Not quite as planned

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Bruce, who was visiting the Monsal Trail near Hassop in Derbyshire.  He says that it proves that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Headstone tunnelThere wasn’t a lot of light here today and with the temperature only rising to miserable 1 degree C, my plan was to stay in and do nothing.  Although I had had quite a peaceful night last night, a  couple of restless nights previously and a rather sore leg as the result of some recent walks helped me formulate this sound decision.

I did allow myself a short walk to the shop to get some milk and this was where the plan started to unravel.  I failed to allow for the correct opening time for the shop and so had to  make the trip twice.

Then I looked peacefully out of the window as the chaffinches defied the frosts to come to the feeder.

flying chaffinch

flying chaffinch
This one was shouting loudly enough to dislodge the bird that had got there before him
flying chaffinch
And this one was surprised to find a feeder full of goldfinches

I put a week of the newspaper index into the database, spotted a robin in a bush….

robin…and mooched around until lunchtime.  Then my resting schedule was disrupted again, this time by monumental boredom from sitting around doing nothing and Mrs Tootlepedal and I set out for a chilly walk round the Duchess Bridge and the Kilngreen.

I was experimented with using two walking poles.  I have been walking with one and I can probably get by with none at a pinch but it is sensible to  have some support for the knee. I found that using just one pole tended to induce some lop sided walking.  The two pole experiment proved that two poles were indeed the answer and a nice even walking gait was achieved.

The light was too poor to take pictures, except one of Mrs Tootlepedal scaling the summit of the bridge….

Duchess Bridge…but the paths were dry and ice free so the walk was a pleasure.  Once again though, we were in the right place at the right time to see a lot of hair ice all along our walk.  It looked as though almost every fallen small branch was covered with the frosty beard.

hair iceIt was amazing as everywhere you looked, there was another patch of white among the fallen leaves. There were some very fine examples but as they would have required me to scramble up muddy banks to get close to them, I had to leave my camera in my pocket and walk past them.

We had crossed the Duchess bridge and were walking back down the Lodge Walks when Mrs Tootlepedal spotted the most conspicuous example of the whole walk.  A dead plant among a beech hedge was shrouded in hair.

hair iceIt was in such a gloomy spot that I had to use the flash to get the picture but it does give an impression of just what a tremendous sight this was.

I don’t recall ever seeing a sight like this before. Mrs Tootlepedal remarks, fairly enough,  that I never used to look at things much before I got a camera so I may have walked past sights like this many times without noticing.  But I don’t think I have.

Having already done far more than I had intended in the way of exercise, I settled down to a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake when I got back while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to visit a neighbour who is suffering from shingles.

Boredom is a bad thing though and after a proper winter evening meal of stew and dumplings, I was tempted to have a go on the bike to nowhere.  I had had to give up in pain after only two pedals the last time that I tried it and so was not very hopeful this time but I was surprised and pleased to manage 150 turns with no trouble at all.  If I can get a nice dry day, not too cold and with no wind, I might even try taking to the roads next week.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a concert of cheery orchestral music at the Buccleuch Centre in the evening.  I would have liked to have gone too but I didn’t think that my knee would enjoy being stuck in the same position for an hour or so at a time so I stayed at home.

All in all, although I didn’t get a day of rest, I had a very good day of exercise instead.  Mustn’t grumble.

The flying bird of the day is another chilly chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Not quite as planned

  1. “try taking to the roads” … Don’t tempt your fortune overmuch, T.! As much as I am delighted by your speedy improvement, I would advise caution as the wiser strategy. Your skill as a photographer, however, is in no way restricted as you demonstrate here in your posts.

  2. Fantastic, all those pictures of hair ice. I have never noticed the phenomenon myself so will have to look next time we get a proper frost. The robin was sweet and I was very impressed by all those turns of the wheel you managed. Your knee, however sore at night, is plainly improving.

  3. I would think that too much resting your knee would be as bad as too much exercise, since the muscles would tighten up again. I’ve been looking for hair frost, maybe we didn’t get enough rain this fall, or maybe it blends in too well with the snow, but it looks interesting in your photos.

  4. Two poles is the way to go Mr T. My physio friend (a musculoskeletal specialist) is a big fan and has an assortment of Nordic poles in her boot at all times for needy walkers.

  5. I would think exercise would be more important than rest right now but I also think I’d check with the doctor before I got on a real bike. Since I’ve never had knee surgery it’s hard to say.
    I wish I could see some of that ice. I’m seeing more ice needles than I’ve ever seen but none of that variety.

  6. That ice hair is just amazing. I’d never seen or heard of anything like it before your post the other day.
    When I acquired a walking pole a few years ago, friends who know about these things insisted I got two, for those same lopsided reasons.

  7. I’m also a tad alarmed at the thought of you taking to the roads so soon (do we all sound like your Mum????)! I’d worry about any imbalanced moves that might put too much strain on the knew knee. However, it must be done sometime, and you’ll be the best judge of your readiness.

  8. Nice seeing the evidence of light at the end of the tunnel, and I must say that hair ice is fascinating! Glad you were able to bike to nowhere as far as you did!

    1. I don’t know what made the ice appear so prolifically. It must be an exact combination of night and day temperature because it is a very infrequent sight here.

  9. I’ve never seen hair ice but it looks interesting. It’s probably to warm here I suppose. If you go out on your bike make sure you have Mrs T to hand as back up. 🙂

  10. Wll done for venturing out in the cold. Amazing hair ice pictures – I had never heard of it before it appeared on your blog.
    Good news about managing a longer pedal on the bike to nowhere.

  11. That hair ice is amazing Mr T! It looks as soft as fairy floss and so fragile. I love your robin photos. They look so cheeky. I often see people out with two ski poles to help them walk. Whatever keeps you on your feet and walking is good in my eyes.

    1. I was very doubtful about them at first but once I got the hang of using them correctly, I began to see their worth. They are are a not of an entanglement when you are trying to take pictures though.

  12. I have been so very interested by your hair frost photos. What an interesting phenomena! Glad you got plenty of exercise on your day of rest. Walking with two poles sounds like it would be very helpful, somewhat like cross-country skiing.

  13. Wonderful to hear of your continuing healing progress. Your boring day is fuller than most people’s engaged ones. I too am a fan of the incredible hair frost.

    1. If I gave the long periods when I am sitting about doing nothing the same prominence as the little walks, you would find out just how dull my day can be.

  14. Nordic walking is very popular round these parts with folk of all ages “ski-ing” up and down the beach in a very no-nonsense manner. I also love you robin photos and now totally get their prominence on so many Christmas cards.

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