Life in the slow lane

Today’s guest picture shows a view of Buckingham Palace from St James’ Park.  I am going to have a view from my sitting room window like this when I grow up.  My sister Mary took the picture.

Buckingham Palace from St James's ParkAlthough it was a rather cloudy day, the temperature wasn’t too bad and the wind was light so I leapt out of bed determined to go for a morning ride.  I just made it, finally setting off a few minutes before midday.    It wasn’t as though I had done anything more interesting than the crossword in the interim.  I had spent a little time wondering how this goldfinch had contrived to get a seed to fly over its shoulder….

goldfinch and seed
One of the mysteries of life.

…and communing with a jackdaw.

jackdawI had also been amused by a goldfinch shouting so loudly that a siskin had nearly jumped right out of its feathers.

goldfinch and siskinBut I couldn’t find any other reasons for delay and in the end I got going on the 22 mile trip to Gair and back.

I am beginning to feel that I have got a little strength back in my legs but I am far from fit yet.  I did try to press on from time to time but my efforts soon fizzled out and I was back to plodding.  I am going to try to get my average speed for this trip up to 14 mph by the end of the month which will be a start on the road back to full fitness.

The cloud was sitting down so firmly on the top of Callister that I had to stop when I got down the other side and wipe the moisture off my glasses.

When I got home, the cloud was still down on Whita and it looked as though it might be a day for going  up to the monument and getting above the cloud.  I was quite excited by this as it offers good photo opportunities so after a quick lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I jumped into the car and drove up to the Whte Yett.

McDiaramid Memorial
The combination of sunshine and cloud looked promising.

Mrs Tootlepedal stayed at the car and scanned the skies for interesting birds, while I plodded up the track to the monument.

The venture was not very successful for me to say the least.

Instead of burning off the top of the  hill, the cloud stuck around stubbornly.

monumentAs there was a hint of sunshine, I hung around in hope for a while…

There is always lichen to look at.

but instead of disappearing, the cloud thickened, blowing up the valley from the south.  This was the total view.

View from WhitaConscious of Mrs Tootlepedal waiting for me at the bottom of the track, I walked back down.  It was a curious day.  To one side of the track, blue sky…

View from Whita…and to the other, mist covered hills.  When I got to the bottom, I looked back at the monument.

WhitaA few minutes later, the summit was clear of clouds.

As a consolation I did manage to spot one of the many larks that were singing their heads off in the sky above me as i walked.

Usually they are hard to see at all let alone photograph.

Mrs Tootlepedal had not been bored at all as she had seen a hen harrier, two buzzards and a (possible) kestrel or merlin while I had been away.

We decided to go on over the hill to see if we could see more harriers and owls.

The Tarras valley was a mixture of cloud and sunshine.

Back of WhitaIt was fate, that as soon as we got parked, the cloud swept up the valley and covered the car and the surrounding moor.  We didn’t linger long.

To rub salt in the wound, the rest of the day in the town was absolutely beautiful but I didn’t have the energy left to do more than wander round the garden from time to time…

A bergenia trying hard
Tadpoles about to break free
An interloping but very pretty dandelion on the drive.

…and stare out of the kitchen window when I got in.

This time it was a chaffinch with a loud voice.

The other chaffinch was blown away by the sheer force of his argument

The chaffinches were in lively mood.

chaffinchA passing collared dove looked as though it had been in a fight.

doveAfter tea, it was time for me to go to our local camera club meeting.  We had a very reasonable turnout in spite of it being a holiday weekend and although we didn’t have as many photographs to show as we hoped, the meeting was still most enjoyable.  It was helped by the fact that I had remembered biscuits, tea, coffee, milk, a kettle and even some teaspoons so that after we had viewed the images, we had a general discussion and tea break.

This has been an experimental first year but the unanimous feeling was to do it all again next year.

A traditional chaffinch is flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Life in the slow lane

  1. I especially like your “flying seed of the day” photo. Yes, one of life’s mysteries! Thanks for the update on the tadpoles. Coming along nicely!

    Do you see many turtles on your outings?

    1. I agree about the dandelion. We will have to wait another week or two for the flowers to get going more generally. The daffodils are coming on well though.

  2. Sorry the clouds put a damper on your time up on the hill, but your photos of them are fabulous and really convey the mood of the moment. What is that piece of artwork on the monument hill?

  3. The chaffinch photos are amazing – such aggressive little birds. Mr Tootlepedal, I am taking a bit of an Autumn-induced blog sabbatical, but will still keep up with your blog (I hope!)

  4. What a shame about the mist. I like your dandelion, even if Mrs T will probably have removed it by now. Funnily enough I was struck by the beauty of some dandelions along the river yesterday. I suppose if we considered them worthy of the garden they’d be harder to grow.

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