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Posts Tagged ‘hellebore’

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone who is on holiday in Wales.  He took the opportunity to see one of the most famous engineering feats of Thomas Telford, a local Eskdale hero.  The picture shows the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries the Langollen canal through the skies over the river Dee.

telford aqueduct

We had a slightly warmer day here today but not much warmer so after having checked the weather forecast (grey but dry) I idled a couple of hours away after breakfast to let the temperature rise before getting out on my bike.

I spent some of the time watching birds.

full feeder

Goldfinches had come back today but my attempts to find a flying bird were generally less than successful with chaffinches either hiding behind the feeder…

chaffinch behind feeder

…or sneaking up before I was ready…

chaffinch approaching feeder

…and the goldfinches weren’t much more helpful.

goldfinch approaching chaffinch

I liked this pair with the sparrow in the role of Esau (my brother Esau is an hairy man…) and the chaffinch posing as Jacob (…but I am a smooth man).

chaffinch and sparrow

I set off on my bike, full of hope and with an ambitious itinerary in mind.  This lasted all of five miles because when I looked down into the Esk valley from the top of the Kerr hill, all I could see was rain, and heavy looking rain at that.

Within a minute, the rain had swept over me too and I was under fire from some painful, sleety raindrops which were being propelled by a strong and gusty wind.

I turned tail and tried to beat the rain.  I succeeded within a mile or so and instead of resting on my laurels and heading for home when I got to the Wauchope road, I set off to the top of Callister instead.  This was a bad mistake and the pedal home back down the hill was a full on experience of getting thoroughly wet.

Still, 17 miles was better than nothing and a hot shower restored my equilibrium.

Of course it had stopped raining by the time that I had got out of my shower so I went for a short walk.

There was even the odd glimpse of sunshine…

Town Bridge wet February

Telford worked on this bridge as an apprentice.

…but everything was very wet…

raindrops on park tree

…wherever you looked…

wet needles

…and as there were ominous clouds building up and my foot was hurting a bit, I took a quick stroll along the park wall where the pixie cup lichens ….

big cup lichen

…were to be seen on every side.

pots of cup lichens

The lichen stained bark of a tree caught my eye…

park tree bark

..but I had got discouraged so I headed home and looked for flowers in the garden.  The crocuses looked a bit discouraged too…

wet crocus buds

…but a hellebore was looking well and even had a fly for company.

hellebore feb

I lifted the head up to show that it was in good health.

hellebore held up

Once I got in, the weather brightened up but I was fed up by then and I did some singing practice, had a cup of tea and a biscuit with Mike Tinker who dropped in and made a beef stew for my evening meal.

While I was doing these things, Mrs Tootlepedal was continuing with her crochet blanket (the end is in sight) and doing some detailed work on the rocking horse as part of the preparations for painting it (a lot of work to go).

After tea, I went off for the first meeting of 2019 for the Langholm Community Choir.  There had been worries that the membership might drop off but there was a very good attendance with a new member on hand.  Mary, our director, in consultation with the committee, has settled on fewer new works this session and as they are fairly easy arrangements, we had a relaxed session.  I think this is a good plan as we ought to be able to sing  the material very well by the time our concert comes round without any stress.

The best flying bird of the day that I could find was this chaffinch, just out of focus.  It matched my efforts to read the weather correctly.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Sharon, mother of Luke my flute playing friend.  She took this beautiful view of the Nith estuary from Glencaple near Dumfries.

glencaple view

It was a two choir day as usual on a Sunday and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time.  In church we sang several hymns with satisfying bass lines and then we had a short practice afterwards with promises of more enjoyable singing to come.

I found a coal tit in the plum tree when we got back.

coal tit in plum tree

It was a pleasantly sunny, pretty still morning so with the temperature at 4°C, I set out after coffee and a ginger biscuit  to see whether a short walk would make my foot feel better or worse.  On the whole, it made it feel better.

I looked at moss while I was pootling along pondering on medical matters.  There is rarely any shortage of moss to look at round here.

