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An unwelcome surprise

Today’s guest picture shows a very decorative waterfall on the lake in the University of Nottingham park.  My brother was there today, phone in hand.

Nottingham University lake

Our weather is settling into a pattern.  It is freezing, or very near it, at breakfast time and then the temperature slowly, very slowly, rises to about 4 or 5 degrees in the afternoon.  At the moment it is keeping dry and the winds are light so everyone is quite cheerful.

After some rainless days, the streets have dried out and I started the day with a test cycle up to the Archive Centre on the slow bike.  It was ice free so I resolved to have a pedal in the afternoon.

Meanwhile I entertained Scott, the minister and Dropscone to coffee.  We had a chatty time and Dropscone was trying hard not to laugh as his ribs were still hurting after his icy spill off his bike a couple of days ago.  They must have been hurting a bit more than he let on because I got a message from him in the early evening to say that he was lying on a bed in the A&E department of the Cumberland Infirmary having a collapsed lung drained.

He had not felt very well after he left us and had got an appointment at the health centre in the afternoon.  As soon as the doctor saw him, she summoned an ambulance and he was whisked off.

This was a shock.  He expects to be there for three days so I mean to go to visit him on Sunday when we are in Carlisle for our choir.  He seemed quite perky all things considered.

I hope to get an update from his daughter Susan, my recorder playing friend, tomorrow.

Unaware of all this at the time, I peered out of the kitchen window after coffee.

A lone redpoll visited the feeder at different times today.  I only see one redpoll at a time and I am still trying to work out if it is always the same bird.  I can’t tell.

redpoll

A chaffinch stood up to be counted.

flying chaffinch

We were visited several times by coal tits and blue tits and I captured them with varying success.

coal tit, blue tit

Coal tits tend to flit in and out at high speed.

At one point, I put some old crusts out for the jackdaws.  They were gratefully received although this one was trying to remain anonymous.

jackdaw

Another one didn’t care who saw him.

jackdaw

I have no idea how to tell a female from a male jackdaw so I refer to the bird above as a male simply because he has his mouth so full while flying.

A rook was above this greedy behaviour.

rook

After lunch, I got the speedy bike out and tested my theory that the roads would be ice free.  They were and I had a very enjoyable ride with an occasional hint of sun.  The rivers have dropped back to their normal level after a few dry days.

Wauchope cascade

The water was flowing clean over the top of the rocks when I last visited this little cascade

My phone made a good job of capturing the water as it squeezed through a narrow gap.

wauchope cascade

It was a day when I could have easily cycled further…..

Dry roads and clear skies Bloch

Dry roads and clear skies

…but I wanted to be home in good time in case the power company phoned me about my Langholm Archive ‘excessive bill’ complaint.

I was and they did.

A nice lady listened to my problems and sucked her teeth sagaciously.  She will look into it and phone me back.  I even got her to agree to ring at a fairly set time.    I am not sure how this will go though as she was still anxious for me to give her some meter readings in spite of the company having sent two different meter readers to read our meters in January.  I will have some meter readings handy when they call, just to keep them happy.

While I was waiting for the call, I had a stroll round the garden.  There had not been enough sun to persuade anything fresh to open but the daffodils are still looking well…

daffodil

…and there are plenty of buds offering promises of good things to come.

magnolia

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round, having somewhat recovered from their coughs and Alison and I had a short but very enjoyable play while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal had a restorative glass of red wine.

So, at the end of the day, I had had a tootle and a pedal and if it wasn’t for a bit of a worry about Dropscone lying on his bed of pain in hospital, it would have counted as a good day.

A horizontal chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Vitamin D-day

I am a bit short of guest pictures at the moment so I have gone to my files to find this fine ‘Burning Bush’ photographed by my sister Mary in Regent’s Park in January.

Burning Bush, Regent's Park

For the second day running we had a very fine, sunny day with large quantities of blue sky, absolutely free at the point of use.

What made the day even better was that it was calm and after the persistent winds that we have been used to, this was a rare and precious gift.

After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda and I would have liked to go cycling in the sunshine but a thermometer reading of 1°C stopped me.  The cautionary tale of Dropscone, who appeared for coffee nursing several bumps and bruises after falling off his bike on an icy patch in  the town yesterday, emphasised the need for caution.

As a result, when Dropscone left after coffee, I left my bike in the garage and went for a short walk round the pheasant hatchery to see what I could see.

