One step back

Today’s guest picture, forwarded to me by Mike Tinker and taken by his daughter Liz, shows a delightful scene with cormorants at Linlithgow.

I was a bit taken aback last night. After feeling that my back was definitely on the mend through the day, I got a bit of shock when I tried to lie on the floor to do my stretching exercises before going to bed. I could neither lie down nor get up again without severe twinges. I began to envisage a night spent in a sort of agonised suspension. However, I finally managed to wriggle my way out of the impasse. I spent today very carefully indeed until things eased off again.

I am much better again as I write this but I am going to go to bed cautiously to say the least.

After a very leisurely start to the day, Sandy came down for coffee and we enjoyed a cup or two and some ginger biscuits in sunny conditions.

When Sandy left, I walked round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal, and we even did some light gardening, very light gardening in my case. I took some pictures to celebrate the sun on the flowers.

And then I took some more. Ominously, the centre top flower in the panel below is a winter jasmine..

I went in and out of the house so that I could sit down from time to time, and while I was inside, I enjoyed the two flowers that live on the windowsill where I watch the birds.

I tried to watch birds while I was there but the only sparrow that I saw, turned its back on me…

…so I went out again and took a picture of insects on a late dandelion.

I came back in for lunch and had an opportunity to have another look out for birds. This time, there were plenty about.

A coal tit was busy going to and fro at the feeder, happy enough with a goldfinch but more suspicious of a greenfinch.

It soon turned into a chaffinch day….

…with chaffinches taking over the shouting duties from the siskins….

…with enthusiasm.

Within four minutes, the chaffinches had gone and were replaced by goldfinch and greenfinch, who in turn were replaced by a pair of siskins.

Up above, a siskin was surprised by the stretching exercises of a coal tit.

The thought of a bacon butty for lunch took me away from the birds and then, having checked the forecast, I thought that I would test out my back with a gentle twenty mile bike tour of the new windfarm.

I was helped on my way by a friendly wind and I was able to see that the eleventh turbine now had all its blades in place sooner than I expected.

The big crane had moved on to a new tower and the parts for yet another tower were lying ready on the ground.

Work goes on at the windfarm but I never see them actually doing anything. I am beginning to get a complex about this and wonder if they stop work when they see me coming. You would think that by the law of averages that I should have seen a blade or a tower section being hoisted into place on at least one occasion when I have been passing.

The tunnel of trees offered me some shelter from the crosswind on my way back…

…and I stopped to note some fungus on a fallen tree beside the road…

…but occasional spells of drizzle and the threat of more serious rain kept me going and I only stopped once more when I noticed that the larch trees beside the Wauchope are beginning to change colour.

I hope that we get good colour from the larches as they had a golden tinge to the end of autumn in a good year.

I checked with Sandy later and found that he had done the same ride as me on his electric bike. He had started a bit earlier than me and had got quite wet from a heavy shower on his way round. I had been lucky.

I got home too late to see the end of the Giro stage live but thanks to technology, Mrs Tootlepedal was able to replay that final 25 kilometres for me and I enjoyed the sprint finish.

In between a cup of tea and a shower, I saw a robin under the feeder…

…and before the evening sibling zoom meeting, I went for a last look round the garden where I saw that Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy making a ‘bug hotel’ out of old sunflower stalks…

…and that there were late flowers on the rosemary and a single ripe raspberry on the autumn fruiting canes.

The raspberry wasn’t there for long.

In spite of the rapidly rising number of covid cases in all the areas where our family lives, thanks to Zoom my sister Mary was able to play us pictures from Trafalgar Square in the heart of London showing it to be almost deserted today.

