Zoom, zoom, zoom

Today’s guest picture comes from my cycling reader Paul. He lives in Lancashire and he sent me this picture of a reservoir to show that we are not the only ones having a dry time just now.

I am starting today’s post with a picture from yesterday. I almost always only use pictures in a post which I have taken that day as this blog is a daily diary, but I had this one ready to put in yesterday’s post when the new block editor made me forget about it. The blackbird had made such a good effort to pose nicely for me that I thought that it would be a sin not to reward him.

Back to today.

It was another day of wall to wall sunshine but with a brisker breeze to keep things a little cooler.

Neither of us had slept well in the heat last night so we had a quiet start to the day. Then, instead of street coffee, we enjoyed Zoom colour bingo event curated by our granddaughter Matilda. Through the wonders of technology, it involved all four of her grandparents, two of her aunts, a cousin, and her own parents (and three of the four countries of the United Kingdom). The rules were simple enough for even me to grasp and the method ensured the games ended in good time so we had space to chat and catch up as well as play.

After Zooming, we went out into the garden, where Mrs Tootlepedal did useful thinks and I wandered around, a bit at a loss to find something to do. In lieu of anything more productive, I looked at flowers.

There are new arrivals, an orange hawkweed…

…the first of many Sweet Williams…

…a beautifully dark pansy…

…and the first bud on a rose.

I was passing the bird feeder and noticed that a greenfinch was ignoring me. I didn’t ignore it and got the benefit of photographing a bird on the feeder in good light and not through a window.

I was happy even if it it was not.

Our neighbour Kenny, who gardens the far bank of the dam, has produced a really lovely lily there…

We went back in to have lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal took the sensible view that it was a good afternoon to sit quietly indoors out of the heat. I was restless and split my time by being bored indoors and doing nothing useful outdoors. As usual, when left with nothing better to do, I pointed cameras at things. The bright light was a problem so I looked for shady corners with Welsh poppies…

….ranunculus…

…and musk.

And I found an ornamental onion.

At one stage, I went for a shady sit down on our new bench and was joined for some quality time by a blackbird on a nearby hedge.

I checked to see what had captured the bees’ fancy today. It was chive diving.

I went back in to get set up for my second Zoom meeting of the day and while the computer was warming up, I looked out of the back door at the dam to see if any birds were cooling off there. Starlings were making use of the facilities…

…but they flew off in a huff when I got too close.

The afternoon Zoom meeting was the weekly Carlisle Choir virtual rehearsal with our energetic leader Ellen. Once again she was well prepared with a really good grip on the technology. All the same, the current technology will still not let everyone sing at the same time so it was more of a chance to get together and keep the spirit of the choir going than a great singing experience. About 50 members signed in and I enjoyed it.

There was another gap in the day now, with nothing much to do so I made a batch of 30 ginger biscuits as the last lot of 30 biscuits has mysteriously disappeared.

Then I had to time to check to see if there were more birds swimming in the dam. There were none but a white clover by the back door caught my eye instead…

…and I had to look out of the front window to see some birds. The feeder was half full and the bottom layer had been taken over by three greenfinches…

…who weren’t going to let any other bird get a look in. This led to some wistful flying birds, hoping for a perch but not succeeding in dislodging the incumbents.

And then it was time for the third Zoom meeting of the day, the usual get together with my siblings. My brother was absent but my sisters were in good form. I didn’t stay for the whole meeting as I wanted to get out for a cycle ride in the comparative cool of the early evening and still be back in time for our evening meal.

it was 25°C but the sun was down in the sky a bit and a cooling breeze kept conditions ideal for the elderly cyclist. I headed north up the main road out of town, hoping that there would be little traffic on the road and that the wind would be helpful as I headed uphill.

Both hopes were fulfilled. There was hardly any traffic and the wind was not only helpful up the hill but by some fluke of meteorology, helpful to me on the way back down again. As a result, I was home in plenty of time for a delicious meal of liver and onions prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal.

