Getting about a bit

Today’s guest picture is the last of a series from my sister Mary’s visit to the Lake District last month.  It was taken looking down at Grasmere.

Grasmere Lake and the Daffodil Hotel

The wind had subsided quite a bit after yesterday’s vigorous blow and it was pleasantly sunny when we got up.  As a result, I got dressed up for cycling after breakfast and went for a little leg stretcher up the Wauchope road.  Appearances were deceptive though and almost as soon as I got going, it started to rain.  I guessed that it wouldn’t last for long and pressed on.  It didn’t last long but that was because the clouds were being blown along by a pretty beefy breeze so progress was slow, especially as the road was still covered with loose gravel in places.

I settled for two ten mile laps to give myself a break from the wind after five miles and I can’t say that cycling worked its usual magic today.  It was a slog and I never got into any decent rhythm at all.

Still, it was twenty miles of good exercise so I shouldn’t complain and the sun was out by the time that I got home which gave me the opportunity to walk round the garden after I had had my shower.

I was taking a close look at things today.Geraniums are coming out.

geraniumsOrange is all the go.

poppy and azaleaThere were bees buzzing about among the paler flowers.

beesI thought that two of the pretty flowers deserved a picture all to themselves, an aquilegia….

aquilegia…and my favourite flower, an astrantia.

astrantiaI did something useful while I was out there and mowed the front and back lawns.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy on the culinary front and we sat down to a traditional roast lamb and two veg for lunch.  This is a rare treat for us these days.

After lunch, we went off  for the final practice before our end of season concert with the Carlisle Community Choir.  It was a hard working couple of hours as we went through the entire programme, polishing up little bits as we went.  If we can remember to do all the things we have learned, it should go very well.

Although it was still windy, it was still such a beautiful day when we got home that we had a quick cup of tea and then went off to the Moorland feeders. Mrs Tootlepedal sat in the car and scanned the sky for raptors while I lurked in the hide in the hope of woodpeckers in the evening sunshine.

She saw a buzzard or two circling in thee sky while I saw several woodpeckers chasing each other from tree to tree.

I started gently with a blue and great tit….

blue tit and great tit…and worked up to a woodpecker on one of the poles down the clearing.

greater spotted woodpeckerI had moved a peanut feeder into a sunny spot and hoped that the woodpeckers would find it.  A group of woodpeckers appeared and after mooching around for a while in the place where it had been hanging, looking baffled and rather cross, they soon found there way to the new position.

First a scouting position was taken.

greater spotted woodpeckerAnd then a leap was made.

greater spotted woodpeckerNothing was very permanent though….

greater spotted woodpecker…as new arrivals soon chased the resident pecker away.

greater spotted woodpeckerThere were usually three or four birds swirling around the clearing giving me plenty of photo opportunities.

greater spotted woodpeckergreater spotted woodpeckergreater spotted woodpeckerIt was better than going to the pictures,

Later in the evening, we went outside to watch the International Space Station sail through the sky above the house.  It is quite awe inspiring to realise that it is passing over our heads at 17,000 mph but on the this occasion my delight was tempered by getting severely bitten by midgies while we were watching.  I fear that this may herald a midgy summer. This will be a blow after a couple of relatively midge free years.

After watching all the woodpeckers flying about, it is obvious that the flying bird of the day should be a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Getting about a bit

  1. It makes sense that the flying bird should be a goldfinch after you saw all the woodpeckers, I think.

    The woodpeckers are stunning, but so are the aquilegia and astrantia flowers, they’d be among my favorites also.

  2. I still remember my surprise when first hearing about how bad the midges can be in Scotland. “How can that be?” I thought. “It is so much colder there!” It seems hot, wet places in Australia aren’t the only domain of these annoying blood suckers. I’ve been admiring the beautiful Lake District guest pictures you’ve posted over time. I remember being fond of the scenery and creatures painted by Beatrix Potter when I was young. I do believe she was from that area? Your woodpeckers and goldfinches are rather special and you capture them extremely well.

    1. You are very observant. I think that the fuchsia is my favourite flower in real life and the astrantia is my favourite photographic subject. (I may have other favourites from time to time as my memory is not what it was.)

  3. Loved the bird and flower pictures especially the close ups. Sorry about the midges and the nasty wind. Hope the forthcoming concert goes really well.

  4. Fantastic garden macro shots! I enjoyed them all very much. And the woodpeckers put me over the moon! 🙂 I especially liked the shot where its wings are spread and you can really see the dot pattern.

  5. Well done doing all that exercise both on and off the bike. Splendid woodpecker pictures.

  6. Wonderful flight shots, especially love the woodpecker’s spread wings. Sorry about the midges but at least you can look at the sky without light pollution!

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