Modified rapture

swiss heron

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s niece Hilary.  It shows that Mr Gumpy’s family is spread all over Europe as this is one of his many cousins regarding Lake Zürich with a dyspeptic eye.

swiss heron

I regarded the world with a rather disgruntled eye myself today as I woke up with a cold and not even the very welcome return of Mrs Tootlepedal in the evening could make it go away.

I was feeling so out of sorts that I wasn’t even able to eat both the scones that Dropsocne brought to our morning coffee and he had to take one away with him when he went.  This was unprecedented.

I had to do a bit of cleaning and tidying to make sure the house was ready for the return of Mrs Tootlepedal and this left me with a few moments to look out of the kitchen window.  Annoyingly, it was a better day and I would have liked to go for a walk or a pedal but the furthest that I got was a trip to the river to try find a dipper.

It was not hard to find, as it was sitting in the middle of the river singing loudly…


…but it was too far away to get a good photograph and whenever I moved to get closer, it moved to get further away….


…and in the end, I gave up and went back home.

I made some soup using a leek from the garden and then sat down to rest before going to Carlisle.

There was steady trickle of birds to the feeder during the day including a starling who had to improvise to get at the seed….


…and a blackbird who couldn’t believe what it was seeing.


Mostly the visitors were the usual suspects, goldfinches and chaffinches.

chaffinch and goldfinch
The ringed goldfinch seems to have suffered an injury but it seemed quite perky

I am always surprised by how keen the birds are to cram onto a single perch when there are other perches free.


goldfinch and chaffinch


There must be some method in this madness but I can’t see what it is.

Chaffinches displayed various flying the styles – The Compact….


…and The Expansive.


My general state of cold induced grumpiness came and went during the day and luckily I was at my most cheery when the time came to go to Carlisle and I was able to combine collecting Mrs Tootlepedal with a little shopping.

Carlisle was looking very festive….

Carlisle lights

…but was not too busy so I got parked easily and did my shopping without trouble.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s train was bang on time and we were soon home and enjoying a nice cup of tea.  Sadly there were no biscuits left but I had made a fresh loaf of bread so that went down well.

I felt really seedy after our evening meal and fell asleep in front of the telly.  As the news was particularly harrowing, this was probably a sound policy.

I hope that a good night’s sleep will see the cold symptoms off and that tomorrow will be a new day and I will be a better companion for Mrs Tootlepedal.

The flying bird of the day is that goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Modified rapture

  1. Impressed by all the activity you manage to put in every day. Capturing the compact flying style deserves a prize… and made me smile.

  2. Glad Mrs T safely returned. Hope your cold is abating.
    Great picture of blackbird with beak in the air.

  3. Adding our “get well soon” to the list. Carlisle looks very pretty in its Christmas finery; add to that your ease at finding a parking space at this time of year and it sounds totally idyllic!

  4. Such jolly jinks outside your kitchen windows with the various antics of an acrobatic starling and free form flying styles of chaffinches- all makes for interesting viewing and reading. Hope the cold flies off soon.

  5. A hot shower and early to bed solves a lot of ills, I find. Or at the very least, it shelves them until you feel better able to cope!

  6. Loved the photo of Carlisle looking so festive!

    It’s also good to hear that Mrs. T made it home safe and sound, and on time.

    I can’t prove it, but I think that the reason that all the birds try to go to one perch is that the birds not on the feeder see the one on the feeder has found food, and that instinct takes over, and they think that they have to be in the same place to find the same food, even though they have been to the other perches on the feeder at other times. I say that, because I watched a flock of snow buntings the other day, whenever one found food, many of the others in the flock would rush over to to eat the same food. There must be an evolutionary advantage to that behavior, though I can’t fathom what it would be.

    1. The avian equivalent of clickbait! Not everything that people or animals do has to bring evolutionary advantage. I have known people do silly things!

  7. I apologize for reading your blog backwards but the plot thickens adequately in reverse. Your resolve to keep up the pictures and the blog even when you’re not feeling up to it is commendable and puts me to shame. Love the Dippers – I saw my first Dipper in Ireland years ago and did not see an American Dipper until several years later. They are not common where I live so they remind me of other places.

  8. The feeder activity is quite entertaining, and I love the starling and blackbird. Watching them would certainly improve the mood. Listening to the evening news might very well have had the opposite effect, so it was best you fell asleep. I have a hard time turning on the radio here these days.

    Hope you feel better and get rid of the cold soon so you can eat all your scones. 🙂

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