It takes two to tootle

Today’s guest picture, sent by my sister Mary, shows Mr Grumpy’s London cousin trying to pass himself off as a swan or goose at the Serpentine.

Mr Grumpy's cousin, pretending to be a swan or goose.We were threatened with rain today but in the end it didn’t arrive until the evening and we had a dry, cool day instead.  I had to begin the day with business relating to the photo exhibition and that took me until coffee time,

After coffee, I did a little bird watching.  The bright but sunless day made the light ideal for portraits both on the feeder…

sparrow and goldfinch…and in the plum tree.

blackbird and dunnockA blackbird posed on the chimney pot.

blackbirdSoon though, Mrs Tootlepedal, our daughter Annie and I set off for the Moorland bird hide in the hope of seeing some interesting birds and its living roof.  We saw the roof….

Laverock bird hide
Tricky to get a mower up there.

….but we hardly saw any birds let alone any interesting ones.  My daughter took a picture of the bug hide….

Annie…as she is going to build one in London.

We stopped looking for birds and explored some of the other things to see near the hide.

slow worm
A slow worm
tiny plant
A tiny plant, possibly some sort of nettle.
And a really good show of orchids.

We decided to go along the road a bit further and see if the wild irises were out in the marshy meadow beside the Tarras Water.

MeadowThere were very few irises to be seen and the ones that were there were too far into the boggy bits for us to get near.  There was plenty of other interest though, as we walked through the long grass.

There was the grass itself….

long grass…ragged robin….

ragged robin…more orchids…

orchids…and quite a lot of hard to shoot butterflies.

butterfliesI finally got a better shot of one of the butterflies just as we got back to the car.

ringlet butterfly
It is a ringlet butterfly

We paused at the bird hide on the way back and were pleased to get a passing glimpse of a woodpecker.  In spite of the lack of interesting birds, the walk through the meadow and been quite good enough to make the outing a success.

We got back in time for lunch and a walk round the garden.

The Wren and Lilian Austin, one on each side of the path at the back of the front lawn, compete to see which is the most beautiful.

Lilian Austin, The WrenThe bees found the Gallica Complicata more attractive than either.

bee on rose
For lovers of Edith Piaf’s music, there might be an echo in the thought of a bee on rose.

A fresh rose, Rosa Mundi has come to join the gang.

rosamundiI like the Goldfinch because it starts out white and turns yellow giving me two roses for the price of one.

rosa GoldfinchThe clematis which I showed gently unfurling recently, has now completed the job.

It was worth the wait.

The afternoon drifted away with Mrs Tootlepedal cooking and me watching the tennis with Annie. I stirred myself up enough to mow the middle lawn and sieve some compost and then my flute pupil Luke came.  I had worried about his ability to count the beats well after last week’s lesson and had spoken sternly to him about the need to do something about this.  He had done something and amazingly (and very satisfactorily) came back this week with his foot tapping in rhythm and the notes played in the right place and at the right pace.  He must have practised really well.

My friend Mike, the usual Monday night cellist in our trio, had other business tonight so after tea, Annie and I packed up a couple of recorders and three trio sonatas by Boismortier, Daniel Purcell and William  Williams and went off to play with Isabel.  Annie hasn’t played for some time but we puffed away while Isabel sight read the keyboard parts and had a delightful time.  We kept the tempos steady and by and large not only started at the the same time but finished at the same time too.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch keeping its hands where we can see them.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “It takes two to tootle

  1. I’d love to be able to just walk along a road or path and see beautiful orchids like those. I drove quite a few miles over the weekend to see some blooming here. You’re very lucky.
    The shot of the clematis is even better than the last one. The gaps between the petals add a lot to that photo.

  2. LIke the bee, life seems in the pink at the moment. Love that living roof on the Moorland Bird Hide. We tried something similar on our hen house…not one of our triumphs.

  3. What can I say that I haven’t said already? The flowers are perfect, and it doesn’t matter where you go, you bring back great photos of so many different interesting and beautiful things from your trips.

  4. I used to see the occasional slow worm, but, disturbingly, I cannot remember the last time I had the experience. Wild life is taking a real pummelling, everyone should be doing more to save what we have.

  5. I wonder which of us is spending more time watching the tennis at the moment. I had withdrawal symptoms on Sunday. Good job I’m off on a 2-day course next Monday – a WordPress one!

      1. I have a French friend – known to your sister – who before her retirement used to take three weeks off work to watch the Tour de France. ‘It’s for the beautiful countryside’ she would claim.

  6. You give us a such a treat with the wildflowers from your walks and the beautiful displays from your garden. Those are very impressive orchids and once again you delight us with excellent bird shots.Yes, the clematis were definitely worth the wait. How lovely that your daughter enjoys nature walks too. My daughter and I are spending some more time together while she has a uni break which is such a pleasure.

  7. I thought that worm was a snake for a moment! I have a resident snake in the washhouse which makes washing clothes a little scary. Beautiful beautiful photos as always.

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