Yet more calm dry weather. What has gone wrong?

menin gate

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my flute pupil Luke.  He has been on a trip to Belgium.

menin gateThe picture is of the Menin Gate with his year group standing in front.   He was touched to find the name of his great great uncle Private George Bell’s name on it. George lived at the cottage at the top of Callister with his parents, 13 brothers and sisters. He died in battle with the Cameron highlanders.

As it happened I cycled over Callister and past that cottage today.

Our spell of good autumnal weather continued and if it goes on much longer, the bad memories of the really miserable spring and summer weather may begin to fade.

I am subject to some trivial but niggling aches and pains so after breakfast, when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to read extracts for the newspaper for the blind, I settled into a warm bath in an effort to smooth some of the aches away.

I rose gracefully out of the water in time to greet Dropscone, who had arrived bearing the traditional Friday treacle scones.  These went down well with the coffee.  We were observed by a great tit on the feeder pole outside the kitchen window.

great titDropscone went off to play golf and I walked round the garden.  (The treacle scones must have been good because I got a message from Dropscone later in the day to say that he had got a hole in one at the ninth.)

Although it was a warm and calm day, for the most part the sun wasn’t out so the sunflowers had to provided what sunshine they could.

sunflowersThe poppies have proved quite resilient and are making a comeback after the recent heavy rain.

poppies and crocosmia
Finally this is the effect that Mrs Tootlepedal had hoped for earlier in the year

Here is the poppy of the day.

poppyWe are having visitors tomorrow so there was some cooking and tidying up to be done and soon it was time for lunch.  A good variety of birds was to be seen enjoying their lunch while we had our soup, bread and cheese.

goldfinch, coal tit and chaffinch
Goldfinches, coal tit and chaffinch

Straight after lunch, I got the fairly speedy bike out and gave the new saddle another try.  I went about the same distance as yesterday but threw in a bit more climbing which always tests a saddle’s comfort.  Once again, the new saddle and I got on well but I didn’t stop to take pictures on my way as I was concentrating on keeping a good posture on the bike and pedalling as steadily as possible.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been hard at work, kindly made me a cup of tea and then I mowed the greenhouse grass and had another walk round the garden.  I got my macro lens out and tried to put some tips that I had learned from a helpful member at our last camera club meeting to good use.

fly
Not the most attractive subject but sharp from stem to stern
bee
The bee is so woolly that it is hard to tell how sharp the picture is.

(For those interested, the tip was to use a F-stop at 20 or over.)

I pointed the camera at a flower or two as well.

nastsurtium
The perennial nasturtium shows off a fine selection of coloured balls
poppies
Two poppies
japanese anemone and rudbeckia
Japanese anemone and rudbeckia

Lilian Austin is still putting out more flowers.

Lilian AustinThe Virginia creeper is on fire….

Virginia creeper…but it was not too hot for a moth (it may be a hawk moth but I am not sure).mothThe covered feeder is doing brisk business with several blue tits and occasional great tits and coal tits.

blue tit and great titBy and large, the finches leave it alone although I did see a goldfinch visiting it today in a rare sunny moment.

goldfinchI am not seeing many robins and dunnocks at present, possibly because they like to perch on low shrubs and the garden is haunted by predatory cats but I did see one dunnock today.

dunnock
It will have to be on its guard if it is to survive.

I am putting in a rather fuzzy picture of a blue tit just because I enjoyed the design so much.

blue titWe had an apple pie made from our own apples as a pudding at tea time and it tasted very good.  The espalier apples have come through the wet and cool summer very well but the tree has done so badly that Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is for the chop.  It is too tall for us to pick fruit safely any more and the fruit is liable to canker so we won’t miss it much.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and as both Alison and I have been practising, it was very satisfactory to find that we had both got better at playing our Telemann Partita.  Sometimes I practice and seem to get worse so this was very cheering.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch signalling a sharp right turn as it approaches the feeder.

chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Yet more calm dry weather. What has gone wrong?

  1. I like the macros too, especially the poppies. There’s so much going on in there.
    Your Virginia creeper rivals anything I’ve seen here. I’m going to have to go look at some tomorrow, I think.
    The moth on the red leaf is superb. If shots like that don’t get people interested in nature then nothing ever will.

  2. The moth photo is gorgeous, and he sure is a handsome fellow. The picture belongs in a textbook, illustrating protective coloration.

  3. What excellent pictures of the bee and fly, Tom. Well done! The nasturtiums balls remind me of Christmas lights. What strange but lovely weather you are having. The vibrant leaf colours are most attractive.

  4. A great selection of macro photos, they’re all very good! I also liked the photo of the perennial nasturtium, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the colors of the seed pods before.

    I hope that the nice weather continues for the foreseeable future, and that the new saddle is all that you hoped it would be.

  5. Many fine photographs and close-ups. Particularly liked the frilly poppy.
    Congratulations to Dropscone for his hole in one!

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