The pheasant shooting season is over and the pheasants have taken to attacking each other now that no one is shooting at them.  These two were going at it like hammer and tongs.

fighting pheasants

I did see some hair ice on my walk….

hair ice

….and I enjoyed looking at Timpen in the sun.

Timpen

There was a lot of bird song as a musical accompaniment to my stroll.  Usually, I cannot pick out the singers in the trees at all but today the lack of leaves and the good light let me spot two of them.

great tit and nuthatch

A great tit and nuthatch

They were both high in trees beside the path but obligingly stopped long enough for a quick snap.

There were many bunches of snowdrops which were defying the cold weather and enjoying the sunshine.

snowdrops

When I got home, I had a quick look to see if the sun had encouraged any flowers in the garden.  It had.

crocuses

The first crocuses of the year

Mrs Tootlepedal’s avenue of snowdrops is looking promising too.  If the sunny weather continues, it should be worth a photo very soon.

I went in to have some lunch, do the crossword and occasionally peer out of the kitchen window.

robin

I had hoped for the temperature after lunch to reach five degrees to let me out on the bike with some peace of mind but it remained obstinately around 4°C and I settled for another walk instead.  Timpen, the hill that I had photographed on my morning walk, had looked so inviting that I climbed its summit.

The ground was just frozen enough to let me waltz gaily over soggy patches and leap from tussock to tussock with many a merry laugh.  This was when I wasn’t puffing and blowing my way up the hillside of course.

Meikleholm Hill

Once I got to the summit, I enjoyed the views.

View from Timpen

Looking south over Warbla towards England

View from Timpen

Looking north to the snowy Ettrick Hills

The town lay below me, tucked away in the valley.

Langholm in February

The River Esk passes through the town in a sinuous S shape.

View from Timpen

Commercial planting cloaks the hills above the Esk to the north

I decided to walk over the summit and down on the north side of the hill to reach the road at the quarry…

quarry

…which I could see below.

The hill is steep sided here so I traversed across the slope, losing a little height with every step.  The veiws continued to delight.

The gates of Eden

Looking through ‘The gates of Eden’

Occasional clouds produced strong contrasts and made taking pictures tricky.  As I descended I could see accommodation for sheep and mill owners.

sheepfold and Craigcleuch

A sheepfold and Craigcleuch

I arrived safely at the road and followed it back to town, stopping for a look at the rock exposed in the quarry.

Quarry at peden's view

As I walked along the road above the river, I considered the state of the fence beside it….

Road above the Esk

Each dip in the fence shows where the bank on the far side has slipped away.  It is a wonder to me that the road hasn’t slipped away with it.

I was passing the manse when the minister came out to enquire why I wasn’t cycling.  He sympathised with my caution and introduced me to one of his chickens.  He is a great chicken fancier and keeps several  unusual birds.  This one…

German Langshan

..is a German Langshan.

Once I got home, I found the the power company had once again phoned while I was out and once again had refused to leave a contact number.  I presume that they expect me to sit quietly at home for eight working days, waiting patiently until they call.  Would it kill them to say, “We will ring tomorrow between thee and four,” for example?  Obviously it would, as that would suit the customer more than the customer service team and that would never do.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Edinburgh and I was taken to Carlisle by Susan for a meeting of our recorder group.  Our usual host Jenny was unavailable so we met at Heather’s and enjoyed playing some of our pieces with her keyboard accompaniment which made for an enjoyable session.

I was never in at quite the right time to catch a good flying bird today so this fuzzy chaffinch will have to do.

flying chaffinch

Here is a link to Sandy’s post about our day out yesterday among the squirrels

 

 

 

 

Into the woods

Today’s guest picture shows the public library in Derby.  My brother, who took the picture, tells me that it was built on the profits from beer.  I hope my youthful indulgences were put to such good use.

Library Derby

The forecast had got it right, the weather gods had relented and we were given a perfect day.  At just above zero, it was too cold for a morning pedal so it seemed like a perfect day for an outing.

We polished off a little housework and then Sandy came down for coffee and we all piled into our car and set off intent on having fun.  Two miles later, we were back at home with warning lights flashing all over the dashboard.

Luckily Sandy stepped up to the plate and we set off again in his car, this time quite successfully.

