Posts Tagged ‘hedge sparrow’

Today’s guest picture comes from learned reader Edward from Sheffield.  He has tree peonies in his garden with flowers a foot wide.

Edards tree peonies

We had timed our holiday well.  After several dry weeks, the weather turned gloomy today and it rained in the afternoon.  According to the forecast, there is a good deal more rain to come which will be welcome from a gardening point of view.

The morning was dry though and this gave us a chance to get busy in the garden, Mrs Tootlepedal doing useful things and I wandering about with a camera in hand.

New flowers have arrived during our absence and there is no shortage of bright colours.

The first iris has come out…

first iris

…and several more geraniums have joined the blue ones which arrived first.


They are excellent value and should keep flowering all through the summer.

four geraniums

Lupins have arrived….

first lupins

…and aquilegias are popping up all over the garden.


A favourite flower for peering at closely with the camera is this anemone.  I love its strong colours and busy centre.

anemone close up

But probably, the stars of the show are the red peonies….

two red peonies

…even though they are too red for the camera to really enjoy.

The established flowers are enjoying the weather in spite of the lack of rain…

azaleas and rhodidendrons

…although the azaleas are going over rather quickly.  Perhaps the new rain will help them last.

The clematis at the front and back doors have increased in number while we have been away…

two white clematis

…and the front door variety is fast becoming a favourite of mine.

clematis centre

Potentillas, both salmon pink and yellow are thriving…

yellow and orange flowers

…and the poached egg plant is getting more white edges every day.  The first roses are appearing with the yellow one above joining the the rosa moyesii below.

Our poppies are becoming more international and an oriental poppy has joined the Welsh and Icelandic ones which were out before we left.

four flowrrs

A geum and an astrantia complete today’s collection.

I put down the camera and mowed the middle lawn.  It had been badly pecked while I was away but once I had mowed over the loose moss, I found a lot of reasonably green grass about underneath.  Mrs Tootlepedal intends to carry on a methodical feeding programme so I have every confidence that it will be in good order soon.

I mowed the front lawn too and found that it is still in poor condition, although the feed that I gave it before we went away has encouraged the occasional blade of grass to appear among the moss.  I will keep trying.

As I was working at a very gentle pace, and we took a break to entertain Mike Tinker to a cup of coffee, all this took me up to lunchtime.

I had the opportunity to check on the birds when I got in.  Usual suspects such as siskins and redpolls were in evidence but sparrows are obviously feeding young as they turned up on the seed feeder…

sparrow on feeder

…as well as feeding on peanuts and fat balls as well.

The siskins and redpolls haven’t learned about peaceful coexistence while we have been away.

redpoll being shouted at

Dunnocks were busy on the ground under the feeders.


I had a quiet afternoon watching the racing on the telly, a very undemanding activity.  Most of the enjoyment comes from listening to the expert commentators telling us why their chosen horses have not won the race that we have just watched.

I even felt a bit sorry for them when their unanimous pick of a heavily odds-on favourite trotted in third in five horse race.  There was not a lot that they could say.

Mrs Tootlepedal spent the afternoon with her Embroiderers’ Guild group and when she returned, I roused myself to drink a cup of tea and check the kitchen window again.  A jackdaw, fed up with pecking at my lawn, had come to try the peanuts….

jackdaw on feeder

…and it was joined by a starling…

starling on feeder

…but sadly, it and its friends preferred to start in the lawn pecking business themselves instead of eating bird food.

starlings on lawn

If they are eating leatherjacket grubs though, they are probably doing me a good turn as I read that the grubs eat grass roots and can destroy a lawn.  This may explain why the birds always peck at the worst bit of the lawn and leave the bits with good grass growth alone.

I hope to catch up on my blog reading now that I am home.

Meanwhile, the flying (or perhaps diving) bird of the day is a pigeon.

flying pigeon



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 Today’s picture shows Sheffield by night and was sent to me by Bruce who is awaiting the arrival of an imminent grandchild there.


