Just ducky

I have two pictures of the day today because I couldn’t choose between them. They are both so fine that I am going to give the a bigger size than usual. The first is a picture from my sister Susan’s recent trip to Switzerland.

Les Dents de Midi from Montreux
Les Dents de Midi from Montreux

..and the second is from even further afield. Joyce has sent a picture of a carpet of trilliums from a recent walk in the woods. She tells me that there are theyare  floral emblem of Ontario and are protected , so no picking!

trilliums

All this looks a bit nicer than our weather was this morning but Dropscone and I are two of Britain’s hardy sons so we wrapped up well and set off in rain and wind round our usual morning journey.

Some idea of the weather conditions can be gained from the fact that instead of chaffinches or wagtails, when we passed a field hedge near Glenzier, two ducks flew out quacking madly. However by the time we were at the top of the hill, five miles from home, the rain had stopped and the brisk wind soon dried us out so we were able to enjoy our scones and coffee without dripping on the kitchen floor.

After coffee, I took a moment to see what the birds were up to.

sparrow
A sparrow posing moodily
dunnock
A dunnock looking wistful (they always do)
siskin chaffinch
A siskin tries to keep a chaffinch off the sunflower seeds
 flying greenfinch flying siskin
A greenfinch pursued by a siskin
 flying siskin flying sparrow
The siskin is after a sparrow now
siskin landing
At last, a bit of peace and quiet

The weather was changeable all day and I took the opportunity to spend some time printing DVDs for a new issue of our heritage trail DVD. They have been very popular (possibly because until now they have been free) with people ordering two or three to send to exiles abroad.

Thanks to WordPress giving the blog a bit of publicity, we had over 1000 visitors yesterday and, at the time of writing, 943 today. This meant that I had to spend quite a bit of time reading the many kind comments that people have posted. I would like to thank everyone who took the trouble to comment and I must say that it very satisfactory to know that people enjoy the photos because I certainly enjoy taking them.

I took a few more today.

Pink azalea
New azaleas are coming into flower all the time
yet another azalea
..yet another azalea
even more azaleas
...even more azaleas

It was very windy so flower photography was not the most sensible thing to be doing but my camera is extremely helpful and lets me snap away in trying conditions.

white geranium
A white geranium (not everything in the garden is colourful)

As you can see, the sun was out and the garden smelled gorgeous after the rain. The azaleas in particular need smell-o-vision to give you the whole picture.

wallflowers
These wallflowers have taken over from the tulips in front of the house

More delicate flowers can be found elsewhere…

 aquilegia
Aquilegias droop demurely...
more aquilegia
...in a variety of colours
astrantia
An astrantia

Mrs Tootlepedal was anxious for me to show how well Fortress Pea is functioning. Her wish is my command.

fortress pea
Fortress pea - last year these were eaten down to the ground at this time
pansies
A burst of colour from some pansies (or possibly violas)

Even when the flowers are over, some continue to delight me.

pulsatilla seedhead
This is a pulsatilla seedhead

After the garden wandering, I went in to put another week of the E & L into the database. I need a spell of bad weather to keep me indoors to catch up with the backlog waiting to go in. I need one but I don’t want one.

We had a glut of milk through poor stock control so I made macaroni cheese for my tea and Mrs Tootlepedal made a baked rice pudding. My cheese sauce was rather dull but the rice pudding was first rate.

In the evening, I went to Carlisle with Susan to play recorder music with our group. All six of us were there and we played a rich selection of music from Brade and Bach to Faure and Joplin. The music was washed down with a nice cup of tea and a vigorous discussion of the folly or otherwise of one of our members in not voting for AV in the recent referendum.

I finish with another colourful corner from Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden.

another colourful corner

And  almost a last farewell to the tulips.

tulip last legs

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

12 thoughts on “Just ducky

  1. Such beautiful flower photography, the colours just glow. Do you use the macro setting for the close-ups? I’m going to classes to use my Canon T1 but I’m not getting too far. I’ve had it for almost two years and I’m still struggling with it.

    1. I struggle quite a lot too. I sometimes use the macro setting with my 18-105 lens and sometimes I just stand further away and use the 70-300 lens. Because the picture quality is so good on the camera, lots of the pictures are not real close-ups but are selections from bigger pictures done in my photo editor program.

      1. I should also thank-you for using my photo, I’m glad you found it interesting. Susan’s picture taken in Switzerland was beautiful.
        Could please ask one more question… do you use a tripod or do you have a VERY steady hand?

      2. I very rarely use a tripod. Because the camera lets me use ISOs of up to 6400, I can often use pretty fast shutter speeds, even in poorish light. The camera does have a vibration reduction mode but I don’t use it. I read somewhere that it may give you results you don’t want. I throw away lots of shots for every one I use of course. That’s the wonder of digital photography. I also make use of the ‘unsharp mask’ facility on my photo editor to crisp up some of my images. (I use PhotoPlus X3 from Serif which is a reasonably good, fairly cheap photo editor). If I used a tripod more, I probably wouldn’t have to use the editor quite so much.

  2. Wow! You have surpassed yourself with your flower pictures and glad to see that the peas are coming on nicely! Thank you for using my picture, it was a great view I thought.

  3. That siskin’s a ballsy little dude; I like the cut of his jib! The flower photography’s lovely. I reckon you should go for the creepy-crawlies next; you’ve got macro magic!

  4. Wow your garden is 3 months ahead of ours, okay more like 30 years ahead. We just moved onto our farm in rural Alberta, Canada. I love gardening and was happy to find you on Freshly Pressed. I will be checking in for inspiration and a little birding (we have siskins here as well). Unfortunately, I am starting with a blank slate – we have no trees for them to perch. So heres to gardening! The mature and the young of it!

    Thanks!

  5. A very difficult winter – lots of snow. We survived! I stopped at the garden centre and dropped a few bucks on trees… trees – oh how I love them! Can’t wait to watch my husband plant them!;-)
    =

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