Non slip

Today’s picture is another from my brother Andrew in New Zealand.  It shows a kaka, or brown parrot.

We had another brilliantly sunny, still day to day with subzero temperatures which lasted the whole day.  It was definitley frosty.

frosty fence

The goldfinches were feeling the chill.

fluffy goldfinch

Though some were trying to get warm through exercise.

flying goldfinch

I put out the flat feeder again and it was visited by a fierce looking rook.


I took another picture of it a few moments later and was surprised to see what looks like a large lump on its beak.

rook with lump

Is it storing food in there or getting ready to croak?  Is there a reader with the knowledge to tell me what is going on?

In a stark contrast in size, the robin was back.


Considering how many starlings appear at Gretna, there have been very few in the garden lately but one visited the flat feeder today…


…while four more sat on a wire above….

four starlings

…occasionally shifting positions.

four starlings shifitingThe colour of starlings seems to vary a lot with the light that they are in.

It was too cold for cycling so I went for another walk before lunch with my little camera in my pocket.  Owing to some curiosity of the weather which I don’t understand, even though it was below zero and the ground was covered in white frost, it wasn’t at all slippery and I could walk about with confidence.  Perhaps it has to do with crystalline structure.

I walked past Pool Corner where I was struck by the clarity of the water which cold weather and no wind brings about.

Pool Corner reflection

A fence post near the Auld Stane Brig showed the advantage of being in the sun.

frosty fence post

Anxious to keep in the sun, I walked past the end of Gaskell’s Walk and up on to the hill.  It was glorious; firm underfoot, warm in the sun and with views all around.

more snowy hills
No accidental buzzard today sadly

Looking across the Wauchope, I could see one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s and my favourite walks.  We go along the road  past the buildings you can see and then walk round the ridge in the background of the picture from left to right as you look at it.

Calfield Rig

A lone tree on the hillside shows the effects of the prevailing westerly wind.

bent tree

Looking across at our four local windmills, I could see what looks like a crane in the background so I suppose they must be adding at least one more.

Craig windmills

I could also see the series of little fields that fringe the bottom of Meikleholm Hill.  Each one holds a horse or two or a few sheep and perhaps some poultry.

Meikleholm Hill

I walked back down the road to the Stubholm where the old house looked at its best in the sunlight.


Then I went down to the river and walked back along Easton’s Walk.  I passed this old brick chimney on the other side of the Esk, a reminder of Langholm’s industrial past.


It was for the coal fired generator that provided power for the Buccleuch Mills, producers of Scotch tweeds.  It is shorter now than it was at its peak.

I was pleased to see Pelosi’s ice cream van out as I neared home.  It was doing a brisk business in spite of the chilly conditions.  Langholm folk are hardy.

Ice cream van

After lunch, we went to the Buccleuch Centre to see Jack and the Beanstalk, our community pantomime.  It was good fun.  The junior chorus was outstandingly well drilled and peppy,  while the older members of the cast performed with gusto.  They ran it for four nights and a matinee and the fact that there was a full house on the last day today shows how well they did.

If I can’t bicycle, a couple of good walks and an entertaining visit to the theatre are pretty goods ways of stopping me repining too much.  I have had a good weekend.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Non slip

  1. So glad to read that you had a good weekend, the picture of the still water in the pond was very pleasing to my eye.

  2. The rook is just taking on board as much food as possible, filling its beak like a hamster.. the bulge food gathering in the soft stretchy skin just before the crop.. l.. looks quite grusome doesn’t it?

  3. Beautiful photos, really super. Very glad that despite some frosty looking scenes you are getting out and about.

  4. Indeed a rook (Corvus frugilegus) and he does live up to his name where “frugilegus” means “fruit gathering”. The lump beneath the beak is the craw or crop, where he stores the loot

  5. Hi I was just if you ever found out what the lump was under the crows beak I have a room that co
    comes into my garden with the same thing I’m a little as I’m wondering if it may be a tumor of some kind
    Kind regards

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