A good hiding

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend, the clarinet playing gardener Liz and shows a fine scarlet elf cup which she met while walking the dog,

scarlet elf cupI started the day by making a lamb stew for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir.  I use the slow cooker on Sunday if possible so that we have a meal ready for us when we get back in the evening from our Carlisle choir practice.

Once the stew was safely on its way, I got out the slow bike and pedalled up to the Moorland project bird feeders.  This was not so quite as straightforward as it might seem, as there is a long and fairly steep hill involved.  I passed a lady jogger at the bottom of the hill and bust a gut pedalling on, hoping not to suffer the indignity of being overtaken by a runner.  Fortunately my knee held up well and I arrived at the feeders with my pride intact.

I made the trip not to fill the feeders this time but to attend the official opening of the new hide.  A promise of hot drinks and cakes had drawn a good number of enthusiasts out on a chilly but fine morning.

Moorland project
Beside the hide, a team of scouts was making the drink and serving tasty cakes.

The hide was officially opened by head gamekeeper Simon Lester and in the picture below, you can see him flanked by project leader, Cat Barlow and skilled cabinet maker, Daniel Lacey with some of the scout volunteers who together brought the dream of a hide to a reality.

Moorland hide openingOnce the hide was opened. keen bird watchers were soon ensconce inside…

Moorland hide opening…probably wondering why the idiot with the camera kept getting between them and the birds.  The hide had some smart new benches inside which will soon become a permanent feature.

The birds themselves seemed remarkably calm about the whole affair and continued pecking away…

pheasant…ignoring the crowds.

Moorland hide openingI didn’t hang about too long and cycled home before a rush of cars made the roads dangerous.  I look forward to many happy days in the hide in the weeks to come.

(I have just checked Sandy’s blog and he has a much better set of pictures of the opening than I have got.)

Probably because the better day had made feeding in the wild more attractive, there were very few birds in the garden when I got home but a couple of colourful characters caught my eye.  One not so common…

blue tit
A rare visit from a blue tit

…and the other, a frequent flier.

robinI took a stroll round the garden in search of colour there too.

rhubarb and aconite
There will be lots of rhubarb to make up for the very few aconites.

My sister Susan complains that I have too many restless flying birds on the blog so here is a calm chaffinch for her.

chaffinchIn fact, here are lots.
chaffinches in plum treeAfter lunch, we combined a flying visit of our own to Lidl with our customary Carlisle choir practice.  We purchased many items at a very reasonable price.

At the choir, our usual musical director was off on business with one of his other choirs so we had a substitute today.  he was a bit handicapped by our accompanist falling ill on her way and having to go home but he played the piano and directed us simultaneously…and with great gusto.  We worked hard for him.

The lamb stew turned out very well and as it was accompanied by a good chunk of sour dough bread (which my friend Sue had given us at the choir) and followed by a semolina pudding, the evening meal took on the likeness of a feast.  Because it was Mothering Sunday, I not only did the cooking but the washing up too.  Mrs Tootlepedal may take some time to recover.

Among all the perching birds, a flying bird was hard to find and when I did find one, it hid its face.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

40 thoughts on “A good hiding

  1. It’s great to see the scarlet elf cups. I’ve never seen one in person.
    it’s also nice to see the rhubarb. It gives me as much pleasure as any flower.
    You’ve certainly got room for plenty of birders now, I would think.

  2. The hide looks like a good place to hang out when you want to get away from it all, even if you’re not into birds. That’s too comfortable.

    I’m sure that you’ll be your normal self again tomorrow, which will aid in Mrs. T’s recovery. 😉

  3. Nothing like the threat of losing one’s dignity or the lure of a tasty cake to help achieve results.. I’m very glad you had the energy left to give Mrs T the day off chores 🙂

  4. The new hide looks very nice and cosy. You will spend ages in it, I’m sure. Remember to take your sandwiches and flask of tea with you.

    Our hides at Baron’s Haugh are brick built as wooden ones would get destroyed by the Buckfast drinkers who go down drinking at night. It’s freezing in the winter as there are no flaps on the windows to keep out the howing wind.

    1. Fortunately we don’t get a lot of Buckfast drinkers in Langholm but we are keeping our fingers crossed all the same for the safety of the new hide.

  5. The scarlet elf cup was spectacular and I enjoyed the blue tit but for some reason when I was finished reading I found myself looking for a snack. Lamb stew and sour dough bread, yum!

  6. Very impressive recording of the official opening of the hide well covered by Sandy and yourself.

  7. The hide looks very professional. I am a little envious that you have such things there. However, I am sure I would struggle with some of your more chilly weather conditions. Beautiful bird shots as usual! I’m particularly fond of your robins. Your mentions of slow cooker meals always makes me hungry. What a delicious and practical Sunday tradition to have.

  8. Very pleasing to see the hide all finished. I hope you get to enjoy some wonderful sights, when all the people have gone. (Sandy’s pictures were very good)

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