Dodging the showers

Today’s guest picture shows the Mermaid in Rye.  The picture was taken by my sister on a recent visit to this ancient town on the south coast of England.  It must be one of the prettiest inns in the country.

The Mermaid, RyeWe had another chilly and windy day with alternating sunshine and showers.  I found a sunny spell after breakfast and went out for  a dull  three lap, 20 mile ride up and down the Wauchope road, with the intention of running for home if the rain started and avoiding the worst of the wind at the same time.

I was partially successful and only got rained on for a short time on the third leg of the trip.  As I could see blue sky following on behind the rain, I persevered and was soon through the shower.  It was lucky that it was a short shower as the temperature dropped and the wind gusted heavily as it passed over. As it was, the wind was strong enough to add five minutes to my time over the same course yesterday.

I had enough energy when I got back to drink the cup of coffee that Mrs Tootlepedal had made with expert timing against my return and then take a walk round the garden in the sunshine.

In spite of the rain, hail, snow and wind, there is still quite a bit of colour to be seen.

primula and euphorbia
An obstinate primula growing in the middle of a path and a very decorative euphorbia
Two topping tulips
daffodil and spirea
A durable daffodil and a spectacular spirea.

On the down side, the grass on the lawns is going to pot and I doubt that my back would stand up to the work necessary to get them back in order.  I shall have to give up the dream of a perfect sward.  Perhaps a wild flower meadow is beckoning?

The rest of the morning was spent having a relaxing bath in an effort to get some of the stiffness out of my legs and shoulders.  It didn’t have much effect but I enjoyed the soak.

I noticed an infrequent visitor on the feeder when I came down.

A starling, probably nesting nearby.

I tried and failed to get a flying pigeon picture.

flying pigeon I was intending to make some carrot soup for lunch but I had spent so long lounging in the tub that we went off to a garden centre to try their home made soup instead.  Mrs Tootlepedal bought some herbs and some beetroot seedlings while we were there and we investigated their logs for our new stove.

It was raining heavily when we got home so we spent useful time getting some of the things that were moved out of the two rooms for the building works back in to them again.  Some things are being placed elsewhere in the house and quite a lot is going into the bin in the effort to have a tidy as well as a dry room downstairs.

When the rain stopped, I nipped up to the Moorland bird feeders to see what I could see.

Moorland feedersThere was just a hint of sunshine on the tree tops to set off the heavy black cloud of the departing shower.

Action was slow to get going but I am more patient than I used to be and the hide is very snug on a cold and windy day so I waited and was rewarded by a visit from a greater spotted woodpecker which came very close to the hide.

It had a good look round…
…before heading for the peanuts.

I thought that it deserved a head and shoulders portrait.

woodpeckerIt was followed by some great tits…

great tits
This one is a local, judging by the ring.

…and several chaffinches.   They arrived with another rain shower.

chaffinchI had put a little seed on a tree stump and the chaffinches were happy to pose in return for a seed or two.

_DSC9382-1Unlike the woodpecker, which had come close and stayed there, I had a fleeting visit from a jay.  It swooped up to the hide and then wheeled round and headed for a distant feeder.

jayThe jay left and the sun came out which let me leave the hide in comfort, pausing for one last glance at another chaffinch.

chaffinchIt had been a most enjoyable hour.

When I got back, I helped Mrs Tootlepedal put lampshades on the wall lights in the front room and looked through the thirty woodpecker pictures that I had taken (and the thirty chaffinch pictures).

In the evening, we both went off to sing with our local choir, Langholm Sings.  We have two ladies who are sharing the job of musical direction for the choir and they are settling into to the job very well so we had a good two hours with plenty of work and some useful progress.   I have the good fortune to sit beside a young music student with a fine voice.  He keeps me right and as a bonus,  covers up any little mistakes of mine very well.

The flying bird of the day is a garden chaffinch taken in one of the gloomy moments of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Dodging the showers

  1. I’m delighted that Mrs T and I have the same policy towards plants growing in pavements. As for wildflower meadows, 90% of the ‘lawn’ I took over four years ago now claims to be such, but it’s not totally without maintenance needs.

  2. It would be a shame to lose that beautiful lawn that sets off the garden so well, but I know what it’s like when jobs get to be more than we can handle. Shoveling the roof in winter is becoming that way for me. Still, most people probably don’t even see the lawn defects that you do.
    I’m glad the frost didn’t destroy all the flowers.

    1. I am deeply grateful that shovelling the roof isn’t one of my chores. I love the lawns and I do think that they set off the flowers well but a few tentative lawn care actions have made my back feel very sorry for itself so I shall have to see how things go.

  3. The wild flower meadow instead of a pristine lawn is not such a bad idea. The pollinator insects would love you for it. 🙂 I admire the delicate pinky-orange-apricot and the pretty grey-blue colours on your chaffinches and the woodpeckers have lovely patterns too. A beautiful set of bird pictures as always. I don’t think much of riding in rain and wind myself. You are braver than me!

  4. Some fine shots of the woodpecker.
    The tulips have done well to survive the cold and wet weather.

  5. I am sure that you decry your talents as a singer unnecessarily. However your talents as a photographer are there for all to see, lovely bird pictures from the hide especially the woodpecker. Hope the stiffness in back and shoulders is better today

  6. A wild flower meadow? Do it! I enjoyed the floral alliteration, the woodpecker and the jay, but my absolute favourite was the flying pigeon; mainly because it mirrors my Mr T inspired attempts very closely 🙂

  7. You made the most of the parts of the day with good weather. I wish that there was a place that I could go that had a hide such as the one near the Moorland feeders, but if there was, I’d probably just about live in it.

    Anytime that you’ve posted photos of the lawns they have looked much better than most, so I think that you’re being overly critical of your efforts. However, letting Mrs. T turn them into wildflower gardens doesn’t sound all bad either. 😉

  8. Sounds like you have been having weather challenges like ours, at least on the cold and blustery side of things, but you certainly make the best of it. Great-looking woodpecker.

  9. I’m sure your lawn puts ours to shame even without any work done to it. The hide provided a good haul of photos, I especially like the woodpecker.

  10. There is just something so miserable about lousy weather at the end of April. We were having the same thing here at the time. I don’t know why, but for some reason it seems worse after we’ve had a taste of fine spring sun. I hope things have improved dramatically by now. (I’m still working on catching up on your posts.)

    I really love that woodpecker! He definitely deserved a close-up. Also, I thought that last chaffinch shot in the series, where it is perched on the branch, is particularly sweet. What an interesting jay you have there!

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