There was moss steadily colonising a wall, reaching up from below to meet another patch reaching down from above….

moss at springhill

…there were various mosses massed in a mound on top of the wall further along…

mixed mosses

…and still further along, more moss stretching out fingers to grab new territory…

moss stretching hand

…and among the trees, a mini forest of  moss…

tall moss

…as well as moss mixing with peltgera lichen on a wall…

peltigera lichnee and moss

…and pincushion moss sharing space with more lichen.

button moss and cup lichen

My route took me along Gaskell’s Walk and it was as nice a walk as you could hope for though I thought that one walker whom I passed going in the opposite direction and who remarked that it was like spring, was getting a bit ahead of herself.

gaskells walk january

I looked around and saw colourful fungus on the end of a fallen branch…

tree end fungus

…and any amount of rosebay willowherb lined the track.

rosebay willowherb

The track was largely in shadow but as I came to the last hill before the Stubholm, the sun was catching the electricity poles that carry the power down into the New Town.

electricity poles gaskells

They may not be the most beautiful of structures but they do bring a lot of brightness into our lives, literally and metaphorically so I am always happy to see them even if they do spoil a view every now and again.

It was a grand day and I was sorry not to have the time or legs to walk further…

view of whita over stubholm

…but after a couple more stops to note eye catching sights….

decorative tree barkspiky plant

…and a final nod to the world of moss….

moss table gaskells

…I made my way home.

In the garden, the hellebores are beginning to show a bit of colour..

hellebore buds

Inside the house, a pot of soup was bubbling on the cooker, showing that Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy while I was out.

I had time to eat some soup, watch a pair of restful goldfinches nibble on the sunflower seed…

two goldfinches

…while some chaffinches get a lot more excited about the situation…..

busy feeder

…and then it was time to head for Carlisle and the community choir practice.

The sunshine had gone by this time and it was grey and chilly by the time we got to the church where we meet.

The practice itself was very satisfactory as a reorganisation of the tenors meant that rather than sitting on the end of a pew not being able to hear the rest of the section, this week I had a strong singer beside me and more behind.  Together with the work that I have done at home over the past two weeks, this meant that I was able to sing with much more confidence and relaxation than previously.  I hope that we keep this new set up.

We got home safely, had the last portions of Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetarian casserole and settled down to enjoy Les Miserables (as far as the subject matter permits of any enjoyment).

A chaffinch as flying bird of the day rounded off a day definitely entered on the credit side of the great ledger of life.

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who strayed as far as Berkshire to take this picture on a sunny walk in Twyford a day or two ago.

Twyford, Berkshire

Our brief summer has gone and we are back to normal spring temperatures.  It felt a bit chilly as a result this morning but it was quite a fine day and there was even a brief glimpse of sunshine to light up Dropscone and Sandy who were doing a bit of bench testing after our morning coffee.

Dropscone and Sandy

They are both keen travellers and as Sandy has just come back from a holiday in the Canary Islands, he was complaining of feeling the chill as a result.

Needless to say we had some good scones with our coffee.

While I waited for them to arrive, I spent a little time staring out of the window in the effort to catch a flying bird.  Birds were scarce though and only goldfinches arrived in any numbers…

golfdfimch

…and they either spent their time deliberately turning their backs on me…

_DSC3857

…or nipping quickly into the feeder before i could catch them.

goldfinch

When Dropscone and Sandy had gone on their way,  I wandered about the garden.

I ignored the tulips today and spent a lot of time dead heading daffodils as the day of the daffodil is almost done.  There are some late comers to the feast…

daffodil

…and this is my daffodil of the day…

daffodil

…but most of them are gone now.

They will soon be replaced by these…

allium

…which are lining up to come into flower.

The silver pear is doing its best…

silver pear

…but although it is covered in flowers, they are so discreet that a casual passer by would hardly notice them.

A single clump of  apple blossom packs more punch than the whole pear tree.

apple blossom

I heard a lot of buzzing on the gooseberry bush and managed to take a striking but indeterminate shot of a visitor to the flowers on its way.

wasp

It looks like a wasp but I couldn’t get it to pose nicely for me.

wasp

It has been a regular visitor to the gooseberry so I hope that I will get a better look at it soon.

Things are going over….

hellebore

The hellebores have been great value this year

…and things are coming on

willow

The willow showing three stages of development on one twig.

