Not as bad as it might have been

Today’s guest picture, sent by my son Tony to annoy us, shows his villa as seen from the beach as he and Marianne enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine on a short holiday.

Villa TonyA look on the Met Office website this morning showed that the ‘feels like’ factor here was 7°C but even that felt generous as the everlastingly strong wind made life outside feel very chilly indeed.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda and nearly got knocked off her feet by the wind there.  The wind in Edinburgh is always worse than the wind anywhere else though.

I waited at home to let the joiner and his mate in.  They did some of those little niggling jobs that need doing but never seem to get done.  Today, however, they did get done.

Even though it was cold and windy, it could have been worse because the forecast rain held off until the evening so we were grateful for a dry day.  I stayed inside and enjoyed the show out of the window.

It was The Day of the Starlings: Part ll.

starlings and young
It started with a pose for a family picture…
starlings and young
…but soon got down to business.   Watch the youngster on the right…..
starlings and young
…he just wasn’t getting enough attention so he trod on one sibling…
starlings and young
…and then his parent…
starlings and young
…and then tried to push his other sibling off the perch.

Why am I sure that this was a boy and not a girl?

Other youngsters proved that shouting really loudly does get results.

starlings and youngstarlings and youngSoon, there were so many starlings on the feeder that it was hard for a parent to tell one bird from another.

starlings and youngHow did that sparrow get in?

starlings and young
The sparrow soon left as space was at a premium.
starlings and young
And the show went on….and on….and on, all day.

I decided that I had to take some exercise so I wrapped up well and went for a walk round the Kilngreen and the Castleholm in the hope of seeing some birds that weren’t starlings.

oystercatcher and heronWalking on, I saw a flying wagtail and a pretty fern on a wall…
fern and wagtail…an impressive display of lichen on a tree trunk and fresh growth in a conifer….

lichen and conifer….some wild flowers beside the path, some pretty, some strange….

wild flowers…and got home in time to go to the Buccleuch Centre for a Patrons’ Lunch.  These lunches are accompanied by a lecture from a guest and today we got a fascinating talk, with a wealth of interesting statistics on the progress of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project from Dr. Sonja Ludwig, the chief project scientist.  Well, it was very interesting to me and those who wish, can see what it was all about by visiting the project website.

In the afternoon, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group index and caught up with my Archive mail box.  I then spent more time preparing pictures of views of Langholm for cards.  It is difficult to get them bright enough to catch the eye of potential purchasers in the paper shop without making the colours untrue.  More work is needed.  I need to develop my understanding of what my printer will produce from screen shots.  Life is much easier when you are just preparing pictures for digital viewers.

During the day, I was able to get out into the garden and do a little mowing and some compost turning and of course, to take a few pictures.

back path
The back path is reasonably colourful at the moment.
clematis and poached egg plant
Things are coming out properly in spite of the chill
white spike
This looks exciting. I will have to ask Mrs Tootlepedal what it is.  It has been a bit blown about though.
euphorbia
I was advised to keep an eye on euphorbia developments so I did just that.  What an amazing plant it is.

Mrs Tootlepedal got home safely, having battled the fierce winds in Holyrood Park while pushing Matilda around and then after tea, I went off with Susan to play recorders with our group in Carlisle.

We had  a hard working practice sorting the final programme out for a forthcoming concert and working through the pieces.  I say it is the final programme but Susan thinks that we might have too much material and further slimming down may be necessary.  Still, it is better to have too much and discard some than to have too little and add an unpractised piece at the last minute.

The flying bird of the day is that oyster catcher leaving the Kilngreen.

flying oyster catcher

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Not as bad as it might have been

    1. I am sure it is spleenwort and it would be good if I could remember this when I put the picture in and not give you the trouble of reminding me. That was a genuine Treebeard I thought.

  1. Another highly entertaining family starling session and beautiful flowers again. I always look forward to your daily collection of excellent photos.

  2. Great picture from the mediterranean.
    I think you have some prize-winning starling pictures in your action series.

  3. I love how those two youngsters are looking at each other in what I believe is the 8th picture in the series of starlings. I always love it when a bird’s personality comes through in a photo.

    I really enjoyed the shot of the back garden path, especially the bright spots of pink and purple to the right of the path.

    And nice to see Mr. Grumpy make an appearance as well. 🙂

      1. Absolutely NO apologies needed — I enjoyed every single one. It’s just that one really caught my attention, the way the siblings are looking at one another. 🙂

      2. I actually got to see some being fed this morning and thought of you! They were on my neighbor’s fence, a parent and at least three fledglings. And yes, they were being quite demanding and when the parent flew off, the children followed, squawking in protest. 🙂

    1. I often wonder whether they are thinking of shoving off and leaving the complaining nippers to fend for themselves as they are so ungrateful.

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