With song and a smile

Today’s guest picture shows a fine iron bridge over the Regent’s Canal in London.  My sister Mary took it as she strolled along the tow-path a week ago.

Regent's canalAfter a succession of rather grey mornings, we had a beautiful sunny day today and when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I should have taken advantage of the weather by going for a bicycle ride.  I should have but I didn’t as my legs were sulking.

Instead I spent a morning of creative lounging – sitting in several different chairs, wandering about the garden in several different directions and eating several slices of toast with different toppings.  This, added to some dead heading and a little compost turning, filled the morning very nicely.

The dead heading can be a bit tedious but it is worthwhile and there are many colourful corners in the garden which have kept going very satisfactorily as a result.

cosmos and marigolds
Cosmos and marigolds

The marigolds have done really well and don’t seem to have minded the absence of rain for the last few weeks.

marigoldSome flowers have taken advantage of the good weather to restart blooming.

geum
A geum by the bird feeders

Others just keep on going.

nasturtiums
Nasturtiums by the front door.
lamium
Lamium in the back border

Mrs Tootlepedal’s packet of sunflower seeds is turning the heads of passers by as they grow taller and taller.

sunflowers
She has clumps all over the place.

This was my favourite today.

sunflowerI saw not just a single robin standing on the dew covered lawn after breakfast….

robin…but another one nearby.

robin
I very rarely see two at once.

They didn’t chase each other off so I take it that they must be family.

The hedgerows and verges are full of berries and seeds at the moment and this is saving me money as the stream of visitors to the bird feeders has slowed to a trickle.

chaffinch
A sparrow is indifferent to an approaching chaffinch.

There is a much greater supply of smaller flying objects though.

peacock butterfly on marigold
A peacock butterfly on a marigold before coffee.
red admiral on sedum
A red admiral on the sedum before lunch.

I got mildly excited with my new lens.

red admiral on sedumBees and hoverflies abound.

hoverflies on poppies
A gang of roving hoverflies on a poppy

The pollen on the poppies seems to be right at the base of the petals and I can often see bees swimming round what I think are the pistils and  doing the side-stroke to get at it.

bee on poppyThey have to wiggle furiously which I suppose helps the fertilisation of the plants….and is fun to watch too.

The new lens is rather addictive and I spend a lot of time bent over double with my nose near to my knees.

hoverfliesBut as a commenter pointed out, you see things when you put the camera card in the computer later in the day which you would never see with the naked eye.

hoverflyI am very lucky that Mrs Tootlepedal has provided me with so much to look at on a lazy day.

In the afternoon we combined shopping for much needed supplies of fish and cheese with a Carlisle Community Choir practice.  Our usual musical director was not there but he had organised an excellent substitute and we had an enjoyable and useful two hours under her direction.  It was slightly embarrassing at times as there were one or two exposed – and high – tenor solos to be got through but we did our best.

We gave fellow choir member Jeremy a lift down and he told us that he is doing a 170 mile coastal cycle ride with friends from Newcastle to Edinburgh  next weekend, taking three days.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the good weather holds for him.

By the the time that we got home, the light was going and we went in to cook our tea and slump in front of the telly for some undemanding Sunday evening TV programming to let us wind down at the end of an eventful and exciting week.

The flying chaffinch of the day shows us its full wingspan.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “With song and a smile

  1. You’ve taken to the new macro lens like a duck to water! Not only are the flowers beautiful but most of them are different than I see of the same species here. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

    1. Our garden flowers all come from seed merchants or garden centres and will have been subject to some heavy breeding to make them attractive to buyers.

  2. Wonderful close-ups! Amazing how different our American Robins look. And ours are almost always seen foraging for worms in groups of five or more. Your Chaffinches are my favorites, however. Wish some would fly over (to the Pacific NW). Nevertheless, you’ve inspired me to hang another feeder.

    1. You can’t have too many feeders in my view though Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t always agree depending on how many of her plants the birds have eaten.

      1. Ah, I deleted that. I was experimenting with private and password protected posts. In the end, I decided to start a separate blog for that project rather than complicate my existing one.

  3. The peacock butterfly on the marigold is a triumph.
    Glad you had another good conductor for the Carlisle choir.

  4. Indeed the new lens seem to be the bee’s knees – it even shows them! And your garden seems to be a paradise – brought about by the ever so busy Mrs T.

  5. These photographs are quite extraordinary. I cannot decide which one impresses me most – they are just beautiful.

    Sounds like you enjoyed a lovely morning. Mmmm,”Creative lounging”, I must remember that the next time I spend a hour whilst keeping the couch warm.

  6. I’m so glad you splurged on your new lens – hours of pleasure for you and also those of us who get to see the results! The butterfly on the marigold is an astonishingly colourful combination – glorious.

    1. It was worth persuading Mrs Tootlepedal to live on a diet kif brown rice and turnips for a month so that I could afford it. As you say, hours of fun for children of all ages.

  7. I’ve filled the bird feeders and set up a camera. All I can do now is wait. But I keep positioning it on one feeder only to see birds on another!

  8. I sure am glad you purchased that macro lens! I am enjoying your close-ups very much. Your robins are precious and the butterflies are always a joy. Nice to see so much variety and color in your garden still.

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