Our target was the Eskrigg Nature Reserve at Lockerbie where we hoping to see all sorts of wildlife.   Eskrigg  is a fairly small area of mostly pine woodland with an old curling pond with two bird hides beside it but it is beautifully looked after and full of life.

Mrs Tootlepedal decided to do a circular walk while Sandy and I settled down with  our cameras in one of the hides.

Among other things, I was hoping to see were woodpeckers and squirrels. I looked right….

greater spotted woodpecker

…and left.

Eskrigg squirrel

There was almost too much to see and if I looked in one direction, I worried that I might be missing something more interesting in the other direction.

There were ducks on the pond in flighty mood.

Eskrigg ducks

There were a lot of squirrels….

Eskrigg squirrels

…on every side.

Eskrigg squirrels

After a while, we walked along to the other hide, which is set in a clearing in the woods a little further round the pond.

A convenient branch there offered a perch to a great number of great, blue and coal tits.

great tit blue tit coal tit

A picturesque tree stump, carefully seeded with peanuts by a photographer who was lurking nearby behind a convenient tree, provided a perch for both squirrels….

squirrel and nuthatch

…and nuthatches.

This tree stump must have starred in thousands of photographs.

The animals are very used to the heavy breathing of nature lovers struggling under the weight of huge lenses so if you missed a good shot, it wasn’t a matter of great concern as another opportunity always came along soon.

The nuthatch left the stump and flew up into a neighbouring tree where it tried a number of poses….

Eskrigg nuthatch

…before settling for this one.

Eskrigg nuthatch

Mrs Tootlepedal completed her walk and joined us at the hide.  There was enough to keep her sitting there quite happily.

There were squirrels on very side, scampering up trees and down again.

Eskrigg squirrel

Some were easy to spot….

Eskrigg squirrel

…and some a little harder.

Eskrigg squirrel

But wherever you looked, you could see another one….

Eskrigg squirrel

…or two.

Eskrigg squirrel

There were distractions of course…

robin

…and the most common birds to be seen were our old friends, the chaffinches.

chaffinch

They made every effort to get star billing as flying bird of the day.

chaffinch

Once again, you hardly dared to look at one thing in case of missing out on something else.

There was no doubt though that the chief attraction for me of the visit was the large number of squirrels darting about all over the trees in the clearing.

Eskrigg squirrel

Eskrigg squirrel

I took all the pictures shown so far with my Nikon with a 70-200mm zoom, occasionally putting the teleconverter on (though I didn’t really need it).  I had my little Lumix in my pocket and took it out to see what it could do.

Eskrigg squirrel

It is a very good little camera.

Only the insistent message from within about the need for a bite to eat made us stop snapping away like mad (I took well over 200 pictures while I was there) and we reluctantly packed up and set off through the woods back to the car.

There was an interesting fungus beside the hide.

Eskrigg fungus

We walked back along the well maintained woodland paths…

Eskrigg

…which have all sorts of interesting information about the trees and plants in the reserve on boards to read as you wander along.  So much thought and care has gone into this little reserve that it is a pleasure just to be there.

Unsurprisingly given the rare beautiful day, Eskrigg was very busy today.  At times, the click of shutters drowned out the birdsong.   If we can find some good weather and a quieter moment, we might be lucky enough to see a kingfisher by the pond.  We will certainly come again.

Sandy took a lot of pictures too so I hope that he will post some on his blog.  If he does, I will provide a link to it.

The need for lunch took us into Lockerbie town centre, where we enjoyed some quality traditional fare (pie and chips, sausage, egg and chips etc) to give us strength for the drive home.

When we got back, we all agreed that this had been a really good day out and it made up for a quite a few of the wet, windy and rainy days that had gone before it.

As a bonus, I did some research into the warning light in our car and it turned out that it was nothing serious and only needed a quick reset by the garage to get rid of it.

In the evening, we went to the first meeting in 2016 of our Langholm Choir.  I enjoyed it but I found it jolly hard work.  More practice needed.

The flying bird of the day is a little out of the ordinary.

flying squirrel

Less sun, more light

Today’s guest picture shows the River Derwent in Derby in full flow after the visit of Imogen.  It was taken by my brother who lives in Derby.

Derwent in flood

We had a day without any hint of sunshine today but curiously, it was much brighter for the most part than yesterday had been.  This was not just a subjective view.  The exposure meter on my camera as I peer through the kitchen window does not lie about the light.

