In the frame

Today’s picture shows a bridge in Christchurch,  NZ, a much battered city.  It came to me from Maisie’s mother by way of Maisie’s grandparent.  I like the comment on the bottom of the picture.

Christchurch Bridge

It was so wet and windy today that there was no thought of cycling.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work and I practised mounting photos with a different colour of mount card until Dropscone, Arthur and Bruce joined me for a cup of coffee.    We were snug and comfortable in the kitchen, while outside conditions were not so easy for the birds.

Chaffinch in plum tree
This chaffinch couldn’t bear to look at us having fun indoors.

Mind you, with a little help from PhotoPlus, I can make the weather look a lot better.

Taken a minute later.   If it only worked in real life too!

After the coffee drinkers left, there was not much to do on the photo front except to see how high I could catch a raindrop bouncing off the car roof.

car roof

Quite high.

I did try to get some pictures that showed the day as it was.

a coal tit in the gloom
A coal tit in the gloom
A chaffinch facing the elements
A chaffinch facing the elements
Another thinking sad thoughts about the rain

Mrs Tootlepedal returned for lunch and afterwards we put the newly framed pictures up on the kitchen wall.

Kitchen gallery
The new mounts definitely chime in with the wall colour better.

The plan is to have a constantly changing set of photos in the frames and mounts as time goes by.

With the rain and wind, it wasn’t a busy day at the feeders.  On top of that I had caught a couple of glimpses of flashing wings whipping across the feeder and past the kitchen window during the morning.  I took these to be a sparrowhawk keeping birds well out of my photographic range.  While I was eating my lunch, there was a third flicker of light and a feather floated down outside the window.

“Another visit from the sparrowhawk,” I said to Mrs Tootlepedal.

“Yes,” she replied, “and it’s sitting on the hedge.”

I leapt to my feet with unaccustomed alacrity, snatched up the camera, which was for once in exactly the right place, and took four quick shots before it flew of, its prey in its claw.

Here is one of the pictures.


I don’t suppose that I will get many more chances like that.   I have sent a copy of one of the shots to our local paper and another to a national paper that shows reader’s pictures as well.  I will have to wait and see what they make of it.

Meanwhile, I tiddled about in PhotoPlus to see what I could do.  I was limited by the settings I had had on the camera when I picked it up.  That and the pouring rain were not conducive to sharp pictures but I quite like the painterly quality I got with this.

sparrowhawk head

Recovering from the excitement, I put another week of the newspaper index into the database and the gloomy weather and shorter days that are now upon us mean that doing this is less of a grind than it is doing it during brighter times when I might be out and about having fun.

I did step out of the house in a lull in the rain to see if the rivers had risen enough to make a good picture but they hadn’t.  As I trudged home, I caught the eye of our neighbour’s dog.   I know how he was feeling about life.


I saw when I got in that a clematis was still in flower outside the dining room window.  I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed it before but it is hanging down behind a hedge.

I’ll try to get a better shot of it tomorrow when it isn’t raining.

In the evening, I went with Jean and Sandy to the Archive centre where we worked away as usual and then repaired with them to the Douglas for a ginger beer.  Sandy came in for a hot chocolate on his way home and had the (compulsory) opportunity to see the mounted photos.  He felt that the purchase of the mount cutter was going prove to be worthwhile.

No final bird picture today as I thought that I couldn’t top the sparrowhawk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “In the frame

  1. Wow! Why wouldn’t you cross it! That bridge looks epic! 😛 Are you supposed to be able to cross it though? It looks kind of dangerous, haha! By the way, I love the pictures of the birds 🙂 I’m jealous of the fact that you can get that close to them (or have a good enough camera to get those images) anyway… Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Fantastic Sparrowhawk. I also liked the Christchurch bridge, which in more peaceful times, I had crossed.

  3. Love the hawk pics. They are magestic looking creatures!

    And you’re doing a fine job with your cutter. When I tried it a while back, it was too hard to get the corners. What does your cutter look like? Mine was totally hand held.

    1. It’s a very ingenious system and like my camera it’s pretty foolproof. It’s called the Longridge Duo system and it has a rigid base and a bar for the cutter to run along. It was quite expensive but as Sandy and I shared the cost, we thought it wasn’t too bad. It works really well.

  4. Absolutely amazing photos of the Sparrowhawk Mr Hutton, would like to have seen how quickly you jumped off your chair to get it!!!

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