Today’s guest picture shows a very woolly goat spotted by my brother who was visiting Paradise Springs near Rotarua in NZ.
It was a calm day after all the rain but I didn’t manage to get organised enough to go out for a pedal. Instead, while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I put together what the recipe claimed was a lamb tagine for the slow cooker. It had apricots, cinnamon, lemon juice and honey in it so that was quite sophisticated for a cook of my calibre, It tasted pretty good too when we had it for our tea in the evening.
Somehow the cooking and some heavy bird watching managed to fill most of the morning. The were plenty of birds to watch today. Blue tits are just as irresistible to me as poppies are.
As an added bonus, we saw the return of the great tit today too.
It looks like a mild enough bird but it has laser eyes….
….that can stop a sparrow in its tracks.
The flying chaffinches were zooming in from all angles.
And sparrows were jostling for places on the perches.
I did find time for a walk round the garden in a brief sunny spell. The rudbeckias have lost heart….
…but some of the smaller sunflowers are still quite cheery. The bee in the picture was one of the very few in the garden today.
Pale delphiniums and dicentras are adding a little late watery colour.
The good summer has meant that the walnut tree has produced a measurable amount of walnuts this year….
…although we are too far north to ever get a good crop of ripe nuts.
And my addiction to poppies has not abated.
I went back in and did a little flute practice. Although I am very good at telling other people that they need to practice, I find it hard to get organised enough to have a regular practice regime myself, even though I know that this is the only way to improve.
I had a cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch with one of the last of our tomato crop for the year. I shall miss having tender and tasty tomatoes when we have to go back to shop bought, tough skinned specimens.
After lunch, there was enough time for a quick look out of the window….
Then it was time to go to Carlisle for our choir there. We combined the artistic with the practical and called in at Homebase to buy a sheet of corrugated plastic to cover composting bins C and D as one of our old sheets has finally been battered into submission by the elements. We then popped into Sainsburys to buy coffee beans and smelly Italian cheese along with some other less necessary things. You can never have too many different sorts of cheese or coffee beans in the house.
We worked really hard in the choir and I am continually amazed by the patience of our choirmaster who has to go over the music in great detail for us novices week after week. Still, we are definitely always improving and this must give him some reward.
We got home in time to enjoy the lamb tagine and then we were off out again, this time to the Buccleuch Centre for a concert. I had bought tickets for a group called the Swing Commanders on a bit of a whim as I thought that might be either awful or quite fun. In the event, they turned out to be jolly good value, playing a wide variety of swing and dance music with tremendous zest and a really good sense of rhythm. Apart from the fact that the sound balance wasn’t perfect, it was an excellent evening, although it must be said the the first half was better than the second half when they perhaps got a little too ambitious.
The flying bird of the day is a rather scruffy goldfinch.
24 thoughts on “An unexpected pleasure”
Nice bunch of pictures Tom! 🙂
Thank you HJ.
I like the sound of that recipe!
I saw your picture of your slow cooker and was inspired.
Very amusing commentary about the birds!
They amuse me so it is only fair to try to spread the joy a bit.
If your photos weren’t enough to keep me coming back, the captions that add to them would be!
A well aimed compliment never goes amiss. Thank you Jerry.
I wonder if your hands were dyed brown like mine used to be when my grandmother had me collect and shuck walnuts for her. They can really stain,
It was only a small harvest so the stain was visible but not too bad.
I love the laser eyed bird 😄 .
It had a beady eye.
Lovely pictures of the very smart great tit. The tagine sounds delicious. Glad to hear the choir is going well and that the concert was so enjoyable.
Sounds like a day well spent.
I would say you had a really productive day! The bird photos are all so good.
The birds are always entertaining and the colder weather will bring more of them in soon.
More of your great photos!
I need to give up my job so I can photograph in day light! These shots are amazing. I need so much more practice!
A side benefit (among many) of being retired.
I wish I didn’t have to wait so long!
Such a pleasure to see so many birds at your feeder in this post. The laser-eyed great tit gave me a grin! 🙂 Mr. C is slowly dismantling our veggie garden and the tomatoes were done. I have purchased two more gardening volumes so hopefully we will fare better next year. I do hope we can avoid the blossom rot that did in a good portion of our tomatoes and whatever mildew that hit our cucumbers.
The blossom end rot is a real pest. We have been bothered by it before but it was such a good summer this year that we escaped. My fingers are crossed for your crop next year.
Glad to see the birds are back. We have just eaten the last of our tomatoes too, always a sign that summer is truly over 🙂