Winding through the countryside

Today’s guest picture shows a pair of well known people whom my brother and his wife met in Madrid.

Don Quijote and Sancho Panza in the Plaza de Espana

I myself met a well known person (to me at least) when Dropscone appeared after breakfast, ready for the morning run.  It was a bit warmer than it has been so there was no danger of icy roads but it was still pretty chilly (5°C) with a brisk wind blowing.

As we pedalled down to Canonbie, the wind was at our back and I was expecting a hard struggle on the way home but I think that the wind must have veered a little at a crucial point because it didn’t seem to be as much in our faces as I thought it would be.  Although it was rather across us for some time,  it was kind enough to blow us home over the last three miles.

Dropscone is keeping an eye on his blood pressure at the moment and I am always looking after my breathing in the cold weather so no-one would have mistaken us for an express train as we made stately progress round the 20 mile course.  Still, the coffee and scones were as welcome as they always are afterwards, especially as the scones had milk in them today.

It was such a sunny day that Mrs Tootlepedal thought of going for a cycle herself but the briskness and chilliness of the wind dissuaded her and I drove her up to the Moorland feeders and while I did a little bird peering, she walked the two and a half miles home along the hillside track.

I was kept entertained by large numbers of birds on the feeders but there were no new visitors to be seen.  The usual suspects were there in quantity though and I was spoiled for choice.  There were woodpeckers on distant poles…

woodpecker (34)

…and woodpeckers on feeders very close to me….

woodpecker close up

There were greenfinches on feeders….

greenfinch at feeders

.,,,and several great tits tempted by a handful of seeds on a post.

great tit at feeders

great tit at feeders (2)

There were pheasants on the ground close by….

pheasant (7)

…and pheasants in the air flying away.

flying pheasant

I was passed by a convoy of shooters going home for lunch as I sat there so the pheasants that I had photographed had obviously got the brains to keep out of their way.

I wondered whether Mrs Tootlepedal had her door key with her so I didn’t stay too long and made my way home via the Kilngreen, where I didn’t see any photogenic duck behaviour at all.  I did stop on the way for a couple of views of autumn  in Eskdale.

view from Broomholmshiels

You can see that the needles are coming off the larch trees from the bottom upwards.

trees at Broomholm
There are still plenty of golden needles on the top of the trees though.

I had my little camera in my pocket and took a wider picture of one of my favourite views which clearly shows the turning of the year is in full swing now and winter is only just round the corner.

view from Broomholm drive

While I was waiting for Mrs Tootlepedal to arrive, I set about cleaning my bike with special attention to the chain.  Most of the fallen larch needles in the district seemed to have attached themselves to my bike frame and it all took a quite a bit of work to get it even half clean.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal disappeared into the garden for an hour while I dealt with a problem with one of the four sets of Archive Group postcards from our recent competition which had arrived from the printers.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the actual preparation and ordering of the cards had been done by a member who is currently in Australia and I was expecting some difficulty in dealing with the printers but they turned out to be both efficient and reasonable and I am promised a set of un-flawed cards within a week.

I will put them in a post when I have them all to hand.

In the evening, I went to the Archive centre with Sandy but without Jean, who was resting after an all day excursion.  I put two weeks of the index into the database and as I only had one week to collect from the data miners, I felt very satisfied with my evening’s work.  We retired to the Eskdale afterwards for a glass of wine.  Our talk, unsurprisingly turned to cameras and as I had my phone with me, I took a shot to see what it could do in poor indoor light.

Sandy in Eskdale

Sandy says that he doesn’t know who the elderly gentlemen in the picture is (but he recognises the glass).

I didn’t see any entertaining ducks at the Kilngreen this morning but I did manage to find a candidate for flying bird of the day while I was there.

flying gull (5)

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Winding through the countryside

  1. Bears take down our feeders (hapened two weeks ago, so for now our feeders are inside) in the fall and spring, and raccoons and squirrels, especially, chase the birds away and are selfish with the seed. Do you have anything like that?

    1. Cats are the only interference in our garden. There are squirrels in the country round the town but they are red squirrels are are much shyer than the grey. We never see them in our garden but the greys are a problem for my daughter in the middle of London.

  2. Pheasants are so colorful! Nice shots Tom! We were at -3 Celsius in Georgia! Can you believe that and we’re only at 3 weeks into the Autumn. 🙂

  3. Loved the photos of course. The ones of the pheasants bring back many memories for me. The first time that my dad took me along while he was hunting was on a pheasant hunt.

    1. Apart from callously shooting a sparrow with an air gun when I was very young, hunting has never appealed to me but I did enjoy target shooting with a .22 a lot at school. I am sure that hunting with a camera must be quite satisfying for you now.

  4. The pheasant shot was lovely, last time I saw a pheasant that close up it had been hit by a car. The seagull shot was lovely too, I’m a fan of seagulls even if Commando says they’re just rats with wings.

    1. And really, what are humans but rats without even wings? Given our similar fondness for gorging ourselves on candy, sandwiches, chips and all that. Scones being an altogether different category of course, and not to be maligned.

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