.

rose mallow

Then it was time for lunch and a shower.

Feeling refreshed, I sat down at my computer and set about printing some 6in x 4in cards for various purposes.  At this point the day went really down hill.  For some completely unfathomable reason, the printer refused to print 6 x 4 cards properly.   It would print a 6 x 4 picture quite correctly in the middle of a larger sheet but give it a 6 x 4 card and it dug its heels in and produced a mess.

I did all the things that technical wizards do – turned off the printer, turned on the printer – turned off the computer, turned on the computer – turned off the printer and the computer and turned on the printer and the computer – but nothing had any effect.  I reinstalled the printer, a tedious business, and tried again with hope in my heart and got exactly the same mess.

I retired from the fray and sulked for the rest of the afternoon.

Mrs Tootlepedal made a splendid meal for our tea which cheered me up and a steady shower of rain in the late afternoon and evening made things even better as it gave me the chance to check Mary Jo’s really  scientific rain gauge.

Mary Jo's rain gauge

Two millimetres of rain!

We are going to Edinburgh tomorrow to help our older son move house so there may not be a proper post.

Inevitably, a greenfinch is the flying bird of the day.

flying greenfinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A measure for a measurer

  1. I love the rose mallows and haven’t seen them around here. I did see a darling hummingbird today inspecting our hibiscus bush and finding it worth only a brief visit–

  2. Thanks for the beautiful photograph of the fuchsias. What fun you are going to have with that rain gauge, I hope you have bought a little black book!

  3. The blue tit must be rehearsing for Cirque du Soleil – a wonderful shot. Remember to lift with your knees, not your back – or better yet – direct others to do so!

  4. That’s a colorful corner all right. It’s a beautiful one too.
    I also like that poppy, and the cornflower / calendula combination. You can’t lose with those colors together.
    Glad you got some rain. We’re back in the thunderstorm every day rut, but the drought has been all but washed away.

  5. After days of no rain, today it rained all day! It would have filled your rain measurer in minutes. The weather forecast calls for large quantities of rain for several days. 🙂

  6. I love any combo of cornflower blue with yellow or orange.

    That’s a funny upside down bird!

    I never find wind helpful but I can see that it could be while cycling.

  7. I’m sorry, but I had to snicker a little upon reading of your printer problems, been there, done that. I hope that the problem is soon resolved though. I think that rather than call them printers, they should be called frustration machines that drink ink like it was water.

  8. Tom, choosing a favorite from your flowers was a tough choice today. It was between that amazing poppy and the old fashioned rose mallow. Rose won out because of her lovely color! Very calming.

    Regarding printers; they are evil. You know they are laughing at you when they misbehave. Our last printer waited until we had bought, and then installed, all new ink cartridges to keel over and die. It was a supreme sacrifice, but the ultimate joke on us in doing so!

  9. Oh, that sounds frustrating not being able to print the cards! Lovely flowers, even in the gloom. Good luck with your son’s move.

  10. Love the flower colour combinations…such thought and planning pays off big time. Hate printers…they know when you need something special printing …they are the devils in disguise. Good luck with the house move.

  11. Laughed out loud at your shot of the blue tit. That’s quite the acrobatic pose. And the hummingbirds would LOVE those fuchsias. They always remind me of dancing ballerinas.

  12. I like the camera shy blue tit. 🙂

    Those gardens are works of art. That is an outstanding photo of the California poppy! I did find one that had self seeded and bloomed out by the old garage.

    Our hummingbirds are out and about, looking for anything they can find.

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