Sandy and Toot make it rain

Today’s picture, another from my son and daughter-in-law’s USA trip, shows two frogs at the Frog Pond in Boston.

frog pond, Boston

I am trying not to overdo my cycling mileage at the moment so I was happy that Dropscone is away refereeing juvenile golf matches and that my cello playing friend Mike came to pay me a morning visit.  Before Mike arrived, I noticed an unusual perching bird in the plum tree….


…as well as a colourful regular one.


Mike was interested in the software that I have which can read scanned music and let you edit and play the result.  I am going to use it to shift a Mozart piece from the viola to the cello clef at the touch of a key for him.  This would have been a considerable undertaking in the days of a piece of score paper and a sharp pencil but should not take me too long now.

After he left, Sandy came round for a cup of coffee and we decided to go out to try to get the definitive bluebell shot.  It was a cloudy but fairly bright day.  The curse of the photographer struck as we shut the car door and before we had even left the front gate. It started to rain.  We travelled on hopefully but the weather god laughed at us and the rain got heavier and heavier.  We arrived at the target bluebell wood by the time that the light had gone altogether and the rain was a menace to our cameras so we turned for home and set our minds on doing some of the work in our respective in trays.

It stopped raining soon after we got out of the car.

In spite of the weather, the garden is quite exciting.

A spirea gives witness to the rain
There is a new aquilegia out.
dying poppy
A dying poppy is still very colourful
The yellow azaleas are refusing to break into flower until it gets warmer.

On every side, plants are getting ready to burst into bloom.  We just need some warm weather.

I did my work, which involved finishing off the transcription of the ten flute band tunes and had time to mow the front lawn before lunch.  Between the moss, the lichens, the pearlwort and the meadow grass, the business of lawn care is a bit depressing on this patch and I am seriously thinking of getting a quote to get it dug up and re-turfed.

My spirits were lifted by the arrival of the first baby starling of the year.

baby starling

It was soon followed by siblings….

baby starlings

And a parent.

starling family

After lunch, I went off to do another lonely stint in the Tourist Office at the Kilngreen.  Apart from a passing visit from Sandy, who was on his way to a Craft Fayre in Newcastleton, I wasn’t bothered by anyone wanting information.   (Sandy had some very nice squirrel and nesting blue tit video material on his blog at the moment.  Well worth a visit.)

I got home just in time to go and visit my flute pupil Luke’s grandfather.  I was consulting him on the flute band tunes and we discovered that an amendment or two would be needed before the task was complete.  He is the conductor of our local orchestra and they are having a social and concert to celebrate 35 years of music making this weekend and it has fallen to me to propose a toast to the orchestra.  I was lucky to have him to fill the many gaps in my memory about the history of the group.

When I got home, I mowed the middle lawn which is in much better condition than the front lawn because it gets more of the available sunshine.  I also had a look round the productive side of the garden and was encouraged by the apple, broad bean and strawberry flowers.

fruit and veg
I just hope that my pollinating work with paintbrush pays off.

A new clematis has come out to join the blue brigade.

Blue flowers
In order of length of time in bloom so far

Just as we were going to have our tea (salmon followed by rhubarb crumble) ,  I noticed a strange sight on the feeder.

feeder feathered ball

It was a bird but did it have its head stuck in the feeder opening?  Did it have a head at all?

It was a goldfinch resting with its head under its wing
It came to life and flew off.

Was this a sick bird or just a very young bird?  If Dr Barlow reads this, perhpas she can tell me.

I had my tea and went off with Susan to play recorders in Carlisle where we had yet another fine evening of playing.  There were five of us tonight and by and large we played the sort of music where each player’s part follows its own track and, with luck, we all arrive at the final destination together.  This is my favourite sort of music and as it was followed by particularly tasty biscuits, it was a good way to end a busy day.

The flying bird is a siskin caught in one of the cloudier moments of the day.








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Sandy and Toot make it rain

  1. There is something very inviting about dying flowers, like your poppy, as well as the very much alive ones. Pleasing!
    I’ll have to watch for baby starlings around. I haven’t seen any, but we have had a lot of mama and daddy starling activity all spring, so they must be around. They are cute!

  2. Everything seems to be a little later flowering at your end of the country except poppies, there are none out here at all yet apart from the welsh ones. How strange 🙂

  3. Dear Tim
    the goldfinch indeed looks unwell. Doesn’t look like a young bird, they are usually much duller in colour. I think your goldfinch is definitely sick. may be worth cleaning your feeders – as some infections can spread vis feeders to other birds.

  4. Excellent squirrel video on Sandy’s blog.
    Lots of lovely colours in your garden. Sorry you were stymied by the weather when bluebell hunting.

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