Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blackbirds’

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother, who was on one of his outings.  It shows the Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye.

Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye

We had a very pleasant day here today with lots of sunshine but with a wind just brisk enough to make me think of several reasons why going cycling might not be my best option.

It had rained overnight and the plants in the garden were holding on to some of the raindrops.

willow and pulsatilla

Willow and pulsatilla unwilling to let go

There was plenty of buzzing to be heard in the garden…

bees

…and plenty of new flowers for the bees to visit.

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

After coffee, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a short trip on our bikes up the Wauchope road might be worth while and so we went off to see the bluebells that I had noticed on my bike ride yesterday.  We left our bikes by the side of the road and walked up the hill.  The view down the valley without the bluebells was very good….

Wauchope valley

…but it was even better with bluebells.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

And there was no shortage of bluebells on the hill side for us to enjoy.

Up…

Wauchope valley with bluebells

…down….

Wauchope valley with bluebells

…and along.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

I could have filled a whole post with bluebells.

There weren’t a lot of other flowers among the bluebells but there were some of these tiny yellow flowers.

yellow wild flowers

As we cycled home, I stopped for a look at some fresh hawthorn blossom…

hawthorn

…and an orange tip butterfly which kindly rested for a moment or two on a bluebell beside the road.

orange tip butterfly

After lunch, I mowed the front lawn, chatted to blackbirds…

blackbirds

…who were keen to share the lawn with me, enjoyed a whole hearted tulip…

tulip

…and then went off on an outing with Sandy.

We drove up past the bluebells but the sunlight was in quite the wrong place so we drove back through the town and went to visit the Moorland Project bird hide.  When we arrived, we found that others had beaten us to it so we left the car there and walked down the road…

Rashiel road

…to the banks of the Tarras Water.

Tarras water

We crossed the bridge and walked along the bank of the river for a few hundred yards and stopped to be amazed by a forest of horsetails which Sandy spotted…

horsetails

…growing in a very soggy patch beside the river.

I will have to come back and look at these again as they are interesting plants.

One of them had a friend.

horsetail

We walked back up the hill to the hide and found yet again that someone else had got in before us but this time we went in too and shared the viewing windows.

There was a lot of woodpecker activity and for the first time ever, I saw a woodpecker on the ground pecking away at the grass.  Of course there were plenty of pheasants doing that too.

pheasant and woodpecker

There wasn’t a great deal of other activity so we made for home and had a cup of tea and a couple of mini Jaffa cakes with Mrs Tootlepedal.

Sandy went off and I mowed the middle lawn and had a look round the garden.

Alliums

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these are Alliums

The garden was alive with sparrows feeding their young…

sparrows

One even sat on Mrs Tootlepedal’s bicycle handlebars

…but because the feeders are not up, it was hard to be sharp enough to catch them in the act.

I had a last look round…

Garden

…and went in to practice a few songs and look at the many, many pictures which I had taken on my outings and in the garden.  It is very hard not to take too many pictures in spring time.

I noticed that I had seen quite a lot of unfurling ferns here and there during the day…

unfurling ferns

…so I put some together.

I was feeling pretty tired by now and I let the chance of an evening bike ride slip through my fingers and settled for eating spaghetti with tomato sauce cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal and having a little snooze.

It is not a good picture but I feel that a flying bee of the day is the way to end this post.  It was a flying bee sort of day.

flying bee

Read Full Post »

The weather was very good yesterday so my sister Mary went down the Thames and paid another visit to Greenwich.  Today’s guest picture shows her view of the planetarium there.

The Planetarium

It was a miserable wet and colourless day here as our mini spell of good new year weather ran into the buffers.   It was hardly worth looking out of the window as there were no birds about and if there had been, they would have been hard to see.

no birds

A typical scene

Luckily we had better things to do than sit at home and feel gloomy so we got into the car and drove to Carlisle.    We were after good things and it wasn’t too long after we arrived there that many good things fell into our shopping bag.  I am talking about dates and prunes, cheese and more cheese, tea leaves and coffee beans.

The rain had stopped by the time we parked below the mediaeval city walls…

Carlisle city walls

We had to stop and watch some blackbirds picking berries off trees in the car park…

blackbirds

…but luckily we didn’t have to stop at the old Sally Port and pay our tithes as the notice on the wall tells us that former visitors had to.

Sally Port

The centre of the town was quiet and the amusements in the Market Place were locked and silent…

Carlisle helter skelter

…but this did mean that the elegant old town hall was easy to see for once.

Carlisle Town hall

As well as edible goodies, we were in the city to pick up our daughter Annie from the London train.

In the car park outside the station, waiting buses reminded us that the line from Carlisle to Settle has still not been fully repaired after a landslide during last winter’s storms.

Buses rail replacement

The winter has been so gentle this year that it is sometimes hard to remember the devastation that was caused in Cumbria a year ago.

The Citadel Station roof has been wrapped up so thoroughly while it is being replaced that it looks like a giant Christmas present.

Carlisle Station

But our train arrived bang on time…

Virgin train on time at Carlisle

…and deposited our daughter safely onto the platform…

Annie and Ally

…where she was warmly greeted by Mrs Tootlepedal.

Although the most valuable package had been picked up, we hadn’t finished our raids on the Carlisle shops yet and with guidance from Annie, we bought a new washing machine and a sound bar for our telly.

Laden with good things we returned home.

While Annie and I had been acquiring the sound bar, Mrs Tootlepedal had been watching long tailed tits in the car park trees.  She had seen a flock of waxwings on a rowan tree in the centre of Edinburgh yesterday so she has seen a lot more interesting birds over the last couple of days than I have.  It’s not fair.

Some shop bought crumpets might have found their way into our bag among the other good things and we enjoyed these with a cup of tea when we got home.  Buying them was certainly a lot easier than making them.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had a good music session.  Neither of us has been practising so it was just as well that we were able to stop between movements for a glass of fizzy white wine.

During the evening, the skies above the house were filled with the sounds of geese calling to each other….

It was extremely misty and there were some bright lights on at the sports pitch and we think that the geese had got disorientated and were circling round waiting for the night to end before heading onwards.  It was rather distressing to hear their plaintive calls.

They have been circling and calling for several hours already.

The calling geese are the flying birds of the day.

 

Read Full Post »