Messing about with the buttons


Today’s guest picture shows a peacock which was observed by Dropscone on a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent during  his recent holiday.


Although there were hints of sunshine offered by the weather forecast for today, they were not forthcoming in actuality and we had a chilly, grey day with a nipping east wind. I started out by going up to the Moorland feeders with Mrs Tootlepedal to act as reserve feeder filler.

When we had filled the feeders,  she sat in the car and scanned the horizon for exciting raptors (in vain) while I sat in the hide, hoping for exciting new visitors (also in vain).

There was a shy woodpecker….

woodpecker great tit coal tit

…who was soon replaced by some more forward great and coal tits.

There was a seed pilfering pheasant….


…and a great quantity of chaffinches and siskins…

siskins and chaffinches

…but when two other bird watchers came into the hide, I wasn’t too unhappy to pack up and leave them to it.

On our way back to the town, we stopped at Skippers Bridge to check on the work.  The workers must have faith in their scaffolding….

Skippers Bridge repair

….because the water was foaming away not far beneath their feet.  They are making good progress though…

Skippers Bridge repair

…and have built up a lot of new facing.  The man on the right was being fed stones to pack into the space behind the new wall.

Skippers Bridge repair

If they keep on at this rate, it won’t be long before they are finished.

While I was on the bridge, I stole a glance at the parapet.

Lichen on Skippers

I did have some idea of going out for a chilly pedal when we got home but the fact the I would have to face the nippy wind on my return journey persuaded me that making some leek and potato soup was a better plan.  We have still got several leeks in the garden so there will probably be more soup before the end of the month.

I watched the birds in between times.

goldfinch and chaffinch
I enjoyed the goldfinch on the right landing on a wing and a prayer

I am so used to seeing our birds that I sometimes forget just how pretty and colourful they are.

blue tit and goldfinch

Instead of cycling on the slow bike, I took pictures of the belt drive and the solid back tyre which together with the hub gear make it almost maintenance free…

slow bike

…even if they may make it a little slower.

A fresh crocus caught my eye.

The promised breath of springtime.

I did get some exercise in the end though as Sandy came round for a walk in the afternoon.

The promised sunshine stayed well away and we had a rather grey and featureless stroll.  In fact things were so dull that we started to see what pressing buttons on the camera might do.

A smart filter made a striking job of this track view.

Pathhead track

I did say that it was rather a grey day…

bridge at Holmhead

…so I took a rather grey picture to go with  it.

We thought that we would look to see if there were any snowdrops at Holmhead.


We found several…



We were still pressing buttons on the camera and we found a handy setting which will pick out a single colour from a scene.


We were like children in a sweetie shop.

Castleholm single colour

Sandy single colour
It was a pity that Sandy didn’t have a brighter jacket on.

I even showed the button to Mrs Tootlepedal when I got home…

tea pot single colour

…but she kept remarkably calm.

In the evening I went out to the first meeting of 2107 for our Langholm Choir, ‘Langholm Sings’.   We had a good practice, which started with some familiar music just to get us in the groove.  I noticed a few familiar mistakes were still in the groove too.  We ended the practice with a couple of new pieces and these were very enjoyable so the new season looks promising.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch looking for a male to give her some space.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Messing about with the buttons

  1. Hi Tom – I hope you will not be too shocked that we have actually had to do a peacock cull (6 males to 1 female was getting too awful). Only one peacock left now and another re-homed. The cull was done quickly and professionally but I got terribly depressed afterwards. On a more positive note, the new pup is doing well and my volunteering jobs are sky-rocketing (hence no time to blog). Your blog always comforts me somehow – thank you!

    1. I am sorry to hear about the peacock cull. These things are not easy. But I am glad to hear that you still have one to keep you company, not to mention the new pup too.

      I am glad that you are keeping busy and I hope that you will find a moment or two to keep your blogging audience up to speed.

  2. The camera button sounds like a truly “nifty” thing! Installing the scaffolding for the bridge repairs must have been a challenge. And finally – are the solid tires heavy enough for you to notice the difference, either when handling the bike or when riding?

    1. The tyre (I only have one on the back, the front is pneumatic) seems to be very similar to a pneumatic one in every respect at the speed that I ride on the slow bike. I don’t think that someone who rode the bike and who didn’t know about the tyre would notice it at all.

  3. When using the single color setting, does the camera choose the color or does it allow you to choose? It is a neat effect, one that I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get naturally.

    I also liked the effect of the filter used for the track view, but I think that it would grow tiresome after just a few images.

    1. You can select the colour through the camera’s viewfinder. It seems to to have a range around a colour when it is selected so strong single colour subjects are probably the best. But it definitely has possibilities.

      I agree with your remark about the filter on the track view..

  4. I also liked those one colour photos, especially the red roofed buildings. It is wonderful when you discover new gizmos.
    I also smiled at you finding some familiar mistakes in the singing groove…I know the feeling 🙂

  5. That was a practical button to find, I get the excitement 🙂 Nice to see the snowdrops and the signs of spring, in addition to your colorful birds.

  6. Great colourful photos to enjoy all the way through from the lovely birds to the large orange and lemon ‘birds’ in the cages ( I’m getting my new glasses very soon!). The snowdrop scenes are beautiful and the single colour highlighted subjects are my favourite.

  7. I should spend time playing with the buttons on my camera. That’s something I never seem to do.
    Those are great shots of the bridge work and what could be better than a forest full of snowdrops.
    I like the little footbridge.

  8. The pheasant looks a bit surprised. Quite a colorful fellow, probably hoping his good looks will excuse him from seed pilfering. The bird panels are beautiful as always.

    Those wandering tracks and woodlands filled with snowdrops are inviting!

    Good to see crocus. Mine are just now pushing up above the soil. I moved survivors and new crocus bulbs to planters, as they proved to be too much of a temptation for hungry gophers.

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