A bit warmer

Today’s picture is a dandelion growing wild on the dam.  I have put it in out of desperation as it is the only new flower anywhere roundabout.


We have lost the wonderfully cold and clear days and they have been replaced by hazier and slightly warmer days.  I was able to go out cycling this morning without having to put on four layers of clothing which made a nice change.  The east wind is still blowing so it is by no means warm but even the wind has dropped a bit and things are looking up.

Dropscone had more family business so I was on my own and I was pleased that I actually managed to get organised and go out after breakfast.  I visited Waterbeck in the course of a 21 mile easy pedal.  I wasn’t concentrating much on the cycling because I wasn’t in a hurry and it gave time to wonder where the name Waterbeck came from.  After all, a beck is a stream and it would be odd to find a stream which didn’t have water in it.  What were they expecting? A beerbeck, a milkbeck, a whiskybeck?  I can imagine the first settlers congregating.

“Look what I’ve found.”

“What is it?”

“A beck.”

“What’s in it?”


“It’s a sign.  We’ll stop here.”

You can see that if I was thinking this sort of stuff, I was really taking my time but I enjoyed the pedal and got back not too tired.

The sun came out as soon as I got home.

As did the siskins

Dropscone and Sandy arrived soon afterwards for a cup of coffee and we enjoyed some toasted baps which Dropscone had brought with him.  I may say that I got considerably more advice about toasting the baps than I actually needed but what are friends for if not to give you advice whether you need it or not?

After coffee, Sandy and I went up to the Moorland feeders.  The first thing we saw was a female pheasant up a pole on top of a feeder.

pheasant on a feeder

It became apparent that the male pheasants were in the mood for a frolic but the females weren’t.

another female, another feeder.
Another female, another feeder.
another female, another feeder.
Here’s one disguised as a twig.

A little drama played out on one of the feeders.


He didn’t catch her.  The disappointed suitor stood around puffing his chest out and pretending that he didn’t care a bit.

puffed up pheasant

Other pheasants were available.

Cool dudes hanging out.

A sensible one stopped chasing the ladies and put his mind to food.

pheasant feeder

We saw some woodpeckers too.


And a selection of familiar birds.

brambling blue tit and coal tit
Brambling, blue tit and coal tit

And a great tit with a seed trapped under its feet standing on a branch pecking away at the seed.

great tit

It was quite pleasant sitting out and watching the birds but Sandy had a social engagement in Carlisle in the afternoon so we only stayed for an hour.  When we got home, I took a picture of a group of chaffinches waiting for me to refill the seed feeder.


Then I went out to see how the ducks on the dam were doing. They were snoozing.

ducks snoozing

It seemed like a good idea.  In spite of taking the cycling easily, I found that I was quite tired and so I spent a desultory sort of afternoon preparing music for the evening choir practice, doing a difficult crossword which took ages and going to the Co-op for some bread flour.  The weather was been so bad last summer that strong bread flour seems to be a bit scarce so I am going to take it when I can find it at the moment.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the choir and in the absence of the musical director (again) I did the conducting which I enjoyed.  We are struggling to find reasonable easy arrangements of lively modern music but my sister Susan has volunteered to arrange a couple of things for us which should help us out.  If any reader knows of a source of simple but interesting and lively choral arrangements, I would be pleased to hear of it.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch from the garden.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “A bit warmer

  1. If someone could point me in the direction of the Whiskybeck I’d be obliged. The good stuff is pricey.

    The feeding pheasant looks almost humanly slump-shouldered and dejected.

  2. Tom, I much enjoyed your spring cycling, the stellar bird shots and your mention of “toasted baps.” I confess that I had to look up the latter as I had never heard of a bap before.

    I also found it interesting that in looking up a bap my search brought up a mention of Japan’s 2005 creation: A heated bra for women that is supposed to help cut down on fuel consumption.

    I confess, I am at a loss as to how this Google search connection was made…

    ref: http://forums.ebid.net/showthread.php?81255-toasted-baps


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