Today’s guest picture from my sister Mary rather puts the bridges over the Kirtle Water into the shade.
We woke up to a proper winter’s day today, with frost on the ground and a nip in the air. At 1°C it still wasn’t below freezing point although it was too cold for me to go out of the bicycle.
Having considered my options and consulted with Mrs Tootlepedal, whose options were curtailed by an engagement to go to the Embroiders’ Guild meeting, I made an arrangement with Sandy to have a cup of coffee and go for a walk.
While I was waiting for him to arrive, I spotted a robin lurking in a bush…
…took shots of two perching chaffinches who were enjoying the sunshine…
…and put out some blackbird pellets. These quickly attracted black birds…..
…but they were jackdaws who soon gobbled up all the pellets and flew off chortling.
There were more flying birds about today than you could shake a stick at.
When we had finished out coffee, Sandy drove us down to the Tarras bridge on the Claygate road. We stopped on the way to admire the mist streaming across the road at Broomholm as the sun warmed it up.
The moss on the wall was literally steaming.
There was mist just before we got to the bridge as well.
I was pleased that I wasn’t on my bike because although the road in general was clear, the bridge itself was a sheet of ice and would have posed a nasty problem having a sharp bend at the bottom of a steep hill.
We left the car at the bridge and walked along the track beside the Tarras. There has been a lot of rain recently so there were many puddles to choose from for the obligatory icy-in-a-puddle winter shot.
And every branch was dripping as we passed.
The bank of the Tarras shows why there is currently so much current interest on coal in the Canonbie area.
On closer examination the seams almost look as though there are the work of a builder.
The track was exceedingly wet….
…but the sun was exceedingly sunny….
…so we didn’t mind.
We spotted quite a lot of fallen branches with this on…
…and couldn’t make up our minds as to whether it was vegetable or frost based. Can anyone help us? It was quite soft to the touch, rather like cotton wool.
We didn’t walk far as Sandy wanted to be home in time for lunch (and that suited me too) and so we stopped taking pictures and headed back to the car.
Mrs Tootlepedal was just leaving home, needle in hand, as I got back. I waved her off, had some soup and got the slow bike out and pedalled carefully round to the Kilngreen. I was hoping to see the heron but it was elsewhere and I had an enjoyable time watching the ducks and gulls instead.
Things were quite quiet until a couple came along with some morsels of bread. This excited the bird life considerably and gave me some good opportunities.
After chatting with Stan, a very good local photographer who was out walking his dog, I pedalled on up to the rugby club where Langholm, in white, were playing Linlithgow.
There was a select but knowledgeable crowd on the touchline…
…and plenty of action on the pitch.
The try caused ecstasy among the supporters but there was plenty of agony to go with it. Both physical…
I cycled home full of sympathetic disappointment.
We had an excellent slow cooked beef stew with dumplings for our tea which rounded off a fine winter day in traditional style.
The flying bird of the day is a gull making off with a good chunk of bread.