Today’s picture shows the 13th century Cathedral in Toledo which my brother and his wife visited yesterday by high speed train. He thought that the journey was well worth while.
It was a generally sunny, quite calm day today but as the temperature was only three degrees, I gave up any thoughts of cycling. My chest is not taking to this cold, damp spell at all well at the moment. I thought that I was getting another cold but I am not and I much cheered up by that. The asthma will clear up shortly and I will be back on the bike and whistling a merry tune as soon as the temperature goes up a degree or two. Meanwhile, I am honing my skills as a pro rester.
Once we get to November, the kitchen window which is north facing, looks out into deep shadow for most of the morning so taking pictures is hard. It doesn’t stop me trying though.
The sun hits the plum tree before the feeder and as the leaves fall off, the perching birds are an easier target.
I spent some time getting photos ready for our next camera club competition. The subject is ‘blue’ and I am finding it much more difficult than I thought. I presumed that I would have any amount of blue flowers in my collection but as always, things that look not too bad on the blog, look a lot less satisfactory when you look at them with a judge’s eye and on top of that, many of the flowers which I think of as blue turn out to be purple. I am not expecting to trouble the judges.
During the morning, I did take a blue photo although not for the competition. In a sheltered spot near the greenhouse, a defiant delphinium is just keeping its head above water.
After lunch, there was enough light on the feeders to see the birds.
Sandy came round and we decided to go up the road to the north of the town for a little expedition. However, almost as soon as we had left the house, the sight of huge, dark clouds to the north and clear blue skies to the south induced a change of heart and direction and we headed south instead.
After four miles, Sandy parked the car and we walked down to the river Esk following a fisherman’s path. We haven’t really got to grips with the recent change in the clocks and we were a little too late to get the full benefit of the sunshine but the river looked good anyway.
The ground was rather muddy and we didn’t have the right footwear owing to our change of plan so we soon left the river and drove a few hundreds yards along the road to Hollows Tower.
As we got there the sun went in….
…but three minutes later, the sun came out again with stunning effect.
The trees along the river burst into life too.
Sadly, I had been too lazy to get my tripod out as I hadn’t expected such wonderful light, so these are all hand held pictures. I will learn in the end that you have to take trouble to take good pictures. Still, the scenery and the light were so good that I was pleased to have been there.
Those dark clouds were looming up so we left to go home via Claygate. As we drove along the side of the hill, we could see a heavy rainstorm coming down the valley. Sandy stopped the car and I got out to take a dramatic picture but within seconds I was being peppered with hailstones so I abandoned art and got back in the car.
We took a break when we got back to Langholm. Sandy went home to change his wet shoes and I watched a bit of Scotland playing Japan at rugby on the telly. There were some exciting moments which pleasantly surprised me.
Our plan was to go off to Gretna again with Mrs Tootlepedal to see if we could find the starlings. Although we set off a lot earlier than in our abortive attempt yesterday, we were still rather late by the time that we caught a glimpse of them. We found a place to park and watch the display….
…but we were too far away and it was too dark to get a good view of them. Still, we know where they are now and we will be better prepared for our next visit. There are few experiences to match having several hundred thousand birds swirling around above your head so we will certainly be back.
The views of the dark clouds across the Solway were striking. In the centre of the picture, you can see the line of red lights on the TV mast across on the English side.
We enjoyed our weekly dose of Strictly Come Dancing when we got home and we hope that the public in their wisdom will vote one of the people who can’t dance off the show rather than one of the people who can dance. But we aren’t holding our breath.
In the absence of any decent flying starling pictures, an old favourite makes it as flying bird of the day.