A walk in the woods

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary and shows that she was in the right place at the right time to catch the sun illuminating a dogwood in Regents Park.

burning bush

December ended as it has been going on recently with a dry, mostly grey and reasonably warm day.  I was taking a break from cycling so I enjoyed the final coffee and scones of 2018 with Dropscone.  He had not lost any of his scone making skill over the holiday period so this was a good way to end the social year.

Along with Dropscone, we were visited by more birds than we have been seeing lately which was also welcome.

Goldfinches were queuing up to get a seat at the table…

many flying goldfinches

…and competing fiercely for the privilege.

flying goldfinches

Sometimes they let their good manners slip in their anxiety to snatch a sunflower heart from the feeder.

stamping goldfinch

And all too frequently, seeds went flying in the midst of all the excitement.

flying bird seed

Although it was pretty grey, it was a pleasant day so after Dropscone left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk in the woods.  To give ourselves a good start, we drove a mile or so out of the town and parked next to a large fallen tree that had been sawn up and left beside the road.

Where the trunk had split, it was covered  in white fungus.

rotten tree

We walked up the track past the Longwood fields and passed many trees, some that stood proudly…

Longwood tree

…and some that were curiously knotted and twisted.

twisted tree

When we got to the woods, there was fungus, both big and small to be seen…

fungus in woods

…a dingly dell to cross…

dingly dell

…and a track through the old oak wood to follow.

oak wood

We were only out for a short walk so as soon as we got to the top of the oak wood, we headed back past a river of moss….

river of moss

…and made our return journey downhill through a birch wood that has grown up beside the oaks.

birch wood

We were going to take a diversion on our route back to the car by going along the old railway line, but fallen trees provided an obstacle….

old railway

….that was too low to crawl under and too high to jump over so we retraced our steps and went back by the path along the field.

This gave us the chance to enjoy the sight of a chestnut tree standing in a very neat pool of its own leaves.

chestnut with leaves

When we got back to the road, I took a moment to check out a favourite mossy wall…

mossy wall

…which was rich in interest…

lichen and moss on wall

…for those who like this sort of thing, among whom is numbered yours truly.

We had a walk round our garden when we got home and I was pleased to find that the sweet rocket had managed another flower or two, a single snowdrop was showing a touch of colour and a groundsel was growing in the drive.  The groundsel pleased me for its little patch of colour…

three late flowers

…but Mrs Tootlepedal was not so happy about it and it soon suffered from being comprehensively weeded.

After lunch, the last of the duck soup, a weak sun appeared for a while and illuminated a dove and a pigeon in the plum tree.

dove and pigeon

It also lit up the holly in our neighbour’s garden.

bright holly in garden

I did think of going for another walk to take advantage of the sun but I dithered a bit and by the time that I came to make a decision, the sun had gone and the clouds were grey again.

This was the moment that a robin came out.

robin on chair

I spent so much time thinking of things that I might do in the afternoon and so little time in actually doing anything useful that it was time for the evening meal before I knew it. Still ending the year on a restful note was no bad thing and I should be full of pep when 2019 arrives tomorrow.  Here’s hoping.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the patient and forbearing readers of these posts over the past year for their company which makes writing and taking pictures very rewarding.  I would like also to express special gratitude for those who add their many kind, amusing and useful comments.

The honour of being the final flying bird of the year has fallen to this goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

I don’t usually end with a quote but I think think Robert Burns speaks for many when he wrote to the wee. sleekit, timorous mouse words which apply just as well to the politics of 2018 and 2019:

“But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!”

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

40 thoughts on “A walk in the woods

  1. Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year to you and Mrs Tootlepedal. I always enjoy reading your posts and go away feeling that all is right with the world after all.

    1. We are very blessed to live where we do so if I can spread a little of that feeling, I am very happy. I hope that winter is not too harsh for you.

  2. Thanks for the celebrity moss wall, I adore it. Glad your birds are returning, too. I will try to read more of your posts in the coming year as I always enjoy them so. Thanks for giving me hope for 2019. 🙂

    1. The moss wall is a stunner, I agree. Thank you for reading any of the posts as they are not of world shattering importance. I hope all goes well in Chicago in 2109. Good singing!

      1. It’s the importance of being not world shattering that is much better than the alternative. I hope all goes well in 2109 too, that’s the best typo I’ve seen so far this year! Good tootleing!

  3. Thank you for all the hours you put into the blog. I do enjoy being able to peek into the lives of lovely people so very far away! Wishes for a contented and healthy 2019 to you both.

  4. I like the gnarly tree and the river of moss, and that mossy wall is always amazing.
    The winner has to be the snowdrop though, because it speaks of spring right around the corner.
    I hope 2019 brings good health and plenty more interesting adventures to both you and Mrs. T.

  5. Thanks Tootlepedal for another year of wit, perspicacity and photographic skill. Your ability to entertain and educate through describing your constant activity never ceases to amaze. Happy New Year to you and your family. Just love the final flying bird; goldfinches are my favourite.

    No wonder the Scottish bard is so revered, our future is indeed obscured….

    But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain;
    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
    Gang aft agley,
    An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    1. It is the lack of any schemes that can be described as “best-laid” that is getting me down. I am quite familiar with going agley personally but I always hope that those running the country might have a bit of competence. Ah well.

  6. I think it’s always a good idea to look back from whence you came. You never know what you missed while your back was turned. Like that puddle of leaves around the chestnut.

    I very much liked your quote. It does sum up the situation well. We can always hope for improvement… being a glass half full sort of gal. 😀

    Thank you for all the lovely looks at your countryside.
    Wishing you and Mrs T a brighter outlook for 2019! ❤

  7. I don’t often comment, but I very often thoroughly enjoy your posts. They are a comforting bright spot in my day.

  8. Happy New Year to you and Mrs. T ! Thank you for another year of nightly entertainment and information and I look forward to another year of the same! All the very best for 2019 to you both.

  9. Glorious birds and landscapes today.

    Happy new year to you and Mrs T! Here’s a thing I saw this morning:

    “What do you think. 2019 will bring? I am afraid. The world is so messed up.”

    “I think 2019 will bring flowers.”

    “Why do you think that?”

    “Because I am planting flowers.”

  10. Thank you for the holiday cheer, and I hope that 2019 will be another fine year for you and Mrs. T!

    It was a nice ending to the year, with many great photos from during your walk in the woods, especially the mosses and lichens.

  11. A beautiful series of photos from your walk! My favorites are the mossy stone wall and lichen-moss panel of four.

    Let us hope for miracles in 2019 on both sides of the big pond. 🙂

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