A glimmer of light

Today’s picture, kindly sent to me by Keith (Tuckamoredew) from Canada, shows that they have trees amply covered in fungus there too.


We had more of the cold, windy, grey weather that has been our normal fare for some time now.  When I got up, the walnut tree was full of jackdaws adding to the gloom of the scene.


Once again, Dropscone was hardy enough to go for a morning pedal but yesterday’s chilly ride and been enough for a me so I gave it a miss today.  He added to his merit by carting a bag of scones round with him in his knapsack and we enjoyed them with a cup of coffee.  While I was waiting for the scones to arrive, a robin kept me company.

Checking the feeder from below…
…and from above.

The morning was punctuated by flurries of very lightweight snow and I was happy to spend a lot of time staring out of the window rather than doing anything useful.  The theme for today was wings.  Whenever I looked out, there seemed to be chaffinches and/or bramblings extending their wings.

If wings are not your thing, look away now because there are too many pictures of them here.

chaffinche and bramblings


chaffinch and brambling


Indiscriminate winging
Indiscriminate winging
community winging
Community winging including a greenfinch.

brambling back

The parade of wings was interrupted by the intrusion of a predatory cat, handsome but unwelcome.


It soon resumed again.

chaffinches in snow
As did the snow

feeder flying

feeder flying and conversation
There was time for a little conversation too.

I have put this large number of similar pictures in just for the record to show how desperate the birds are for seeds in the present long spell of cold weather.   The flowering currant below was fully out on the same day last year.  What a difference.

flowering currant

I had to go to the dentist for a check  but fortunately had no work to be done thanks to sound work with the toothbrush (or good luck).

After lunch, the sun made an occasional appearance among the snow flakes and we were able to to some gardening.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to get some more manure and spread it where it would be productive and I sieved a couple of barrowfuls of compost ready for her to use when needed.  I also finished top dressing the half of the front lawn that I have spiked and even got the light mower out to trim a new bit of lawn, more to cut off intrusive bulbs than any straggly bits of grass that might have poked their heads up.  Still, it was lawn care so my day was all the better for a bit of that.

It was still very chilly and I soon retired indoors again and did some overdue work at the computer to warm up.

The next time that I looked out of the window, the flying birds had finished their business and a sole fluffy chaffinch was the only bird in sight.

fluffy chaffinch
We all feel like that about the cold.

In the evening, I took Susan to Carlisle where we enjoyed ourselves playing with the recorder group.  By and large we played pieces that we could cope with but Roy, our librarian, brought out a couple that taxed us beyond our limits.  I always think that it is a bad sign when you are puffing away and the music is so dense and complicated that you can’t tell whether you are lost or not.  On the other hand we played one or two of the pieces well and got extra enjoyment from that.

You will not be surprised to discover that the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A glimmer of light

  1. very good Tom – regards from my parents – also I just read your toast – I thought it was a fantastic piece of writing, very well researched. I imagine it was veyy well received by the assembled parties.

    1. I think that it went down fairly well. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Give my regards to your parents and tell them that we won’t want any stories about how wonderful the weather was when they get back.

  2. That fluffy chaffinch is a winner – and I loved the robin pictures. You excelled yourself with birds on the wing. Hope you get some sun soon. It has suddenly come out here, contrary to forecasts.

  3. Beautiful photos! I love the robins…the chaffinches and that green finch too! Sounds like you are having the same type of cold spring we are. But we should warm up soon…?!

  4. We have had the identical weather here too. Cold with snow flurries. Did you have wind? (40mph here. CRAZY) Lovely photographs as always, but my favorites were the currant and robin! Hurry spring weather… we need you!

  5. My OH was having a smoke by the back door yesterday morning, when our friendly robin flew down to the newly empty feed tray (which he seems to think is for his sole benefit), tapped it, looked at OH and then tapped it again. Taking the hint, OH grabbed some seed and another fat ball and refilled the tray. Before he even made it back indoors (some 5 foot) the Robin was back and eating breakfast 🙂

    Lovely pictures as normal.

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