On course

The guest picture of the day is contributed by my sister Mary who took a morning walk on a recent visit to the Lake District.

Lake District 06.10.14I was up early today to get all the stuff ready for the course that Sandy and I were running for the ladies of the WRI at Lockerbie.  I was able to pack everything up, pick up Sandy and arrive in Lockerbie bang on time.  By a miracle we had managed to bring everything that we needed. We got the computer and projector set up and after a cup of tea to get us refreshed, launched into the course.

We were trying to pack enough information and advice to last for three days into four hours but we did the best we could and after lunch, the group went out to a nearby nature reserve to try out some of the things that we had talked about.  Fortunately the sun came out on cue and we were able to enjoy a pleasant walk.

Photo course at LockerbieThe course participants were very responsive all day and launched into the practical activity with zest.  The nature reserve was a new place for both Sandy and me and we enjoyed taking a few pictures there too.

Luckily there was a stone with interesting lichens right at the start of the walk….

lichens…and this got everyone in the mood for using their eyes as we walked around.

Photo course at Lockerbie
There were opportunities to look at the play of light and shade…
...and interesting growths to keep an eye out for
…and interesting growths to keep an eye out for
Lockerbie course
A hint of autumn colour
lockerbie photo course
And firm dry paths to walk along which was a bonus after the recent rains.

The activity was judged a great success and Sandy and I intend to come back and visit the nature reserve at leisure as it has ponds and hides which we didn’t have time to see today.

When we got back to the hall, we put some of the pictures taken in the wood onto the computer so we could all look at them using the digital projector and learn from our efforts.  One of the nicest things about the day was that participants were very willing to have their photos displayed for everyone to look at.

We finished on time and drove home in glorious weather.  Just as we neared Langholm, we passed Mrs Tootlepedal who had been out for a cycle ride in the sunshine.

Sandy and I were pretty tired after the course and after a cup of tea, I took him home and then went back for a quick walk round the garden….

nasturtium and poppy
Nasturtium and poppy
clematis
Competing clematis
Sedum and Virgiina Creeper
Sedum and Virginia Creeper going an ever deeper red.

…and then I went inside and took a little time to stare out of the window…..

busy feeder
There was plenty to watch
goldfinch
My favourite was this greenfinch trying to remember where he had put his keys.

…and finished off with a collapse into a comfy chair with a slice of bread and strawberry jam and the newspaper.

I had to rouse myself in time to catch a robin under the feeder….

robin….and poach a couple of eggs for my tea before Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off to the Buccleuch Centre for our third concert of the week.  We are very fortunate to have such a good venue only a few hundred yards from our door but it was unfortunate scheduling from our point of view that brought so many good artists to Langholm in a single week.  Small venues like the Buccleuch Centre can’t pick and choose though and have to take the acts when they are available.  We don’t complain.

Tonight we heard a British jazz vocalist, Clare Teal with a very good backing trio of piano, drums and bass.  For the second concert running the sound was at a sensible level and Miss Teal gave us a thoroughly enjoyable evening of well known standards with one or two less familiar songs thrown in.  As well as being an excellent singer, she has a pleasant stage presence and an amiable and amusing line of chat between the songs.  In the words of one of the songs that she didn’t sing tonight, who could ask for anything more?

I did have just enough energy and almost enough light to catch a greenfinch for robin bird of the day.

greenfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “On course

  1. This is the second or third presentation to a group that you and Sandy I have done if I remember correctly. Soon you’ll be too busy with them to shoot as many photos of the birds and flowers in the garden.

    Small venues are great for concerts, I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Genesis in smaller halls, and they are still the best two concerts I’ve ever heard. But, as you said, getting people to play small venues isn’t easy any longer.

    1. Sandy and I have done two and I have done two by myself. People will be paying us to stop soon.

      We are very lucky to get such good acts in such a small town.

  2. The course sounds a great success, knowing you and Sandy I expect it was very well prepared. Thanks for two perching birds today, more than my ration and I loved the deep red of the virginia creeper closeup.

  3. What a splendid day. So glad you had good weather for the photography course, and ended with an enjoyable concert.

  4. I am pleased the course went well and the nature reserve looks an interesting one. The flower and bird photos are lovely as always. I enjoy listening to Clare Teal’s radio programme on Radio 2 – she seems a pleasant personable woman as well as being talented.

  5. Congrats on your presentation being so well received. Looks like you had a lovely day for the ladies to practice what you preached. 🙂 Loved the robin, as per usual. I wish we had a small, local venue for intimate concerts. All we have are giant stadiums with exorbitant ticket prices.

    1. We are very fortunate because a businessman who made a lot of money with a locally based business has considered it worthwhile to invest some of the money and a lot of his time and effort in bringing benefits to the town and our concert venue is one of those benefits. A team of loyal volunteers keep it going.

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