The relative brightness of the day was slightly marred by a gentle but persistent rain which dropped gently from the heavens for hour after hour.

I had two visits from a redpoll after breakfast.  They were about and hour and a half apart and I wondered if this was two visits from the same bird or one visit each from two different birds.

redpoll

I think that the white feathers show that it is the same bird.

I will keep an eye out when I next see a redpoll to check if it looks the same again.

There were plenty of birds about in spite of the rain. The temperature had dropped a degree or two so maybe that was enough to bring them back to the garden.

busy feeder

Some birds had to be told to wait for their turn.

busy feeder

Others waited for a quiet moment and then dashed in and out.

robin

I was spoiled with some scones to go with morning coffee when Dropscone came round after his customary visit to the gym.

After coffee, I put out some pellets for the jackdaws and once again was impressed by their pink pellet radar as they were on the scene within seconds.

jackdaws

Some held a watching brief and others held pellets.

The garden was full of blackbirds today.  You might think that all blackbirds are the same blackbird but as usual if you look at things closely, you can see differences….

blackbirds

..some more obvious than others of course.

blackbird

The rain eased up for a while so I popped out for a quick walk to inspect the ducks.  There were plenty to inspect today.

Kilngreen ducks

Although our ducks are mostly standard mallards…

Kilngreen duck

…there are differences to be seen.

Kilngreen ducks

As well as the ducks, there were two other visitors who were very welcome as harbingers of spring.

oyster catchers

Oyster catchers having a paddle

There were workmen on the Sawmill Brig starting the repairs to the parapet which was damaged by falling trees in one of our gales.

Sawmill Brig

I walked over the bridge and up the Lodge Walks.  I am keeping an eye on a log pile there becuase it looks like a promising spot for fungus and I was rewarded today by spotting some shiny new ones.

fungus

When I came to the Lodge, I had to take the high road as the low one is still flooded….

Flood on castleholm road

…but this was not a bad thing as it gave me a chance to see the first signs of the snowdrops at Holmhead.

Snowdrops

They are looking very promising and should be well worth another look in a few days time when they ought to be fully out.

I walked back along the river but the rain had returned so I didn’t dilly dally, stopping only for a quick catkin shot.

catkins

They are showing signs of spring too.

I hadn’t been at home for long when the phone rang.  It was Sandy asking if I would care to join him in a walk.  I had to decline because my mind was set on a cycle outing in the afternoon.

It took me a bit to get up the pep to put my gear on and get the bike out as the rain kept appearing and disappearing but I finally finished a tricky crossword and ran out of excuses for not going so I got up and went.

It was raining lightly so I opted for doing twenty miles  in my ‘outdoor gym’, that is pedalling three times up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back.  There was enough wind to make the out and back journeys quite a contrast and my legs were in a very co-operative mood so I enjoyed the trip in spite of the dampness.

I made some sourdough bread during the day and it is baking as I write this so my plan is to have a slice or two of fresh bread and then retire to a relaxing tub to round off a gently pleasant day.

We may have a genuinely sunny day tomorrow and there is no rain forecast for the rest of the week.  We are quite excited.

A chaffinch appears as flying bird of the day.  There wasn’t quite enough light to catch a flying duck or oyster catcher.

flying chaffinch

 

Full day, half light

Today’s guest picture comes from Musselburgh racecourse where my son Tony was having a day out as a birthday present to him from us.  His phone wasn’t quite as quick as the horses.

Musselburgh

It was not a bad day in Langholm today, considering that storm Imogen was beating up the south west of Britain in quite a fierce way.  It was mainly dry and there was even the odd glimpse of sunshine (but not when I had a camera handy).

I had  plenty to do.  I started by doing a couple of hours in the Information Hub on the High Street and supplied information to no less than two visitors.  Scott, the minister dropped in.  He has been cycling in the Canaries and had managed to put up with the heat there very well, he told me.

Nancy and Ken, the Monday Archive Group data miners also dropped in at the end of their shift, bringing exciting but unfortunately incomprehensible electricity bills for the Archive Centre from our power company.  I went home and ‘raised a complaint’ with the company.  I didn’t want to complain.  I just wanted to talk to someone who could make things happen but you can’t do that apparently unless you complain.  I complained.  I may get someone to talk to within eight days.  I can’t ring them.  They have to ring me.  As I am often out, I can see this thing running and running.

