Concerted action

Today’s guest picture was taken on a sunny evening in Spain by my neighbour Liz, who was on holiday there last month.

SpainWe were back to the fine warm weather here again today and I managed to get out on my fairly speedy bike before it got too hot.  It was not as early as I had planned but at least it was before coffee time.

I was in gentle mode as I was testing out my joints after putting my foot in in it at the weekend and I am happy to report that all went well and I lasted the twenty miles without crying.  Although the colour has largely gone out of the verges there are still splashes here and there.

Birds foot trefoil
Bird’s foot trefoil on Callister
daisies near Waterbeck
Daisies near Waterbeck

I was on the hunt for orchids and finally found a couple on the road to Gair.

orchidorchidThere was a lot of vetch among the hedges too.

vetchThe oddest thing that I saw was a portion of hedge wrapped up in a fine web.  I think that this is a moth at work.

webbed hedgeMrs Tootlepedal had been out for a coffee and chat with ex colleagues from work and we both got home about the same time.

Naturally we walked round the garden.  We were both pleased to see that the potatoes are flowering at last.

potatoesI did a quick rose round up.

gallica, moyesii and jacobite
Gallica, Moyesii and Jacobite
burnet, goldfinch and ginger syllabub
Scotch Burnet, Goldfinch and Ginger Syllabub

There are still more to come out.

After lunch, I did some mowing and dead heading while Mrs Tootlepedal took out some flag irises and consigned them to the compost heap.  They were too prone to falling over to be good value where they were in an exposed position.

It was too hot to be out for long so I retired from time to time to watch the tennis.

Although I didn’t spend much time bird watching, I couldn’t miss the basking blackbird on the lawn….

blackbird…and a charming goldfinch on the feeder…

goldfinch…though I had to look twice to spot this greenfinch hidden among the plum tree leaves.

greenfinchThe main business of the day was a concert for our recorder group in the evening so I spent some time practising the pieces and some time writing a little introduction to them, as I am spokesman for the group when we play.

After a light tea, we went to pick up Susan and headed twenty five miles south to the little 18th century church in Hayton.

Hayton ChurchIt was a handsome building but too closely surrounded by the village to let me get a good shot of it with my phone.  We were putting two ten minute spots into each half of a program of choral singing by the Brampton Chamber Choir. The church was quite small but it turned out to be the best venue that we have played in with this choir.  It has a raised chamber to one side of the body of the church…

Hayton Church
In days gone by, it was entered through this separate door but now there is a staircase up from inside.

…and we were able to set up shop there like minstrels in a gallery.  The light was  very good and there was enough space so that we could set our chairs out in a semi circle and see and hear ourselves as we played.  As a bonus, we didn’t have to move away when the choir sang.  This all made for a very comfortable evening and we played pretty well with only one or two moments of anguish.

The choir sang a selection of English part songs from Tallis to Elgar and I enjoyed their work a lot.  Add in a beautiful sunset as we drove back to Langholm and the whole excursion was thoroughly worthwhile.

Mrs Tootlepedal calculated that she personally constituted 4% of the audience so it was one of those concerts when the question of whether the audience outnumbered the participants was moot.

Owing to all the garden activity through the day, catching a flying bird was hard and I have had to settle for the nightly flocking of the rooks above the roofs of the town in the late evening when we got back from the concert.

rooks

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Concerted action

    1. You may. It means removing the dead heads of plants after flowering so that either the plant will produce more flowers or if it is a bulb, it will put all its efforts back into the bulb rather than to producing seeds. It also helps to keep the garden looking tidy.

  1. Glad your ankle stood up to the cycle ride. Good to see those orchids, the greenfinch in the plum tree and am pleased that you enjoyed the concert.

  2. I know the phenomenon of participants outnumbering audience. Back in the 80s, I was part of a 25-strong ad hoc choir which managed to sing for an audience of two, in a church in Hammersmith!
    I think your hedge wrapping may possibly have been done by some kind of mother spider, creating a nest for her minuscule babies.

  3. Very pleased to read that your joints went well with the cycling. I’m relieved that there seems no lasting damage from you “putting your foot down.” The webbing on the hedges is interesting. I sometimes see such webbing here and on close inspection they often look to be made by moth caterpillars. I always enjoy seeing the beautiful old church buildings from your region and also the beautiful flowers and scenes from your rides and walks.

  4. It does sound like the ideal concert venue. I am glad all went well (barring the couple of ‘moments’). I am also pleased you are recovering well from your accident.I enjoyed the wildflower photos very much.

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