Just not fair

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair. He spotted a ladybird on his (double glazed) window.

As far as cycling goes, today was a washout. It was windy and threatening rain in the morning, and windy and actually raining for pretty well the whole of the rest of the day. We cancelled the garden coffee morning and I put off mowing the lawns again. I did get out for a short walk round the garden though, and some old favourites were providing a splash of colour on a grey day.

A new dahlia has come out too…

…with some others looking set to join it soon.

The sole Zinnia to make it so far this year is looking well. It is just a pity that it is so lonely.

A new lily chose an inauspicious day to poke its head out.

I filled the feeder and then went in to look out at the birds. There was plenty of action with a gang of hard looking greenfinches on hand….

…giving the siskins back some of the treatment that they usually dish out.

With rain forecast any minute. I sneaked out for a three bridges walk, hoping to get home before it started. Mrs Tootlepedal was attending to skirting boards today.

To say that the clouds were low was putting it mildly.

It was gloomy but not too cold and there was a little boy feeding the ducks on the Kilngreen. His aim was haphazard and the ducks were confused.

A rook waited for a chance of a snack.

A little bunch of wild flowers on the occasional island below the Sawmill Brig was a cheery sight…

…but by and large, it was not a day for taking photographs.

Even the cows were on sit down strike.

I did stop for a sparkly web on a mossy tree stump…

…and some appropriately named Enchanter’s Nightshade in a very shady spot.

When I got to the Lodge it was still dry and I was going to extend my walk by going round the pheasant hatchery, but (fortunately before I had gone too far) the rain started in earnest so I headed back home by the quickest route which was over the Duchess Bridge.

On my way, I saw a self heal showing what it can do if doesn’t get mowed all the time…

…and I had a look at a hazel tree beside the bridge where I had seen quite a few flowers in the spring. I was wondering if I would find any nuts now. I finally spotted one.

The path beside the river provides a good deal of shelter from the elements which is good…

…but the trees made it difficult for me to get a good look at a family of goosanders which were swimming along the river. These rushed shots were the best that I could do to catch the flotilla of nine youngsters.

I arrived home damp but not soaking, and made myself a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for lunch. Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetable garden provides an endless supply of ‘cut and come again’ leaves at the moment and a BLT is a good way of using them.

The rain made staying inside a very attractive proposition and I looked at the birds again. A blue tit was a welcome visitor.

I spent time composing a Clerihew or two for the sibling Zoom meeting later in the day. Clerihews are named after the inventor of the format, Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The rules are simple: it should have four lines, rhyming AABB, a person’s name as the first line, something to say about the person, and it should make you smile.

My topical effort (he scored a century in the test match today) was:

Ben Stokes
Has a variety of strokes
But he generally mixes
Fours and sixes.

We are challenged to write a sonnet for Monday’s meeting. That will be a real struggle.

I am getting quite excited becuase the weather forecast is suggesting that we might see the sun tomorrow. If this turns out to be true, I will give the road bike a good test.

In the meantime, a greenfinch in the rain is the flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Just not fair

  1. I think a better knowledge of cricket might be necessary for me to appreciate the humour of your Clerihew, but I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt! When I used to assign sonnet writing to my students they did much groaning, but usually impressed me (and themselves) with their efforts. I wish you all good luck with your very ambitious task!

  2. Hope you get some sunshine. We, on the other hand, have been having nothing but sunshine. Not one to complain (much), but it means I’ve been having to water things far too much of the time. I would gladly take some raindrops right about now. I liked your Clerihew. I am hopelessly terrible at writing poetry.

  3. You have had quite a bit of rain lately. That river path looks inviting, and I bet it is good one to be on for staying relatively dry on if it rains.

    That is a fine developing hazelnut! Ours are coming along, too.

      1. We collect some, if they look good. Wildlife get the rest. That acre of nuts, planted by the old owner’s parents, we have been slow at reclaiming. A number of trees died back from filbert blight over the years, but have been returning from the roots. One also has to look carefully at the ripe nuts for the small hole made by the hazelnut moth worm.

  4. Loved the clerihew very topical. Nice walk especially the riverside path. The birds being quite polite to each other today.

  5. All those rain drops – they would be manna from heaven here! The developing hazel nut is intruiging as it is a sight quite new to me.

  6. I have to say I miss the goosanders on the Neath river.I always stopped and watched their progress either up or downstream, as they took it in turns to dive and chase their prey. Now they all seem to be up there in the borders, obviously a major gain for your photographic talents. I am really envious. But I still have otters on the river which I have never heard you mention seeing. Not that I have seen any yet this year, but they are active on the river, so I live in hope of catching even a fleeting glimpse soon. I’m still having to put a lot of effort into my pedalling, my big breakfast here in the signal this morning isn’t going to help the weighing scales. I was starving, lol. Cheers.

      1. Sounds like a plan but don’t believe I’d survive that long lol. Pleased to hear you have at least one otter in your vicinity. I have only seen them either early in the morning between 05.00 and 06.00, or in the evening between 19.00 and 20.00.

  7. Those ducks surely looked confused. I yet again learned something new from you… a Clerihew. Thank you for adding to my education! I look forward to the sonnet
    as well.

  8. How annoying to have it rainy when you are all prepared for ride out! The flowers and birds will no doubt have cheered you up. Love the nightshade photo – great backdrop and atmosphere for such plant. Splendid Clerihew..didn’t he do well!

  9. I love the Greenfinch in the rain too, but also the interaction between the Greenfinch and the Siskin is priceless. Your photographs of the flowers in your garden are works of art.

    1. The greenfinch in the rain was flying so slowly that for once I got my slow camera to focus on it while it was still flying. Usually I have to focus on the feeder and try and catch the flying birds when they get close.

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