A sad day

Today’s picture, sent to me by Gavin, shows Cat Barlow ringing a woodpecker at her feeder station.  It pecked her.  You can see more pictures of the ringing on Gavin’s blog.

woodpecker ringing

There was a sad start to the day when Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the funeral in Carlisle of the husband of one of our recorder group.  By a cruel stroke of fate, he had just retired from a very stressful job and was looking forward to a life of playing music when he became very ill and died shortly afterwards.  It was obvious from the turnout at the funeral and the delightful and moving encomium delivered by his son, that he was a genuinely good man and his loss will be keenly felt.  He was a lute player and an early music consort played some of the music he loved as we were waiting for the service to begin.   Their programme included, not surprisingly, Flow My Tears by John Dowland.

By the time we got home, the day had taken on a sombre hue as well and I spent the afternoon putting a week of the E & L into the database and catching up on Archive Group business.

On a brighter note, the greaseproof paper on the shiny undertray of the new feeder has done the trick and the goldfinches were back today.

return of goldfinches

The handy hook underneath was providing opportunities for blue tits as well.

goldfinches and blue tits

I walked round the garden to see if the yellow rose had come out but it is not there yet.

yellow rose
Trying hard

As I crossed the pond on my way to the front lawn, I was surprised to see a beady eye watching me.

beady eye

It turned out to be the remains of a water lily floating just beneath the surface.

water lily

Mrs Tootlepedal has embarked on a regime of brisk walks now the autumn has come and while she was out combining exercise and shopping in the rain, I had a look at the feeder outside the kitchen window.

robin
The robin is a regular attender below the seed feeder

I am hoping to get a suitable picture for our Christmas cards between now and December.  The sparrows were continuing their customary competition for space.

sparrows
The contest goes now this way...
more sparrows
...and now that way.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her walk, she continued with the job of cleaning up the bank of the dam behind the house. This is very heavy work requiring large quantities of muddy slime to be shifted.  I would leave it but she values a tidy bank.

Dam bank
Still some work to do.

You may think that I ought to be helping her but it is a job guaranteed to wreck a fragile back and she would be a lot sorrier to have to look after me lying about and groaning than she is to dig the bank unassisted.

The resident duck was not scared off by her efforts.   It is getting fed by so many people that it was floating in a sea of soggy bread when I saw it.  It moved off to get its photograph taken in more salubrious surroundings.  It’s probably too fat to fly far away now.

resident duck

The nasturtium by the front gate winked at me as I passed.

nasturtium

In the evening, we went to the Buccleuch Centre to see a production of Ruddigore by Opera della Luna.  They are a professional touring group and they were fantastic.  They only used seven performers with a four piece orchestra but they filled the stage with colour, movement and invention.  The cast sang and acted very well and anyone who thinks that Gilbert and Sullivan operas are not worth producing any more, would have been confounded by the delight of the audience.  It was another grand night out and only a short walking distance from home.

All in all, it was day of contrasting emotions.

I leave you with a gymnastic great tit.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

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