Red in tooth and claw (or head and wing)

Today’s picture is another of my sister Mary’s from her morning walks. It is from Swan Lake on Ice.

The day started very well with no frozen pipes so the cutting of the boiler pipe seems to have done the trick. The only problem now is to remember to empty the basin. It was nearly up to the top in one day. It will be better when the boiler is not working so hard. Still, this let me get down to cooking some ginger biscuits for the afternoon meeting of the Heritage Trail group.

Ginger biscuits are tricky. You make the mixture, you put it in the oven, you take a look after a few minutes and they are rising nicely and looking great, you congratulate yourself on a first rate job…..and then ten minutes later, you take out a set of rather thin, very crisp, flat things. They taste good but they are not what you had in mind. I told the meeting that they were high class ginger thins. They ate them all the same which was gratifying.  I think I’ll try cooking them on a lower heat next time.


My new camera takes movies as well as stills and i have posted a very short clip on YouTube here

It gives a very good idea of just how busy the Wauchope Cottage goldfinch scene is at the moment. As I have said before,  if you think they are quick, you should see the coal tits at work.

After the ginger thins had been stowed away, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to the Co-op to do a big shop for the weekend. Oddly enough, quite a few other people had had the same idea so it was a good time for sharp elbows. After lunch Mrs Tootlepedal went off to catch the bus to do some shoipping in Carlisle while I hosted the Heritage meeting. It passed off well enough but it did remind me of a deadline for the DVD I am doing. I shall have to buckle down. John, one of the members of the group, told me that there were redwings on an enormous cotoneaster bush near the Kilngreen so as soon as the meeting finished, I toddled off with my camera to see if they were still there. They were still there,  although the light had got a bit too dim for a really good picture.

Why are they callled redwings?

They are members of the thrush family.

Ah, that's why they are called redwings

While I was at the Kilngreen, I took this shot of one of  the Scots pines on the Castleholm in the last of the sunlight.

scots pine

When I got back, I settled down to do a bit of the DVD work, editing the recordings Ian Ritchie and I had made yesterday. It’s a fiddly and frustrating business because you always feel you could certainly be doing it better if you had better software and more knowledge. In the end, you just have to do your best, I suppose.

Mrs Tootlepedal was late back from Carlisle and I was just getting worried when she appeared. She had been caught up in a wrong price ticket scenario on the goods she was purchasing which required immense amounts of to-ing and fro-ing and computer kicking until the shop and she could agree on the correct price. She had by this time missed the bus so she mooched about looking at stuff. Then with time for the next bus drawing near, she found just the thing she wanted but when she got to the till, the customer in front of her was having a till nightmare so she had to put it back and catch the bus without it.

When she did get home, she set about making a duvet cover for the duvet she had just purchased so I made a baked spinach, egg and cheeses sauce meal for us both. Then she set off to see It’s a Wonderful Life at the Buccleuch centre cinema. All in all, she has had a busy day. I (rather grumpily) turned down the opportunity to go with her and put in a week of the E&L database instead. The film has lost a bit of its charm for me for some reason or other.

It has been a bit of a red day all round on the bird front as the redpoll came back to the feeder.

A redpoll
A goldfinch
goldfinch and redpoll
Both together
goldfinch and redpoll
Having a word with a pushy goldfinch

I had the camera on a tripod to try to get sharper picture but it is a mixed blessing. It means that I can;t get so close to the window which puts the birds further away and makes the glass of the windowpane more of an interruption than if you are right up against it. However, it did let me get quite a sharp shot of a blue tit which I often can’t manage.

blue tit

The colour is a bit funny but otherwise, it’s not too bad.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

2 thoughts on “Red in tooth and claw (or head and wing)

  1. Well, you seem to be very organised. I loved the little video, what a clever camera and camera operator. You’ll be shooting movies next.

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