A cold snap

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother who stopped to take this picture on his way up Stanage Edge in the Peak District today.

Stanage Edge

I had a busy morning which started with taking the car to the garage to get a slow puncture sorted.  I had noticed the possibility of pressure loss when I pumped up the tyres before going to Pitlochry and a second check on our return confirmed that all was not well.

I took the car up to the garage before breakfast and it was a lovely sunny day but at 2°C, it was quite chilly as I went to walk home and this may have contributed to what happened next.  I decided to nip across the road in between traffic and as I stepped off the pavement, I felt an ominous stab of pain from a calf muscle.  I had no alternative but to stagger home as best as I could hoping that I had done nothing worse than a slight strain.

It became apparent that I wasn’t going to get off so easily and after breakfast, I cycled back up to the town for a meeting regarding the Archive Group.  Cycling was better than walking but it was no fun at all.

I had seen two dippers at the river earlier on so I had my camera with me on this trip but the dippers had gone.

A goosander had appeared though so not all was lost.


The puncture was promptly fixed by the garage, the car was fetched by Mrs Tootlepedal, the meeting went well and as Dropscone brought some of his best treacle scones round for coffee when I got back, the day was very satisfactory in every way except one.  It became very plain that I had torn my calf muscle and enforced idleness would have to be the plan for the rest of the day and probably for a few days to come.

As my cycling miles for October are already very poor, this is a great pity and unless we get some very unseasonably pleasant weather in November and December, my annual target looks to be out of reach now.

As it was still sunny, I took a very gentle walk round the garden.  I had hoped to go for a walk in the hills in the sunshine so this was a poor substitute but the flowers did their best to cheer me up.

The clematis are doing amazingly well still…

clematis oct 26

clematis in october

…..but this was the very last of the Japanese anemones for the year.

last japanese anemone of year

The ‘October daisies’ are living up to their nickname…

october asters

…and the delphinium is astonishing.

delphinium oct 26

We have a couple of sunny but chilly days forecast but as there is supposed to be no sub zero temperatures, it will be interesting to see what survives in the garden.

Standing around at the kitchen window wasn’t an ideal way to treat my calf so I only had a brief look at the birds today.

In spite of the sunshine, the feeder lives in dark shadow in the mornings at this time of year and oddly enough, the brighter the sun, the harder it is to take pictures before it has moved round in the sky.

A chaffinch took advantage of the stump of the sunflower next to the feeder to size up the situation.

chaffinch on sunflower

Even when things improve, the very bright backgrounds don’t help the camera to see the birds in the foreground clearly and I often need a lot of help from the photo editor to make the birds visible at all.

busy feeder oct 26

This was a pity because there was quite a lot of lively action from time to time.


A greenfinch turned its back on me…

back of greenfinch

…and a goldfinch and a coal tit were simultaneously distracted by different things.

coal tit looking out

I couldn’t find a moment today without some intrusive shadows…

chaffinch in sun and shade

…unless I looked at the plum tree…

chaffinches in plum tree Oct

…but as it looked rather wintery, I didn’t look at it often.

During the day, I treated the calf as well as I could with some gentle massage, healing ointment and frozen peas but it is still pretty sore as I write this and I am not very hopeful about a miracle cure.  I may well need to draw fully on my rather scanty stock of patience tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, getting a very hard stare from a goldfinch for encroaching on its space.

close flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “A cold snap

  1. “Torn calf muscle” sounds painful enough to be translated as “get thee to a physiotherapist” . . . or is that hypochondria rearing its ugly head? Either way, yikes. Sorry about the cycling totals.

    1. It looks like I was exaggerating (it was extremely painful) and it isn’t torn as it has began to heal well. Fingers crossed that I can behave sensibly and get it cleared up quickly.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your leg. It’s amazing how easily we can do ourselves damage. I’ve put myself out of commission a few times too, sometimes just by sneezing.
    The flowers are beautiful and always a pleasure to see, but you should probably stay off that leg.
    Take care.

  3. Very sorry to hear of your calf muscle injury incident. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery. Is a pedestrian crossing needed at the site?

  4. Sorry to read about your leg. I was out of commission for a day because of swollen tonsils just two days ago. Get well soon!

  5. If there’s a bright side to your torn calf muscle, it’s that you’re retired and can rest the leg as needed for a speedy recovery. I tore a calf muscle last year about this time of year, and it took months for it to heal fully because I was working as it tried to heal, and I kept undoing the healing process. With the flowers that remain in the garden, and the antics of the birds at the feeders, you should be able to keep yourself occupied, although I know that you’ll miss cycling and your walks as the leg heals.

  6. Great goosander photo…maybe take a lead from him and go for a swim- it’s supposed to strengthen muscles! You must be totally frustrated as it’s horrid not to be able to do things that you want to when you want to …patience and rest needed and lots of looking at your garden flowers and flying birds which hopefully will help your muscle get mended soon.

  7. Sending you a measure of patience while you recover, even though my supply is never abundant! Do heal quickly and nicely and try to refrain from injuring yourself for awhile! 😉

  8. I like the rear view photo of the greenfinch and also the one of the goosander. I am sorry you hurt your leg but am pleased to see from the comments that you are beginning to heal.

  9. It could have been worse, I suppose. Good luck with the healing – patience, fortitude and frozen peas should do the trick. Though moaning, whining and ice cream can all help too. 🙂

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