A late start

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce. He was across in the north east today visiting Cragside, an interesting house and garden.

After a moonlit night, it was very grey here when we got up, but at least this meant that the temperature was above freezing. It was only just above freezing though, so my plan to go our for a longer bicycle ride was knocked on the head, and I waited till the mercury had crept up to 5°C (41°F) after lunch before I got a bike out.

In the meantime, I did the crossword, we had coffee with Margaret, and I did some tidying up and shredding in the garden, so I didn’t waste the whole morning.

It was a very quiet day for birds and I didn’t take my camera to the window until after lunch, when I really should have been getting ready to pedal. You can see that I wasn’t highly motivated to get out on another chilly day.

Birds had appeared by this time and I was interested to see that a sparrow seemed to take the hardest possible approach to gripping one of the feeder perches.

There were more siskins than any other visitors today . . .

. . . and they didn’t take kindly to chaffinches trying to butt in.

Two jackdaws and a dove shared the top spots on the walnut tree.

We seemed to have a flock of male siskins today and they are handsome little birds . . .

. . . which ever way you look at them . . .

. . . though they are very messy eaters and give rise to a lot of fallen seed.

Hoping to pick up some seed were two pigeons below the feeder, one completely headless . . .

. . . but the other with its head well screwed on.

I finally got changed and found that I had left myself too little time for a leisurely ride on the push bike before two afternoon zoom meetings, so I got my electric bike out yet again. I found that it needed a bit of TLC and by the time that I got going, I was well behind schedule. In the end, I had time for just under 28 miles but no time to stop and take a lot of pictures on the way.

This didn’t matter a great deal because it was a very dull day and I choose a fairly dull route. Just for the record I took a picture before I crossed the bridge at Between the Waters . . .

. . . and a couple going along the Sarkshields road.

I used quite a lot of battery assistance and whizzed my legs round as fast as they would go, and got home in under two hours. This left me with time for a quick cup of tea before having a Zoom recorder lesson with our granddaughter Matilda and a chat with her father.

Later on, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a Zoom with my brother and sisters where the arrangements for the funeral and memorial services for my sister Susan were discussed. Ministers have been found for both services and everyone is being very helpful so we feel that things are getting organised.

The day ended on a high note when we successfully made a connection after only two clues in a musical round of Only Connect, a quiz show on TV. Only lovers of the show will know what a triumph that was.

After yesterday’s excitement, the flying bird of the day is a standard chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A late start

  1. A genuine question from a near couch potato: when you’re not ‘highly motivated to get out on another chilly day.’, why do you go?
    Only Connect – a real triumph!

    1. That’s a very interesting question with a wide array of answers some of which we might hopefully here from Mr T.
      My no 1 would be to maintain a reasonable fitness level into old age and maybe live a bit longer although there are no guarantees in life.

      1. I find if I spend a day just reading…which I love and fondly call reading weather…my elderly muscles seize up much more than if I manage to get out for at least a couple of hours of gardening.

    2. Because when I get out, I almost always enjoy myself and usually, I enjoy myself a lot even if it is cold and wet. It is the getting going that is sometimes hard but the rewards when I do get going, easily pay for the costs of initial reluctance. Also, if you didn’t go out when you were feeling a bit off, you might easily slip into the habit of never going out because you would feel a bit off from lack of exercise and that would mean that you missed a lot of healthy activity for the mind, the body (and the camera).

  2. Hats off to you for going on yet another winter bike ride. Lovely selection of birds. I do enjoy reading how you and Matilda play the recorder together via Zoom. Still so sorry about Susan, but it’s good that you and your siblings are feeling organized.

    1. The one thing that we can’t do on Zoom is play together because of the time lapse. It is a great pity. She plays then I play or the other way round.

  3. I love the birds. The siskins are a handsome lot. That one that has grabbed a beakful of seed and is spilling it looks quite pleased with himself. It is a good thing there are plenty of fellow birds below that will pick up the leavings.

  4. It was 1º C here today. One degree! It’s hard to trust such a temperature in February and as a result, I was carrying most of my layers by the time I got home from my walk. But not complaining!

    While Zoom is far from a perfect way to communicate, it’s a boon for things like family meetings.

  5. Lovely photos of the siskins and the little flying chaffinch none can beat yesterdays photos of the sparrow hawk though! We visited Cragside a few years ago…splendid day out!

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