A day of contrasts

‘The picture of day, responding to popular demand (i.e. Dropscone told me to put it in), is Dropscone’s grandson Leo.  Remembering that Dropscone reads the blog every day, I think we can all agree that we have never seen such a delightful baby.


The Grandfather himself turned up on another grey, near freezing morning to take me to the gym and there I sat and listened to the radio as I pedalled gently along the road to nowhere for 24 notional kilometres while beside me, Dropscone rowed 5000m in a new personal best.  He then had the energy to go off and do more things as well.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been enjoying a well earned lie in but joined us for coffee before going off to a church choir lunch.  I waited to take a few bird shots…

It was another day when it was easier to catch birds at rest rather than in the air.
A blackbird stamping its feet to keep them warm in the snow
And a dunnock doing the same.
blue tit
I hope the blue tits are looking at our unused nest box and thinking that it would be a nice place to bring up youngsters.
chaffinch and brambling
A chaffinch and brambling posing for wall paper designers

…and then I went upstairs to have a snooze because I was very tired.  When I got up, Mrs Tootlepedal had gone and it was time for my own lunch so I fortified myself with some sardines on toast.  The day had got quite a bit brighter by now….

Flying birds were no problem.

…and I thought of going for a walk but in the end I decided to wait and go to Gretna.  The starlings were not my target today.  I was looking for the Solway shore and the sinking sun.  I found them both.

Looking from Gretna across the Solway to the English shore with the Lake District hills behind.

After a while, I moved west from Gretna along the road to a little coastal settlement called Browhouses.

View from Browhouses
View from Browhouses

The sun was sinking steadily now but I turned and looked eastward towards Carlisle.  The tide was well in.  At low tide this would be mostly mudbanks.

Looking west from Browhouses

I turned back to the west…

Solway sunset

…the sunset was being squeezed between the line of the sea and an approaching cloud.

Browhouses sunset

The sun had dropped behind the houses now but looking straight across the Solway, things were still quite bright.


I got back in the car and returned to Gretna where I parked on a bridge over the motorway and looked back.

Gretna sunset
These were the dying embers of the day.  The four little spikes on the far shore are windmills.

To the east, the pale sky was streaked with the vapour trails of passing air traffic.

contrails at gretna

We are entering night photos in the next camera club competition and Sandy and I thought that the motorway might offer an opportunity.  I didn’t have my tripod but I had a little practice.  This is an invisible lorry passing under me on the bridge.  You can see that my hand wobbled.

lorry lights

The sunset was terrific and the short drive to see it was well worth while.  I will come back and try to find a more westerly facing point next time so that I can see the sun setting over the sea.

I drove home and found that Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from a good meal with the choir.  I just had time to make tea for myself, eat it  and then get back in the car and go to fetch Susan for our weekly recorder meeting in Carlisle.   One of our group was missing but the playing was very enjoyable and the supply of post playing biscuits was admirable.

Dropscone is off playing golf tomorrow and my plan is to have a thoroughgoing rest as I am still tired and made a lot of mistakes while playing this evening.  The rest of the group are very kind though and don’t make pointed remarks at all.

The flying bird is not the usual sort but I couldn’t go through Gretna without looking at least once at the starlings.


Photographic note: Apart from the first picture, there was very little post production done on today’s sunset pictures aside from cropping.  The differences in tone arise from the camera settings that I used.  It really was a colourful evening.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “A day of contrasts

  1. Delightful in every way. Leo is definitely a winner (as we say here). The sunset photos are beautiful. Oh and I particularly like the invisible lorry.

  2. The sunsetting pictures were wonderful, I look forward to the time when you take some more. In my view an expanse of water, however small, improves most pictures.

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