Puffed out

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He is taking an interest in wildlife now that he has moved to the country from the city and recently spotted and identified a yellowhammer.

yellowhammer

We had another grey and gloomy morning here and the memories of the fine summer months are slipping ever faster into oblivion as winter looms up ahead.

I didn’t have time to sit and mope however as we went off after breakfast to sing in the church choir.  It was a day when the hymns all seemed to have innumerable verses and since the service was followed by a choir practice, both Mrs Tootlepedal and myself felt the need for a quiet sit down when we got home.

I filled the bird feeder and looked out of the winter while I made coffee.

Goldfinches were very much to the fore today….

busy feeder oct 18

…and sparrows and chaffinches  had to look sharp if they wanted a seat at the table.

goldfinch threatening chaffinch

After a coffee and a rest, the weather looked settled enough to risk a stroll so I snapped one of the flourishing nasturtiums at the front door…

yellow nasturtium oct

…and set off round Gaskell’s Walk to see what I could see.  The light was subdued.

I saw the larches at Pool Corner beginning to change colour.

larches turning

I saw a fine beech hedge which has been allowed to get a bit out of hand

big beech hedge

The walls were topped with droplet bespangled mosses.

moss with dropletsThe trees on the bank above the river have adopted a variety of angles.

gaskell's Walk with leaning trees

Brambles provided a splash of red.

red bramble leaf

There was one last sloe on the bush at Stubholm.

last sloe

The trees in the park are still colourful but the poplars beside the Esk in the background are over.

 

Park colour

I like looking at the park wall.

park wall lichen panel

I didn’t linger as long as I would have liked on my walk as it started to rain but it had stopped again by the time that I got home and I had enough time for a very short walk round the garden.

Not dead yet.

late poppy

very late delphinium

After lunch, we went off to Carlisle to do a bit of shopping and sing with our Carlisle choir.

Our new conductor is a relentless ball of energy and keeps us hard at work.  She likes a crisp pace and after a hard singing morning, I had pretty well ground to a halt by the end of the session but in spite of that, it had been a very enjoyable day’s singing and my throat stood up to the work pretty well.  I think that my recent singing lesson has had a mildly beneficial effect on my technique but I am hoping to get a couple more lessons soon as there is plenty of scope for improvement yet.

Of course the weather had greatly improved as soon as we got inside the practice room and it was a lovely evening as we drove home.   The clocks go back next week so this will be the last time that we come home from our Carlisle choir in daylight for some months and even today, it was pretty well dark by the time that we got home.

To celebrate the arrival of the flock of goldfinches, the flying bird of the day is a double goldfinch helping.

flying goldfinch 1

Another open and shut case.

flying goldfinch 2

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Puffed out

  1. I think your fall colors are great this year. I’m looking forward to the larches in all their glory.
    That’s another fine shot of the moss. I rarely see it do that here.
    The nasturtium and delphinium are a pleasure to see. We have nothing like them now.

  2. Your poppies just keep on giving – love the photo and the nasturtium photo too. Those walls are treasure troves of strange and beautiful plants/lichen- looking more and more like a coral reef. The goldfinches look as determined as ever!

  3. The Yellowhammer has quite an elegant shape. I’m surprised you can even croak after all the singing you’ve done.

  4. I was pleased to see Tony’s photo of the yellowhammer. The bramble leaf, the nasturtium and the moss on the wall are my favourite pictures. Well done for coping with all that singing!

  5. I like that Tony is taking an interest in wildlife. Can’t be anything wrong with that.
    My favorite shot without a doubt is your droplet bespangled mosses and with a description like that how could you go wrong.

  6. I have never seen a Yellowhammer. Thank Tony for me. I can relate to your singing dilemma. We are going on a brief tour in 2-1/2 weeks with 16 songs and I think we maybe know only half of them well..well, almost well enough. Our director works miracles but there’s only so much…she can do!

    1. It seems endemic in choirs, except in the very best sight reading ensembles, that there is never quire enough time to practise all the songs that a conductor wants to do.

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