The same again

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss.  “Are there any shore birds about”, I asked him.  “Plenty”, he said.  And sent me the proof.

east wemyss shorebirds

Life in the lockdown goes on in a well ordered pattern of pottering, walking and cycling and today was no different.

After breakfast and the crossword, I made a bright start to the day and went to the shop for milk and eggs before coffee.  Our own (river) shore birds, the oyster catchers, have found somewhere better to be in the mornings but I was able to enjoy a great swathe of Lady’s Smock instead as I cycled home.

ladys smock feast

It had been another decidedly cool morning but the sun soon began to warm things up and it picked out the tulips for special attention…

two sunny tulips

…with promise of more tulips to come.

six sunny yellow tulips

Some tulips were wide awake…

two orange poppies

…and others were still snoozing.

deep red tulip

Throughout the morning a small tortoiseshell butterfly flitted about, stopping occasionally to get its picture taken.

small tortoiseshell butterfly panel

Birds posed on fences….

blackbird and dunnock on fences

…and pollinators got on with their business.

three pollinators

Now that I have seen one before, I was able to pick out a bee fly  among the other insects today.

Wikipedia tells me that the bee fly’s Sunday name is Bombylius major and it is commonly named the large bee-fly or the dark-edged bee-fly.  It is a parasitic bee mimic fly.

You can see the dark edges to the wing in the picture along with its characteristic permanently long nose.

bee fky on ground

The sun had brought the Pulsatilla into flower…

pulsarilla flowering

…and encouraged Mrs Tootlepedal to plant out her peas.  These were growing in a gutter in the greenhouse and she used gravity to do the planting.

sowing peas

Once they were in place and had been well tended, she put the necessary protective covering in place to keep the dratted sparrows off the fresh shoots.

The bottles in the background are individual mini greenhouses for her broad beans.

I dead headed a lot of daffodils and while we were out, we pruned some dead branches on our lilac tree.

I went in to prepare lunch and checked on the birds though the front window…

greenfinch and chaffinch

…and the back window, where the ducks were swimming in the dam.

mallard drake

The drake may have the showier head…but the duck has a delightful back.

mallard female

I watched the familiar pair of jackdaws with the white markings come down to the lawn but when I went out for a look, the one with the white feather flew off, leaving its partner looking a bit bemused.

two jackdaws on lawn

While I was out, I took a picture of the best bunch of tulips in the garden (at present anyway)…

red tulips

…and went back in to have lunch.

After lunch, I went out into the garden again to cut up the pruned lilac branches and then to sit in the sun and wait to see if anything interesting occurred.

This was life in the fast lane and an indication of the pace of exciting events may be gauged by the fact that I spent quite a lot of time considering the pattern of my trouser weave.


It was windier than the forecast had lead me to believe that it would be, so I put off cycling in the hope that the wind would drop.  I didn’t, so in the end I went out and cycled ten miles less than I had intended.

This was probably a good plan as I enjoyed twenty warm and sunny miles round my usual Canonbie circuit.  I saw some interesting things on my way round but because I was cycling and not walking, I could not record the pheasant and hare that scampered out from under this tree just as I got going after taking the picture.

tree at wauchope schoolhouse

Nor could I catch either of the two grey squirrels that crossed the road in front of me as I pedalled along.

The blackthorn blossom at the bus shelter at the Hollows was an easier target…

hollows bus stop blaclthorn

…though the shelter looks as though it could do with the services of a good window cleaner.

When I got home, I Zoomed with my siblings, eat some excellent mince and tatties prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal and then WhatsApped our daughter Annie and granddaughter Evie.

Exhausted by all this tech, I sank into the sofa.  Later on, some rhubarb and custard revived me enough to get the blog finished.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch heading for the feeder.

flying chaffinch

Footnote: It has been so dry that I watered the lawn today, a very odd thing to do in April.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “The same again

  1. I love Mrs. T’s method of starting peas! What an easy way to do that. Thank you both for the demonstration in photos. Here it is the quail that are more of a problem digging up newly planted starts. They can do quite a bit of damage in a short period of time. The new strawberries will stay tented until they are firmly established.

    It has been threatening rain here all day, and misted a little. The forecast is now no rain until next week!

  2. Your tulips are looking very heathy,and the lovely pulsatilla is one of my favourite plants.
    As forecast we had superb weather today,good enough to get me out on the bike,27 mls longest ride this year.

  3. I second Lavinia’s comment about Mrs. T’s pea-planting technique: brilliant! As compelling as you may have found the weave of your trouser fabric to be, I’d give the day’s pattern prize to the duck’s back. But I sympathize – had I been wearing anything with an interesting weave today, I could have done the same as you. As it is, I just plain didn’t do much at all. Tomorrow . . .

  4. Some beautifully surprising pictures – I find the information about the bee fly interesting, enjoyed the reddish tulips, and the mallards are lovely – they are regarded as an invasive species in South Africa.

  5. It has been disturbingly dry here, as well.

    I love the swathes of flowers by the river.

    So about your broad beans: We don’t really seem to use the term here, so there has been some discussion of whether they are fava beans or Lima beans or some other kind of large bean. Do you know?

  6. Beautiful tulip photos all of them and a wonderful portrait of the mallard. How fortunate that your son lives near the beach- I think I’m missing visiting the seaside more than anything else!

      1. Sorry to read that – so many businesses have been hit so hard and many personal challenges are ahead for all those struggling to stay afloat…hope your son and all the others affected can stay strong.

  7. our flowers have slowed down because of the damp and cold weather so it’s nice to see yours.
    That’s a nice shot of the ducks back. I’ve never gotten close enough to one.
    The dark-edged bee-fly is interesting. I’ve never heard of it.

      1. That would appear to be the case. I’m afraid that my own taste in cheap modern trousers means I have to replace them on a regular basis. That and the expanding waistline…

  8. Beautiful close up shots of the ducks. They look much like our Common Mergansers (or “Noodle Ducks” as they are called locally – I have no idea why that might be!)

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