A bit of music at last

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my Newcastle correspondent who was visiting friends when a goldcrest crashed into a window.  It recovered and flew off but not before posing for a picture.

goldcrestThere was not a snow flake to be seen today but I waited for the temperature to drag itself up from the depths before venturing out for a short cycle ride to stretch my legs after a couple of quiet days.  The forecast was a bit gloomy so in spite of light winds, I stayed close to home with a trip to the top of Callister followed by a return trip to the bottom of Callister.

I am having to look after my knee when going up hill as it still tends to be a bit swollen and hot at night so I took the uphill sections carefully but made up for it by dashing back down the hill as fast as I could and just managed to squeeze my average speed for the 21 miles up to 14 mph exactly.  (I apologise to the old lady on the mobility scooter who I forced into the gutter as I sped along the last few metres of the trip in my bid to reach the magic number.)

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal called me out into the garden to look at some new flowers.

Fritillaria on the drying green
Nearby some dicentra are trying their best

And the first aubretia are showing at the end of the drive.

aubretiaI walked around the rest of the garden.

I thought that these were primroses but Mrs T tells me that they are primulas because they have many flowers on each stalk.

There were more fritillaria in the back border….

Is that a bee in there?
Yes, it was a welcome bee.
Off to visit another flower.  I don’t know whether it has quite mastered collecting pollen yet.

And another dicentra.

dicentraAlthough they are not quite ready yet, the grape hyacinths are looking good.

grape hyacinthsThe first recorded bird of the day was a jackdaw looking for fat ball scraps.


A blackbird had found them
Chaffinches flew in and out on a regular basis.

Though some were more placid.

chaffinchI was thinking of a short walk after lunch but the light got very poor and some desultory raindrops threatened to justify the gloomy forecast so I settled down to try to do some serious practice of Mozart’s Requiem.   I have rashly enrolled to sing this work at a scratch performance on Saturday.  Sadly there are not enough hours in the day to allow me to master fitting the words to the music in the elaborate (and speedy) runs that keep cropping up so there will be quite a bit of miming on the day…unless the choir master is a genius.

I did have time to keep an eye on a crow which arrived within seconds of Mrs Tootlepedal putting out a few breadcrumbs.

crowMrs Tootlepedal generally kept herself occupied by preparing the floorboards round the edge of the front room for a geometrical pattern which she is going to paint on them.  The professional decorator appeared today and he is going to start work on Thursday so the end of the end wall saga is now really in sight.

After I had caused Mozart to rotate in his grave enough times, I had another look out of the window.

Another jackdaw but too late for any scraps. It flew off in a melancholy manner.

It was replaced by a greenfinch.

greenfinchMy long stint in the kitchen hunched over the score was brightened by some of Mrs Tootlepedal’s daffodils which have found their way indoors.

indoor daffsWhat with school holidays meaning no flute lesson, camera club meetings meaning no trios, my Friday night orchestra visiting grandchildren in NZ and unexpected visitors leading to our recorder group being cancelled, I have been seriously starved on music lately so it was a pleasure to have a visit from my flute pupil Luke and play some duets with him.  He passed his recent grade examination so we are having some relaxed playing while he recovers from all the hard work.

After tea, I added to my musical day by going off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and we had a very enjoyable evening in spite of my lack of practice.

The flying bird of the day is a traditional chaffinch caught in the morning’s brightest moment..


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

40 thoughts on “A bit of music at last

  1. Great photos today, including the guest photo. (I am awaiting sight of any of the fritilaria that I planted for the first time last summer.) You may have had snow yesterday, but you seem to have had a wonderful spring day today, despite the gloomy forecast.

  2. Our fritillaries are still tiny buds! I enjoyed looking at your guest photo very much as it isn’t often one gets to see these little birds so clearly. The back-lit daffodil photo is lovely.

  3. I think I need to find out whether fritillaria will survive in Manitoba – they’re very beautiful. (Just how fast were you going when you zoomed past the scooter?!)

  4. Your colourful garden is really starting to repay Mrs T for all her hard work and glad you are keeping an eye on your knee in your dash for fitness!

  5. The fritillarias look very fine. Well done to Luke.
    I am sure all your practising will prove helpful for the Requiem performance on Saturday.

  6. Sorry, I don’t believe that some one who takes such beautiful photos of flowers could ever run an old lady into the gutter, even for an extra 1/2 MPH average speed. 😉

  7. Lovely images, Tom. I realised today that my knee wasn’t bothering me, and I have not long finished a very energetic marsh workday.

  8. Love the fritillaria, congratulations to Luke, and I’m certain Mozart is strong enough to handle your interpretation – we have certainly tested his rest over the years.

  9. Mrs T probably knows that those fritillaries are also called “Guinea Hen Flower” and “checkered lily” because of that tidy little pattern. I love them and enjoy all the pics of them.

    Your FBotD looks like a superhero coming to save the day.

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