Shifty weather

Today’s guest picture comes from my Lancashire correspondent Paul who travelled to Cumbria for a break and found a fine day to walk round Crummock Water.

We had a half in half day here, half fine and the other (bigger) half rainy. The weather forecasters struggled to put their finger on the timing of the rain. The onset of the rain, which was originally forecast as 11 o’clock in the morning, finally arrived after lunch. The end of the rain, which was promised for four o’clock in the afternoon, never actually happened, and it is still raining as I write this in the evening.

The result of all this was a day of suspended animation. In the end we never got out of the garden. But the garden in the morning was not a bad place to be and we enjoyed coffee with Margaret while Evie fully explored the lawn.

As well as Margaret, we had several welcome visitors.

Some of them were even more welcome than others on account of their rarity this month.

There were just a few red admirals, small tortoiseshells and peacocks but there were lots of the customary whites.

There is no doubt that the garden is beginning to go over and finding perfect flowers is getting harder….

…. but I am not putting my flower camera away in spite of that….

…as even a part worn flower is better than none (in my opinion at least).

The most exciting part of the morning was being buzzed by a very low flying sparrowhawk while we were sitting on the old bench having our coffee. It made me duck in a hurry as it flashed past.

After lunch, as the rain set in, the only photographic subjects at hand were the birds. There were plenty of them again….

…busy competing for a seat at the table.

Other birds were available. The person responsible for painting the blackbirds black is not up to the task at the moment.

A fully painted robin appeared at the far end of the lawn, too far in the gloomy weather for a really crisp shot even with my long lens.

A dunnock came a bit closer.

I picked the second of our five plums and we had it as a pudding (plum pudding?) after lunch, carefully divided into four parts. Evie is fond of plums.

The third plum is ripening nicely.

We had a lovely Zoom meeting in the late afternoon where Evie was able to wave at Matilda in Edinburgh. Matilda had just got back from school where she had had a good time digging for worms. Whether this was part of the curriculum or private study, she did not reveal.

After our evening meal, the sparrowhawk returned to garden to have its evening meal. Annie spotted it on the lawn. It obligingly stayed there long enough for me to get my camera out.

It is always sad to lose a small bird to a predator but sparrowhawks must live too and I would rather see a bird lost to a sparrowhawk than to the cats that haunt our garden.

In spite of a lot of bird traffic, I didn’t manage to get a very good flying bird of the day in the gloom today, so I am putting two slightly less than satisfactory ones in to share the honour today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Shifty weather

  1. Some great insect close ups today.
    I see what you mean about the “fully painted” robin,ours look rather drab by comparison,maybe they are only juveniles.
    I agree it’s better a small bird is a meal to a sparrow hawk than victim to a cat for whom it’s just a plaything.
    Walked round Ennerdale Water today,which although only 7-8 mls was much harder than we anticipated.
    Tomorrow will definitely be a rest day 🥱

  2. A beautiful selection of photos. I wish we had your selection of butterflies, but mainly what I see are yellow tiger swallowtails. We are patiently waiting for the rain you are getting, but it is at least a month off. Grass has turned almost white and crunches underfoot like dry tinder. All brush burning here has been banned until October.

      1. They do. For some reason, in my little are, the electric storms seem to go around us for the most part. Could be the geography of the region, as we are in a bowl at 800 feet in the Cascade foothills.

        More frightening than storms can be people. I was away from home one day, but Rick was here that day when a property up on a hill to the east set fire, probably to brush pile, during dry season some years back. The fire got away from them, and Rick watched nervously as it started burning down the hill towards us. The fire department came and put it out. I don’t know if they were fined or not for burning during dry season.

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