Getting along

The guest picture of the day is another teapot spotted by my brother Andrew.  He has a knack for finding big teapots although he tells me that he thinks that this one is a bit of a Mickey Mouse affair.


My day can be summed up very simply: got up, saw a butterfly, went for a cycle ride, saw another butterfly, mowed the lawns, had tea, went to bed.

I saw two butterflies after breakfast.

two spot white butterflymorning peacock butterfly

The buddleia is working hard.

As you can see, the sun was shining and as the forecast suggested a dry day, I left the butterflies behind and headed westward into the wind.  The first twenty five miles took me two hours and eight minutes.  The next thirty took me two hours and three minutes.

The verge mowers have been everywhere so I didn’t stop for a picture until I came across a patch of yellow flowers that are not dandelions.  Each one came with its own insect.

insects on wildflowers

As I was on a longish ride, I stopped frequently for a stretch and a drink but wild flowers were hard to find so I settled for a lichen encrusted twig instead.

yellow lichen on twig

I took a picture of the old main road near Lockerbie to show the state of the verges.

old A74 near Lockerbie

Very neatly mowed!  The white line on the left marks off a cycle lane.  As you can see, on a Saturday this is a pretty quiet road considering it used to be the main western  road between England and Scotland but it is busier on a weekday and the cycle lane is welcome.

I was stopped in my tracks by this bright red burst of berries, sticking out of a hedge all by themselves.

red berries

I crossed the River Annan twice but waited until I got to the town of Annan itself before taking a picture of a bridge.

Annan bridge

A party of goosanders was cruising up the river nearby.


Passing through Annan, I stopped a few miles later for a fruit scone and a coffee at a museum in Eastriggs.

devil's porridge

It celebrates the story of the largest munitions factory in the world  during the First World war.  They manufactured cordite there and this accounted for the size of the factory which was spread over several miles of deserted sea coast. (You can find out more by clicking this link.)

I didn’t go into the museum but had my coffee outside beside an impressive flower pot.

When I got to Gretna, I was going to go down to the sea shore to take exciting pictures but when I looked…

Solway at Gretna

…I saw that the sea was out so I turned and headed for home.

My route was planned to make the most of a friendly wind on my way back westwards and you may be able to tell that all the leaves on these trees have their backs to me…

Glenzier road at KPF

…so the plan worked out well.

I did worry for a moment when some threatening clouds loomed up when I was about ten miles from home…


dark clouds

…but they blew away and the sun was out when I got back to the garden.

And so were the butterflies.

I only saw peacock butterflies today but there were a lot about…

afternoon peacock butterfly

…and the buddleia was heaving with them.

pair of peacock butterfly

I mowed both lawns and then, since I thought that they were looking quite neat, I went round the edges with the strimmer too.

Next, while Mrs Tootlepedal did some ‘neatening up’ in the vegetable garden, I dead headed poppies, mallow and calendula and took a few pictures.

One of the new lilies looks right at home among the phlox, zinnias and mallow.

lily with zinnia, phlox and mallow

The buddleia may attract butterflies but the dahlias are a treat for the bees and it is rare to pass them without finding a bee about.

dahlia with bee

And I like the poppies.

pink poppy

I was taking the dead headings to the compost bin when I noticed that the snow berry which grows behind the bins is out.  It is a bit of a pest but I like it.


If the blog stops appearing and there is no sign to be seen of the Tootlepedals, it is most likely that we will be found buried under a great heap of courgettes.  The supply is never ending at the moment.


I had courgette soup with potatoes for my tea.

I sadly neglected to take any bird pictures today so the flying bird of the day is the giant flower pot at the Devil’s Porridge Museum.

giant flowerpot


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Getting along

  1. I love that twig with lichen–what a universe right there.

    I read a lot of the older Regency romances, Georgette Heyer and some written perhaps 1980s or so, and every third book has someone running off to Gretna to marry over the anvil. It amuses me to now know someone who still runs off to Gretna regularly, although by himself–

    1. I am even more amazed by the fact that people still come to Gretna to get married with such regularity that there is marriage industry in the village.

      I really enjoy Courgette Heyer for her masterful command of language.

      1. There really still is such an industry, a good 200 years on, even with dropping marriage rates?

        Yes, she was a dab hand with commas.

      2. She is very free with the commas, the majority of which do seem to make sense. Many people trying to imitate her style can often overdo it, using commas everywhere they can be and many places they shouldn’t be. To illustrate: They show up, where there is a word like, where, or like, that, or really, anywhere, that could be a clause, or maybe, an introduction, to where a clause, might be, or somewhere else, where someone might pause, for some reason, because of something I don’t understand, in addition to things like, big long sentences, and, other things. I strike through the ones that annoy me sometimes and get quite a kick out of it.

      3. I guess she has made more money writing than I have. Some of her imitators are more than lavish with their commas.

      4. Actually, quite an eventful day! Wonderful to have bike Lanes, fabulous bridge, and oh those peacocks.

      5. The bike lanes would be even better if they had a reasonable surface. In many places they are too poor in quality to make riding on them a pleasure.

    2. I think I have all,of Georgette Heyer’s novels. I had a significant other who loved her books and he convinced me to read them. I enjoyed them immensely.

      1. I have a good few of them, and have not read the mysteries anytime recently. I’m stuck on a real Regency kick lately–

  2. A lovely ride with a very interesting museum. Not that I’m a fan of gadgets but my spiraliser is brilliant for making courgette spaghetti! The lichen covered twig is amazing…all those shapes and colours.

  3. The yellow flowers look like one of the hawkweeds and the lichen is beautiful.
    I like that poppy’s color and the white lily reminds me of Easter, which I wish was right around the corner.
    Glad you didn’t get rained on while on the bike. You would have here.
    Everyone who visits the garden should leave with a courgette. I visited one today and left with green beans, tomatoes and a cuke.

  4. Interesting link, thank you very much. Apparently the factory at Gretna was 9 miles by 2 miles! You’d not want buildings close together in case of explosion, but that’s quite the installation to just melt away after the war. It’s amazing how much was accomplished in a short time as part of the war effort.

  5. Ha, a courgette mountain, we know a thing or two about that. Have you tried slicing them thinly lengthwise and using them instead of pasta in a lasagne? Rather yummy.

  6. I agree, any one who can cycle as far as you and still mow the lawns after is a superhero in my book.

    The poppies and lily are looking spiffy to say the least, and the information about the cordite factory was most interesting.

    1. The cycling is slow and the lawns are small and level. But I admit that I was quite pleased to find that I had the energy to do both. It was a lovely day, warm but not too hot whihc helped.

  7. The summary of your day after the teapot picture didn’t begin to do it justice. You left out all the juicy details, not to mention the lovely pictures.

    Donnalee’s comment left me with a smile: “a dab hand with commas”. I don’t suppose I qualify for any such compliment! 😀

  8. Courgettes have a way of multiplying beyond the capacity to eat them in season. I used to like zucchini bread. When I was young, there was a bakery down in Old Mystic that made wonderful bread with them.

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