Gravity and wind in alliance

Today’s guest picture is one of my brother’s from the recent trip to Amsterdam by three of my siblings.

Amsterdam is a city of canals. This is a grand one, the Herrengracht

Another cold and windy morning persuaded me (quite easily) that watching the London marathon on TV would be preferable to going outside while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with the church choir.

When she returned, we went off to fill the moorland feeders and spent a little time bird watching.  Mrs Tootlepedal uses binoculars and was able to catch some brief glimpses of hen harriers while I waited vainly, camera in hand, for a woodpecker to turn up.

I took yet another pheasant shot to pass the time.  I always wonder where the males get their very nifty knitted caps from.

pheasant

As I almost always take close ups at the feeders, I took a wider shot today to give a feeling of the place.

Moorland feeders
The feeders hang in a small larch plantation.

The bird in the shot is a great tit, one of my favourites.

great tit

male great tit

The non arrival of the woodpeckers, combined with the chilly wind meant that we didn’t stay too long.

After lunch there was a spell of sunshine so in spite of the brisk wind, Mrs Tootlepedal felt that a bike run might be in order.  Needless to say, soon after we started the sun went in and rather ominous looking black clouds appeared.  We battled on into some heavy gusts, working hard to make even 6 mph at times up the gentle hill and into the strong wind.    We might have coped with one or the other but both together made for hard work and after two and  a half miles, Mrs Tootlepedal had had enough and headed home.  I kept on until I got to Wauchope Schoolhouse and then was happy to float home in no time.  In fact, I was so happy that I turned round and did the same journey again adding a little diversion to Cleuchfoot to bring the distance up to 14 miles which is my notional daily target.

It was spotting with rain when I started on the second lap and it began to rain heavily just as I got home in the nick of time.

I had my pocketcam with me.

A heron at Pool Corner
A heron standing on the caul at at Pool Corner
Pussy willow
A pussy willow adds a splash of colour to the manse brae.

The Wauchope Water, for all that it carries quite a flow, is a bare three miles long and it starts at Wauchope schoolhouse where the Bigholms Burn and the Logan Water meet.   I took two pictures of Logan Water just before the meeting point.

Logan Water

Logan Water

Further up the stream, I stopped to admire a lichen clad wall.

Brown lichen
In the midst of mainly white lichen, there are quite a few occurrences of this brown variety.
white lichen
Some lichens were bursting with life

white lichen

I am sorry that the poor light didn’t let me get a better shot of this as it looked very impressive.

The rest of the day chopped and changed between fairly bright and horribly wet but always with the strong wind discouraging any thoughts of a little evening walk or any lawn care.

Although the strong wind was rocking the branches of the plum tree and causing the feeder to sway about, I took some perching birds during the day.

a ca chaffinch and plum blossom
We are a bit worried that the plum blossom will all be blown away before it gets pollinated if the wind keeps up.
redpoll ruffled
A redpoll ruffled by the breeze
siskin
A siskin catching a little of the sun that tempted us to go cycling
redpoll
One of the redpolls feeding

The evening was once again devoted to admiring the lawn care skills of the Augusta greenkeepers and wondering how long it will be before Bubba has to retire with chronic back problems….and of course watching with amazement as he co-ordinates a wonderfully complicated set of mechanical movements and blatters the ball down the middle of the fairway.

I did manage to find one flying chaffinch in the evening rain.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Gravity and wind in alliance

  1. That’s a great portrait of the pheasant. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the brown lichen and I’m sure I’ve never seen the white one. It’s a beauty.
    I hope you’re seeing plenty of bees visiting the plum tree this year.

  2. Love the little red polls. The river shots are pretty awesome too 🙂 Good luck with the plum pollination. It may be worth heading out with a small paint brush to give them a helping hand unless the wind actually helps by blowing the pollen to the next flower.

  3. Very nice picture of the redpoll. Glad you managed to keep up your bicycling target in spite of the adverse conditions.

  4. Your weather sounds much like how ours had turned. I love the Great Tit and now remember seeing them years ago. I’ll never pass by lichens again without looking.

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