Mrs Tootlepedal has three trilliums in the garden and although they are not quite showing up like the carpets of trilliums that appear in America, two of hers are looking quite healthy.

trillium

This is the best of them

I got the hover mower out and mowed the grass round the greenhouse.  Just to annoy me, it has been growing more quickly than the grass on the lawns.

I woke up very early this morning and was nearly deafened by the dawn chorus outside.  Some of the noisiest birds in the garden are the blackbirds and one has taken to sitting on the silver pear during the day and singing as loudly as possible.

blackbird

Mrs Tootlepedal has seen a mother blackbird feeding a youngster and I hope to be able to catch some blackbird family action with the camera.  There are plenty of blackbirds about…

blackbird

…but I haven’t seen a baby blackbird yet.

It started to rain after lunch but that didn’t affect us very much as we spent the afternoon going to Dumfries where Mrs Tootlepedal had an eye appointment.  The eye department is still in the old hospital which has recently been superseded by a brand new building elsewhere in town.  This has the wonderful effect of  letting us park without problem in the vast and largely unoccupied car park.

It made going to hospital a pleasure and we added to the jollity of the day by stopping off at a garden centre on the way home.  We met another Langholm couple there who had been visiting the new hospital.  They told us that parking there was a nightmare.  Land values in the UK are curious and it is an oddity that they can find millions to build a new  hospital but still can’t afford to acquire enough land for adequate car parks for the patients.

A little rain won’t come amiss in the garden after some hot dry days but we just hope it knows when to stop.  The forecast is ominously unsettled.

I couldn’t get a good flying goldfinch today and this rather pointillist effort was the best that I could manage but at least it is flying and it is a bird.

goldfinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from a boat trip that Dropscone took while on his holiday in Majorca.  He saw these  interesting rocks.

majorca cave

The forecast drop in temperature came about but it was not quite as dramatic as it might have been.  All the same, some light drizzle and clouds made the day seem very gloomy compared with the last two days.

It rained while we singing in the church choir in the morning but by the time that we emerged, it had stopped again and I paid a visit to the dam at the back of our house before going inside.  On our side of the new bridge, aubretia is beginning to drip down the concrete…

aubretia

…and on the other side of the new bridge, our neighbour Liz has a striking clump of marsh marigold.

marsh marigold

In the garden, evidence of the morning drizzle was to be seen…

daffodil

…and so I turned up the flower of a dog’s tooth violet to get a sunnier view of it.

dog's tooth violet

I went in and prepared a beef stew for the slow cooker, checking on the birds outside from time to time.

The siskins seem to have found somewhere more attractive to eat and we are left with mostly goldfinches and chaffinches at the moment…

busy feeder

…who are always ready to exchange a few well chosen words.

_DSC3414

Once the stew was started, I took a second walk round the garden.

The hyacinths looked cheerful enough…

grape hyacinth

…but the tulips were missing the sunshine and stubbornly refused to display their charms.

closed tulips

After lunch, I had time for another quick look round.

There are some weather conditions which seem to make the hellebores lift up their heads. I haven’t quite pinned down what the requirements are but today was one of the days when it happened.

hellebores

The hellebores have been very good value this year and have been out for ages.

Something has been eating the petals of the daffodil of the day.

daffodil

We made an early start on the trip to Carlisle for our afternoon choir as we had some shopping in mind.

We visited a bookshop first and then went to a specialist tea and coffee supplier where I bought tea from India, China and Sri Lanka to go with the African teas that I am currently drinking.  Two packets of coffee beans from Nicaragua and Brazil also found their way into the shopping bag.  Sometimes, we take the wonders of international trade for granted but I reflect on a small part of it every day as I drink tea and coffee.  And am grateful.

We concluded the shopping by going to a well known clothing store where I bought a shirt just like that.   My ability to make such a bold and swift decision was greatly helped by the fact that my personal shopping adviser was holding my hand and she suggested that a shirt might be a good thing to buy.

The afternoon choir session did not turn out as expected.

We got there to find that our conductor and accompanist, who come down from Glasgow each week, had found that railway maintenance which should have stopped in time for them to get to the practice was still ongoing and they were trapped on the wrong side of it.

In the absence of anyone else, a pianist from the choir stepped forward to act as accompanist and I got the chance to take the choir for a shortened session.  As there is nothing more magical than waving your arms about in a casual way and being greeted by the sound of glorious singing, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

The sun had come out by the time that we finished and the evening was so lovely that we took a longer and more scenic way than usual to drive home.

