Song, birds and bees

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found a perfect moment this afternoon for a riverside view in Derby.

We had another cool, but not cold day here, and apart from some very light drizzle in the afternoon, it stayed dry. We were thus able to cycle to church after breakfast, where as part of a very small choir, we tried our best to add some colour to the congregational singing.

We had a coffee when we got home, and I had a check on the bird feeder. There were no birds on the feeder itself but a chaffinch was waiting nervously in the wings.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some work on the very narrow strip between our back wall and the dam. She is hoping to create a wildflower bed there next year. When I went out to see how she was getting on, I took a picture of the old fashioned fuchsia which is doing very well against the back wall of our house.

I left her to her labours and went on a tour of the garden. There was only one butterfly to be seen and it wouldn’t settle for me. There were plenty of other objects of interest about. The mustard flowers in the vegetable garden were popular with one sort of bee . . .

. . . and the Lemon Queen was favoured by another.

Bottle flies preferred the astrantia.

I was going to say that there were some flowers without accompanying insects but when I looked I saw a tiny fly on this colourful Michaelmas daisy.

As you would expect though, there are no flies on Special Grandma.

A honeysuckle was looking a bit battered by the weather . . .

. . . but a poppy had found a sheltered spot tucked in between two fence uprights.

I like fungus but I wasn’t sure whether I should be pleased to see this variety growing out of a crack in one of our garden benches. Probably not.

Starlings were to be seen sitting chatting on the wire and occasionally flying away from it.

We picked some of our thornless blackberries, and I collected some apples and stewed them up with the blackberries. Mrs Tootlepedal made a puree of them later on which we enjoyed with some hot custard in the evening. Although the blackberries remain unforgivingly tart to eat direct from the bush, they are delicious in a well sugared puree.

While the blackberries were stewing, I had a look out at the birds. The feeder was busy . . .

. . . although one bird found that eating a seed was hard work.

There were always birds waiting in the willows . . .

. . .and quite often a bird on a perch got a shock.

I made some lentil soup for lunch, and then it was time to go to Carlisle for another three hour practice with the Community Choir ahead of our concert next week. We worked hard.

It was early evening by the time that we got home, and we were grateful to have nothing to do for the rest of the day.

The flying bird of the day is a starling looking very elegant.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Song, birds and bees

      1. Yes, that’s the trouble with knowing stuff, you want to know more. On the other hand, if you know nothing and learn less you would have to go into politics.

    1. It was fun but we were croaking by the finish. I don’t blame the conductor. Circumstances have given her very little time to prepare for this concert, and she didn’t even choose the music.

  1. Since the bench is dead wood the fungi might help rot it but it can’t kill it. It’s a sign of dampness I think, possibly because of poor air circulation / no direct sunlight?
    Nice shots of the flying bees. I’ve never gotten one.
    The starling’s pose is beautiful.

    1. As another reader has pointed out, the cooler weather slows the bumble bees down a bit and makes them easier to catch. There were so many on the flowers that it was just a matter of waiting on this occasion.

  2. Glad the blackberries were delicious in a puree.
    You did a lot of singing! Hope the concert goes really well after all that hard work.

  3. Seems like I have to do without your blog. You wrote about stop of the rain – it started here vigorously. You were telling about your knee was mending, mine startet with a hefty patella syndrom. – Coincidences? Well, I will continue reading and check if that is continuing. -:)

      1. And indeed the patella seems to sort it out. And again a cornucopia of beautiful pictures. Thank you for all.

  4. I have enjoyed your selection of photos, especially the bees and flies. Your flowers still seem to be doing good business. The starlings are like flying jewels. That is a beautiful FBOTD.

    I agree, the wood bench is not the best place to be spotting fungus. Not a good sign. A copper containing wood stain might help.

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