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.
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.
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.
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.
I had time to watch the bird feeders too.
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.
I took the perch away so that the nimbler birds can get seed without the sparrows hogging all the perches.
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.
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.
When I got home, I saw our young blue tit visitor again.
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.
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.