Pat upon her cue

Today’s guest picture shows a very unusual public library.  Mary Jo took the picture and it show her library.  Standing at her gate end, it does a surprising amount of lending.

Mary Jo's Library

Although the temperature here was above freezing all day today, it wasn’t much above freezing.  As a result, after preparing a beef stew for the slow cooker, I put in half an hour on Mrs Tootlepedal’s exercise bike to get my legs turning over.  I have had a period of cycling inaction recently due to cold weather and trips to various cities.

Unfortunately, the bike doesn’t suit my build or my pedalling  style so I will have to go back to pedalling on my old road bike in the  cold and gloom of the garage if the weather stays cold.  It was good pedalling in the warmth and watching the telly but as any cyclist will know, pedalling with the wrong set up can lead to serious damage to joints so out in the cold it will have to be.

After I had cycled, I checked on the birds.  The rise in temperature had brought them back to the feeder…

chaffinch and goldfinch

…and there were plenty of birds flying in…

chaffinch arriving

…and flying out again as the perches got crowded.

goldfinches leaving

A couple of goldfinches looked disapprovingly at an incoming chaffinch…

chaffinch and suspicous goldfinches

…but the arrival of a greenfinch drove one goldfinch mad…

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 1

…and for a while, it attacked the greenfinch from all sides.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 2

Greenfinches are pretty imperturbable though, and this one saw off the flurry of attacks with great aplomb.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 3

Then I made a tarte tatin and some bread in the bread machine and while I was waiting for them to mature, I went out for a quick walk.

It was cold and grey but once again, the wind was light so it wasn’t too bad a day for a stroll.  I was pushed for time so I didn’t hang about too much taking pictures.

A couple of gulls at the meeting of the waters caught my eye…

two blacxk headed gulls

…and looking up I could their friends sitting on the fence posts on the Castleholm.

gulls on posts

I said good afternoon to Mr Grumpy…


..and walked over the sawmill Brig.  The leaves are gone from almost all the trees now…

bare trees on bank

…although the hornbeams on the Lodge walks still have a little colour left.


With the leaves gone, it is moss that is adding colour to many of the trees…

mossy tree branch

…and a spread of fungus was to be seen on the end of a felled tree beside the path.

fungus on tree end

A visit from my stepmother Patricia was the reason for all the cooking and for the slight rush on my walk.  When I got back from my outing, we went off to Carlisle to collect her from the train.  We managed to fit in a visit to a recycling point and a supermarket before we met her at the station so it was a well planned occasion.

Patricia’s train arrived bang on time and we carried her safely back home with us where she enjoyed the beef stew for her evening meal.

After the meal, I sneaked out for a practice with the Langholm choir as our concert is coming up quite soon and then we had the tarte tatin for our supper when I got back.

The temperature is due to keep rising over the next two days and the sun may even shine, so I hope that we will be able to show Patricia some of our surrounding countryside while she is here.

The flying bird of the day is a questing chaffinch, wondering whether the seed round the other side of the feeder is any better than the stuff on this side.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Pat upon her cue

  1. I am impressed by the density of seeds on the hornbeam. A gale stripped mine of not only its flowers but half of its young leaves early in the season. I am even more impressed at Patricia’s adventurousness.

  2. We have a lot of tiny libraries like that one here. We’re supposed to trade and leave a book if we take one. They’re called “Little Free Libraries” and they seem to work as planned.
    I wonder if the gulls ever leave their posts and I wonder if Mr. Grumpy ever smiles.
    I love the mossy trees. We don’t see anything like that here.

      1. We have several “little free libraries” here, too. I believe there is an eponymous website and that one is supposed to register one’s library so that it can be on a map.

  3. I enjoyed seeing the neighborhood library from your guest correspondent. The first one like that I came across were up in Spokane, Washington.

    The feeder activity was entertaining, as always.

    Those tree limbs dripping moss look very much like here. Trees have entire cities of mosses, lichens and other residents living on them.

    1. I used a recumbent bike in a local gym regularly for about a year when I was recovering from a knee injury and it worked very well. It was a bit of a shock when i got back on a real bike. Now I am much happier on my old road bike on a turbo trainer when the weather is too cold to cycle safely.

  4. Another lovely post, loved the gulls on posts and Mr Grumpy, also the moss on the branch in fact all the pics were good.

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