Today’s picture shows the formidable Stuc a’Chroin (975m) seen from Ben Vorlich (985m) by my brother Andrew when he was on an energetic walk in the Highlands.
It started off as a lovely day in every way. Anthony had finished the painting of the kitchen before I had even got out of bed and he was soon off back to Edinburgh to do some more work. He is a very busy, hard working fellow and we are grateful for him taking some time off to help us out.
Outside, the sun was shining and all was cheerful. Once the van was gone, it didn’t take long for the birds to return. One of the first back was a very well drawn robin indeed.
It was followed by a busy coal tit, flitting across the feeders.
There were blue tits too. This one is gradually losing its yellow colouring.
I had wondered whether the neat robin was just the badly drawn robin having grown up a bit but then the badly drawn robin turned up too to dispel any doubt.
I lost my nerve the other day and I picked the plum before any predator could steal it. It’s sitting in pride of place in the new kitchen and we think that we might bake it with brown sugar and eat half of it each on a dainty slice of toast. The other four plums still on the tree don’t look as though they are going to come to anything.
After the robins and the tits, more birds found their way back into the garden and soon there was the usual busy traffic at the seed feeder.
I liked the way this chaffinch kindly sat and demonstrated its markings for me. Our garden birds are coloured in a much more complex way than a brief inspection would show.
A jackdaw visited and kept a beady eye on the proceedings.
Mrs Tootlepedal had once again gone to work in the morning and when she returned, we thought we would make good use of a nice day by having an outing. We ate a quick lunch and set off. We hadn’t gone more than a mile from the town before the first light raindrops appeared on the windscreen. For the rest of our outing, it was either raining, had just stopped raining or was just about to rain. This was particularly disappointing as we had planned a scenic drive through the Lake District.
We stopped to buy more bird seed and then headed along Ullswater to the southern end of the lake. I had hoped for sunlight dancing on the water but I had to make do with a break in the rain to get out and take some cloudy pictures from the pier at Glenridding.
We left Ullswater and headed past Brotherswater and over the Kirkstone Pass. It was spectacular as usual but the rain and low clouds didn’t tempt to stop and take pictures. We headed on down to Windermere, passing an injured motorcyclist being attended to at the side of the road. The narrow and eternally winding roads must always be risky for bikes in such wet conditions as we had today. I stopped a little further down the road and looked back into the hills behind.
Deep in the valley below, a farmhouse showed that this is still a working area as well as a tourist hotspot (or wetspot, today).
As well as the pleasure of the scenery, we had in mind to make some purchases at a famous household supplies shop in Windermere. Having bought two or three useful things, we enjoyed a toasted tea cake with jam and clotted cream in their restaurant to fortify us for the journey home.
Our way back led us past Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere and Derwent Water so with six lakes passed in one day, we had certainly got our money’s worth from the outing. We were just going along the road to Threkeld when we picked up a couple of walkers out of sympathy for them in the wet conditions. They said that they weren’t wet at all and just wanted to get back to their car nearby. They thanked us for our consideration by laughing heartily at the idea that we might just be touring around and visiting a shop rather than rushing up a mountain in the wet. We won’t pick them up again if we see them.
The drive home was uneventful and we were pleased to see that at least it had been raining in Langholm too and we hadn’t missed any good weather while we were away. In the evening, Mike and Alison came and we enjoyed the customary music and conversation. After they had gone, I made the final choice of photos for tomorrow’s Benty show. I see from my entry numbers that there are a great many photos in the show so I don’t have any great expectations. They are being judged by a keen photographer and they tend to look for technical expertise above all. I am keeping my fingers crossed for at least one ticket.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.