Contrast

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s Dutch holiday.  It shows Delft town hall.  Although they share the basic design, it leaves our modest building in Langholm in the shade.

Delft Town HallAfter the brilliant sunshine of our visit to Edinburgh yesterday, a blanket of misty fog over the town which persisted all day was something of a dampener.

The light was very gloomy when it came to looking at the birds.

blue titStill, it didn’t stop me going to our local producers’ market and stocking up with fish, cheese, venison, honey and lamb.  I shall eat well for several days.   Sandy came round for a coffee and we arranged to go for a walk after lunch.

I was told yesterday by Alison, my Friday evening accompanist, that she had been talking to a bird enthusiast who lives five miles out of town.  He had been telling her that almost all the birds had disappeared out of his garden too and he wondered if they had gone off to Europe.   Considering that we routinely have had fifty to a hundred birds a day in the garden in previous winters, this year has been very strange.

Once again it was hard work to be at the right time to catch a bird today.  Luckily, we have some robins who are enjoying the peace and quiet.

robinTwo of them spent some time chasing each other around but they stopped for breath at the same time.

robinsThere was a handful of chaffinches today.

chaffinchMeanwhile, it looked like one of those days when it might be possible to rise above the mist and find some beautiful blue skies if we drove up the hill to the White Yett so Mrs Tootlepedal and I got in our car and did just that.  This was the view at the top of the hill.

White YettSo much for blue skies.  The McDiarmid Memorial was hard to see even though it was only a few yards away.

McDiarmid memorialWe drove carefully back down the hill and had lunch.

Sandy arrived on cue and we set out to brave some icy patches and walk round the Becks.  You can see the pictures that he took on our walk on his blog.

It wasn’t a day for views…

Meikleholm in mist
There’s a town down there somewhere.

…but there were other things to enjoy as we strolled along.

ice crystals
Ice crystals on a drinking trough
Trees and shed
A horse standing gloomily among the trees and sheds.
frosty plant head
A frosty plant head
lichen
Flourishing lichen on a tree stump
fallen tree
A fallen tree shows graphically just how shallow the root systems of the commercial conifers are. It is somewhat amazing that any remain standing.
sheep
Interested spectators pause in their grazing.
lichens
Lichens on the Wauchope churchyard wall

Sandy was feeling a bit peaky and my legs knew that I had been walking yesterday so we were both pleased to get round without falling over on the icy patches.

I was happy to spend the rest of the afternoon watching rugby on the telly even though Scotland failed to win their game against France.

Just to be different, I have a selection of three flying birds of the day today.

flying chaffinches

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Contrast

  1. It certainly is strange that your birds have disappeared. Would your local wildlife group/RSPB etc. be able to enlighten you? Some good pictures in spite of the fog. I like the ice crystals and the frosted seed head.

  2. The MacDiamid memorial looks fantastic through the mist and fog and the ice crystals and frosty plant head are both great. I wonder where the birds have gone; why would they disappear to Europe is they haven’t previously? Very odd.

  3. The robins in my garden are chasing each other too and I thought I glimpsed a third today, presumably a female, which might account for the shenanigans.

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