The stew was good too so the day ended very well.

A collared dove sat in the plum tree.

collared dove

I checked a weather site for local weather and it said that yesterday’s high was 69.3°F and today’s was 60°F and tomorrow’s will be 51°F.  This translates roughly as a drop from 20°C to 10°C so we will back to feeling the chill again.   April showers are also likely and I may be a bit pressed to get as many miles in on the slow bike as I would like before the new bike arrives with the new month.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

A literal footnote:  Mary Jo kindly sent me a picture to cheer me up.  It shows her husband leaving his mark on lawn in Denmark that is so mossy that it makes mine look not too bad at all.

moss in Denmark

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone.  He has been on holiday for a few days beside the sea in Lincolnshire.  He sent me this picture of definite cheating in the children’s sandcastle building competition.

Dropscone's digger

We were the victim of a meteorological prank today.  The weather got warmer as forecast but as it was blowing a gale and raining heavily, we weren’t able to enjoy the warmth very much….and it didn’t get a lot warmer anyway.

I had to spend time indoors as it happened because it took a lot of time and some  intemperate language to get my computer up and running.  Yesterday’s problem was caused by one of the uninvited upgrades that Windows puts onto a computer behind your back and the solution was to activate a ‘system restore’.

This is hard to manage when you can’t get access to the computer settings but somewhat mysteriously a QR code appeared on my screen while I was struggling without success and I quickly snapped it with my phone.   Then, without any more prompting, the phone issued me with a set of useful instructions.  A miracle of technology.

It is always a nervous matter to embark on a system restore but this one went like clockwork and you can see the result.

Still, it was Friday and my morning was brightened by the arrival of Dropscone, back from his brief break and bearing treacle scones.

When he left, the rain stopped and I had time for a quick look round the garden.

hellebore

I can photograph some of the hellebores without lying on my back and looking up but others need a helping hand to keep me off the wet grass.

P1080352

In the pond, some frogs maintained an air of mystery in the dark under the bridge…

frog

…while others let it all hang out.

frog and spawn

The hawk made a couple of appearances without catching anything and in between times, the feeder was in demand, with chaffinches approaching…

chaffinch

…and landing (with a bit of difficulty in the strong breeze)…

chaffinch

…and sometimes having to put up with a torrent of abuse from passing siskins.

busy feeder

The main business of the day was a trip with Mrs Tootlepedal to a garden centre near Carlisle to buy this and that and to have lunch.  Unfortunately two coachloads of shoppers arrived just before us so we had to do quite a bit of window shopping before there was a spare table to have our lunch.

However, the meal was worth waiting for and Mrs Tootlepedal found all the things that she wanted so the trip was very satisfactory.

Amusingly, the weather gods had not finished their joke at our expense and  having driven through pleasant sunshine on our way home, it started to rain a mile or so outside Langholm.  How we laughed.

I had hoped for a late afternoon cycle ride but even when the rain stopped, it was still cold and gloomy so I went for a short walk instead.

The rain had put a bit of pep into the Esk…

raging river

..and a couple of oyster catchers were looking a bit disgruntled at the Meeting of the Waters.

oyster catchers

The very local nature of our weather was well shown by the literal meeting of the waters…

meeting of the waters

…with the Ewes in the foreground and the Esk in the background looking as different as they could possibly be.  In spite of appearances, it was the Esk that was carrying by far the more water.  It had obviously rained a lot more up the Esk valley than it had up the Ewes valley.

It was too dark to take good bird pictures but I was pleased to see that Mr Grumpy had survived the snow…

heron

…and I did spot a dipper but as you can see….

dipper

…it was too far away and had its back turned to me so I didn’t bother to take a picture of it.

I looked at a bit of moss instead…

moss

…probably the only thing round here actually to welcome the rain.

I passed by this elegant gate…

gate

…and made my way home in the gathering gloom without finding anything else interesting to look at.

Among other bits of business today, I put down the deposit on my new bike, having finally made my mind up.  It will take four weeks to arrive so there will be a lot of huffing and puffing on the slow bike in the meantime (if the weather is suitable for cycling).