After a miserable day seeking solutions to the unwillingness of my internet connection to behave and getting nowhere even with the helpful advice of my internet provider (they answer the phone within moments) and my computer literate younger son, I had completely given up hope of being able to post tonight when out of the blue, it started to work.

This gives me the opportunity to thank everyone who commented on the 1000th post and all those who took the trouble to click on the snowdrop  (33 people in all).  It is very pleasing to think that some people take the trouble to read all the words as well as look at the pictures.   In addition, I would like to thank all those of you who produce entertaining blogs for me to read.  I have entered a whole new world in the last three years.  Special thanks go to my sisters Susan and Mary for their indefatigable commenting over this time and to my daughter Annie who got me started in the first place.

I didn’t take many pictures over the last two days because it has been very cold, grey and intermittently snowing and raining so the lack of being able to upload them wasn’t as painful as it might have been.  I did take a few though and here is a chaffinch from yesterday looking well fluffed up against the chill.


And here is a hedge sparrow wondering what the fuss upstairs is all about.


It was still very disappointing not to be able to post about yesterday as it was a good day.  I spent the morning pedalling into a savagely cold east wind with Dropscone. He kindly let me choose the route and I chose to skulk up and down the relatively sheltered road to Wauchope School three times. It may be scenically dull but it did give us a regular break from pedalling into the wind. The scones afterwards were never more welcome.

This got the day off to a good pedalling start and the afternoon brought a splendid tootling opportunity as I went off to play flute and recorder with my cello and piano playing friends Mike and Isabel.  I had transcribed a Boismortier piece for two recorders and piano so that we could play on flute and cello and it went surprisingly well.  To add to the fun, we had a vigorous and enjoyable political discussion after we had stopped playing.  Tootling, pedalling and a political debate, who could ask for anything more?

I could.

I wanted entertainment so I spent the evening at the Buccleuch Centre watching the LAODS production of The Sound of Music starring Mrs Tootlepedal as the fifth nun from the left.  Amateur musicals are always a bit of a gamble from a spectator’s point of view but this one was a winner.

The girl playing Maria was absolutely wonderful and brought a smile to my lips and a tear to my eye as she sung the songs that I have known and loved for 50 years.  The rest of the adult cast was  more than competent and the show was never dull to watch.  The high spot of the evening though were the young people playing the von Trapp children.  They were outstanding –  singing, dancing and saying their lines without a moment’s hesitation and with equal measures of verve and charm.  A professional company would have been pleased to have had them in their cast.  They are a tribute to the musical director and the people who have been putting on youth theatre shows in the town over recent years.

Mrs Tootlepedal was very good too.

So that was a very good day in every way…..until I found the the internet was wonky and I couldn’t put it into my on-line diary.  I fear that I may have reached the stage where if it isn’t in the blog, it didn’t happen.


The brambling acts as visual punctuation for now we are on to today.

The morning, as I have said, was one to forget as there are few things that I find more upsetting than computer related malfunctions where a) you don’t know what is wrong and b) you don’t know what to do about it.  It engenders a feeling of rage and helplessness combined leading to a very depressed Tootlepedal.  However, as is so often the case with computers, the trouble in the end disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived.  A fault on the line perhaps? My expert internet provider muttered something about possible contention.  I hope that makes it clear.

The day was not a total write off by any means as I was able to brave the chill and do a triple Wauchope Schoolhouse at a good speed in the afternoon, mainly to work off my bad computer feelings, and in the evening,  I went to Carlisle with Susan and we played some very nice five part music with our recorder group.  Another day with a pedal and a tootle.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has commented over the years and all those who goodly clicked on the picture.  I hope that I can continue to find interesting things to photograph and do in the lovely sunny weather which must surely arrive sometime soon.

I even managed to find a flying bird in the gloom.

flying chaffinch


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