Warblepedal

Dulwich Park, opposite the Picture Gallery

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary, who visited  Dulwich Park opposite the Dulwich Art Gallery in South London today.  It is an oasis of peace in a busy world.

Dulwich Park, opposite the Picture Gallery

We had another chilly morning followed by another dry day with a north wind.  More tulips fell under the heavy hand of the cold but some survived…

tulips

…and new tulips have come to join them.

tulip

I killed a bit of time while I was waiting for the thermometer to rise to 7°C by looking at sitting birds in the sunshine from an upstairs window.

goldfinch

siskins

… and when the temperature finally got there, I went off on the fairly speedy bike to test how strong the north wind was.   It was brisk but tolerable and blew me down to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass at a very satisfying rate of knots.

Of course the  return journey, uphill and into the wind, wasn’t quite so carefree but it was far from being just a slog and I enjoyed my ride a lot.  I only stopped once, on the bridge at The Hollows, to show the gradual greening of the landscape.

River Esk at Hollows
Downstream
River Esk at Hollows
Upstream

The river level is very low, a testament to the dry spell that we have had lately.  A couple of warm wet days wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden and after a shower, a quick lunch and a look out of the kitchen window….

redpolls
More redpolls seem to appear every day.

…I joined her.  I employed myself as usefully as I could by doing some dead heading of daffodils, which have suffered from the cold and are getting to the end of their lives anyway, some sieving of compost, which is needed for planting out the early vegetables, and mowing the middle lawn, which wasn’t really needed because of the chilly weather but I like mowing lawns.

And of course, I looked at flowers.

It was surprising to me how some flowers seemed untouched by the cold mornings.  This lamium is thriving….

lamium

…and a new anemone came out today…

anemone

…and the curious tulips seem unaffected by the frosts….

tulip

…though it might be a bit hard to tell.

We are getting very excited by a trillium which should be open soon.

I was pleased to see a bee or two about….

marsh marigold with bee
This one was on a marsh marigold in the pond

…because fruit flowers will need all the attention that they can get.

gooseberry and blackcurrant
The gooseberry has a wasp at work and the blackcurrant is producing flowers in spite of a bad attack of ‘big bud’
apples
The espalier apples are starting to flower

The cold weather has held plants back a bit but there are hopeful signs.

lupin
The lupins are looking healthy.

I spent some time trying to catch more sitting birds to please Mrs Tootlepedal who finds constant flying birds rather fidgety.  The next two pictures were taken with my Lumix while I was outside int he garden which is most unusual for me.  The birds were sitting on the feeders very calmly as I approached.

redpoll

siskins and goldfinch

When I went in, I looked out again.

redpoll

It was a redpoll heavy day today.

I put in a bit of time preparing an MP3 file of a tenor part for one of our Carlisle songs to send to a fellow singer.  It is a tricky number and there are fears that the conductor might try to make us learn it so a practice aid will be helpful.

I noticed a blackbird outside as I came through into the kitchen after emailing the music file.

blackbird

By now, it was time for tea and I cooked myself a nourishing corn beef hash with added onions and mushrooms and fortified by this, I then went off to sing with our Langholm choir.

 

It was one of those evenings when the songs we sang were songs that by and large I could sing and the three tenors in the choir were in good humour and sang well together as a team so that by the time the two hours were up, I was on a musical high and came home in a very cheery mood indeed.  Singing is wonderful when it is going well.

The flying bird of the day is looming more than flying.

flying chaffinch

Note:  A helpful correspondent pointed out that yesterday’s post came without a comments facility.  I don’t know how that happened and I will try to make sure that there is one today.  If there isn’t, I apologise.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Warblepedal

  1. I missed the comments box yesterday as I wanted to commiserate with you about the ballerina tulips. The redpolls are very attractive birds and I’ve enjoyed seeing your photographs of them.

  2. I, too, think the anemone is beautiful. The “fancy” tulips look as though they are ready to pounce – a bit like something from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”!

  3. I do love the perching birds photos and am amazed at how many redpolls you have visiting your feeders. The river views are lovely and it’s good to see that everywhere is greening up so well.

  4. Thank you for posting the bee and marsh marigold photo. Those flowers bring back some lovely childhood memories.

    I like the siskin panel, one up and one pointed down. I chuckled as it reminded me of that old song “Both Sides Now”. “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down…”

  5. Your river looks like our salt marsh – dry. We have a huge deficit of rain right now …and I would welcome an end to the dry spell. Still, all your flowers are stunning!

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