Why will the bike take four weeks to arrive?  Because it is being hand made in Holland.

We are promised a bit of warm sunshine tomorrow.  I hope that this doesn’t turn out to be another joke.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch who sneaked in among the chaffinches and siskins.

flying goldfinch

I don’t usually put pictures in a post which I didn’t take on the posting day but the computer failure meant that I couldn’t use this little lamb…

first lamb

…and as it was the first of the year, I have popped it in today.

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who visited Denholm on a recent sunny day and took this picture of the Leyden memorial.  (If Denholm looks familiar to attentive blog readers, it is because I have been to two recorder playing days there.)

Denholm

Mrs Tootlepedal’s plans to get up early and do some gardening before breakfast were foiled by a frost which had left the ground rock hard.   By the time that I got up, the temperature was above freezing and it rose steadily through the morning until it reached 5 degrees where it stubbornly stuck for the rest of the day.

This wasn’t too bad in the early part of the morning when the sun was out but by the end of the day, when the sky was covered in thick cloud, it made for a fairly dismal welcome to spring.  A brisk and chilly wind didn’t help matters.

The birds didn’t think that it was a day for visiting and the seed level in the feeders hardly dropped at all.  This saves me money but starves me of photo opportunities and I didn’t take any kitchen window shots before leaving for a short run on the slow bike while the weather was at its best.

I stopped off at my favourite Wauchope cascade just to show how dry it has been recently (a most unusual state of affairs for us).  There was little more than a trickle going through the  narrows…

Wauchope cascade

…but it did give me a chance to admire the cruelly folded rocks in the river bank.  This gives an insight into the strong forces that shaped our seemingly gentle landscape.

Wauchope bent rocks

It also provided a quiet corner for this elegant eddy to form.

Wauchope cascade eddy

And I found myself standing on a rock covered with a combination of moss and lichen.

Wauchope cascade lichen

A couple of miles further on, I turned up the road to Cleuchfoot and stopped to take a picture of our gentle landscape.  It shows one of the flats or holms that have provided a place for farmers to live and work for centuries.

Cleuchfoot

A little further on, the man who farms the land stopped for a chat as he passed me on his quad bike and his passenger had to wait patiently while we discussed the ins and outs of the battle between our local landowner, who feels that there is more money to be made from trees on our hills than tenant farmers and the farmers and many  others who feel that the land should be kept for sheep who have been farmed on the hills and the men and women who have worked them for two hundred years and more.

farmer's dog

Everyone is agreed at the estate has not handled the matter at all well so there is considerable debate ongoing.

Because of the brisk and chilly wind, I skulked about in the valley bottom for the most part of my 20 mile pedal but I did make one short excursion into open country where an oyster catcher gave me a look.

oyster catcher in field

I also saw a curlew but it was too quick for me so it went unrecorded.

At the top of the hill, I could see that a recently replanted felled wood is looking good.

Kerr wood

These trees grow amazingly quickly which is why the estate likes them of course.

When I got back, I noticed that the first of the hellebore flowers was in evidence in our garden.

hellebore

And in spite of the cold, a couple of frogs were relaxing in the pool.

frogs

I did try to catch a bird or two in between making some soup for lunch but didn’t have much luck.  As I enjoy alliteration I shall point out that I made just a soupçon of soup in a saucepan and subsequently supped it.

After lunch, I finally got a bird…

robin

…and then a few others.  They tended to appear one or two at a time and were quite upset if a third bird appeared.

chaffinch and goldfinch

It was very gloomy by this time but I felt the call of a walk.  Mrs Tootlepedal ignored the cold and an occasional light drizzle while she toiled in the garden and I went out to stretch my legs.

I saw another oyster catcher at the Meeting of the Waters…

oyster catcher

…but birds were scarce, the light was rotten…

monument in mist

…and it was always threatening to rain so I didn’t spend much time looking for interesting things.  I saw some.

conifer

noble fir cone

lichens on tree

When I got home, I took steps to get detached from the power company which supplies electricity to the Archive Centre.  This is not as straightforward as it should be but as all my dealings with the company have been extremely tortuous, this came as no surprise.

