Posts Tagged ‘Oak wood’

Today’s guest picture is another of my brother’s Derby insects which I found when I looked again.  This is a water boatman and he thinks that it may have capsized.


The temperature was a little higher than yesterday but thanks to an increasingly brisk wind, it actually felt colder and more inhospitable outside today.

Mrs Tootlepedal has used some packing wool as a mulch in the garden and a small flock of jackdaws appeared after breakfast and made away with as much of it as they could carry.


I read the papers, drank coffee and did the crossword while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do useful things around the town and then I went out too.

The river was dealing with the overnight heavy rain as I crossed the suspension bridge…


…on my way to the health centre for the second day running.  This time they were kindly topping up my system with some vitamins to fill the hole left by taking the blood out yesterday.

When I got home, I had a wander round the garden and got quite excited by potential on every side.


A couple of warm days would work wonders but even with our present dull weather, new things are poking their heads up every day now.

There were the usual suspects at the bird feeder but I was pleased to see a couple of greenfinches today…


…and a pigeon took the scenic route through the flowers around the feeder.


The green machine in the background is the cat deterrent which sometimes seems to work.

After lunch, the forecast said it might hail and then there would be light rain, but a check with the human eye saw no rain, so I went out in the car to take a little walk in the woods outside the town.

Of course it started to rain almost as soon as I left the house, but as the rain was very light by the time that I had driven to my starting point and I was going to walk in the woods, I decided to ignore it and walk anyway.

It was gloomy when I started out and I had to use my flash to pick out the moss sprouting on top of a tree stump…


…but I was rewarded for my initiative as the rain stopped and although it was still rather grey as I walked up through the birch wood…


…by the time that I had gone through the wood and leapt* across this busy stream…


…things had brightened up a lot and there was even a hint of blue sky about.

I walked along a track beside a field, looking at mossy branches, gorse and willow….


….until the track turned into a small river and then, as I didn’t have boots on, I turned round and headed back down hill.

I came to a parting of the ways…


…and took the left hand path and went back down the hill through the oak wood…


…crossing the stream again when I came to the old railway track.


I noticed as I went down the final slope that there were very different mosses within a yard of each other on opposites sides of the path.


And it wouldn’t have taken me long to find other mosses not far away.

When I got to the old railway track, I walked along it.  When I had walked along this track with Mrs Tootlepedal at the very end of last year, it had been blocked by fallen trees so I wasn’t expecting to go far.  However, some good person had been along and tidied everything up neatly…

railway track to Broomholm

…so I was able to walk right along to where the track meets the road.

Just before I got to the road, I passed this very handsome scarlet elf cap, probably the largest one that I have seen.


I walked down the road back to the car and this gave me the pleasure of passing the finest moss wall in the civilised world.


There was a huge selection of mosses to choose from…


…but the wall also plays host to many lichens and a fine crop of polypody ferns.


I joined Mike Tinker and Mrs Tootlepedal for a cup of tea and a biscuit when I got home and then I made a gentle curry for our evening meal and watched our politicians reach the end of the road when it comes to trying to put a square peg into a round hole.  It would be richly comical if it wasn’t so important and annoying. I imagine some time will now be spent trying to fit an oversized round peg into a tiny square hole.

The wind and rain are very audible outside our windows as I write this but we are hoping to escape the worst of Storm Gareth.  Time will tell.  Mrs Tootlepedal is supposed to be going to London tomorrow.  It may be an eventful journey.

Because the windy and gloomy weather made taking pictures of daffodils in the garden rather tricky, I persuaded one of them to come indoors to pose for me  in peace and quiet.


A chaffinch battling into the wind is the flying bird of the day.


*Note: I didn’t really leap the stream.  I found a very narrow bit and tottered over it using my walking poles.  I am not mad.

**Extra note:  If anyone has a guest picture or two, I would be very grateful to receive them.


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Today’s guest picture come from my younger son and has a rather specialist appeal to those who can appreciate the wistful sense of humour of the tradesmen of who superimposed the ‘for sale’ sign on top of the word ‘better’ on the now closed ‘better together’ shopfront.  The scratched out sticker on the lamp-post in the foreground used to say ‘Yes’.

better togetherWe had another in our run of dry days but it was chilly enough in the morning for Dropscone to remark that he wished that he had put on a second layer before bicycling round with some scones to go with the morning coffee.  Sandy joined us, having been up to fill the Moorland bird feeders (and been bitten by midges).

We had all been busy before coffee, as I had put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and Dropscone had been out on his bike for the first time for some weeks.

It warmed up a bit as the day went on but I wasn’t tempted out on the bike as I thought that the message from my legs yesterday was clear enough to warrant a day of rest.  My only morning exercise was a little compost sieving and a wander round the garden. It wasn’t sunny but the light was rather sympathetic to the plants and I took far too many pictures which accounts for the composites below.

poppy, geranium and hosta

Poppy, geranium and hosta


Three Astrantia still giving value


Today’s poppy parade

Some flowers earned a solo appearance.


There are a lot of insects about and it was quite hard to find a flower without one on.

I took a portrait of one bug eyed monster and the gorgeous pansy it was sitting on.

insect and pansy

poppy and poppy

I couldn’t resist a second visit to poppy and poppy.

crocosmia and poppies

The yellow crocosmia and colourful poppies finally arrived together when Mrs Tootlepedal wasn’t there to see them.

The feeders were as busy as usual but I have confined myself to a single shot of this very neat great tit.

great titI had a leisurely lunch, dallied over the crossword and then got organised to go out for a walk with Sandy.  While I was waiting for him to arrive, I looked at all the insects on the sedum by the feeder again.  It was fairly humming with life but interestingly, the other sedum, in a border behind the middle lawn, was attracting no customers at all.

sedumWhen Sandy came, we drove down to Broomholm, where we parked beside the river and then we walked up through the woods.  There were signs of autumn to be seen.


Both large….

bracken and fungus

…and small

Our walk took us through oak woods…..

Oak wood…and birch woods….

birch wood Jenny Noble's…and Sandy suggested trying a little black and white work so I did.

Black and white wood

Oak in the middle of birch.

We walked up to the Round House and then back down to the road beside the river.  We visited the path that gives what I think is the best view of Skippers Bridge when the water is low and calm.

Skippers BridgeThe view was delightful whichever way you looked.

eskI had hoped for a feast of fungi on our way round but they were few and far between.

fungiAlthough we hadn’t seen anything of startling interest, the woods and the river were so easy on the eye and so peaceful that we both agreed that it had been a top quality short stroll.

We got home in time for me to spot a robin in the plum tree….


….chase off two cats….and catch up on a little business (among the items was writing to my MP to defend the interests of the BBC) and cook and eat my tea before it was time to meet up with Sandy again and go off to the Archive Centre.  The internet connection teased us for a while but finally settled down and let me put another week of the index in while Sandy sorted through some possible pictures for our revolving window display.  (It doesn’t literally revolve but is refreshed from time to time.) After a refreshment at the Eskdale, we retired to rest.

The flying bird of the day is a determined chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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