Today’s picture from her recent holiday in the Lake District was sent to me by my sister Mary.
We woke to a light dusting of snow and below zero temperatures. At last, I thought, a chance to wear the yaktrax. To my disappointment, when I went out of the back door, the path was completely devoid of slip at all. The ways of the weather are just about as mysterious as the ways of garden birds to me.
The cold weather had brought the birds back to the feeders but even so, I was surprised to see a chaffinch on the tray at the niger seed feeder. They often pick up the fallen seeds from the ground below but I can’t remember seeing one sharing the tray with a siskin and a goldfinch before.
A goldfinch showed how the seed gets onto the ground for the chaffinches to pick up…
Because it was so cold, I put out a lid with some seed on it to let more birds feed at a time.
There is a bench beside the table and it was used as a preliminary perching point by a number of birds.
Other perches nearby were also used.
Other chaffinches were working on a rota system.
Blackbirds resorted to frozen food.
Although it was a beautifully sunny day and just above freezing, I didn’t want to take the risk of hitting an icy patch so I put the camera on my back and set out on foot.
I walked past the Kilngreen without stopping to see if the heron was about but I was tempted by the Sawmill Brig which looked even more handsome than usual.
My original plan was to go up to the rugby ground and try to take a few pictures of the game but, as I feared, when I got there, the game had been cancelled. I walked past the ground and turned up the Newcastleton road. It was ice free so I walked on up.
I intended to take a picture of a snow capped hill but when I looked at it on the computer, I discovered that I had taken a fine if distant picture of what is probably a buzzard in flight.
There are snow capped hills too. I had another go at them from Collins Turn which was as far up the hill as I could go without meeting icy patches.
One of the problems of taking views in the winter is that the low sun means that you can only shoot in one direction unless arty photos with filters is your game. That’s why I take so many pictures looking up the Ewes valley.
I left the road and walked across the lower slopes of Whita Hill. This was the view of the house at Hillhead with a sheep fold in the foreground.
The lazy puff of smoke from the chimney shows what a still day it was. It was a pleasure to be out and about.
Warning to those of a nervous disposition: the following section of the page contains pictures of a golfing nature.
I came back to the town by walking down the golf course and was surprised to find that there were players hardy enough to brave the near freezing conditions. One of them was Dropscone.
The fourth person in the picture is my friend Arthur, who like myself is not quite up to playing eighteen holes of golf at the moment.
He had come out to enjoy the afternoon and followed the players for a few holes.
I positioned myself inconspicuously and took this shot of Dropscone approaching the eighth (seventeenth) green.
The pressure of being under observation was too much for him and after putting really well all the way round, he three putted this green and spoiled his score.
I took this shot of the short ninth (eighteenth) hole before they played to the green.
I took all three players as they played their tee shots..
I was going to follow this with a picture showing where there balls had landed on the green but unfortunately this could not be taken.
Several shots later, they had adjourned to the bar for a light refreshment.
The evening was spent glued to the telly as we watched the first part of the final of Strictly Come Dancing and then I watched The Killing while Mrs Tootlepedal watched the second part of Strictly. This was a sad day for us as both these series have now come to an end. We will have to sit around talking to each other on a Saturday night.
We are promised another frosty but sunny day tomorrow. Maybe at last it will be a day for the yaktrax.