The white stuff

Today’s picture is the view from our window in the afternoon.


It had started snowing overnight and it snowed steadily until there was a three inch layer on the lawn by three o’clock in the afternoon.  Then the snow turned to rain and as I write this at nine o’clock, the rain is still coming down steadily and with a bit of luck, all the snow will have disappeared by the morning.

The scientific snow depth measurer was called into action first at 9 and then at 11 in the morning when the snow looked as though it might really pile up.

snow measurer

The snow put paid to any idea of cycling and didn’t even have the grace to look pretty as it came down in a mist of small flakes and obscured the surrounding hills and much of the daylight too.  Dropscone, Arthur and Sandy kindly agreed to come and help me pass the morning over a cup of coffee, some delicious chocolate biscuits from France (courtesy of you know who) and some inexpensive crumpets purchased in Carlisle and toasted.

The garden birds were extremely busy too and I leapt up from the coffee table from time to time to capture the scene.

early birds
Every perch was subject to a contest of wills.

busy feeder

A pack of greenfinches commandeered the feeder.


And as the other birds couldn’t get much of a look in…

greenfinches in command

I took down the fat balls and put up a second seed feeder.  You may wonder where, in the midst of the greenfinch domination, all the bramblings and chaffinches were.  They were here…

bramblings and chaffinches

…and in the background on the plum tree waiting for the greenfinches to go away.

plum tree

Between the birds on the ground, on the feeder and on the tree, I reckon that I can count over seventy birds.  They say that the small bird population is diminishing but here in Langholm we are doing our best to keep it stable.

I have been exploring my photo editor for ways to present digital pictures and I hope you will forgive me if I show some early experiments here.  I really liked this picture which had echoes of Pieter Bruegel for me so I gave it a frame.

framed birds

The illusion is very clever and available at the touch of a button.

Here is  a so called vignette, quite a popular method of picture presentation.

vignette of finches

After coffee, Sandy and I put on waterproof boots and trousers, armed ourselves with a brolly each and set out to brave the elements.   It wasn’t a day for great photos so I put sandycam and in my pocket and Sandy relied on his mobile phone.

We went round my usual short walk and it yielded a few opportunities.

I like the many different angles that the camera can create out of a perfectly square set building.
suspension bridge
You can see that visibility wasn’t at all good.
oyster catcher
I could just make out a hunched oyster catcher at the meeting of the waters.
I was surprised that sandycam could catch this flock of gulls on the fly in such poor light. It is a nifty camera.
This is Sandy in full colour, the only point of brightness in the whole walk.  (I see another frame has crept in.)
The castle was looking very subdued
The snow wasn't clinging like the last fall but these trees collected a share of it.
The snow wasn’t clinging like the last fall but these trees collected a share of it.
It picked out the geometry of the Jubilee Bridge…
Trees on the Esk
…which contrasted with the chaotic patterns of the riverside trees.

We arrived home just in time for a tasty cheese toastie and a cup of tea for our lunch.  Mrs Tootlepedal returned at the same time from helping with the costume making for the forthcoming production of The Sound of Music by the local operatic society.  She nibbled on a healthy looking lettuce leaf for her lunch and then by common consent, we all retired for a postprandial snooze.

The meeting of the community choir in the evening was cancelled as many members travel in from outside the town and the roads looked treacherous.  This gave us a quiet evening in which Mrs Tootlepedal devoted to her current appliqué project and I devoted to constructive idling of high quality.

There were a number of really useful things which I could have done and I positively enjoyed not doing them.  There is always another day for them.

The light was not good enough for a really good close-up flying bird shot but that has never stopped me posting bad ones so here is another.

flying chaffinch










Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “The white stuff

  1. I’m so glad to see other areas of the world getting snow too! We’ve had our share and then some! Your bird pictures are absolutely fabulous! I like the architectural pictures a lot.

  2. What an absolutely splendid set of pictures, I cannot choose a favourite since they are all so good, perhaps the one of the angles of the church might win for me. I also enjoyed the framed ones, keep on experimenting please.

  3. Certainly the picture of the church wins for colours, the Jubilee Bridge for lines and art. Outstanding photographs again, that definitely allow for “constructive idling of high quality”.

  4. I enjoyed your excellent photos. Lots of snow in the muckle town! Likewise, there’s lots of snow – but melting – in Emmendingen, Germany. (Here on holiday.)

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