A non standard day

Today’s guest picture comes from Natasha, the daughter of our son Tony’s partner Marianne. Natasha was looking across the Forth at Newhaven Harbour on the Edinburgh shore. It was just as sunny today on her side as it always seems to be on Tony’s side.

We had a better day today than our recent cool and rainy spell. It was still cool but not rainy which was a definite improvement. It was a day of sunny intervals and when the sun was out, it was positively warm but when I set out for an unusually early cycle ride, the temperature was a measly 50°F/10°C, and I had to wear a warm jacket.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy on a Zoom meeting with the moorland buy out group when I went and she was busy having coffee with Margaret and Liz when I got back from a relatively quick nip round my usual Canonbie 20 mile circuit.

It was unusually quick because I only stopped for two photos on my way. The first was at Canonbie Sawmill where an interesting river of daisies flowed into a field…

…and the second was to note that lady’s bedstraw has taken up the running from meadowsweet and knapweed on the old A7.

I am grateful to my camera club friend Simon who alerted me to the daisies.

I got myself a cup of coffee and joined the socially distanced coffee morning on the lawn. When it was over, Mrs Tootlepedal went in to write up the minutes of her meeting and I mowed the drying green and the vegetable garden grass.

I took a break to look at flowers and enjoyed this poppy a lot.

I had gone out cycling in the morning because the wind was due to get stronger later in the day but it was still calm enough at this time to make taking a poppy picture easier than it has been lately in the stiff breezes.

I looked up when I heard a loud noise, and saw a navy helicopter flying low over the town…

…presumably on its way to the sea side.

Looking down again, I enjoyed this spot in the vegetable garden where the calendulas seem to be floating in mid air.

…and the Wren rose had a bee on it today as a bonus for the photographer.

I passed a pretty hosta flower…

…on my way to get out the push mower to mow the middle lawn.

Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, feeling a call to be useful for once, I finished pruning two of the espalier apples and trimmed two of the box hedges.

I did find time to look at the birds too though. There was a starling on the feeder…

…as well as the usual suspects.

I spent quite a bit of time during the day prowling round the garden trying to catch a butterfly at rest. I saw a few flitting about but they weren’t in a co-operative mood at all. I put the shopping bike to good use by doing some shopping and then as a variation on having morning coffee on the lawn, we had afternoon tea on the lawn with our friends Mike and Alison.

Our pleasure in their company was enhanced by the fine packet of ginger biscuits which Alison brought with her and kindly gave to us a gift. She also gave us some sage advice about storage to keep them from going stale. This just goes to show how little she knows about the shelf life of a ginger biscuit in the Tootlepedal household.

When they left, Mrs Tootlepedal started cooking an elaborate Spanish omelette for our evening meal, and this gave me enough time to go for a short three bridges walk.

On my way out of the garden, I took a picture of the tropaeolum on the yew.

I walked along the river bank where the sun picked out a dock among the tall grasses .

There weren’t many birds about but I did see one odd looking character beside the river along with a familiar black headed gull resting at its post.

I have no idea what the bird in the right hand frame is and would welcome suggestions from those who know.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk…

….though it was still far from being hot even after a mostly sunny day.

As I walked along the racecourse on the Castleholm, I could hear buzzards making a great racket. I looked around and two of the birds appeared fairly low above my head, giving me a rare photo opportunity.

They were just above the trees and I was able to stand and watch as they effortlessly circled round, using thermals to glide higher and higher, until they disappeared from view.

I went back to the Lodge Walks to walk round the Lodge, and this gave me a nicely framed view across the racecourse and playing field.

Coming down the other side of the field on my way back to the Jubilee Bridge, I passed two striking pine trees….

…both catching the sun in an attractive way.

I was distracted from my tree watching activity by more raucous buzzard cries and I was very surprised to find myself watching two buzzards in what looked like a fight as they darted in and out of trees….

…at speed.

Unfortunately, buzzards at speed against a background of leaves, don’t make for easy camera shots so although they kept up the pursuit for a while, the shot above was the best that I could do. Meanwhile two other buzzards circled above the trees before sloping off with an air of “Nothing to do with me, guv,” about them.

I got back in good time from Mrs Tootlepedal’s Spanish omelette which was very good, but which she thought probably took more time and effort to cook than was totally worthwhile.

In spite of the temptations of the buzzards, the flying bird of the day is a domestic sparrow as a tribute to the vast number of sparrows in the garden at the moment.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A non standard day

  1. I like that poppy too. The centers are always different and always amazing.
    The lighting was perfect for pine tree photography. Yours don’t grow quite as ramrod straight as ours, so that explains why King George III wanted ours. Many a ship’s mast left our forests.
    The daisies are interesting. I’d love to know why they grew the way they did. It’s as if someone sprinkled seeds.

  2. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, particularly the first buzzard photo from below. That is a striking photograph with full wingspan and markings against the sky. My favorite flower of the day was the patch of calendula in its sunny orange-gold brilliance.

    I don’t know what the strange bird is on the right with the black-headed gull. It looks somewhat coot-ish, but does not have the white face. Perhaps something else in the Rail family?

  3. You’re right. I don’t know a darn thing about British birds. In the absence of any others willing to take a risk of being very wrong. I think it is a very young cormorant with a black colored bill. This is because of the angle at which the head goes away from the neck. You call them shags, don’t you?

  4. Judging by the beak, I would say, with no confidence at all, that your mystery bird is a crow, maybe a juvenile, or adult having a bad hair day. No mistaking the buzzards though, you did well to capture the fly past among the trees.

  5. Lovely photos on your evening walk especially the ‘framed’ one over the racecourse. Harriers and now buzzards they are all lining up to get captured in one of your photos- it’s not often one gets to see all the markings on a buzzard so clearly. The river of daisies too is an excellent photo and maybe one to be painted!

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