A pot of gold

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She has visited Paris and thought she would take a picture of the Place de la Concorde as she thinks we all could do with a little concord at this time.


We had another sunny morning here, but once again the day was sprinkled with showers and predicting when they would arrive was tricky.

I went out into the garden in a sunny spell after breakfast and found that the rowan tree was a busy place.

A starling was having a look round…

starling in rowan 1

…and having weighed up the situation…

starling in rowan 2

…it got tucked into the berries.

starling in rowan 3

Other birds looked on…

thrush in rowan

…and a blackbird got in on the act…

blackbird with rowan berry

…and soon everyone was at it.

three birds in rowan

Still, there are plenty of berries to go round.

Rain was forecast for midday so after an early cup of coffee, I set off to do a few miles on my bike before the rain came.  Once again, there was a very brisk wind blowing, and as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my slightly suspect knee, I settled for 17 miles with the wind behind me for the section with the most climbing.  I didn’t stop to take pictures as I wanted to be sure to be back before the rain started which I was.

As well as the rowan berries, there was more eating going on in other places in the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal, on her way out to a social lunch engagement, noticed that the nasturtiums by the back door were getting thoroughly nibbled and she spotted the guilty party, a cabbage white caterpillar.

cabbage white caterpillar

While she was out, I mowed the greenhouse grass and then took a walk round the garden to enjoy the colour…

six garden flowers

There was more berry action in the rowan tree.

starling with berry in beak

…and I went in and had a baked potato for my lunch as watching all the eating had made me feel hungry.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her lunch and immediately went off for a business meeting and I stayed indoors because one of the forecast rain showers arrived.

By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal returned, the rain had stopped so we had a look at  the sky and went out for a walk.  We hadn’t gone more that a few hundred yards before it started to rain again.  However, we didn’t cry and as it looked as though it might pass quickly, we kept going and were rewarded by blue skies soon afterwards.

We were headed for Meikleholm Hill as there are no cattle or sheep on it at present so I was hoping to find some wild flowers about.

We saw fungus on the way up to the open hill and a rabbit when we got there (it couldn’t keep up with us)…

two fungus and a rabbit

…and we were soon high enough up to get a good view back over the town.  The rain clouds were disappearing over the back of Whita.

view of langholm from Meikleholm

My hope for wild flowers was realised and there were scabious…

scabius meiklholm


yarrow meikleholm

…and a host of things that might well be hawkbit.

wild flowers meikleholm

There was any amount of tormentil (which my camera can’t photograph at all well), as well as an interesting pink flower, lots of heather and an occasional fungus.

wildflowers and fungus meikleholm

I took a panoramic view when we got to the col at the back of the hill….

meikleholm panorama
Click to get te fuller picture.


…and a closer look at the Gates of Eden

gates of eden from meikleholm

..before we took the mountain bike trail back down the hill.

cycle track down meikleholm

The trail was steep and slippery in places, so we had to go very carefully as our days of skipping down hills like mountain goats are long past, but we got safely back onto a good track in the end.  As we hot the track, it started to rain and and we expected the worst, but in a few minutes we got the best instead.

meikleholm rainbow panorama
Another click will get a larger view.

As it turned out that the foot of the rainbow was obviously lying smack in our garden, you can expect Mrs Tootlepedal to be keener than ever on digging over the beds.

meikleholm rainbow

Once again, we were passed by some light traffic…

horse of meikleholm

…and as we came back down off the hill, there were more flowers and fungus to be seen.

fungus and knapweed meikleholm

We got back to the house just as it started to rain again.

Although it was only just over two miles, it seemed a lot longer with so much to enjoy on the way and with quite a bit of climbing and descending as well.  We felt well rewarded for our efforts.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday visit and Alison and I played a cheerful selection of music while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal sorted the world out.

There are still quite a lot of peacock and red admiral butterflies in the garden, sitting for their portraits….

peacock and red admiral on buddleia

…but I was pleased to catch a white butterfly in flight and although it is not the sharpest picture in the world, I am still more than happy to use it as the flying bird of the day.

flying white butterfly

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “A pot of gold

  1. I wonder if your scabious is related to the indigenous South African plant Scabiosa africana, which is also cultivated in gardens, It looks similar from your photograph. Also the starlings here (introduced by Cecil John Rhodes) are sporting yellow beaks now as we move into summer.

  2. A gorgeous starling and striking rainbow! We had one here yesterday evening after a brief thunderstorm. May Mrs. T find a nice pot of gold along with some tasty potatoes. 🙂

  3. I guess you did get the best. Beautiful! Also like the shot of the ethereal white butterfly. Glad to read Mike and Mrs. Tootlepedal sorted the world out. We desperately need someone to do so!

  4. Wonderful shots of birds-with-berries, and of the rainbow. Your Rowan trees look a lot like our Mountain Ash. There was one at my childhood home, and the birds used to eat the fermented berries and take a lot of runs at our front window.

  5. I think I’ve found my pot of gold…reading your post! It’s full of wonderful photos especially the starlings in the rowan tree and the rainbow. Very healthy looking butterflies, the ones in our garden are all looking tatty!

    1. The butterflies are still looking good, I agree. I love to see them in the garden. I hope that your pot of gold doesn’t turn out to be fool’s gold. 🙂

  6. I like your view of light traffic. My daily commute via the Neath canal towpath, recently paved by the council, is a shared path. Horse riders have taken to using it, not that I have met any as yet, but the ” evidence ” is plain to see. Either that or somebody is walking some very large dogs! Sadly, just like the horse riders dog owners fail to clear up the ” evidence ” after them! Friday, I had a puncture on route to work which became a peg on the nose job, to make matters worse my pump broke. Cheers.

    1. A catalogue of disasters. I have often wondered why horses are allowed to leave great heaps of droppings about while dog owners get stick for smaller piles….but then dog poo does smell worse than horse poo. I am impressed by your council paving a path.

  7. Delightful. Your prose is perfectly droll as always—“light traffic” made me smile.

    The birds seem to know when my elderberry is ready to eat, because they all descend on it at once and pick it clean in short order.

  8. Some wonderful bird photos here, especially the thrush and that last starling. The views are great as always and the rainbow lovely to see. I think the pink flower is a type of Lousewort, either Lousewort or Marsh Lousewort.

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