It turned out nice

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She took advantage of the cooler weather today to visit Regent’s Park to enjoy the rose garden. The sky in her picture looks a little threatening though and she had to shelter from a heavy rain shower before getting home.

We had the rain overnight here and woke to a rather gloomy and drizzly day. The forecast had warned us about it, so we were not surprised and settled for a quiet day in with no garden coffee meeting.

We were looking out of the back door to check on the conditions just before coffee time when we saw a thrush on one side of the lawn. Then another thrush appeared on the other side and a third in the middle. Soon five thrushes were flying about, obviously on a family outing.

Not far off, a starling sat on the bird feeder.

When I looked out of the window half an hour later, normal service had been resumed…

…and the rain had eased off a bit. This didn’t seem to make a passing siskin any happier.

The rain finally eased off enough to let Mrs Tootlepedal cycle about the town on business after coffee, and while she was out, I sat down to practise singing and recording at the same time for our virtual choir performance. It is hard work having to remember not to rustle the music paper and trying to look almost human while concentrating very hard. More work required.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back, I made some lentil soup for lunch and while it was cooking, I ventured out into the garden to take a soggy picture or two.

Among the raindrops, I spotted a hardy bee visiting a stachys.

It was not a day for butterflies.

Two sunflowers did their best to bring a little light into a dull day.

After lunch, a good look at the weather map suggested that the chances of heavy rain were slim for the rest of the afternoon, so in spite of some pretty grey clouds looming about, I got my bike out and set off to do the twenty miles round the Solwaybank Windfarm, currently my 20 mile route of choice.

This turned to to be a very good decision. The wind was extremely light, the temperature was warm enough for light clothing and my legs were in a very co-operative mood, even when going uphill.

I stopped to take a picture of sheep in a field but they refused to spread themselves out sufficiently artistically so I took a picture of marsh woundwort instead.

When I got to the windfarm, I saw that they had erected a fourth turbine tower though it was still waiting for its top and blades to be attached.

As I looked at the windfarm, a horse looked at me.

Looking past the horse, I could see three completed turbines and the new tower….

…which seems a long way away from the others.

By the time that I had had a second look from a bit further along the road…

…the clouds had parted, and it was a beautiful day. The road ahead looked inviting…

…and I enjoyed going through leafy tunnels…

…and passing heathery mounds.

The brown patch in the heather picture is dying bracken. It seems to be going over very quickly this year.

For the second ride running, I appeared to have acquired a spring in my step, to mix a metaphor, as far as cycling goes, and my average speed surprised and pleased me. Perhaps the grass pollen season is over and my breathing is better. All the same, I fear that it will only take a puff of strong wind to dent my pride a bit when it comes.

I got back in perfect time to sit down with Mrs Tootlepedal to enjoy a Zoom meeting with our granddaughter Matilda and her father. Matilda is back at school again and very pleased to see her friends after a long absence.

After that meeting, I watched the birds. A family of sparrows was in a whirl…

…and some of them paid close attention to a back stamping demonstration.

To mix another metaphor, it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

Then I had time for a quick walk round the garden while we were picking broccoli and runner beans for our tea. Lillian Austin provided a charming contrast been age and youth on the same stem.

Then it was time for the Monday sibling Zoom meeting. The outstanding piece of news was that my sister Susan had been able to go to her dentist to get work involving drilling down. She told us that the care being taken to avoid spreading infection was very reassuring, if a bit overpowering. Something approaching normal life is creeping towards us. We just hope that young people’s wish to have a party and old people’s need to go to the pub don’t throw a spanner into the works.

An evening meal of mince with potatoes, beans and broccoli rounded off a day that ended much more satisfactorily than it started. The forecast for tomorrow is rather gloomy, but perhaps we will be lucky with the weather again as we were today.

The flying bird of the day is a more positive siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “It turned out nice

  1. I like the marsh woundwort. I’ve never seen it here.
    That’s a lot of heather. It looks like it will have a great year.
    The shot of the road, fences and clouds is excellent. It could have been taken in our Midwestern prairie.

    1. The heather has been much affected recently by a damaging beetle but it looks to be in much better condition this year.
      I think that I have thought that the marsh woundwort was just another nettle if I have noticed it in previous years but having pinned it down this year, I am now seeing it everywhere.

  2. Whenever I see Mary’s pictures I am reminded of the number of circuits of the outer circle I ran. Your first siskin picture prompts me to ask if you have ever thought of a levitating bird series? The ‘sparrows in a whirl’ is a neat description.

    1. I have been looking at a little book on the life and work of Monet and am tempted to go for a ‘series’ of pictures on the same subject but I rather wonder if that might test the patience of the long suffering reader a bit too much.

  3. I enjoy how you capture the birds moods and dramatic poses in flight. The commentary is always entertaining. πŸ™‚

    The leafy tunnel down the road was inviting. I love roads like that.

    Although the rain seems a bit excessive there, the sun manages to poke through later in the day. That sounds more like our winters here of late. It was 92 degrees here yesterday, even slightly humid with some ominous clouds in late afternoon, but nothing resulted from all the energy in the atmosphere. The forecast shows a better week ahead, mid 80s and partly cloudy. We shall see. I am more busy spot watering plantings than anything else these days. The voles are still on a rampage through the gardens.

    1. It is a great pleasure and a privilege to have a good selection of quiet back roads to cycle along. When they are well surfaced as this one is, it is a bonus.
      I hope that you get your cooler weather.

  4. A lovely photo of a heather landscape …very autumny! Another interesting cycle ride with clear roads and a tree tunnel to enjoy. Favourite photo is the Lilian Austin- love that rose!

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