There were so many flying chaffinches about in the few minutes that I was watching them that there are two flying birds of the day today. Take your pick. They are two different birds, taken two minutes apart.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “One step back

  1. Sorry your back played up again,it’s a strange one for sure…has the bike ride freed it up a little?
    An well caught shot of the acrobatic coal tit.
    You can’t get much closer to the robin,great shot.
    I’d been hoping for a bike ride today,but I’m frightened of aggravating my pesky cyst so just did 6mls on the turbo trainer where I know I can stop if things start getting a bit’s not ideal but better than nothing at all.
    Your tree tunnel looks a great road to cycle along.

    1. I am sorry about your lack of road cycling. The trainer is no substitute even if ot does keep the legs turning.

      My back keeps coming and going which is annoying. It feels better one moment and then gives me a great twinge the next. It is generally improving very slowly rather than getting worse though.

  2. Too bad about the back. I’ve been in the position you describe. Getting on your feet again can be difficult.
    It seems too early for larches but I’ll still be happy to see them.
    The views were pretty and the robin was cute. It looks like it was ready to peck at the lens.

  3. The second flying bird gets my vote, I like the curl of its wings. Such a lot of beautiful photographs today despite your back, do hope it improves soon and that you solve the mystery of the wind farm.

  4. That’s what we need more of “tree tunnels” ! Not more wind farms! The RSPB reports they are doing irreparable harm to bird populations. I am all for green energy but not at that cost, nor, for that matter the loss of swathes of our scenic countryside, coast and seas. We all need these areas to be free from this insidious incursion for all our and nature’s wellbeing. There are still millions of tonnes of good quality coal here in south Wales alone, and we have the technology to burn it safely, with little or no impact on the environment. Does it not make sense to utilise these resources while we research less harmful methods of providing energy? Sady, big business has decided that the quick buck can be made via endless wind farms no matter the cost to nature. As they have always done. OK, I’m getting down off my soapbox. Yet another great post, save for your painful twinges. Movement, is the key, keeping movement going is the only way to defeat these niggles. Sorry, now I’ve got my doctor’s cap on! Cheers.

    1. I would like to see the evidence about the bird loss. It may well be true but where are the piles of bodies?

      You can keep one your soap box as much as you like as far as I am concerned. It does me good to hear different points of view.

      I am keeping my back moving as far as I can so your advice is good.

      1. I am given to understand that birds fly looking down not forward, so they don’t see the turbine blades. This is particularly true for large migrating birds. Solar panel radiation I.e., caused by reflection of the sun’s rays and magnified heat kills birds flying over the vast areas covered by these solar panels in north Africa and the Middle East.

      2. I would expect to see numerous migrating geese fatalities here then as we have a lot of migrating geese and quite a few turbines. I have never seen a report or a picture of one so I am not in a position to agree or disagree about this.

  5. The angled lighting at this time of year adds a beautiful accent to photos, especially flowers and birds. The road with the tunnels of trees is very beautiful too. I am partial to such areas.

    I like Mrs. Tootlepedal’s bughuose. Is it for mason bees?

  6. The bugs will certainly like the bug house- great idea using stalks. All the piles of stones, logs, debris etc I leave around the garden will now be bug homes ( actually I’m just a messy gardener!) Love the photos of the tree tunnel and the robin and the comment about the acrobatic tit!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear your back is acting up again. I’ll have to jump ahead hoping it has recovered. It’s also alarming to hear that Covid is spreading once again. You can take whatever comfort you like knowing that it can’t be nearly as bad as our circumstances. Less than two weeks to go for our election. I’m hoping for CHANGE!!!!

      1. Good to hear about the back!!!

        It’s so unpleasant to have back pain, but it’s good that you soldier on through. I’m afraid our Covid situation is being allowed to get out of hand again. We haven’t felt much put out about it since it turns out we rather like the solitude. Our biggest challenge is the infrequent outings to town for supplies. The farm follows all the sensible protocols, so they don’t worry me, but to mingle with some folks who have been led to believe they can catch the virus by wearing a mask… Well, that can be a situation fraught with danger.

        I seem to have fallen behind again with visits. It helped to know the back is improved. I hope that things go well here these next two weeks.

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