A song and a stroll

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He was walking through Regents Park in London yesterday on his way to have coffee with my sister Mary after her game of tennis when he passed the Triton and Dryads fountain.

After a promise of a week of grey weather ahead, we got rather excited when there was a glimpse of sunshine as we got up. However, the forecasters were right, and the sunshine soon disappeared, leaving us with another cool, grey but dry day.

We cycled to church to sing in the choir, and there was a slightly better attendance than usual, perhaps because the minister from Canonbie was taking the service herself. The church was very chilly and the hymns were not exciting, so it was not the most uplifting service, and we cycled home more than ready for a warming cup of coffee (and some ginger biscuits).

After coffee, I had a walk round the garden and I was impressed by how well the snowdrops are doing. They look better than ever along the back path . . .

. . . but I had to look very hard to find a crocus that was open . . .

. . . and I soon went back in again.

There were not a lot of birds about but I did spot a blackbird hunting fallen seeds . . .

. . . and another posing on a hedge.

The feeder never got busy and from time to time, chaffinches flew in undisturbed.

A single sparrow turned up . . .

. . . and two robins added a bit of colour.

One flew onto the feeder, changed sides and flew off again . . .

. . . while the other posed for me on a willow branch.

I went back out into the garden to sieve a bit more compost. Mrs Tootlepedal has removed the broken chimney pot from the bed outside the kitchen window and she used quite a bit of compost to make a little flower bed in its place.

Plans are still being developed with regard to the filling of the bed.

I had time for a gentle three bridges walk before lunch. I spotted a black backed gull among the usual black headed gulls on a fencepost at the Kilngreen . . .

. . . and I noticed the first few of what I hope will be many crocuses along the grassy river bank.

When I crossed the Sawmill Brig, I found the wall beside the road is being given a thorough rebuild.

I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, so apart from another example of script lichen along the Lodge Walks . . .

. . . a curtain of catkins at the Lodge . . .

. . . and a rather scruffy robin on a fence just before the Duchess Bridge . . .

. . . I didn’t spend a lot of time looking round.

I tried to find another properly open crocus when I got home but couldn’t . . .

. . . so I crouched down to look up at a hellebore . .

. . . and went in for a late lunch.

We fitted in a visit to the new Lidl opposite our choir rehearsal venue with the afternoon choir practice in Carlisle.

Some of the members of the choir are going to a Sing for Pleasure Choir Showcase in Liverpool next week, and we did some concentrated practice to prepare for that today. I am going, but Mrs Tootlepedal is sitting it out. Five hours travel in a bus is not her idea of fun. It is not mine either, but we are so short of tenors that I thought that I ought to go.

Fortunately, we had bought some very reasonably priced microwave cookware from the middle aisle in Lidl, so we were able to heat up a nourishing evening meal to round off the day.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “A song and a stroll

  1. The robin on the willow looks cheery while the one on the fence looks like it just came out of a clothes dryer.
    Someone has their hands full with the wall rebuilding. Rebuilding is often harder than the initial building was.
    It was great to see the hazelnut catkin curtain.

  2. The feeder robins are so cheery looking. And thank you for the blackbird closeups. I’m not sure I ever noticed the bright yellow ring around the eye before.
    I admire you dedication to the tenor section. I hope the singing is its own reward.

  3. Five hours (one-way?) in a bus is a long time, but it sounds like a fun singing event.

    Birds, flowers, lichens and catkins can brighten any grey day. The snowdrops beside the garden path look quite robust. The robin portrait was particularly beautiful, and the one coming in for a landing at the feeder was a very nice catch. He had not deployed the landing gear just yet in the first photo, but his timing was perfect and he looks quite pleased in the second photo.

    It has been a grey day in the mid 30s here with many passing snow, sleet and rain squalls.

  4. Lovely photo of the chaffinch almost landing on the bird feeder. I liked the black backed gull, standing to attention, but the beautiful shot of the robin is my favourite. It looks like a robin out of one of the story books of my childhood.

  5. I checked to see if it’s five hours each way, but it looks like that’s total time? That’s the return time for our drive to the nearest larger centre for services we can’t access here. Not bad on “rail-like” prairie roads but I imagine it’s rather more circuitous for you. Good for you for supporting the tenors, but I don’t blame Mrs. T. for staying home.

    Wonderful “catch” of a robin on final for the feeder!

  6. Love the snowdrop walk in your garden and the robin looks suitably impressed too. The middle aisle in Lidl should have a warning sign as we always buy something that we had no idea that we needed!

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