Danza pluviale

Today’s picture shows my sister-in-law, Catherine emerging from a tunnel on the Manifold and Hamps river cycleway in Staffordshire.   She was on a cycle outing with my energetic brother Andrew.

Manifold and Hamps Rivers Cycleway

Round here, the only person biking in the early morning was Dropscone who was once again cycling twenty miles to bring scones to our morning coffee session.  We were joined by Sandy and we all agreed that the scones were well worth waiting for.

After they had gone, I spent a little time admiring the birds in the light rain which had started.  I was spoiled for pictures of birds in flight today for some reason.  There were both green and gold varieties about.

flying greenfinch

flying goldfinch

A lone sparrow in the midst of the greenfinches.
A goldfinch fails with an attempt to boot off a greenfinch.
goldfinch and greenfinches
Wings at every angle.  I like the gymnastic greenfinch doing stretches at the bottom right.

On the fat balls, starlings were competing for space.

starlings scrapping

The loser went off to sulk and look sad.


All these pictures were taken in the space of about five minutes which goes to show how many pictures I could post if I didn’t have other things to do besides staring out of the window.  I did go out into the garden when it stopped raining.  The macro facility on the sandycam is very tempting.

autumn leaf
I succumbed to temptation.  This is a leaf.
water droplet
The garden is full of plants laden with water droplets.

Mrs Tootlepedal was in the mood for cycling and planned to go off on a very hilly route.  I was feeling a bit tired and achy and after some discussion we decided that a solo ride into hill country on a showery day might not be the best plan so she postponed the trip to another day when I could go with her and we settled on a sedate affair more suited to my slightly  wonky condition.

This involved a familiar circle round the Kerr and Canonbie.  The weather was OK when we started but a light shower of rain persuaded me to stop and put on my rain jacket.  Within a mile or so, needless to say, the rain had stopped and so did I and off came the rain jacket.  Before I had even got my foot back into the toe clips, the rain started and after a few hundred yards, I stopped and put the rain jacket on again.  Within minutes, the rain had stopped but I had had enough and just kept the jacket on for the rest of the ride.  At least it stopped it raining again.

When we got to Canonbie, I took a picture looking over the village towards my old school which can just be seen in the middle of the picture next to the road up the hill.


This is another view looking across the well wooded valley of the Esk.


The journey was an enjoyable 16 miles and in the end, we got round dry enough.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s bike computer clocked up the 6000 mile total not far from the end of the ride.  For someone who does a lot more gardening that cycling, this is a significant distance.

After a rest and a chance to do the crossword, I had another quick look at the birds…

The greenfinches were as active as they had been five hours earlier.

Two sparrows had replaced the starlings on the fat balls.

Two sparrows

And because the chaffinches hadn’t had much of a look in at the feeders and had been reduced to picking up scraps underneath, I took a picture of one in the elder bush.

Alone and palely loitering. (For Keats fans: The sedge had withered though there were birds singing.)

I had a little macro shot outside as a colourful contrast to the chaffinch.

A rather tattered hawkweed.

In the evening, Susan came to pick me up and we went to Carlisle for another grand evening of recorder playing.  Roy, our librarian has such a big stock of consort music that even after many years of playing, he is able to find some pieces among the familiar ones that we have never played before so we never get bored.

Today’s flying bird wasn’t the sharpest picture of the day by a long chalk but it did have the most elegant attitude.

flying greenfinch












Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

4 thoughts on “Danza pluviale

  1. I didn’t know that quotation came from Keats, thank you for the information and the photograph.

  2. Elegance trumps sharpness every time – OK, except when you’re trying to put the little thingy back in the doohickey that makes the whatchamacallit work.

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