Today’s picture is another from my sister Mary’s recent trip to Wales.
It was another pretty good day today with just a spot of rain. Our B and B visitors told us that they had driven through some terrible rain showers to get here so for once we can’t complain about getting more rain than everyone else.
It was another day of rest for me today in spite of it being very passable cycling weather. I am trying to cut down my already diminished cycling mileage until my joints stop aching. The trouble is that stopping cycling doesn’t stop them aching and it is hard to tell whether not cycling is making them seize up or having done too much cycling in the first place is the root of the problem. Still, I have got another day off the bike tomorrow so I’ll see how I feel after that.
All this down time is giving me plenty of opportunities to use the new lens and I went up to the town to get a new battery for the remote and it works well now. I also took the opportunity to collect a photograph that I have had properly mounted by an artist in the town who does such things. This is the first photograph I have ever had mounted and it looks very smart.
I used the remote control to take this picture of a greenfinch being shadowed by a siskin.
It certainly lets you take strong images but because it is a long lens, it lets less light in and that forces me to use a wider aperture than I would like which in turn makes it harder to get good field of focus unless the light is very good. It is easy to get shots where the beak of a bird is in focus but the tail is a blur. I’ll keep working at it.
Tulips with the old lens are an easier undertaking. All these had drops of the overnight rain on them.
I was pleased to see the return of a redpoll. This one was very unconcerned by a set of squabbling siskins beside it.
I ventured out of the house to look down the dam where the potentillas are promising another good show of flowers to go with the aubretia.
Back in the garden, a siskin on the plum tree caught my eye.
And the blackbird was busy collecting worms and flying to its nest.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day with one set of guests going and another coming so she cheered herself up with a visit to the council dump in between with a good carful of rubbish. She enjoys nothing more.
When she came back, I planted half a dozen potatoes in two potato sacks. This is the first time that we have tried growing potatoes in containers and it will be interesting to see if they can do well and have no slugs in them. Mrs Tootlepedal is planting many more of the same type in a normal bed so we will have a good comparison at digging up time.
Then I went for a short walk but saw very little owing to enthusiastic children having fun throwing stones into the river and shouting with glee and enthusiastic dog owners throwing tennis balls for their dogs to chase and shouting for them to come back again.
I did see a male goosander near the town bridge but by the time I had got the camera out, it had spotted food.
Near the end of my walk I saw the female on top of the water.
In the early evening, I was visited by Sandy, who came to offer me some sound advice on pictures for our forthcoming exhibition. It is great to know someone who is prepared to be so helpful. I went to the front door with him as he left and then had to rush off unceremoniously to get the camera and nip upstairs to get photographs of a hardened criminal at work.
It gently tested the water.
Then it stepped in to the pond and stood for sometime looking for prey without success…
Finally it made up its mind and set off briskly for the bridge again.
At this point, Mrs Tootlepedal’s sympathy for the possible froggy victim overcame my enthusiasm for dramatic pictures of hunter and hunted and she went down and shooed the heron away.
Not only did I not I get a picture of the conclusion of the hunt but I didn’t even have the camera set to catch a good picture of the getaway.
In the evening I took resting to a new level by sitting and watching two hours of the latest Scandinavian crime import on the telly. This is a Swedish/Danish co-production called The Bridge and by the end of the two hours I was enjoying it thoroughly.
Today’s chaffinch is a goldfinch.