I also took steps to get  my new bike purchased.  I have decided to spend our children’s’ inheritance on it.  I hope that they don’t read this post.  It won’t arrive in a hurry so I have all the pleasure of anticipation to enjoy meanwhile.

In the evening, I went to our Langholm community choir and enjoyed the singing.  This helped take a bit of the glumness out of the day.

One flying bird appeared so it is the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia.  She was walking at Burrington Combe in North Somerset, when she saw this sight on the far side of the road.  It is the very crag which inspired the writer of the 1763 hymn starting: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself  in Thee’

Rock of Ages

We had another dry and mostly cloudy day today.  The dry weather was very welcome but once again the chilly and brisk wind took away some of the pleasure of being out in the garden.

After a cup of coffee and some excellent scones with Dropscone, I spent a lot of time in the garden so felt the wind quite keenly.

I was finishing tidying up after the installation of the compost bins.  I sorted the old wood into ‘(possibly) usable’ and ‘totally rotten’ piles and then with Mrs Tootlepedal’s help, I used some of the wood to improve the partition between Bins C and D.  It all looks very good now but I haven’t put in a photo of the finished set up because I have elderly readers and don’t want to over excite them two days running.  This is a responsible and caring blog.

In between the compost work, I mowed the two lawns and looked at the moss, which always seems more conspicuous after a cut, in a slightly depressed way.  I am waiting for some warmer weather to encourage grass growth before getting the scarifier out.

Mrs Tootlepedal has transplanted some hellbores and a fritillary as she thought that they were blooming rather unseen where they were and she has put them beside the other hellebore near the feeders….

hellebores

…where they will make up a new ‘spring corner’ if they survive the transplanting.

I couldn’t resist another look at the amazing euphorbia…

euphorbia

…although the brisk wind made taking flower pictures tricky.

We are getting quite excited by the prospect of azaleas….

azalea buds

…and Mrs Tootlepedal is impressed by her rosemary beside the greenhouse.

rosemary

I find it a very difficult plant to photograph well as my camera sees the leaves much more clearly than the elegant flowers.  I will try again with the macro lens on a sunnier day.

I thought that I had found a nascent tulip afflicted by a dread disease….

fancy tulip

…but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is a fancy variety and is supposed to be like that.  I look forward to seeing it when it is fully out.

The aubretias overhanging the side of the dam are thriving.

aubretias

In spite of having had quite an energetic time in the garden, I had enough oomph left to go for a short cycle ride late in the afternoon.  It was still very windy so I settled for a valley-bottom-hugging ride up and down the road beside the Wauchope Water to Cleuchfoot and back a couple of times with a bit added on to make up twenty miles.

I was rewarded for my get up and go spirit when the sun came out just as I started cycling

I saw a towering gorse bush…

aubretias

…and some very young lambs in a field.

cleuchfoot lambs

I went along the banks of the Esk in the town on one of the laps, hoping to see some interesting birds but had to settle for a small meadow on the bank beside the suspension bridge…

cleuchfoot lambs

The flowers that look quite white in the sunshine are in fact a very pretty purple when seen from closer in.

wild flower

Whenever I had a chance through the day, I looked out of the kitchen window.  It was not hard to spot birds lining up to try the new feeders.

goldfinch

siskin and chaffinch

Some customers got impatient though…

chaffinches

…which led to some unedifying moments. ..

chaffinch, goldfinch and siskins

…while off feeder, discussions on the value of a second Scottish Independence Referendum became heated…

chaffinches squabble

A goldfinch wished that all this bad behaviour would cease immediately.

goldfinch

All this bird action is very entertaining to watch but it leads to mess under the feeders and Mrs Tootlepedal is justifiably starting to complain about the smell.  My sense of smell is so poor that I don’t notice anything myself but I will have to put my mind to clearing up and disinfecting the affected area.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see some high class ballet being streamed to the screen in the Buccleuch Centre and but as I find ballet very impressive to watch from a technical and athletic point of view but painfully slow and repetitive from the point of view of advancing a plot or telling a story, I left her to go alone and did some catching up on blog reading.

There are two flying birds of the day,  a goldfinch absolutely delighted by the prospect of one of the new feeders….

goldfinch

…and a siskin.  Not a good picture but siskins don’t hover so getting a picture at all on a dull day is a bonus.

siskin

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