A dig, a jab and a doddle

Today’s guest picture is a good example of swanning about. My brother Andrew took the picture of the River Soar while visiting his son Nick who lives beside the river.

We had a warmish, dry day here without the benefit of much sunshine, so it was quite annoying to hear the weather people on the radio going on and on about the lovely weather and high temperatures elsewhere in the country (as enjoyed by my brother from the looks of his photograph).

I had a quick look round the garden after breakfast, and found that a couple a warmer nights have got tulips to open early in the day, brought out all the plum blossom, and encouraged a carder bee to visit the pulmonaria.

I would have been happier if the bee was visiting the plum blossom.

In spite of the lack of sunshine, there was no need for many layers or big coats when we went up to join the tree planting volunteers on the moor. While others planted trees . . .

. . . Mrs Tootlepedal and I concentrated on planting some of the dog roses that are currently waiting in our vegetable patch in the garden. It is hard work, and we only managed to finish one of the twelve bunches of bare rooted plants.

On our way back to the car, we checked to see how the trees already planted in tubes were doing . . .

. . . and admired the hundreds of trees and bushes already planted by the volunteers. The trees in the tubes seemed to be very healthy.

When we got home, we had another look round the garden.

. . . and then we went in for lunch.

After lunch, we drove down to Canonbie where Mrs Tootlepedal had an appointment to get her second booster vaccination. I hadn’t received an invitation myself, but I went down just in case they could fit me in and save an extra journey. The vaccination clinic in the village hall was extremely efficient, and they had no trouble in slotting me into the schedule. It turned out that I will shortly be getting a letter for an appointment in two weeks time, but they have reassigned that space to someone else now.

We were asked to take a little time before driving home, so we walked down to river to admire the bridge and the wild flowers.

The bridge has not been widened, and the road across it can only take traffic in one direction at a time. As you can see though, they have added substantial provision for pedestrians.

There was tine for another walk round the garden before we went in to sit down and recover from the vaccinations.

I filled the bird feeder and it was soon attracting customers again.

We have other regular birds in the garden . . .

. . . some of which are less destructive than others.

After an hour of peace and quiet and a cup of tea with some figgy rolls, I felt strong enough to go back out into the garden to clear up some of the moss on the lawn that had been pecked up by those jackdaws. I got out my macro lens and went on a bee hunt too, as I could hear buzzing.

A couple of big bumble bees had discovered the plum blossom. Another bee was ignoring my advice and preferred the winter honeysuckle.

While I was out with my macro lens, I peered about at more flowers.

The day was warm and pleasant after our evening meal, so I thought that it would be a good moment to give my new bike a test run. Mrs Tootlepedal was still feeling the results of her vaccination, and I set off up the Wauchope road by myself to go up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back, a six mile outing.

The bike passed the test with flying colours. It makes it a comparative pleasure to cycle up a gentle hill and into the wind, but as you have to keep pedalling to get any help from the motor, it doesn’t make it a waste of time, and it still feels exactly like bicycling. Coming back down the gentle hill, with a light wind behind me, I hardly needed to use the motor at all. I wonder how I will feel when I get back on my ordinary road bike for tomorrow’s ride.

I didn’t have a lot of time to watch the birds today so the flying siskin of the day is a bit of a cheat.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A dig, a jab and a doddle

  1. Glad you managed to get your booster jab with no side effects either.
    I’ve been contemplating getting an ebike .
    The only thing stopping me is that it feels a little bit like cheating and once I use it my “normal” bike will become redundant. I’ve nothing against ebikes at all,I’m just not sure it’s for me just yet.
    Always good to see new trees being planted,the more the better.well done to all the volunteers
    I’m considering joining the Lakes horticultural society as a volunteer at their garden Holehird which isn’t far from Ings,Kendal.
    I think I’ll enjoy it.

    1. You should volunteer in my view. Nature needs every helping hand that it can get. If you get a pedal assist bike you will soon find that it isn’t cheating as you can pedal just as hard as you want. I was out on my road bike today and found that the only difference is that I went up hills more slowly!

    1. Not really as the area has been heavily managed for sheep and grouse for hundreds of years so it is not clear how it would have been before. It is part of a plan to make it as diverse as it can be naturally using native species. The whole plan hopes to make the reserve a mosaic of different habitats and climate change friendly.

  2. I enjoyed the views of the inside of the tubes – the young trees look quite cosy!

    It’s good that you were able to get your booster without fuss – MB is still dithering about who will be able to get the second booster, and when. Mind you, the person-who-passeth-as-our-premier has said that we are ‘on our own now’ as data is no longer published and vaccination centres are closing, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s no specific direction at the moment. (insert big sigh here)

    1. And you can hear a sympathetic sigh here. The fact that they are not collecting proper data is worrying as far as spotting new variants is concerned.

      1. I think they are still collecting data, but they are not releasing it to the public or the media – which is indeed a worry!

      2. Congrats on the booster! Our county has returned to high risk, an interesting development since many folks stopped wearing masks in shops as they were no longer required. Sigh. Good to be boosted!

  3. Sounds like a good day – I really must catch up. I am due for my second booster next month. After the damage they did with last week’s blood test I am a bit anti-needle at the moment.

  4. Birds, bees, flowers and trees made a fine selection of photos. I am glad the bike passed the first test with flying colors. I am sorry to hear Mrs. Tootlepedal was a bit under the weather from the shot, and hope she feels better soon.

    We are waiting to hear more about the second booster shot (shot number 4) over here.

  5. Well done with the dog rose planting. Good that you and Mrs Tootlepedal both got your boosters. Hope side effects are minimal.

  6. I must admit getting back on a “proper bike” after using an e-bike sounds daunting. It was, and still is, harder work than I remember following my long stint not pedalling after twisting my knee and having a full replacement. I still have to sort out my eccentric pedal on my single speed SwytchBike conversion. Well correct length socket head screws. Cheers.

      1. Also a different version of eccentric pedal is now in the mix. More permanent. Cheers.

  7. Love the photo around the bird feeder with so much action going on. The macro lens really captures the unusual in the flowers and the delicate wings of the bees and their ‘toes’! Our jabs are next week! The cycle ride sounded very enjoyable – you’ll have to change your name though to Mr Tottlepedelec!

    1. I am not abandoning my non electric bike just yet! The macro lens really needs a tripod to get the best out of it, If we get some good summer days, I might make a proper effort.

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