Knees on display

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Dropscone and shows the opening day of the golf season at Langholm.  Dropscone, the club captain this year,  is modestly holding the trophy which his team has just won in the opening match.

golf opening

We had an unquestionably pleasant day of weather here today, with wall to wall sunshine, light winds and no chill in the air at all.  It was lovely.

In younger days, I would have been off on my bike like a shot, but things are slower now and I was happy to have coffee and treacle scones with Dropscone instead of pounding the pedals.  Both before he came and after he left, I wandered round the garden for a while.  There was much to see.

tulips and daffs

The garden is full of tulips and daffodils at the moment.

The tulips had spread their petals wide to welcome the warmth.

two tulips

The silver pear is covered with blossom…

pear blossom

…and although I have been dead heading a lot of daffodils, there are still a lot on the go of many varieties.

three daffodils

The plum is getting leaves to go with its blossoms and I only hope that the few bees that have been around have managed to pollinate those flowers which were too far above my head for me to reach with the pollinating brush.

plum blossom

Mrs Tootlepdal’s river of blue with the grape hyacinths doesn’t go all the way round the front lawn this year but it has  produced some good splashes of colour all the same…

three flowers

…and trout lilies and a new fritillary  are keeping the garden looking cheerful.

I was so encouraged by the warmth and a good forecast, that I got the lawn scarifier out and scarified the middle lawn.  It has a little basket  of its own to collect the debris but it is so small that I find it easier not to use it and then run the mower over the lawn to tidy everything up.  I took this picture while I was having a rest in the middle of mowing.

scarifying the lawn

It is a pain free process if the lawn is firm and dry as it is at the moment.

When I had finished, I admired some more tulips…

drive tulips

…and the magnolia (which is looking well if you don’t look too closely at it).


Mrs Tootlepedal has used the old rotten planks from the veg beds which have been redeveloped to make a little wild life hotel beside the compost bins.  We are hoping for interesting (and useful) guests.

pile of planks

I had a rest on our new bench for awhile and noticed a bee visiting a dicentra beside me…

bee on dicentra

…and then we went in for lunch.

After lunch, I went back out to look for frogs in the pond as we had heard them muttering away while we were working in the morning, but hadn’t been able to see them.

They were easy to see in the afternoon, surrounded by tadpoles.

frog and tadpoles

We had filled the pond up before lunch because it hasn’t rained for ages and the level had dropped a bit and I thought the pond was looking better as a result.

pond in April

The date stone is one of several in the garden that are a reminder that a stone mason lived and worked here once.

The better weather had obviously encouraged birds to find food elsewhere today as we had many fewer visitors than recently and the feeder was still half full quite late in the day.

three birds

I was visited by a member of our Langholm choir who is coming to sing with the church choir on Sunday and we went through the hymns and then, while Mrs Tootlepedal had a well earned snooze after a hard morning the garden, I went off for a cycle ride.

I am still looking after my foot so I chose an easy route of just under 26 miles and took things steadily.  However, I was quite daring and put on my cycling shorts and exposed my peely-wally knobbly knees to the world as I went along.  The world took this in its stride.

The hawthorns on the hillside up the Wauchope road are in leaf and we should see the blossoms soon.  In the meantime, it was hot enough for sensible sheep to seek some shade under one of the bigger bushes.

hawthorns on warbla bank

Although spring is springing, the rough pasture on the hills is still in full winter mode, and there was no colour to be seen when I stopped for a drink and a stretch and looked down a farm track after my first five miles.

kerr view

I was getting near to Canonbie when I came across a quite unusual gate…


…with a plump oyster catcher perched on each gate post.  I was very surprised that they sat still and let me take their pictures.

On the other side of Canonbie, I liked this variegated lamb and ewe scene…

variegated lambs

…and noted that it has been so long since it rained that the moss on a bridge parapet has begun to dry out.

dried out moss

When I got to Langholm, I cycled through the town and out along the Ewes valley for a couple of miles.  This gave me the opportunity to record a fine deciduous tree near the High Mill Brig…

high mill brig tree

…a rather hazy view up the valley…

ewes valley view

…and a romantic looking conifer near my turning point.

Ewes tree

When I got home, I got the washing in and made Mrs Tootlepedal a cup of tea.  Then I watered the middle lawn as I am going to put some treatment on it tomorrow and it says that the soil should be moist..

That concluded the business for the day.

Today’s flying bird of the day came a little late to the table.

flying chaffinch attempt


WordPress offers blog writers a wealth of statistics about their blogs if they have the energy to look at them and last night, I browsed the word count since I started this blog in mid 2010.  I was staggered to find that I have written 2,150,000 words, an average of about 700 words per post. It seems a tremendous amount of writing to use to record a fairly humdrum existence but to be fair, there has been a lot of repetition so I don’t have to constantly find new words and phrases.  If I look back, I find that life was much the same last year and the year before…and the year before….but that is how I like it.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Knees on display

  1. All of your flower captures are so beautiful and refreshing, I enjoy them always, yours and Mrs T’s green thumbs are commended. I very much love the Oyster Catchers perched on the gate posts, pretty awesome sighting, I am happy they stayed put for you to photograph them!

  2. Congratulations on your astounding word count! It is your canny choice of those words, your inimitable wit combined with some great photography that retains so many loyal readers through that ‘fairly humdrum existence’. Thank you for your persistence and entertainment.

  3. I think my favorite flower from this post has to be that red and yellow tulip. It’s loud but pretty. I hope the magnolia is fragrant.
    I like the shots of the lone tree and distant hills. Just beautiful scenes that I wish I could see here.
    I didn’t know you could do a word count so of course I had to try. I find I’m knocking at the door of a million words, but since I only post twice each week I must be very wordy.
    Congratulations to Dropscone!

  4. The oyster catchers look so snug. I see they are facing away from each other but you have kindly made them seem more friendly towards each other in your close-ups 🙂

  5. I would like to echo the comment from ‘brandybutter’. I have read and enjoyed your posts for several years but only started to comment recently. In a world where people seem to constantly crave the latest, newest, loudest, most outrageous…how lovely to have you share your life of contentment. Thank you.

  6. Such lovely colourful flowers as you have in your garden it is always a treat to look at them through your camera lens.All those words and every one of them worth reading, congratulations.

  7. That tulip is wonderful. Congratulations on writing so many words…all of them hugely entertaining to another who enjoys the gentle rhythm of life…and a clever bit of wordplay from time to time. As for the peelywally knees: Im pretty sure the world has seen worse and continued to spin 😊

  8. I enjoyed all the photos from your day. Those remaining daffodils and tulips are beautiful. The frog and tadpoles are always a welcome sight. Our Pacific chorus frogs are still singing in the night, although the choir members have slowly been dropping out as the season progresses.

    Honeybees have been struggling in my area, and I am looking into mason bees as an alternative. We do have a good assortment of native pollinators.

    Keep writing. It is a wonderful thing to experience even a small corner of Scotland through your lens and pen.

  9. Spring, spring, spring! Congrats on those stats. Even though I am a fan of fantasies and epics, I also believe that everyday life is worth recording and noting. If you don’t love everyday life, then life will be flat and boring. It seems to me that you and Mrs.Tootlepedal lead a rich, creative life.

  10. Yours is the very best blog, in my opinion, the only one I manage to keep up on. I love the cycle of the year going around (as your cycle wheels go around). Even if you just stayed home, you’d make it interesting and droll.

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