Adding a little spike to our life

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset corespondent, Venetia. She visited the coast at Klive and saw this very ‘geological’ cliff.

When Mrs Tootlepedal went into the utility room to wash her hands this morning, she found that the floor was rather messy. Her first and very natural instinct was to wonder what I had been doing to create such a mess. A second look caused a rethink, and peering behind the washing machine she could see a young hedgehog which had obviously both made the mess and spent the night as our guest.

With great patience (and a litter picker), she wrangled the hedgehog out from behind the washing machine and showed it to me…

…before taking it out to a purpose made hedgehog house which she had prepared earlier.

I was left wishing that I had been able to take a better picture.

That’s life though and I wandered round the garden looking at flowers to cheer myself up.

It was a more pleasant day than the forecast had indicated, with light wind and thin cloud overhead. This made taking poppy pictures a pleasure. We may have lost two but we have gained four, a good bargain, with plenty more to come.

At the end of the lawn, another verbascum has started to produce flowers…

…and once again, it goes to prove the point that when it comes to flowers, nothing seems to be smooth…

…when you take a closer look.

Though it must be said that this backlit rose was looking pretty smooth this morning.

I was happy to see that a bee had discovered one of the few hydrangea flowers…

…and I was walking over to tell Mrs Tootlepedal about it when I was stopped in my tracks by this unexpected sight.

The hedgehog had left its house and was exploring the compost area.

It waited politely until I had got a good shot or two…

…before it disappeared between two compost bins, probably on its way to visit a neighbour’s garden. We didn’t see it again.

We picked blackcurrants and gooseberries and then I looked at roses.

…and mowed the front lawn before having coffee and a good chat with our neighbour Margaret.

After coffee, we made a start on trimming back a hedge between us and another neighbour. This will be a long job and Mrs Tootlepedal is intending to do a yard a day, weather permitting. It produces a lot of material for shredding so we will be kept busy.

It was a day for neighbours as we also spent time chatting to Irving and Libby over their fence.

I added two new flowers, a partly open water lily and a fancy clover to my photographic collection…

…and then it was time for lunch after a busy morning.

A tricky crossword and natural indolence helped me to waste an hour before I got my shopping bike out (no word from the bike shop yet, alas) and set off for an afternoon pedal.

The wind was light but enough to turn our local turbines and the temperature was pleasant, not too hot or too cold so I decided to look around and not rush today.

I took a decent picture of the orchid up the Wauchope road that had evaded the verge cutters by a few inches….

…and stopped not much further along the road to admire this fine yellow flower by a bridge.

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is Agrimony.

I thought that I should visit one of the little cascades in the Wauchope Water to show the effect of five inches of recent rain on a river that had been reduced to a trickle by the drought in May.

As I was cycling towards Tarcoon, a loud noise overhead made me look up. My pocket camera is not ideal for tracking planes so this is the best shot that I could manage of an unusual aircraft….

…which I thought might be one of those planes that can swing the engines round and use them to land and take off vertically.

I took a slightly different route down to the bottom of the Canonbie bypass, and the potholes and muck left on the road by farmers working in the fields reminded me of the reason that I don’t use it more often.

Still, it provides some good views…

…and goes very near to the border between Scotland and England, which according to our British prime minister’s statement yesterday does not exist. This is news to us who live in the border country.

A kind wind wind blew me home to Langholm and I arrived in time for the sibling Zoom meeting which was full of interesting news today (a visit to the dentist, a new kitchen, hedgehogs etc) and an excellent evening meal cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal.

As the day was still fine and the wind was still not too bad, I popped out for an evening ten miles to Callister and back after tea.

I was glad that I had done so, because not only did I see a family of herons flying across a field at the Bigholms..

…but I saw a small flock of lapwings too, a very unusual sight round here these days.

It was a pity that the light had faded so much that my little camera couldn’t do them justice.

Once again, I was wafted home by a favouring wind and my active day ended very cheerfully.

I didn’t fill the seed feeder today as there was a lot of fallen seed to be cleaned up before I put new seed out, so the flying bird of the day is a low flying plane that passed over Irving’s house just as we were talking. It’s lucky that Irving doesn’t have a chimney as the plane was really low.

Footnote: I met Irving and Libby thee quarters of the way round my afternoon cycle ride. They had driven down to the Hollows for a walk. It was hard to say who was more surprised, them or me.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Adding a little spike to our life

  1. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, and was quite surprised by the hedgehog you found in your utility room! How did he get in? It was nice of him to let you get some good photos later on. Do you get many of these visitors?

  2. I haven’t seen a hedgehog for years..I remember as a kid they were fairly common.
    Glad you managed a cycle,unfortunately contrary to the previous forecasts it rained almost all day here,which put paid to my good intentions,I did however service a neighbours bike,so the day wasn’t totally wasted.
    The view from Canonbie bypass is lovely.

  3. Your hedgehogs are cuter than our porcupines. We see quite a lot of our variety.
    I hope our trickling rivers will be brought back like yours. We’ve had thunder showers for the last few days.
    I’m glad you have at least one orchid left. It wasn’t that long ago they were common along your roadsides.

  4. The view from the Canonbie bypass looks like something Van Gogh would have painted – absolutely lovely. I, too, liked the story of your hedgehog visitor, but the best part of that tale was “Her first and very natural instinct was to wonder what I had been doing to create such a mess” – oh that made me laugh!

  5. Your hedgehog is semi-cute. Don’t think I’d want one in my house….but better than an opossum which got in once…, or bats…..eeek!
    Streams look wonderful from all the rain.

  6. How exciting to be visited by a hedgehog! We had to look after one once and were amazed at how fast they can move about. The view from the Canonbie bypass is beautiful!

  7. Spiky indeed…lovely to see a hedgehog and a hog house too! It was your lucky day seeing the lapwings too…where have they all gone? The view over the fields and trees is beautiful. (WordPress has been playing up…taking ages to load your photos and on my blog too…then it all got sorted…wonder what happens!!?)

  8. The only hedgehog I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing was a young friend’s pet. They sure are cute. Hope it returns.

      1. I send sympathy to Mrs T. We just now watched two red squirrels attack (in tandem) a batch of relatively newly hatched quail chicks. I’m rather shaken.

  9. Great to see those lapwings, in times gone by I used to see them, sadly I have not seen one in years. Also a family of herons, I only see a solitary one. We used to have a heronry down by Rheola pond, but they powers that be felled the two rather tall trees. The heronry then move nearer the pond into some fantastic trees at the edge of the pond, only for those to be felled also? Possibly, because the pond was to be used for fishing, which never got off the ground, or should I say floated. Where did the heronry end up or did it even survive? The fish certainly came to Rheola pond however, now to be harvested by cormorants which even roost in the trees near the pond. Cheers

    1. I am sad about the heronry as they are beautiful birds to watch in my view. Not being a fisherman, I don’t begrudge the herons their meals.

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