A tootling treat

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia’s African odyssey.  I don’t mind getting close to small birds but I might be a bit nervous to get so close to a lion in the open.


We had a grey morning and a wet afternoon here today so it wasn’t really the day for a gentle pedal with a camera in my pocket.  Instead I was happy to eat very good treacle scones and drink coffee with Dropscone and wander round the garden in a faint drizzle once he had gone.

The pond has not shown any sign of a serious leak….

fullish pond

…so the reason for its sudden drop a few days ago remains a complete mystery.

My inclination is to suspect that a mighty rushing wind had swept the waters away but Mrs Tootlepedal regards that as fanciful.  She has no better explanation though.  Any suggestions are welcome.  Very thirsty birds?

Beside the pond, I couldn’t help noticing this deep red primrose.

very red primrose

I tried to photograph a small clump of scillas but the only thing that I got absolutely in focus was the stalk.  I was going to have another go but by the time that I thought of it, it had started to rain.

scillas almost in focus

Beside the bird feeder, a charming white flower is emerging and Mrs Tootlepedal is going to tell me what it is when she remembers.

small white flower

During the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal had been surprised to find that the telephone wire to our neighbour’s house, which should have been attached to a tall electricity pole in the middle of our vegetable garden, had become detached.  Instead of passing safely above our heads, it was now stretching across the garden at exactly head height.

fallen phone wire

She rang up those responsible for the wire and after a slightly bonkers conversation with a man in India, she was told that someone would come within four hours and either cut it down or put it up again .  In the event, two young men did come just four hours later but they neither cut it down nor put it up again.

It turned out that they hadn’t been fully briefed on the nature of the job so they hadn’t brought the requisite ladder for leaning against an electricity pole.  This you will understand is a special leaning against an electricity pole ladder not just any old ladder…like the one we offered to lend them for the job.

open reach men

In the end, after some head scratching, they cut the wire and added a new middle section which made it long enough to cross our garden while it was lying on the grass.  We promised not to trip over the wire over the weekend and they promised to send some men with the requisite ladder who would hang the wire up again on Monday.

Before the rain came, I watched the birds and was fatally slow in trying to catch a flying chaffinch on two occasions.

two landing chaffinches

I liked the prompt surrender of this chaffinch caught with a seed in its mouth.

chaffinch holding hands up

Once the rain came, the light was only good enough to shoot sitting birds…

posing chaffinch with seed

…some of whom looked pretty fed up with the weather.

sad goldfinch

As I couldn’t get out, I took pictures of flowers inside.

two indoor daffs

The rain did finally stop in the early evening but it was still damp and grey outside…

damp feeder scene

…so I spent some time on the bike to nowhere in the garage listening to music instead of enjoying a view.

When  I looked out of the back door, I was struck by the colour of the sky.

false sunset

In the evening, there was a special treat as my Friday night accompanist Alison came round to play some sonatas for the first time this year.  She injured her shoulder badly before Christmas and it has taken her a lot of time and hard work to get back into playing duets again.  So while Mike her husband and Mrs Tootlepedal caught up on the news, Alison and I gave some old a favourites a go with a few errors here and there and a lot of enjoyment all round.  I will have to get practising.

After playing we joined the other two to watch a Langholm lass get to the final of Masterchef, a great triumph.

We are promised drier, calmer weather for the next week so I hope to be able to get out and about if my foot allows.

A standard chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A tootling treat

  1. The photos are wonderful! Now I’m also wondering what happened to the water in your pond. Great read! Thank you for posting it😊

  2. Re. the telephone wire story: nonsense everywhere! I’m sure they couldn’t use your ladder as it would negate their insurance, or some other such silliness. Sigh.

      1. It’s easy to forget just how much improvement there has been in work health and safety, its a good thing. I’d lay money on it taking more than one more visit to sort the job though.

  3. Other than a large animal taking a long drink from the pond, I can’t think of anything that would have caused such a drastic drop in the water level. I’m glad it wasn’t a leak though, because they can be very hard to find.
    I don’t recognize the white flower with purple stamens but it’s pretty. It reminds me of our nodding trilliums, which wear the same colors.
    The bicolor daffodils are also very pretty, even when they’re inside.

  4. Hi Tom

    I am an old friend of Susan’s from New Zealand, and when I say ‘old’, it is around 56 years since I met her. My wife and I had a wonderful trip in Bavaria with Susan last August.

    I think you might have met my parents Bryan and Dorothy when they visited the UK around 1997.

    Anyway, just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your blog, and how much I admire your ability to sustain it on a daily basis. I look forward every day to it dropping into my Inbox, which is usually mid-morning here, so I’ll bet I’m one of the first of your global fan base to read it!

    I do a bit of blogging from time to time – you can find it on WordPress at http://www.s19566319l.wordpress.com (Occasional Adventures). It describes a wonderful road trip that we did across the US in 2017, the trip last year to Singapore, Bavaria and Austria, and an interesting weekend that I spent in Taipei a few months ago.

    Recently my wife (Laura) and I moved to Sydney for Laura to take up a wonderful position with Opera Australia. Last night I took the attached shot of a fabulous Sydney sunset. The occasion was the opening night of the annual Opera on the Harbour, which takes place on an outdoor stage sitting in the harbour, just to the right of where this shot was taken. Thought you might like it.

    With best wishes

    Stephen Dee.


    1. Sadly. I don’t think the shot arrived. You can send to me at hutton. tommy @ gmail. com (without the spaces) and it will arrive. Thank you for your comment. I have a couple of other readers in NZ so you may share your early read. I did meet your parents.

  5. It is odd the way we complain when we get too much of anything (rain or sunshine, heat or cold) until we no longer have it – or too much of the next. Here we really need rain and have endured far too much heat and you are waiting for warmer weather and would love the rainy weather to abate!

  6. Love the indoor flowers photo and the outdoor ones too! I’ll have to watch Masterchef now!
    Such a handsome lion- the telephone wire would have been mended much faster if he’d been in the garden.

  7. How we enjoy our conversations with BT! I thought the scilla photo was very clear, certainly compared with my recent efforts and I am pleased the pond doesn’t appear to have a leak. I have nothing to offer as an explanation.

  8. I’m with you about the lion. Also, I’ve been puzzling about the water in your pond. Any chance something—a rock, sticks?—could have settled and naturally sealed the leak? Improbably, I know. Just a thought. I, too, like your mighty rushing wind explanation.

  9. Perhaps that lion and some elephants 🐘 came by and emptied the pond? I find it extremely difficult speaking to the folks in India. They speak too fast and the cadence is different enough to throw me. Must be me though. The younger set also seems to talk far too fast. You don’t suppose my mind could be slowing down?

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