Planning a day is hard

Today’s guest picture, taken by Dropscone while he was refereeing a golf tournament at Bruntsfield Golf Club last week, shows the trough where the carriages from the big house used to get washed.

coach washing pit

The forecast was unreliable and planning was difficult.  It had said that it was going to rain all day and since we had heard the rain pattering down as we went to bed last night, we feared the worst.

When we woke up though, the rain had stopped but the forecast now said that it was 90% certain to rain heavily at nine o’clock for an hour.

I was getting ready to spend the morning indoors but a quick look at the actual weather rather than the forecast made it plain that it wasn’t raining and didn’t look likely to rain for some time.  I put my cycling gear on and took a walk round the garden before setting off.

The poppies are rather scarce but good looking when they do appear.

red poppy with stamens

This one planted itself and is hidden behind the new bench

poppy behind bench

And this Icelandic poppy came with added insect.

hoverfly on icelandic poppy

It turned out to be an excellent morning for cycling with the temperature in the high teens and very light winds.  As a result, I was able to go round my customary Canonbie circuit in the quickest time of the year without having to try too hard.

I noted the fine heather beside the road at the Kerr Wood.

Kerr heather

And there were quite a lot of these about on that section of the ride too.

white wild flowers

I stopped for a quick breather at Irvine House and looked around.

irvine house wild plants

The view back towards the new road looked quite autumnal as the sky was cloudy but I was still more than happy to be cycling in my summer shorts.

Irvine house view

When I got home, the weather was still holding so I did a bit of dead heading and had another look at the flowers.

The Japanese anemones are starting to flower.

Japanese anemone

Mrs Tootlepedal cleared a lot of them off in the winter but she has left a few and more photographs of them will undoubtedly appear as I like them a lot, even if they do spread themselves around uninvited.

More poppies caught my eye.  This was the pick of them.

red poppy

And here is the dahlia of the day.


I was trying to take a picture of this dahlia and bee but a little hoverfly got in the way.

fly and bee on dahlia

The most notable feature in the garden was a large flock of sparrows.  They were everywhere, much to Mrs Tootlepedal’s disgust as they eat her vegetables. I think that I can count thirteen of them here in the silver pear tree but there may be more.

sparrows in pear tree

There may have been a lot of sparrows around but once again there were very few coloured butterflies about.


Whites are ten a penny.

I did see the first Red Admiral of the year in the garden but it got away before I could digitally immortalise it.

Mrs Tootlepedal made scrambled eggs with new potatoes for lunch and then we scrambled to get the washing in just before a sharp rain shower came on.

I am letting the scientific rain gauge (©MaryJofromManitoba) accumulate at the moment and it was showing 3cm or over an inch by the end of the day.

The rain stopped and I filled the feeder and put out some fat balls and stood back to watch.

The feeder was soon busy.

busy feeder sparrow

And the sparrows went for the fat balls in numbers…

sparrows on fat balls

…leading to some sparrow sparring…

sparring sparrows

…but the arrival of a group of jackdaws soon scattered the sparrows.

jackdaw closeup

The jackdaws very nearly polished off all the fat balls by the end of the day.

In the midst of all this activity, a very calm lone goldfinch arrived for a snack.


I put the bird watching camera away and as this seemed like a good time to be indoors in case the heavy showers returned, I put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.

The heavy showers did not return but my flute pupil Luke came in the early evening and we battled away at the art of counting and playing at the same time.

We are trying to master the art of not making mistakes in music that we know and should be able to play easily.  I am very aware that I always made mistakes when playing under pressure until I read the book, “The Inner Game of Golf” to try to help my wayward golf game.  It helped my golf quite a bit but it helped my music playing quite a lot more.  This was an unexpected bonus.

After Luke went, I got out a ladder and trimmed the climbing hydrangea which grows on the wall of the house.  It has a tendency to climb under the guttering and onto the roof if not checked each year.

The flying bird of the day might well have been a sparrow as I caught several in action this afternoon but I thought that I might go for a refreshing change.

Behold, the flying fly of the day.

fly hovering




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Planning a day is hard

  1. I don’t know Jackdaws. Are they as ominous as they look? (By the way, lovely poppies. You know I love to see all the poppies.)

    1. They are members of the crow family and will eat carrion, insects and seeds but they also will eat young birds and eggs if they get the chance and as a result many people don’t like them.

    1. We just hope that the rain knows when to stop. We have had two very wet years before the recent dry spell and we don’t want to go back to that.

  2. Great images of the hoverflies in flight! The poppies and Japanese anemone are simply beautiful flowers, as is the dahlia of the day, although it’s a bit more complex than the others.

  3. I would welcome your inch of rain; it’s so hot and dry here that leaves are turning and falling. Lots of crops in the bin already as well.

    Interesting comment about your experience with the book that helped both your golf and music.

    1. It teaches you to get that second player, who is observing and sometimes even commenting on your actions, off your shoulder and lets you concentrate solely on the job in hand. It is a simple idea but very effective.

  4. It’s nice to see the heather in bloom.
    Nice shots of the flying insects and the feeding butterflies. It was coolish and rainy here today and almost every hawkweed I looked at had a hoverfly sleeping on it.
    I don’t envy your having to trim the climbing hydrangea, but at least it isn’t as agressive as a wisteria. They’ll rip the shigles right off a roof.

  5. So glad the rain held off so that you could get in a ride. Oh, that peacock. I really like the idea of scrambles and new potatoes.

  6. I like the red poppy and dahlia but that little hoverfly photo bombing your pink dahlia is a sweetie…especially its nose! That jackdaw is a handsome bird. My shopping list of plants for next year is getting longer by the minute.. those white Japanese anemones are delightful.

  7. loving seeing the poppies – there seem to be lots of wild ones about at present too. Glad you got out cycling. While we look at the forecast , it isnt always true, love the flying fly photo

  8. Thanks for the tip on the book. I will look into that. 🙂

    That jackdaw looks like a no-nonsense sort of fellow. I have not had problems with sparrows in my garden. All my troubles come from the rodents below ground. 🙂

  9. Love your variations of the flying bird of the day. The flying fly got a giggle out of me! I’m trying to get caught up, but it’s been some very busy weeks here. I wouldn’t want to miss your parting shot, so I’ll just soldier on and catch up as I can! 😀

      1. No obligation, but I’ve come to enjoy what I encounter here… birds and bugs, not to overlook the bright and beautiful flowers 🌺! Views of your beautiful surroundings… can’t forget your sparkling dry wit. 😌

      1. I do agree about reading the interesting comments. Now I’ve fallen far behind again as I’ve just returned from a trip up the Pacific Northwest. There are far too many photos to sort through and blogs to catch up with. Not to mention a bit of sleep and laundry… 😀 Though I’ll admit that sorting through the photos is a good part of the fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: