Today’s guest picture was taken by my friend Gavin’s son Fraser when Gavin went to Yosemite with him. I gather that you may have to knock other photographers out of the way to take this stunning view.
We had another day of mostly sunny weather but with an even stronger and colder north wind than yesterday so we were not as appreciative of the sunshine as we might have been. The clear skies had brought low temperatures which had done a bit of damage to tulips and azalea alike.
I have been rushing about a bit lately so I had decided that this would be a day of mainly doing nothing. This gave me the opportunity to take a few bird pictures and see if I had learned anything from last night’s camera club meeting. I tried to get some slightly sharper flying shots.
…with variable success but with enough progress to keep me trying. For some reason, the flying birds went better than a sitting redpoll.
In this way, I passed a leisurely morning though the sunshine got me out into the garden for long enough to do some dead heading of daffodils and mowing of the greenhouse grass. It is very satisfying to find myself throwing the dead headed daffs into a sparkling new compost bin.
After lunch, the lure of the sunshine drew me out for a walk. I took a fixed lens pocket camera with me in an effort to take some better quality pictures here too.
I was a bit handicapped though by the changeable conditions. I was just heading up past the golf course and this stunning garden escape…
…with a view to going up on to the hill for some expansive views when the wind became even gustier, the temperature dropped and it started to sleet with a vengeance.
Luckily there was a handy tree under which I was able to shelter until the shower had passed.
The open hill had somehow lost its attraction so I headed down Drove Road (so called because it allowed those driving livestock through the town to avoid the toll bars in times past) and waited for the sun to come out again.
It didn’t take long to arrive and I walked along a picturesque path….
(I was looking for black and white opportunities but the colours were so delightful that I didn’t find any)
(See what I mean?)
…..until I came to the hill road and walked down that to the main road and set off away from the town towards the High Mill Brig. I had to cross this handsome little bridge under the main road at Whitshiels….
…before getting to the High Mill Brig…
…which became a subject for experiment later on.
I crossed the bridge when I came to it and took the path above the fields on the other side of the river to get back to the town.
The path was dry underfoot and had several high quality gates along it…
…but the brisk wind blew the next sleet and hail shower along before I had got to the end of it. Once again I was lucky to find a suitable tree to hide under and although i could have done with a few more leaves on the bare branches to shelter me from the storm, it kept me dry enough to enjoy the rest of the walk home when the sharp sleety shower had passed.
I passed the old Episcopal Church….
…and waited in vain for a sight of nuthatches before giving up and heading for home before the next shower came.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day today, helping at the Buccleuch Centre both at lunchtime and in the evening as well as doing a lot of gardening and some preparation for interior decoration. She showed me a gardening disaster when I got back from my walk. The Ballerina tulips had suffered badly from the morning cold which had attacked their stalks just below the flowers so many of them had lost their heads entirely…
…and ended up in a bowl in the kitchen. This was a tragedy as they had looked at their best yesterday evening.
Mrs Tootlepedal has put in a request for less fighting birds and more peaceful scenes of perching so I got the camera out again and had another go. I filled the feeders and the wind immediately blew the lid of one of them open which gave an opportunity to an enterprising pair of birds.
Other birds waited in the plum tree, swaying about in the brisk breeze…
…and the flying bird of the day is a pair of matching perching redpolls (who had been flying earlier).
I completely failed in my effort to to take fewer but better pictures today.