I took two pictures just to show that I had been out. The first was soon after I had set off, and shows the Ewes valley at its best…

…and the second was at the head of the valley as the shadows were closing in on the road to Mosspaul.

I was passed by two cars in the ten miles back home. Cycling heaven.

Looking at my cycling spreadsheet when I got home, I see that I have cycled 15 times this month and covered 450 miles, my best month this year by a good distance. As I have gone for a walk on the other 16 days, it has been an excellent month for exercise.

The flying bird of the day is a duck who was passing over the garden while I was wandering about.

Footnote: As an experiment because I am using the new block editor, I have put the pictures in at a larger size than usual. I don’t know if this will make any difference but if it does for good or bad, I would be grateful for any feedback.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Zoom, zoom, zoom

  1. Well, I was thinking, even before reading your request, how particularly sharp the images seemed. By ‘larger than usual’, do you mean more than 800 pixels? If so, how many, and shucks, that’s going to use up the storage allowance more quickly, isn’t it?

  2. I think the pictures are clearer but as I invested a good amount of time cleaning my reading glasses today, that might account for it. I love the idea of Matilda’s bingo sessions 😁

  3. The pictures seem better to my aged eyes. I loved the colour of that pansy. So pleased you have managed all those miles on your bike, well done.

  4. I usually open on a laptop and on occasion expanding photographs on phone. I admit I only checked clarity after I read your request. I do believe clearer? But for me?only just.

  5. Indeed, the pictures are sharper and more brilliant. I hope your blackbird does not only pose for photographs but enjoys the neighbourhood with his jubilant singing as does its cousin over here from dawn to dusk.

  6. The post looks great! Especially those pansies. What a color! Speaking of color…that Zoom color bingo sounds like great fun. Where would we be during this pandemic without technology? Dry here in Maine, too. I have been watering different sections every day for the past two weeks.

  7. I like the larger format of the photos. It seems you have the new block editor down, and everything looks good. You have many great compositions here, especially the three Welsh poppies, and three blackbirds in flight. The scenes from your area are a treat as always.

    1. The block editor is fiddly compared to the old editor as it doesn’t allow for those of us who want to put in one picture at a time with commentary between. I will have to think about removing my sidebar to get the best results too but I don’t know whether I have the strength to contemplate that just now.

  8. It does make a difference! The photos are larger, brighter and sharper- really great selection today too..pleased you put in that lovely blackbird. I suspect with all your zooming around that you’ve spoken to your family more over these last weeks than before the lockdown! We have!

  9. I envy you your almost traffic free roads, did you see many other cyclists? The lock down is not over yet in Wales, but judging by the amount of traffic and cyclists you would believe it is. I hope this doesn’t cause a renewal of lock down restrictions that ministers from Westminster and Cardiff keep promising. Stay safe, cheers.

  10. I couldn’t tell that you had made your photos larger but they look as good as ever, especially the sunlit poppies.
    Your orange hawkweed always reminds me to start looking for ours, which I think comes about two weeks after yours.
    Do you know that you can still use the old editor? You just click on ‘My Site” and then scroll down to “WP Admin.” Just click on that and everything is as it used to be.

    1. I do know that I can still use the old editor but I thought that I should try and move with the times. I have been impressed by other blogs which have showed off photos better than my current layout does.

      1. I should have been a lot more gracious in thanking you for your good advice. I am sorry. I was being vexed by WP at the time as for some obscure reason they were making me sign in again every time that I wanted to make a comment.

  11. I do wonder if WordPress is going to have a revolt about the block editor. I just hope that they don’t make it mandatory in mid summer when I am too busy to learn it.
    I always think the photos look good so I have to admit I did not notice the difference. And while I do love your photos, my primary focus in your blog is your witty writing!
    I personally use way too many photos in many of my blog posts so I am afraid that larger photos would make it too hard to load. I am now at 25 out of 28 somethings on my blog so I am going to have to buy more space soon!

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