A bit of a frost

Today’s picture shows a chaffinch enjoying the sunshine

chaffinch in the sun

I too would have enjoyed the sun if it hadn’t been freezing as well as sunny.  This put paid to the morning run as neither Dropscone or myself harbours any ambition to fall off in icy conditions.  We’ve tried it and it’s no fun at all.

I spent the morning doing a little business on behalf of the Archive Group and that was about it.  There is always a crossword to fill up an idle moment, not to mention toast to eat and coffee to drink.

There were birds about to spend time watching.

Great tit
A great tit getting in before the goldfinches arrived
They weren't far behind

Two goldfinches

I had a bit of conversation this morning with Dr Barlow of the moorland education project about distinguishing male and female goldfinches and she told me that it is not easy to tell the difference so now I am less confident than I was yesterday.  The one on the right definitely looks to be a female but that is as far as I am going.  Dr Barlow was very unimpressed by the woodpecker I had seen at her feeding station yesterday as she had seen three on the last occasion she was there.

As an incidental piece of information, I have learnt that male and female robins are impossible to tell apart.  This is either a male or a female.


It remained very cold until half past ten but then the thermometer rose steadily until by three o’clock it was a very tolerable 10°C. I took advantage of the better weather to go out on the speedy bike after lunch.  An unfortunate side effect of the warmth, or possibly the cause of it, was a strengthening breeze from the west.  Once again this gave me a hard start as I went over Callister but after that, it was either neutral or helpful.

I went down to Eaglesfield by Dunnabie and Waterbeck and returned to Langholm over Callister again by way of Gair and Hottsbrdge.  This is a nicely varied route with good views, mostly good roads and generally light traffic.  Today was exceptional in that respect in that in the twenty seven miles of the journey, I met or was passed by no more than six vehicles.

I had my little camera with me.  This was taken from the road past Gair.

Minsca windfarm

It is startling to see these windmills apparently growing straight out of the ground.  You would expect more of a built up base for them.  Although some people resent them, I find them quite graceful and I regard them as an outward and physical manifestation of an inward and spiritual grace in this respect: they may not be very efficient but they are at least a sign that someone in government realises that we can’t go on wasting the resources of the earth as recklessly as we are doing at the moment. (Says he as he taps away at his computer in his centrally heated house.)

This sheep agrees with me.

It really was a very pleasant day for cycling.


I had the best of the day for my ride because by the time I went out to the Archive Centre with Jean and Sandy after tea, it had started to drizzle.  The price we will pay for the return to warmer weather will be a stiff wind and fairly persistent rain.

We all three worked very hard at the Centre for a couple of hours and we enjoyed a well earned refreshment in the Douglas afterwards.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “A bit of a frost

  1. apologies if I sounded unimpressed.. it is a great photo.. nice to know the moorland bird feeding station is getting (human) visitors as well as all the birds.

  2. It’s a pleasure to get back to your lovely photographs, especially the ones of birds. The robin was a triumph I thought.

  3. I must disagree with you wrt windfarms, they really are both a blot on the landscape, and us. Yes, they look graceful, but they decimate large birds, especially birds of prey. They are very inefficient, and quite frankly a con, designed only to make the already rich, richer.

    1. I know many people who agree with you. By the way, I think you will find that almost everything is designed to make the rich richer.

      1. Well pointed out, and I know you’re right, I feel stupid now, but it makes me so angry, the way that our government try to make windfarms appear to be “the cure” for the problems caused by global warming. I think solar panels on homes is a major way forward, but of course that would limit the profits of the power supply cartel, and the government doesn’t want to upset them.

      2. I like the solar voltaics and quite a few houses round here have them even though it not the best part of the world for sunshine. I think tidal energy ought to be the best bet. It never stops.

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