There weren’t many birds about today….

goldfinch

A goldfinch

…and there wasn’t much light to see them with when they did come.

chaffinch

A chaffinch

After lunch, I was going to go for a pedal but as soon as I thought of pedalling, it started to rain.  I went to work putting the new choir song onto the computer so that I can start to learn it.

After a while, the sun came out so I left the computer and put on my cycling gear.  Mrs Tootlepedal was out working in the garden as I set off.

As I set off, it started to rain.  I pressed on in a rather grumpy way and was rewarded when the rain stopped and some evil looking clouds drifted away leaving me with a drop of sunshine….

evil looking clouds from callister

Even when the sun was out, it was rather gloomy for some reason.

I pedalled on, plodding into a medium wind.  My legs were not in a co-operative mood and it took me an hour to do the ten miles out to Paddockhole.  The wind was certainly helping a lot on the way back but my legs were still protesting at the windy outward journey so I couldn’t make much of the help and recorded a very slow time for the outing.

The soaking roads didn’t help, nor did being splashed by passing cars.  As I got near Langholm even a fairly clear sky couldn’t lift the light much….

Wauchopedale

…but a look behind showed that I had been wise not to go any farther before turning for home.

clouds over callister

In spite of the arguments with my legs, I enjoyed being out in the open air with some sunshine to go with it.  I don’t where the light went today though.  It never seemed as bright as it should have been.

I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker when I got back and since my throat was a little dry after cycling, I tried a patent mouthwash and gargle (recommended by our Carlisle choir musical director) which I had purchased at the chemist’s in the morning.  The ingredients appeared to be a mixed bag of old tree bark, petrol, vinegar, pepper and various other  dubious substances.  Mike said it would taste foul and when I tried it, I found that he was quite correct.   It was so nasty that it must be doing me good.  I’ll tell you when I have stopped coughing.

Having had my pedal, the rest of the day was devoted to tootling.  First my flute pupil Luke came and we played some of a trio sonata by Loeillet with the computer obligingly putting in the harpsichord part.  Then after tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.  It was good to have a real pianist.  We enjoyed ourselves a lot.

The best the light would let me do about a flying bird was this chaffinch emerging from the shadows.

chaffinch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s visit to Leicester and shows the Guildhall there.

Leicester Guildhall

The named storms keep rolling in and we are about to be visited by Imogen.  Because the jet stream has obligingly shifted a bit, Imogen is likely to pass us by and visit the south of England instead of us.   We are not escaping entirely however, as we are to have strong winds and heavy rain tomorrow morning.  After that, we are promised a short spell of calmer, slightly colder weather which will be very welcome.  There may even by sunshine.

It was very windy and wet again this morning so I was pleased to have a venison stew to prepare for the slow cooker and coffee to make for Dropscone when I had finished the stew.

That let the worst of the weather go by while I was indoors.

Before I started the cooking, I did look out of the window to see if any birds were braving the breezes and was pleased to see a small flock of goldfinches flutter down on to the plum tree.

goldfinches

The effect was the exact opposite of autumn with colour falling back onto the branches from above rather than falling off them to the ground below.

A single brambling appeared.

brambling

The feeder was busy for a while ….

goldfinches and siskins

…but as suddenly as they had come, the small birds disappeared again.

They might have had a good reason to make themselves scarce.

sparrowhawk

The sparrowhawk settled on the bench for a while, looking round rather crossly to see where all the little birds had gone…

sparrowhawk

…then stretched its wings…

sparrowhawk

…and flew up on to the feeder.

sparrowhawk

It left empty footed.

Its manoeuvres did let me check to see if sparrowhawks have eyes in the back of their heads.

sparrowhawk

You might think so at first glance.

After coffee, the rain relented for a while so I put on my waterproofs and went for a brisk walk in the brisk wind.  The rain came and went while I walked so it wasn’t too bad and I got the camera out in the drier moments.

gate at Springhill

There was a handsome new five bar gate to admire near Pool Corner

lichen

And plenty of lichen on the Auld Stane Bridge parapet.

The day was not conducive to glorious views….

Gaskells in Winter

…and the horses had their waterproofs on too…

horse at Stubholm

…but the paths were reasonably dry and no trees fell on me as I went round Gaskell’s and Easton’s walks.

