Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Bill J, shows a sparrowhawk outside his kitchen window. Bill tells me that the hawk left after killing the pigeon and that he was just going out to pick it up to cook for himself, when the hawk came back and claimed it.
The weather forecasters seem to be enjoying making our flesh creep with horrendous visions of floods and gales but our day dawned in very different mode today. There was a glorious sunrise behind the house….
…and a rainbow on Meikleholm Hill to the front.
The low sun caught a neighbour’s window and proved beyond any doubt that making perfectly flat glass is a tricky job.
As it was Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in church and as the temperature was high enough at 37°F to avoid any danger of ice, I got the speedy bike out and took a spin down the main road to the south.
The sun had gone in by the time that I set out and a few drops of rain as I left the town made me worry about the wisdom of going for a pedal but soon the rain stopped and in the light wind, cycling was quite comfortable.
I didn’t want to go too far as my daughter is staying with us, so I turned for home after 10 miles, stopping to take a picture of the church and tower at Kirkandrews as a memento of the trip.
When got home, the ladies of the house were full of excitement about the possibility of another trip to the seaside so I had my shower and after a slice of burnt toast and a mouthful of tangy Italian goat’s cheese, donned my chauffeur’s cap and set off on a trip to the Solway shore.
Somehow I found a moment in all the bustle to look out of the kitchen window.
After yesterday’s trip to the North Sea on the east coast, it seemed only fair to visit the west coast today.
Our destination was Powfoot and we arrived shortly before high tide. The Solway was full and turbulent.
The play of the light as clouds scooted past overhead made for interesting challenges. The English shore is almost completely masked by a curtain of rain in the the shot above.
Looking the other way, the village of Powfoot looked quite serene.
It was very windy. It is not often that you see breakers off the shore at Powfoot.
As we drove along the road beside the sea, we had passed heaps of debris left by Friday’s high tide and gales. The sea wasn’t so fearsome today so we parked the car and went for a short walk along the beach. Great heaps of gravel and seashells had been left by the flood.
And the shore had a battered air about it.
There were birds about in the high winds.
Several flocks of sea birds flew past but as they were going downwind at speed, they were out of sight before I could get a focus on them. One small group headed back upwind. I would appreciate a knowledgeable identification.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a worthy go at being a latter day King Knut (Canute)….
…but time and tide wait for no one and so we went back to the car which was parked only a few feet from the water by the time we got to it.
Feeling more prudent than brave, we drove back down the road, hoping to get a cup of tea in the Golf Hotel but it was closed. We drove on towards Annan. The river there had just burst its banks again at the height of the tide.
It was raining so we didn’t dally but drove on towards Gretna. On our way, we took a short diversion to Brow Houses to have a last look at the Solway. It had stopped raining when we got there but the clouds were heavier overhead. In contrast, some rare sunlight was falling on the English shore.
It made for a dramatic sea and cloudscape.
I got Pocketcam out and it took an altogether more peaceful view of the scene.
The road where we parked the car showed just how high Friday’s flood tide had been.
We considered stopping to look at the Gretna starlings but the light had got very poor and the rain had started again so we went home and enjoyed some warm crumpets with a reviving cup of tea.
We were feeling very healthy after two bracing seaside walks in two days beside two different seas. Healthy but tired.
Once again, we arrived home just as the light completely faded so the rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in eating and knitting and editing photos by the various parties involved.
I have put too many pictures in today but there may be not much opportunity tomorrow so things should balance out.
There is a feast of flying birds of the day today.
37 thoughts on “From East to West”
It was another good day out.
Great shots Tom, excellent report too! 🙂
Your required ID for that flock of birds – I’m going for peewits/peesweeps/lapwings, or any other name that they have that people can think of.
Great shots. An interesting contrast of the same scene with Pocketcam and it’s friend. The power of nature was starkly demonstrated along the Solway last Friday. Scary stuff, but one can’t hold nature back!
I might think of moving if I lived in one of those cottages right on the coast, lovely though they are. Thank you for the identification.
Your captions for the bird photos are often as good as the photos themselves, although it would be hard to top the shot of the crow in this post..
An interesting, but useless fact about glass, it is still considered a liquid even in its solid state. I read an interesting article about that once, given enough time, all panes of glass flow downhill, so that the top of the pane becomes thinner as the bottom gets thicker.
The land/seascape photos were stunning!
Thank you for the glass facts. I am always pleased to learn curious things like that.
This turns out not to be true, although it is apparently stated in text-books and has been taught in science classes. You may find it debunked here:
You’ve been having some beautiful sunrises and sunsets there lately.The photos at the seaside were excellent. I especially liked the crow and the shells and gravel. Both things I don’t see much of.
I wish now that we had gone to see the storm on Friday as it must have been quite something judging by the amount of debris left behind it.
Hawks eating pigeons, must be a trend!
What you start in America, we copy a few days later.
Now there’s a scary thought;-)
The crow is especially fine–looks exactly like a crow should look, which is somehow exactly like a Sioux fancy dancer in full regalia. I was astonished to see that you’ve apparently managed to train a Synchronized Flying Team of goldfinches.
It took a bit of work but it has paid off. I see what you mean about the crow and the Sioux.
Loved the pictures of the wild Solway Firth.
I believe those birds are lapwings as ravenhare suggested. Cheers
I think that you and Ravenhare are probably right though they weren’t flying a a very peeweet-like way.
A wonderful trip. The flying bird shot of the day is my favourite yet.
It had a certain sense of design about it which was purely fortuitous.
Dramatic and interesting pictures from first to last.
Hi Mr TootlePedal,
Just to wish and your dearest all the best for 2014 and to say how much I enjoy reading of your stress-filled days, keeping the world going round and just wish I could aspire to the same level of fulfilment!
It’s a great read at the end of the day and puts lots of other stuff into perspective.
Thank you for taking the time to put on a comment as I know that compared with my relaxation filled days, yours are stacked full of stuff to do. Best wishes to you Alix and Bowman for 2014.
Glad to hear you still have a speedy bike! I’m it that point in my career where it seems that no matter which one of mine I ride they all go about the same speed.
The bike is speedy, the pedaller somewhat less so.
Stunning set of photos, Tom.
Thank you, Rachel. I hope that 2014 is good to you.
Plenty of drama in your pictures. The weather had been awful.
You are right. We were within inches of a bad flood last week but the river levels have dropped a lot here now.
Stones, seashells, crashing waves and dark skies. It’s been too long since I was to the coast.
“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,” in the words of the old popular song.
Lovely sea and sky scapes. My day today was very similar, heaps of shingle, crows and gulls and a very high tide line along with a little flooding. How odd.
The bad weather has been extensive.
Thanks so much for a trip to the shore, and since I am working backwards today, I believe I now have yesterday’s seashore trip to enjoy!
P.S. What excellent shells you have there. I do remember that from a trip round various seashore villages. Here, we have sand, a few broken dull shells, interesting driftwood sometimes.