Thousand Oaks

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia’s recent trip to America.  As well as wild life in Wyoming, she saw still life in Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks

We had a second fine sunny day today, frosty at dawn but warm enough for the rest of the day to make being outside a pleasure.

So it was a pity that it coincided with the one day of the week where thanks to choirs, we spend a lot of time indoors but these things  can’t be helped so we enjoyed the singing and we enjoyed the sun.

After the church choir, Mrs Tootlepedal made a chicken stew in the slow cooker and then found some time for gardening while I sneaked out for a dozen miles on the slow bike just to keep the miles ticking over while the sun shone.

I stopped for a view at the Bigholms…

view at Bigholms

…and as well as admiring the fine tree in the view…

tree at Bigholms

…I took a picture to show how thin the soil is under our scenery.

peat at Bigholms

The dark layer is peat.

While I was stopped for the view, I looked at a concrete fence post beside the road as I don’t like to waste a stop if I can help it.

lichen at Bigholms

I had a look round the garden when I got in and noted that a little bunch of the miniature Tete a Tete daffodils has come out…

jetfire daffodil

…though we are still waiting for the main daffodils to do their thing.

The crocuses were enjoying the sun…


…but there was nothing new to see so I went inside, had a shower and set up the camera at the kitchen window.

The feeder had been unoccupied while Mrs Tootlepedal worked nearby but when she came in, visitors arrived.


They were mostly chaffinches, flying in….

flying chaffinch

…from the plum tree and…


…sometimes getting into arguments with each other.

flying chaffinch

Sometimes a goldfinch stood in their way…

flying chaffinch

…and sometimes a greenfinch…

flying chaffinch and greenfinch

..but it was good to see the feeder busy.

I didn’t catch a flying greenfinch but I did notice one of the few goldfinches arriving.

flying goldfinch

I didn’t have long to enjoy the birds though as the moment to leave for Carlisle and our choir came all too soon.

We had our substitute conductor again this week as our musical director was busy with one of his many other duties and she gave us a thorough workout.  It was made all the harder from my point of view as my voice, which had been a bit husky in church, took a turn for the worse and I croaked my way inelegantly through the practice.

By the time that we had got home, I was even croakier and wondered whether I had picked up some unhelpful ailment but a couple of paracetamols and a plate of Mrs Tootlepedal’s excellent chicken stew improved things a lot.  I am hoping that all will be well in the morning.

I was even more perked up when I discovered that I had got a worthy contender for the position of flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Croaking

  1. I am constantly surprised at how your photos reveal the birds’ antics. In real time I just see them flitting about, and have no idea of how badly behaved they can be!

  2. Well hooray for Venetia for showing an actual bronze. I didn’t think we had that sort of thing here and I was feeling a bit jealous because your sister Susan always shows such beautiful ones on her blog.
    You’re very lucky to have all that peat just for the digging. It’s no wonder the gardens and landscapes are so beautiful there.
    That lichen is a beauty, and so are the daffodil and crocuses. I hope your scratchy throat turns out to be a false alarm.

      1. We used to cut it in the traditional manner for fuel for our fire when we first came to Langholm and I still have a bad back as a lasting legacy for the efforts we put in.

  3. I looked at the synopsis, or whatever you’d call it, and saw a small group of photos with the opening sentence. “Well,” I thought, “Wyoming looks very much like Scotland.” On reading further I discovered why this was… 🙂

    Stay well.

  4. Thanks for the edgings of spring-well, yours in full flower mode, ours is slow to awaken, but I’m seeing start of tulips and whatever it was Himself planted-bulbs I bought. Finches are keeping at the bird feeders here with less squirrels climbing the poles and eating. (YAY!) So, thanks for the update and soon we too will have the magic and warmth-warmer anyway.

  5. Hoping the croaking doesn’t return. We actually had a warmish and sunny day today. There’s hope for some springlike weather yet!

  6. Really great bird photos with all that action caught in a split second …clever camera and photographer! Was that a lost sheep/horse on the Bigholm pic? Pleased to read the throat hasn’t got any worse…best leave the croaking to your frogs.

  7. I hope you are not coming down with another bug. You and Mrs. T had more than your share of illness this winter.

    The sunny day looks very cheerful, especially with those crocus and Tete a Tete daffodils.

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