Hey, ho, the wind and the rain

Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon who found a fine flower for me to enjoy.

The forecasters had predicted rain overnight and all through the day, and unfortunately they got it quite right. I had a very unsettled night with the rain beating down and my legs complaining about the miles on the shopping bike but I wasn’t as unsettled as Mrs Tootlepdal was when she got up early in the morning.

She looked out of the window and saw our dam beginning to rise up. Regular readers may remember that we got flooded by the dam last year so Mrs Tootlepedal was worried enough to make and fit some covers for the ventilators in our wall beside the dam just in case history repeated itself.

When I gt up, I went to check on the state of affairs at Pool Corner. A faulty sluice gate there had led to our last flood. Although the Wauchope was high….

…the new sluice gate and the retaining wall were doing their job.

As it continued to rain all day and it is due to rain all night and a lot of tomorrow, we can just hope that they keep this up.

I went to look at the Wauchope as it flows into the Esk and found that it had dropped a bit from its overnight height which was comforting. You can see a tide mark on the right hand bank.

You can also see, if you look carefully as I did, a small heap of something on the bank. On close inspection, this turned out to be a great pile of young goosanders with mother standing guard.

As I was watching them, another gang of goosanders swam along to join them.

This was not what was wanted….

…and the heap stood up and got ready to go.

There was some debate among the newcomers…

…while the heap got ready for action.

In the end, the newcomers paddled a bit further upstream and both groups settled down happily, well socially distanced, while I went to see how high the Esk was.

Oddly, it was not very high….

…and there seemed to be more water flowing from its tributary than down the main stream.

When I got home, I was able to report that we were not in immediate danger and Mrs Tootlepedal was greatly relieved.

It was a day for staying indoors because as well as more or less continuous rain, there was a strong wind blowing. This made trying to take flower pictures a waste of time, as they were either being blown this way or that.

You might even think that it had been snowing.

Luckily there were indoor diversions to keep us from getting too bored and we enjoyed a Zoom meeting with Matilda, her parents, two aunts, a cousin and her other grandfather in three different countries. When I tell you that there was colour bingo, twin rabbits (stuffed), princesses, a unicorn and several good stories involved in the meeting, you can see that we were royally entertained.

In the afternoon, I stared out of the window at the rain. Sometimes, I was interrupted by birds.

…who weren’t discouraged from their usual habits by the weather at all.

The goldfinch was unmoved by the boot in the back.

The seed went down at a rapid rate.

Sometimes I was distracted by thought of taking flower pictures or going for a wet walk…

…but I never got further than looking at the garden through the window.

I did look at a flower on my computer for a while as I practised using the wonderfully named ‘magnetic lasso’ on the photo editor. I experimented with layers too to get this result.

But mostly I watched birds or the telly.

A lot of the birds looked fairly soggy as the afternoon went on…

…but this redpoll won the prize for the sorriest looking sight.

Mrs Tootlepedal had scheduled the evening sibling meeting and we were pleased when the technology worked and everyone turned up. My two older sisters had successfully caught a train to go the three stops down to the River Thames in the morning and it had been as good as a tonic for them to get out and about. The trains were very empty so they thought that it had been a safe outing.

Thanks to the relaxation in the lockdown rules, my youngest sister had had a visit from two of her grandchildren and their parents so it had been a busy day all round.

After our evening meal, I put on a full set of waterproofs and went to see how the River Esk was doing. It had risen a bit but there were still plenty of rocks available for an oyster catcher to stand on.

Although it had rained steadily and the strong wind had made conditions very unpleasant, it hadn’t rained very heavily so the river was lower than I expected. I hope that tonight’s forecast rain doesn’t get too heavy.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Footnote: Although we have not been out for a thorough inspection, apart from the shower of rose petals, the only damage from the wind and the rain that we have seen was to a Sweet William on the drive. This was snapped clean off, a victim perhaps of its own success in having a terrific head of flowers. The flowers are now inside and they feature in today’s header picture.

Footnote two: I forgot to mention that during the afternoon, a kind friend turned up and gave me a bag of coffee beans and a bar of dark chocolate. This is the sort of friend that brightens up a day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Hey, ho, the wind and the rain

  1. The gooseander series and commentary were especially entertaining. 🙂 Seems you now have a deluge of rain as opposed to earlier drought. We’ve had a cooler rainier day here as well, but nothing like what you are getting.

      1. The swings over the course of a day are normal here, especially in summer. The coldest July morning one year was 38 degrees F., and was 90 degrees F later that day. The extreme oscillations within the seasons, however, are not normal.

      2. We are used to more moderate weather than that. Though we can get frosts extremely late and extremely early, that sort of thing is rare.

  2. That poor redpoll is a sorry sight indeed.
    I’ve never seen so many goosanders together,and didn’t know that “heap” was their collective noun 😉
    Hope the dam holds up.
    Next weeks forecast isn’t great,but there’s less rain forecast,so you should be alright.

  3. I don’t know what the flower is but that’s an excellent shot of it by Simon.
    I’m glad you didn’t see any flooding. The house must smell wonderful with sweet William inside.
    I wonder what it was about that particular spot that attracted all the goosanders.

  4. Loved the Goosander saga and all the soggy birds. Glad you were spared flooding. We have had our own threats too, but like yours, in the end it proved to be a lot more wind and storm than rain. Your windows are far cleaner than mine. 🙂

  5. Glad that you are getting the rain and glad you haven’t sustained any damage. I can understand your concern. I’ll take a rainy day anytime over a hot one.

  6. Glad to read that for the moment, you are in no danger of flooding. I really enjoyed the story of the goosanders. I bet Matilda brightens the stormiest of days.

  7. A great day indeed, safe and dry at home, with a couple of reconnoitering walks to boot. Would you call that two gaggles of goosanders? I am fascinated by them, as you know I used to see goosanders down here in the Neath valley, regularly, but none at all this year, I read that due to climate change they were moving north. They seem to have all come to the borders? In the past I was lucky enough to see a creche (I don’t know what else to call it) of five or six goosander ducklings with a baby sitter mother, but to see so many all together, and in two groups, is fantastic! Your second picture of the first group standing on the bank reminded me of soldiers mustering for action, absolutely brilliant shot. I just wish I could have been there to witness it for myself. You provide myself and many others the chance to do so, albeit, through your fabulous photos. Cheers.

    1. The goosanders had very big families this year and I think that they may have lost a chick or two in past weeks. They are always a treat to watch as you say.

  8. Hope the water didn’t rise above its station! The amount of rain over certain areas has been very heavy …thank goodness those lovely goosanders can swim! Love the result of your photo experiment.

  9. I think that is an Eryngium giganteum (your friend’s flower photo, or should I say your phriend’s phlower photo), the one known as Miss Willmott’s Ghost, which I have been trying to grow for years. I finally have some baby plants. Envious!

    We don’t have dramatic rivers to look at to show how much it rains. I wish we did (without flooding) because they make for wonderful photos.

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