Old winter’s song

steam train

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who managed to be on the platform at Lockerbie Station when an excursion train drawn by no less then three locomotives (two steam and a diesel)  went through.  Good skills.

steam train

The lyrics of the song Autumn Leaves contain the lines:

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song

…and today in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal and in spite of it being nowhere near autumn (and the day actually getting two minutes longer), it felt very wintery here indeed, with a cold and strong wind making life outdoors unpleasant.

I had to go up to the Moorland Project bird feeders to act as a fill-in feeder filler for Gavin, who is wisely sunning himself in Spain, and there was a little added drizzle while I was there to make sure I got on with the job at speed.

I did take a seat in the hide, having put a little seed on a tree stump very close to the window,  The seed bore fruit in a manner of speaking…


…and I got some good close-ups with my new zoom lens.


I was surprised to see so many birds about as there really was a fierce wind blowing and I can’t really see how birds weighing only a few grams can fly through conditions like that.  They must be very aerodynamic and/or have a great power to weight ratio.

The wind was certainly ruffling a few feathers.


The stump was attractive to both chaffinches and siskins but my big lens was too big to get them both in at the same time so I had to turn to the Lumix, which I luckily had in my pocket, to show this scene of peaceful co-existence.

siskin and chaffinch

A little further away, a great tit enjoyed the peanuts.

great tit

More bird watchers arrived and I was quite pleased to use this as an excuse to go home as even in the protection of the hide, it was a very cold morning to be sitting about.

Luckily, I had an excellent and tricky crossword to pass the time when I got home and that took me up to lunchtime, with a short break for bird watching through the kitchen window.

I was further away from the birds here.


…and there wasn’t the same peaceful co-existence either.


I was feeling a little tired so I was quite happy to use the weather as an excuse to stay indoors for most of the day but I did go out after lunch to attend a short organ recital given by Henry, our church organist and choir leader.

henry at organ
Henry putting away his music at the end of the recital while his page turner looks on.

It included a piece by Messiaen which I wasn’t expecting to enjoy much but which turned out to be very interesting.

The recital was in aid of the organ restoration fund and it had drawn a small but appreciative audience.  As the bill for the restoration is over £150,000, there is quite a bit of fund raising still to go.

When I got back, the sun was out so in spite of it still being very chilly, I did a little preparatory work on one of the new raised beds and it is now roughly in position.

raised bed

It is shorter and narrower than the old beds.  This will make it easier for the gardener to get access to the whole bed without treading on the soil or tripping over in the paths between the beds.

I took a picture of a daffodil just to cheer myself up as nothing new had come out in the garden…


…and then I went in to get warm again.

The flying bird of the day is a garden chaffinch.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Old winter’s song

  1. Thank you for filling the feeders on my behalf today. We managed to enjoy constant warm sunshine if you managed to keep out of the wind.

  2. The images that you shot from the hide were excellent! I hope to do the same one day.

    The raised gardens will be a lot of work to instal, but the results will be worth it.

  3. The new lens looks like a keeper. The photos are great!
    I’ve always heard that the optimum width for a raised bed like yours is 4 feet. That way the gardener has only a 2 foot reach from either side.
    I built a raised bed garden once and though the beds were 4 feet wide I didn’t leave enough room between them to kneel comfortably.
    I hope it isn’t too lonesome without the gardener there.

    1. It is lonesome but it will not be for too long. The paths between our old raised beds were too narrow, especially as the old sides bellied out over time and that is the main reason for the new beds.

  4. Those are beautiful photos from the hide. The birds look detailed enough to touch!

    I love that song, “Autumn Leaves”, especially Eva Cassidy’s version. I hope you get some warmer, drier weather soon.

  5. Love the close up photos of the birds showing all their wonderful colours . The raised beds look great too….just showing ‘him indoors in workshop’ your efforts as our raised beds need replacing too! Head gardener will be thrilled to see such progress in her absence.

    1. I will need the proper gardener to get the beds in correctly as she is the wizard of the spirit level when I would say, “Oh, that’ll do,” when it plainly won’t.

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