It was time for lunch when I got back and Mrs Tootlepedal helped me polish off the last of the cod’s roe.  It is sad to think that I will have to wait twelve months for my next decent meal.

In the afternoon, we went off to Carlisle to practice with the Community Choir.  Our great leader had discovered that we were a few minutes short on our programme for the competition in Manchester at the end of the month so we had to start work on a fifth piece.  I had been congratulating myself on getting the existing four pieces for the programme pretty well learned off by heart so this was a bit of a blow.

Still, it is an enjoyable song to sing so learning it won’t be too big a problem (I hope).  With only two more practices to go before the competition, we are going to have to work hard.

The venison stew turned out well and we were able to have a relaxing evening in while the rain and wind battered our windows.

The (almost) flying bird of the day is the sparrowhawk.

sparrowhawk

A bit fishy

Today’s guest picture amazed me.  My brother took it at the end of January in Bristol. January is not the time when I would expect to see such a wonderful show of  blossom.

Bristol blossom

It was dry and reasonably calm when we got up.  I should have got up earlier and gone cycling while the going was good but I dozed a little and then went off to the monthly producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre after breakfast.

As usual I stocked up on local honey and venison and bought some delicious cheese from the cheese monger.  I was just about to buy my customary fillet of haddock from the fishmonger when I caught sight of a real treat, a large mound of cod’s roe.  This is very seasonal and I missed out on it altogether last year so I was delighted to find some this year.

It has been a favourite food all my life and luckily Mrs Tootlepedal can take it or leave it alone so I am going to eat most of it.  I had some for my lunch and then some more for my tea so today has been a very good day gastronomically.  I have left some for breakfast tomorrow.

As I left the Buccleuch Centre, laden with good things, a friend suggested that I ought to be out on my bike as it was such a good day with no wind and no rain.

I did go out on my bike when I got back and apart from the fact that it was raining and there was a bit of a breeze, she was quite right.

There weren’t many birds about when I left, just a blackbird squeezing onto a perch at the feeder….

blackbird

…and a blue tit trying out a rather unappetising looking roll which I have put out in the hope of attracting various tits.

blue tit

I had my phone with me to take pictures on the bike ride if the opportunity arose but as a persistent drizzle started as I left the house and it soon turned to steady rain for the rest of the time that I was out, the phone stayed in my back pocket.

Luckily the wind stayed at a reasonable 10 miles an hour instead of the forecast gales so my ride wasn’t too bad.  I was using my ‘outdoor gym’ method and just pedalled up and down the sheltered and flattish Wauchope road three times until I had collected 20 miles.  I felt quite perky and was pleased to manage a respectable (for a chilly winter’s day) 14mph for the trip.

When I got back, the bird feeder was in great demand in spite of the rain so I spent a happy forty minutes standing in my soggy bike gear staring out of the kitchen window.

A siskin was trying the yellow roll too.

siskin

There were enough birds about to generate a bit of heat on the perches.

goldfinch and chaffinch

A goldfinch had a word with a chaffinch and the chaffinch answered in kind.

Things had started slowly with a lonely chaffinch….

chaffinch

…but soon warmed up.

busy feeder

There was always a good crowd in the waiting room too.

chaffinches in plum tree

A goldfinch was apparently shouting abuse at no one in particular….

goldfinch

…and seemed to get quite a shock when someone answered back.

goldfinches

I had never seen a chaffinch trying to sneak up on the feeder on tiptoe until today.

chaffinch on tiptoe

This was probably necessary because the feeder was often full and lively.

goldfinch and chaffinch

On one occasion a helpful chaffinch kindly distracted a goldfinch so that a fellow chaffinch could nip onto a spare perch unobserved.

chaffinch and goldfinch

Sometimes things were quieter and more reflective…

goldfinch, siskin and greenfinch

…but through it all, the rain kept raining so I abandoned any thought of an afternoon walk and settled down to watch the Six Nations rugby on the telly.  From the point of view of teams that I had hoped would win, the wrong sides won both matches.  Scotland’s second half performance was like one of those amusing compilations of ‘fails’ which are so popular on YouTube.

Still, a day with a pedal and two meals of cod’s roe is one on the credit side of the great ledger of life so I mustn’t grumble.  My aches and pains have decreased as well and my breathing was good when I was pedalling.  I suspect that I must be feeling unusually cheerful.

The flying bird of the day was an angelic goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

Did I mention that it rained a lot toady?

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