Jam today

Today’s guest picture shows a view of the Elbe from the TGV between Prague and Dresden as seen by my brother and his wife on their travels last week.

And villages

After two long trips over the last two days, I only had four short trips today.

The first trip was  by car up to the Moorland bird feeders as I had been asked to fill in for the regular feeder filler.  It was another lovely morning so it was a pleasure to go up and watch the birds there for a while.  The pleasure was modified by being bitten by midges so I didn’t stop for as long as I would have liked.  As soon as the feeders were filled there was a good deal of traffic.

great tit
A great tit enjoying the peanuts
A woodpecker on a bird table to the amazement of a young bird behind it.

I am happy to take suggestions as to what the rather fuzzy bird in the background is.

As well as the midges, there were a large number of flies buzzing furiously.

fly on gate

When I got home, I spent some time wandering about the garden until it was time to make Mrs Tootlepedal some coffee.  She was busy remodelling the beds beside the back path.  I just looked at some flowers.

A nasturtium.  The early ones are looking rather ragged.
rambling rose
One of the ramblers rambling.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s mixed packet of marigolds continues to delight.
A big clump of little daisies
Orange hawkweed
The reason why some gardeners don’t like the orange hawkweed.

I had time to watch the bird feeders too.

wood pigeon
A wood pigeon came looking for fallen seed.

There were plenty of flying birds to be seen today.  The sparrow on the left is wondering where the perch at the feeder hole has gone and the chaffinch on the right is wondering why there is some other bird where he wants to be.

sparrow and chaffinch

I took the perch away so that the nimbler birds can get seed without the sparrows hogging all the perches.

young sparrow
The garden is full of young sparrows

Mrs Tootlepedal has been taken by the idea of getting birds to feed from her hand and she sat patiently for a while with food in her palm but the ungrateful birds waited until she had put it back on the arm of the bench and gone away before they ate it.

 bird in hand
I shall be very pleased if she manages to train the birds to eat from her hand.

Because I was busy filling the feeders, Dropscone had gone off by himself to go round his favourite morning run and I saw by looking at his stats that he had gone round very speedily, not having to wait for me.

After coffee, I went out for my second trip of the day, this time on my bike.  I was still feeling quite tired so I started off very slowly and only managed to achieve an average of 11 mph to the top of Callister.  Turning round with the slope in my favour and the wind behind me though, I was considerably perked up and when I had got back to Langholm, I turned again and did another lap up to Wauchope School and then home.  This gave me 19 miles which was quite enough for the day.

After a light lunch, I went off for my third little trip, this time by car to the Kilngreen to do my stint in the Tourist Information Point.  I was very excited to get a tourist at 2.01 pm as I unlocked the door. It was less exciting to find in the course of the next two hours that he was to be the only one and even the appearance of Sandy, who dropped in for a chat, couldn’t disguise the fact that a Tourist Information Point with no tourists  is perhaps rather pointless.

When I had locked up, I went down to the Kilngreen and bought an ice cream and stood by the river.  Boys were playing football and the resident ducks didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

…and going…
…and gone.

When I got home, I saw our young blue tit visitor again.

blue tit

I spent some time pouring watering cans full of liquid lawn food onto the middle lawn because Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that it is not as green as it should be.  I am cutting it rather short at the moment to suppress weeds and I must agree that this takes a little colour off it.   If you ever watch golf on TV, you will notice that the greens are always less green than the fairways in spite of their name.

In the early evening, I went on my fourth trip of the day and again by car.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to Canonbie where we had been invited to have drinks and nibbles and to meet one of my ex pupils from Canonbie School who had come over from Ecuador with his wife and new baby to visit his family.   It was fun to meet Ben, who was one of my younger son’s childhood friends, and it was interesting to talk to members of his extended new family from Holland and Ecuador.  It was also remarkable that we could do this while sitting in the garden for two hours without being bitten  by midges at all.  The way of the midge is a mystery.

When we got home, I buckled down and made eight pots of jam from the raspberries that we picked yesterday.

raspberry jam
Take a good look because they won’t last long.

As I was putting this post together, I took a moment to glance at our Carlisle  Choir’s Facebook page and discovered that we haven’t made it through to the next stage of the Choir of the  Year competition.  We just hope that our excellent conductor is not too discouraged as we would be very sad if he stopped coming to take us.

The flying bird of the day, among several potential candidates, is a handsome greenfinch.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Jam today

  1. Love the woodpecker, the raspberry jam and Mrs T’s endeavour at handfeeding. Sorry about the choir competition; hope it doesn’t discourage your conductor and youre up and singing again soon.

  2. Packed full of interest, excellent pictures, witty comments and the result of picking those raspberries.You are multi-talented indeed. Sorry the choir didn’t get through but hope for your sakes that the conductor tries again.

  3. Commiserations on not getting through to the next stage of the choir competition. The fuzzy bird looks a bit like a fluffed-up shocked robin but I could be mistaken. Lovely raspberry jam photo and the marigolds look a treat.

  4. Sorry that the choir did not get through. Let’s hope the conductor is undeterred.
    Lovely pictures of the marigolds, and the raspberry jam looks delicious!

  5. That jam made my mouth water! And I loved that last shot of the duck flying away – tremendous!

    As for getting the birds to eat from Mrs. T’s hand – this is what I read in one of my bird magazines some time ago. It’s a rather time consuming process. They suggested putting a “dummy” type thing in the chair – kind of like a scarecrow but more in humanish form. Leave this in the chair for some time, until the birds coming around get used to it being there. Then, you remove the dummy and actually sit in the chair yourself. The birds then are used to the form being there, and they will land as if the dummy is still there and not a real person, and will eat from your hand.

    In the northwoods we have gotten the chickadees to eat from our hands simply by just staying in the same place for a long time with our hand out, because they are quite friendly little things. But it’s hard to sit or stand there without moving and the arm gets tired quickly!

  6. I did read something written by an American woman who has got wild birds to feed from her hand so there is hope for Mrs T. Another packed day by the look of it and, to round it off, I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award http://wp.me/p2A2EH-5TW

  7. Started reading this post two days ago and others’ comments remind me of like sentiments. Since I cant comment on everything I will limit to the bird feeding out of the hand. I’ve tried this several times in winter when the birds have fewer choices and only once got a Chickadee to land in my hand for a split second, which was because I promised not to look. So I have no idea if it actually took a morsel of the food. Good luck to Mrs Tootlepedal.

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