Today’s picture shows a robin making every effort to get on the Christmas card.
The rain had stopped after two days and Dropscone and I were able to go round the morning run in comparative comfort. A strong south westerly wind made it sensible to use the traditional route and we had to run the gauntlet of the usual potholes, puddles and farmyard mess, although the recent rain had mostly washed the roads quite clean which was a bonus. The wind blew us down the last section on our way to scones and coffee and that left us feeling cheerful.
On our return, we were a bit startled to find that Mrs Tootlepedal has possibly taken minimalism in the design of her new kitchen perhaps a step too far.
I found out later that this was part of a deep laid plan.
It is very handy to have someone who enjoys doing this sort of thing about the house. She spent much of the rest of the day making panto hats, breaking off now and then to give the table another coat.
While we were having our coffee, the sparrowhawk swept down again and stood for a moment on the lawn, prey in claw but it was too quick for me and was off before I could get organised photographically.
This chaffinch makes a poor substitute. I caught it while I was waiting in vain for the hawk to reappear while I was ready for it. No such luck.
The siskins are regular visitors now.
After the sparrowhawk left, it took sometime for the birds to reassemble. At first they came in dribs and drabs…
…but soon they were back mob handed.
After lunch, I was thinking of going for a stroll when Sandy rang up suggesting a cup of tea. I agreed to the tea but made him go for a stroll first. He took us down to the Hollows in his car and we walked along to Byreburnfoot. There is a lofty bridge there.
And well they might because it spans a deep valley.
I am going to come back in better weather and try to take a picture which does it justice.
We left the bridge and walked up beside the Byreburn until we came to the Fairy Loup where we stopped to take pictures.
We were expecting to see rather more water than this after the rain but some locals told us that it hadn’t been so wet in Canonbie yesterday as it was in Langholm.
Perhaps just because we now have cameras that even on a greyish day in November can take sharp pictures of moving water, there is a movement which prefers to take pictures where the water is blurred. They claim it shows the motion of the water better than one where it is frozen in time. We tried our hands at this style.
Does it show movement or is it just blurred? The jury is out for Sandy and me.
Here are two versions of the same shot for contrast.
I would welcome comments on this subject.
Here is Sandy thinking about exposures and shutter speed and composition and all that stuff.
We walked back down and just before coming to the bridge, we left the track to explore the ruins of a house beside the stream. You wouldn’t think to look at it, that it was inhabited until really quite recently.
Some mossy fallen trees show the damp nature of the surrounding woodland.
As we came onto the road, we met a local who was just going for a walk and who could hardly contain himself with the joy of living in such a beautiful place for a stroll. He felt that we were very lucky people. We agreed.
We drove home and enjoyed the long awaited cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.
After we had finished out tea (with biscuits of a superior sort), Sandy and I assembled a bird cam which came with a feeder and which will enable us to watch and hopefully record birds at very close range. It has been lent to us by Dr Barlow.
Whether I will be able to put anything from it on the blog will depend on my success in mastering the necessary technology to record the output. It is designed to be viewed on a TV screen and I have no capability to record from my TV. I can feel a visit to Bruce, who is very technically savvy, coming on.
In the evening, I joined up with Sandy again and we went to the the Archive Centre with Jean and did a lot of work.
Today’s flying bird is a slightly better quality greenfinch than yesterday. It is at full stretch.