A strong wind gives me an excuse

Today’s picture shows a very colourful display at Kenwood, London.  It was taken a couple of days ago by my sister Mary who has resumed her walks.

azaleas and paper hanky tree

We had a very sunny day here but the forecast heavy winds from the north also appeared making it quite chilly if you were out of the sun.  The winds also gave me a convenient excuse not to get the bike out.  This was fortunate because my legs had called it a day as far as cycling went after quite a heavy schedule over the past week and I would have been embarrassed by my struggles to pedal up any hills.

I was able to put the time to good use and mow the middle lawn and run the hover mower over the grass round the greenhouse and the drying green.  The sight of a neatly mown lawn always lifts my spirits so I was quite cheerful in spite of being a bit tired.  I also used our strimmer with its new battery.  The tremendous vim with which it dispatches unwanted vegetation makes us realise that we should have changed the old battery about two years ago instead of struggling along with it.

I dead headed some more daffodils and they have almost all gone over now.  The tulips are in transitional state.

ex tulip
What looks like a cream topping for a cup cake is in fact a tulip seed head.
tulip
Serenely flowering still

A glance into the pond in search of tadpoles to photograph revealed two cheery grown up frogs instead.

two cheery frogs

New flowers and plants are appearing all the time now.

berberis
The smallest flowers in the garden on a berberis
ferns
Some flamboyant ferns unfurl

Some well established plants still please the eye.

bergenia
A bergenia blends with the grape hyacinth behind

Having finished my mowing tasks, I got out the slow bike and pedalled through the park and along the river to inspect the bluebells.  They were worth inspecting.

bluebells

bluebells

I cycled on down to Skippers Bridge and back on the other side of the river.  I passed a heron with its back to the river….

heron

…and admired the blossom along Elizabeth Street.

blossom

When I got home, I found that the visible frog population in the pond had doubled.

four frogs

After lunch I got out my big lens and focussed on a pair of goldfinches high in the walnut tree.

goldfinches

I am hoping for some decent weather this summer so that I can get some practice in with this lens  (150-500mm). It takes a bit of getting to know. My grip is so wobbly that I probably need to use the image stabiliser function or get used to taking my tripod with me.   It is all a bit of a weight to carry about so I need some good weather to make it worth the trouble as I want to be able to settle down for some time when I have got everything set up right.

Sandy arrived and we went off to the Moorland Feeder Station as we wanted an outing that didn’t involve any exercise.  As an experiment, I left Sandy behind the screen…

Sandy behind the screen
You will notice that he has shaved his beard off for the summer.

…while I set up a little stool among the trees and watched the birds on the other side of the glade  with my big lens still on the camera.

great tit
A great tit getting well ruffled by the wind.
woodpecker up a tree
An unusual woodpecker shot

Although I was sheltered from the wind, Sandy was getting pretty chilly in the open so we didn’t stay too long and headed off to watch harriers from the comfort of his car on the moor.  The hills are definitely beginning to show some green at last.

Ewes valley

We saw two hen harriers doing an aerial food pass which was exciting but the birds were too far away for a good photo.  I put this one in just to record the fact that we did see a harrier.

hen harrier

The powers that be have put up a feeding post near one of the nests and when the chicks fledge, they will put food on it and it should be possible to get a good picture of them then.  They think that there are three pairs on the moor this year.

I had to have an early tea because the choir committee had a meeting to consider the arrangements for our forthcoming concerts.  We just managed to finish the meeting before it was time to go to the practice.  The choir are singing a small number of songs, most of which we can sing not too badly so perhaps the concert will go well.  One or two of our efforts need  as much work as we can possibly fit in but the main attraction of the evening is to be a visiting tenor singing a selection of popular tunes and we will shelter beneath his wings.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch, quite a rare visitor at the moment.

flying greenfinch

 

 

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “A strong wind gives me an excuse

  1. I do miss my old spring fed pond with its many frogs. I assume your pond is artificial? Small or medium? I only have a couple of water tubs. Need to do a pond project some winter soon.

  2. Lovely bluebell shots. Good to see that you had some blue skies during the day. Hope the choir practice went well.

  3. I specially enjoyed the goldfinches and both the frog pictures. Good luck with the choir concert, hope the tenor provides adequate shelter.

      1. Probably not. Anyway I have my own prince Commando to keep me company 🙂

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