Scattered showers

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my son Tony on the occasion of his partner Marianne’s birthday, shows her birthday cake.  I would have a hard time trying to cut a slice out of such a good copy of one of their dogs.

Marianne's cakeIt was one of those days today.  It was fine in the morning after some heavy overnight rain but I had to go to the health centre for what I hope will be my last blood test,  that is if coming off the medicine works out well.  By the time that I got back, had my breakfast and made a start on some sour dough bread, it was raining heavily.

When it stopped, I got all kitted up for a pedal, got a mile up the road and remembered that I had left a fan heater on to warm up the bread rising cupboard for a few minutes.  By the time that I got back and turned the fan off, it had started raining again and I had got dispirited.

I turned my attention to the birds.  It was all action…

busy feeder…though there were some quieter moments.

goldfinch in plum treedunnockMy flying bird pictures are taken with my Nikon 7000 DSLR with good zoom lens on but out of interest, I got out pocketcam and used an ingenious mount that Nikon supply to fit an 18-55mm lens on it and had a go to see what it could do.

pocketcam chaffinchIt doesn’t have a really fast shutter speed and this was my best effort.  In better light, it might be worth trying again.

I didn’t dally too long at the kitchen window as I had to get a constitution prepared for our camera club.  Luckily, I have several constitutions on my computer which have been necessary for various groups over the years and I was able to find one that was readily adaptable.

When I had done that, there was a dry moment to pop out into the garden.

Princess and Granny
Princess and Granny ignoring the rain.
campanula and delphinium
Campanula and delphinium just hanging on
The fuschsia flourishing
And a nasturtium looking at me with big eyes.

After lunch, there seemed to be a gap in the weather so Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off up the track from Whitshiels in search of fungi and slime molds,  There were more fungi about than you could shake a stick at….and lichen too.

fungifungifungi and lichenfungiWhen we got to the top of the track, there was a field full of fungus as far as the eye could see.  This sort…..

fungus…was the most noticeable but there were other small and colourful ones too.

fungusWe had a look at the old ash trees where Sandy and I had seen a conspicuous slime mold a week or so ago and there was no sign of it today.  These are three remarkable trees which go on producing branches and leaves in spite of having no middle at all.

ash treeThe trunk is a hollow shell but as you can see, the trees are thriving.  They are host to a good deal of interesting hangers on.

ash tree growthsThe going was very soggy in the field so we turned back and went down to a path through the woods.  Bravely fording a swollen little stream, we emerged on the far side of the wood….into some heavy rain.   I was ready for this though as I had brought a big brolly with me and we walked side by side down the road to the car under its shelter.  We did stop for a final fungus shot in the verge half way down.

fungiAs far as hunting for fungus goes, this was the most fruitful hour that I have ever spent.

Near the roadside fungi was a hedge rose stem….

rose stem….but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that technically these are not thorns but prickles.   That knowledge is going to ruin some romantic lyrics for me.

Although it was still quite early by the time we got home, it was so gloomy that it felt like evening already and I settled in to finishing baking the sourdough loaf and preparing some computer accompaniments for my flute pupil Luke’s exam pieces.  He came round for his lesson later on and we made some good progress.  I am trying to get him to be a bit more self critical so that he doesn’t practise things wrong and embed mistakes into his pieces which take time to remove.  This is advice, I may say, that I could beneficially listen to myself.

After tea, I went off to the second meeting of our new camera club and once again, we had a good turnout and an interesting evening.    Sandy pointed out after the evening was over that we will have to give some serious thought to finding ways to cater for the interests of the beginners at the same time as the more experienced members.   As anyone who has ever run an interest group will tell you, this is no easy problem to solve.  We shall try our best.

The flying bird of the day is a tripod chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Scattered showers

  1. That’s quite a crop of fungi for this late in the year. The fly agaric is the only one I recognize.
    Interesting that the slime mold was gone.
    Mrs. Tootlepedal is of course right about the rose prickles, but it just doesn’t sound right.

  2. Quite a few flowers still in bloom so late in the year. That fuchsia is amazing! Thorns vs. prickles – there’s my something new that I’ve learned today – thank you Mrs. T.

  3. Your garden is so colourful, I loved the fuchsia as always. What a walk you took, that was very colourful too. The rose prickles looked very frightening.

  4. Lovely picture of Marianne, and what an amazing cake!
    Glad the camera club is taking off satisfactorily.

  5. Do you collect and eat (some of) the fungi? They’re beautiful – what a lovely area you live in.

  6. You’re very lucky to still have flowers left to photograph, and for us to enjoy! That goes for the fungi as well, and we mustn’t leave out the birds. You must have had a warm wet fall for so many flowers and fungi still standing, we’ve had several hard freezes and snow.

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