Today’s guest picture is one that my brother cunningly took of himself at Red Tarn above Buttermere in the Lake District on his recent visit there with my elder sisters. He loves to scamper up a mountain if one is available.

Red Tarn SelfieToday was a marked improvement on the recent windy and wet weather as it settled for merely being windy and not nearly as windy as before at that.  This brought the birds back to the garden in force and there were plenty for me to watch as I prepared a venison stew for the slow cooker after Mrs Tootlepedal had left to sing with the church choir.

There was a moment when a six pack of siskins stole the show….

siskin six pack…but they didn’t have it all their own way.  There were quite a lot of voluble discussions….

chaffinch and siskin…and some actual violence.

chaffinch and siskin
A chaffinch gives a siskin a good kicking cheered on by his mate. Who needs football?

Sometimes the siskins were arguing with each other.

siskins arguingsiskins arguingEven a lone redpoll stopped posing….

redpoll…started shouting.

redpollThis was too much for me so I went out into the garden to commune with the flowers.

garden flowers…(frog alert Isobel) and chat to the frogs.

frogsfrogHowever many birds there were on the feeder at one time, there were always plenty more waiting on the plum tree to take their turn at the seed.

plum treeI put the camera to one side once the stew was slow cooking and got my fairly speedy bike out to see how strong the wind was.

It was pretty strong, with frequent gusts of 30 mph to contend with so my progress was rather stately.  At one time, I stopped pedalling while I was going down a short hill and my speed instantly dropped to 7 mph.   It wasn’t much faster when I was pedalling.

As I am still running in my new knee, I didn’t want to put to much stress on it by cycling into the wind for an extended period so I resorted to doing short laps up to Wauchope School and back which gave me a rest from the wind every few miles.  The sun came out as I pedalled along and without the wind, it would have been a good day for cycling.

garmin route 8 Mar 15

All the same, I managed to add another three miles to my new knee’s longest distance and since there were no serious climbs involved, it held up very well and didn’t complain at all.

I passed a selection of joggers and other cyclists on my way so it felt quite cheerful even though the strength of the wind made it much harder work than I would have wished.  I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed cycling uphill and into the wind and even the pleasure of whizzing back down again didn’t really offset the grind.

I could do with a good solid ridge of high pressure to calm the weather down and give me a chance to get some distance in as I am not only dreadfully unfit but getting fatter by the day.

While I was up at Wauchope Schoolhouse on one of my laps, I paused to look at the forestry operations behind the house.

forestry at wauchope SchoolAll this work has completely changed the aspect of the house which used to be hemmed in by rather gloomy conifers.

Wauchope SchoolGood days have been a bit scarce lately and it was a pity that a cloudless and warm afternoon should coincide with our Carlisle Community Choir practice but such is life.  Fortunately, the practice was a very good one so at least we didn’t feel that the time was wasted and the drive was was pleasant both coming and going.

The venison stew turned out well and as it was followed by some semolina pudding, the day must be counted as one of those to be unequivocally entered on the plus side of the great ledger of life.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch keeping an eye out for trouble at the feeder.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Warblepedal

  1. Showed your blog to a young friend of mine who is passing time here locked out from the upstairs flat, he was very impressed as was I at the flying bird.

  2. That’s quite a mountain that your brother scampered up. It makes the one I recently slogged up look like pimple!
    Are those lichens on the bridge over the frog pond? If so it looks like they’d be in a tough spot to get a photo of.
    It’s great to see all the flowers.

  3. A pity you couldn’t take advantage of the warm and sunny afternoon. For such pretty birds those siskins are very argumentative. We will be holidaying in the Lakes again this year – near to Keswick this time so will be visiting Buttermere et al.

  4. Oh now I desperately want to visit! Your stew bubbling away, the raucous world of the feeder and your lovely garden frogs! Throw in a bike ride and I would be in heaven…or could we make it a horse?

  5. Such a beautiful mosaic of birds waiting in the plum tree. Must admit your narration of bird bickering — making football not necessary — gave me a good laugh. They are lively little feathers!!

  6. I’m always fascinated by the social interactions of those birds on your feeder! You could write a book that would be most useful to humans, I feel. There’s much to be learned by observing nature.

  7. I’ve been putting on weight here due to it being too hot! Winter is when I get more fit. I hope you get some good days for cycling soon. I think your birds are taking some advice from my marauding seagulls, with their fighting antics. Love the frogs pic!

  8. Lovely picture of the redpoll. Glad you managed such a long ride without ill-effect and that the choir was as enjoyable as ever.

  9. Quite a shock seeing the picture of your brother. He’s changed (a little) since I met him, perhaps 20 years ago!
    Love the picture of the six siskins.

  10. Glad your weather is improving. Now I have to go back and get caught up on the back story. Feeder photos are magnificent and I love the frogs.

  11. Glad you got out for a pedal, I have a new android phone, and I am trying to upload cycling apps to produce figures like yours, with no success as yet. I have cycle computers, very cheap ones, on both my commuter/general purpose Pioneer and my single speed, but rarely consult them. The battery failed on the Pioneer version, so I lost all the data anyway. One day I will make it into the 21st century! Cheers.

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