Head down

Today’s picture is another in the series from my sister Mary’s wanderings in and around London.  Here she is in sight of St Paul’s Cathedral.

London Parks and buildings Oct 2011 003

It was wet once again in the morning but Dropscone was in no state to pedal as he was visiting a physiotherapist in the afternoon so we settled on coffee.  Arthur came round too and we all enjoyed Dropscone’s drop scones while we sipped on some Monsoon Malabar coffee.  Arthur, who is a keen fisherman,  told us that he had caught two good salmon in recent days but had put them both back in again.  I have never really twigged the delights of standing up to your waist in cold water while throwing fish back in the river but Arthur assures me that it is great sport.  This gentle activity somehow filled the whole morning.  It is grand being old.

Before they came, I spent some time lurking about watching a blue tit.

blue tit standing

I was hoping to get a shot of it flying but they really do move quickly and this was the best result I could get.

blue tit flying

Quite a bit more practice or luck needed I think. Sparrows fly a lot slower.

sparrow flying
Approaching the feeder with a spare peg available.
sparrow homing in
But no, knocking another sparrow off its peg is much more fun.

We tend to think of birds as being always being very nimble and it is true that they can fly through the gaps of the fat ball fortress without blinking but here was a sparrow that put its foot through the mesh on the floor of the fortress and had to do a good deal of flapping to regain its composure.

sparrow flapping

After the old gentlemen had left, I had time for a photo or two.

I saw a couple of siskins back at the feeder while were drinking coffee but didn’t have a chance to snap them.  Another fresh visitor was this starling.

starling considering
It was eyeing up its chances of getting at a fat ball but it couldn't get in.

There was a blackbird on a yew near the feeder. It was looking for something.

blackbird looking

blackbird with berry
Got it.

The rain had stopped by now but the garden was wet.

nasturtium leaf


yellow rose

As you can see, the flowers have not quite given up yet.  Although it has been very wet, it hasn’t been cold and we are still waiting for our first frost.  In spite of that, we badly need a spell of drying weather as everything is getting soggier and soggier by the day.  The people of Langholm, including Mrs Tootlepedal, are definitely fed up with the weather.

Having said that, it brightened up nicely after lunch and I got the speedy bike out and set off up the road. Two minutes later, I was back home again as the clip holding my back mudguard on had sheared so I had to take it off before setting out again.

Once more, I had to grind up Callister into a strong wind and even on the speedy bike, I could only manage 12 mph for the first seven and a bit miles.  I turned off at Falford, heading for Gair and Chapelknowe and things got better.  When I hit the Glenzier road, things got better still and I was once again wafted home on a favouring gale.  I just managed to squeeze the average up to 15 mph for the 26 mile trip.  I had taken my camera with me, hoping to take advantage of the clearer visibility but the necessity of keeping my head down into the wind on the way out and keeping it down as I pedalled as hard as I could on the way back, meant that I saw nothing worth stopping for.

My flute pupil, Luke, came in the evening and he was concentrating very hard and did really well at reading the music accurately.  This is half the battle.  His grandfather has bought him some better music books than the school gave him and I am confident of good progress now.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a magnificent dish of baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our tea.  It was so sustaining that after a quick vote, we postponed the apple crumble pudding until tomorrow. It gave me strength to put another big week of the E&L into the database afterwards.

Of all the flowers in the garden, the clematis by the bird feeder seems to be the most nonchalant in the wet weather.  It just shrugs it off.

clematis Jackmanii
clematis Jackmanii

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

3 thoughts on “Head down

  1. I liked the flowers with the drops of rain on them. Glad you still have some colour in the garden.
    Your tea dish sounds delicious – wish I had been there!

  2. Lovely photos at the end of the photo of the nasturtium, the glad (which at first glance I thought was a sweet pea!) and the rose. We had a little bit of rain but could do with some of yours.

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