Actual cycling

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony and shows that herons in East Wemyss take a lofty view of life.

We had mixed weather here today with occasional rain, quite a bit of wind and some sunshine. If you were lucky, outdoor activities and the rain did not coincide. I was lucky. I went to the corner shop and the chemist after breakfast on my shopping bike and remained dry. Later, I walked up to Sandy’s in the dry, had coffee and biscuits with him while it poured with rain outside, and then walked back in the dry.

Mrs Tootlepedal was fortunate too as she went up to the town on moorland business in the morning and back again later on, keeping dry on both trips. Then it rained while she had lunch at home, and dried up just as she went back up to the town on more moorland business.

Annie and Evie popped out into the garden from time to time when it wasn’t raining too. On one of the excursions, we picked courgettes which Mrs Tootlepedal made into fritters for lunch.

Once again, I didn’t get the camera out until after lunch. I had a look at the birds on the feeder in rather gloomy weather. It was a sparrow day today.

…with a steady stream queuing to get a perch…

…and birds had to look hard to find a space.

A blue tit rested among the sunflowers while it waited its turn.

It rained heavily again so I turned on the Tour de France and watched for a while. Fortunately it was not a very exciting race moment so I was able to get a grip on myself and as soon as the rain stopped, I put on my cycling gear and did some actual cycling instead of just watching it.

As I went out into the garden, a blink of sunshine lit up Crown Princess Margareta doing her best to brighten the day…

…but there were still some ferocious looking black clouds about as I set off, and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy my ride much.

There was also a brisk wind in my face with gusts over 20mph but this was a bonus rather than a hindrance as it had blown the dark clouds away by the time that I got to Callister…

…and the prospects ahead were much brighter.

Fortunately the couple of days of rest had worked wonders on my legs and they were in a sprightly mood today and laughed in the face of the breeze as we went up the hill. We still went up pretty slowly but we went up cheerfully.

The farmer at Callister has collected his mown grass into those neat black packets that you can see in the picture above. By contrast, when I got to Between the Waters, the grass from the curved rows which I saw on my last ride had been swept off the field altogether…

…leaving the field free for cattle to have a snooze…

…and for me to enjoy this fine tree in the sunshine.

I didn’t want to stop to take too many pictures as I was all too aware of the fickle nature of the day’s weather, and I wanted to get home before the next shower. All the same, the clump of wild sedum beside the Solwaybank road had got such a deep colour that I thought that it was worth a picture…

…and the individual flower heads looked very fine..

There was no progress on the wind farm to report. Perhaps they are waiting for a delivery of turbine blades and they have found a note saying, “We called but you were out,” and as a result they have spent the last few days trying vainly to contact the turbine blade customer service hotline.

Dark clouds loomed up on my left so I pressed on home, but once again the wind was my friend, both helping me along the road and blowing the clouds away too. So helpful was the wind that I did the last three miles home at 20mph and felt quite like a proper cyclist.

Annie and Evie came out for a tour of the garden when I got back…

…and we looked at flowers together.

Lillian Austin caught Evie’s eye…

…but the sunflowers were a bit above her head.

We passed a clematis on the fence…

…on our way to the vegetable garden where we stood solemnly in front of one of the only three apples to beat the late frost this year.

I had been hoping to see a butterfly and we caught a glimpse of one but it flew off before I could focus. More in hope than expectation, we moved on to the other buddleia beside the drying green. There in the space of a few seconds, three butterflies appeared right in front of my nose and made my day.

Our local paper had printed a picture that I had taken of a peacock butterfly in its edition today, so it was a good butterfly day all round.

Mrs Tootlepedal had spent most of the day in the company of a distinguished author called Caspar Henderson. He specialises in environmental matters and he was interested in the plans for the Langholm Moor. She had organised meetings for him with various people from the town in the morning, and in the afternoon the buy out group project manager had taken the author and her on an extensive tour of the moorland so she had had a busy and enjoyable day. She still had enough energy left to cook us a spaghetti Bolognese for our tea. Evie sucked up strands of the spaghetti with a disarming nonchalance.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch trying to creep past all the sparrows.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Actual cycling

  1. Your son Tony’s shot of the heron is fantastic,one I shall definitely save.👍
    Your fine tree is excellent too.
    Glad you managed a bike ride,I’m jealous.
    I am off the bike for another few weeks at least,due to an abscess in an area not conducive to cycling,you’ll know where I mean. I’ve had this issue before a few years ago and it takes some time to heal.☹️
    I have however upped my walking by a few miles a day,not quite the same but better than nothing.

  2. Tony’s photo is wonderful. Your description of Evie eating spaghetti has me wondering if she painted everyone with sauce! I hope interest in the buyout is growing – the deadline is looming, is it not?

      1. That is very good news about the buyout, Mr T. It sounds so much like many aspects of life are back to normal there, perhaps from people in general having behaved more sensibly than here.

  3. A busy day in the Tootlepedal household! Wonderful picture of the peacock. Congrats that one of your pictures was chosen for the paper. Also, Mrs. Tootlepedal’s hard work is really paying off. Finally, it was great to see a picture of that darling toddler. Made me smile just to look at Evie.

  4. I am sorry your apple crop was reduced to three fruits due to late frosts. We are having a good apple and pear season here, although we are keeping an eye on the grapes. Rick has put some insect netting up already, as the wasps and bees have started feeding on the fruit. It is definitely dry out there, and juicy, sweet fruit is an enticement for bees. Quail have been spotted as well. They like to think the vineyard was planted for them. Aside from quail, bluejays, and a finches working the lemon balm for tiny seeds, it is eerily quiet out there in terms of bird song.

      1. Robins, sparrows, chickadees, towhees, flickers (they love drilling holes in apples). I haven’t herd any geese overhead yet, and only spotted a few ducks. Occasionally I would see a heron flying over, headed for the lake. Swallows seem to have left for the season, and hummingbird numbers are down, but there isn’t much blooming out there for them. Turkey buzzards play on the thermals and circle from time to time, looking for expired life to eat.

        Rick informed me last night the grapes re being strippd by bees and wasps now, even before they are fully ripe.

      2. That must be very frustrating for the grape grower.
        You have a good selection of interesting birds. Our swallows are heading for home too.

  5. Maybe your son should try out his brilliant photo in a national paper- to try to keep ahead of his talented dad! Evie looks adorable and following in the footsteps of her mum and nana and enjoying the flowers already. Love the butterfly photos.

  6. When you mention “they took it without even asking me” do you mean the local newspaper snaffled the butterfly picture from your blog? I hope you were credited for it. Anyway, well done for becoming a published butterfly photographer!

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