And now, a big hand for Imogen

Leicester Guildhall

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s visit to Leicester and shows the Guildhall there.

Leicester Guildhall

The named storms keep rolling in and we are about to be visited by Imogen.  Because the jet stream has obligingly shifted a bit, Imogen is likely to pass us by and visit the south of England instead of us.   We are not escaping entirely however, as we are to have strong winds and heavy rain tomorrow morning.  After that, we are promised a short spell of calmer, slightly colder weather which will be very welcome.  There may even by sunshine.

It was very windy and wet again this morning so I was pleased to have a venison stew to prepare for the slow cooker and coffee to make for Dropscone when I had finished the stew.

That let the worst of the weather go by while I was indoors.

Before I started the cooking, I did look out of the window to see if any birds were braving the breezes and was pleased to see a small flock of goldfinches flutter down on to the plum tree.


The effect was the exact opposite of autumn with colour falling back onto the branches from above rather than falling off them to the ground below.

A single brambling appeared.


The feeder was busy for a while ….

goldfinches and siskins

…but as suddenly as they had come, the small birds disappeared again.

They might have had a good reason to make themselves scarce.


The sparrowhawk settled on the bench for a while, looking round rather crossly to see where all the little birds had gone…


…then stretched its wings…


…and flew up on to the feeder.


It left empty footed.

Its manoeuvres did let me check to see if sparrowhawks have eyes in the back of their heads.


You might think so at first glance.

After coffee, the rain relented for a while so I put on my waterproofs and went for a brisk walk in the brisk wind.  The rain came and went while I walked so it wasn’t too bad and I got the camera out in the drier moments.

gate at Springhill
There was a handsome new five bar gate to admire near Pool Corner
And plenty of lichen on the Auld Stane Bridge parapet.

The day was not conducive to glorious views….

Gaskells in Winter

…and the horses had their waterproofs on too…

horse at Stubholm

…but the paths were reasonably dry and no trees fell on me as I went round Gaskell’s and Easton’s walks.

It was time for lunch when I got back and Mrs Tootlepedal helped me polish off the last of the cod’s roe.  It is sad to think that I will have to wait twelve months for my next decent meal.

In the afternoon, we went off to Carlisle to practice with the Community Choir.  Our great leader had discovered that we were a few minutes short on our programme for the competition in Manchester at the end of the month so we had to start work on a fifth piece.  I had been congratulating myself on getting the existing four pieces for the programme pretty well learned off by heart so this was a bit of a blow.

Still, it is an enjoyable song to sing so learning it won’t be too big a problem (I hope).  With only two more practices to go before the competition, we are going to have to work hard.

The venison stew turned out well and we were able to have a relaxing evening in while the rain and wind battered our windows.

The (almost) flying bird of the day is the sparrowhawk.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “And now, a big hand for Imogen

  1. Super pictures of the sparrowhawk.
    And as for the lichen, for a moment I thought you had early frogspawn. Though come to think of it, it shouldn’t be too long now – hooray!

  2. Nice to see the beautiful sparrowhawk’s maneuvering, but happy that the little birds were wise enough to go hiding.

  3. Excellent sparrowhawk pictures!
    Glad choir rehearsal went well. Hope not too much practising required for the 5th song.

  4. That sparrow hawk looks well fed, so I suspect he won’t be empty footed for long. Can’t say that I’ve ever had cod roe. I may have to check it out.

  5. No wonder the little birds flee; even without eyes in the back of its head, that sparrow hawk looks like he means business. I like the autumn-in-reverse plum tree shot 🙂

  6. Well I’m glad I decided to improve my middle-of-the-night angst by catching up on the birds of Langholm. Sparrowhawks. I’d like to have some of those around.

  7. The sparrow hawk is glorious. I wish we had one visiting our garden as often as you do although I’m sure our little birds would disagree. Love the image of the birds like falling leaves in reverse. Imogen passed us with horrible winds, lightning and lots of rain but no damage.

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