Double figures

Today’s guest pictures was sent to me by Matilda’s father and shows the manufacture of some baby friendly (no salt, no sugar) drop scones.  He says that they went down well.  It is good to see the younger generation being introduced to the finer things of life.

dropsconesWe were blessed with a very nice mid February day today with the temperature rising to a heady 10°C by the afternoon.  We even saw the sun and everyone whom I met when I was out and about was very cheerful as a consequence.

I took advantage of the mellow weather to stretch my legs twice.  My first outing was on the slow bike and I headed up the Wauchope road with the intention of getting my mileage into double figures if I could manage it.  I took this welcome view from the five mile point….

Callister viewto show that I actually could.  I was equally happy to find that I did the ten miles in less than an hour and although it wasn’t a very demanding route, this was definitely a pedal in the right direction.

When I got home, I had a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal and we noted a promising crocus or two….

crocus and snowdrop…and enjoyed the many snowdrops.

Then we went up to the Moorland Feeders as I had been asked to fill them as the usual volunteer is busy taking pictures of his wife and the Golden Gate Bridge and wasn’t available.

We were hoping to have a few quiet moments of bird watching there but there were people on every side waiting for something.  We think it was probably the local hunt which always has a good few followers but whatever it was, it wasn’t conducive to bird watching so we went home.

I spent some time trying to get a good picture of a flying bird when we got back but visitors to the feeder were few and far between and I had to settle for some perching birds  instead.

goldfinch and robinAfter lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the monthly meeting of the Embroiderer’s Guild and I went out for a walk.  I cheated a bit by taking the car to the Kilngreen as I wanted to use my better lens on some gull pictures and it is too heavy for me to carry far at the moment.

Luckily two little girls were feeding the ducks when I got there and the gulls were very agitated and gave me many opportunities.  They were cruising about keeping an eye out for bread. Sometimes they flew solo…

gull looking for bread…and sometimes in pairs but always looking.

gull looking for breadWhen bread was sighted, they swooped…

gull looking for bread…even if it meant trying to wrest it from a mallard.

gull looking for breadThose two just missed and the duck got away with his bread.

I drove on and parked the car by the disused Episcopalian church.

Kangoo at churchYou can see that it is an ideal vehicle for carrying bicycles and manure in the back.

Leaving my heavy lens behind in the car, I went for a walk of just under two miles.  I was more concerned with exercise than photography so I kept going without stopping too often.  Of course, I did have a camera with me so I had to take a few pictures as I went along.

sunshine on Whita
There were welcome bits of sunshine along the way.
Longfauld top path
But the top path looked quite wintery when the sun didn’t shine.
Longfauld top path
But the going was generally pretty dry for winter

I stopped to look at the snowdrop wood at Holmhead.

snowdrops at Holmheadsnowdrops at HolmheadI went as far as the North Lodge along the track above the woods…

North Lodge…before returning along the low road.

CastleholmThe sun had arrived on the Castleholm by the time that I got there and I was able to admire its rays striking one of my favourite trees.

Castleholm treeThe sun picked out the grain on a gate which I have passed many times without considering it remarkable at all.

gate on CastleholmThe combined effect of the cycling and walking was enough to persuade me to do nothing else of significance for the rest of the afternoon and evening and a good crossword and some rugby on the telly filled the afternoon and preparing the blog at a leisurely pace, interrupted by an entertaining program about building an ark did the same for the evening.

In a significant development on the end wall story, today saw the delivery of some of the materials which will be used in the building of the new wall.  We are beginning to believe that it really will happen.

The flying bird of the day is one of the gulls hoping to find a scrap of bread.  I think that the markings show that this is this bird’s first winter.

black headed gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Double figures

  1. It’s nice to see that some one is getting some good weather and taking advantage of it to shoot many great photos! The gulls and the roads were my favorites, but they were all great.

    I hope that Mrs. T seals the manure well when she visits the manure pile, I’d hate to have to smell the stuff every time I got in the car. 😉

  2. What beautiful gull shots! All the others are lovely too. What pretty countryside. I especially like the one with the light coming through one of your favourite trees lining the road. I actually quite like your car. It looks very practical! I’m not in sleek racing car models. It’s been years since I’ve had drop scones. Usually I bake scones in the oven. I must try them again though. I seem to remember them being delicious, although I think I may go for the adult version. 🙂

  3. Congratulations on reaching double-digits!

    Hurray for crocus and snowdrops!!! I will take any small sign of spring.

    Your landscapes were particularly enjoyable today and I especially liked the sun on that gate showing the detail of the grain. I love how photography makes us aware of things we would have passed by before.

    I loved the series of gull photos. They brought back memories of a time we had a picnic at the Mackinac Bridge back when my kids were small. My oldest boy went to throw some bread to the gulls and was basically swarmed before the crust ever got out of his hand. As he had never been particularly fond of the outdoors, being attacked by gulls didn’t help matters any in that regard. 🙂

    Thanks for the shot of your Kangoo.

  4. The landscape shots are so lovely. The gulls are very fine. If one of your gulls had shown up where I was yesterday it would have caused a riot.

  5. I was at the “Gull Frolic” where a bunch of insane birders get together and chum bread to attract gulls hoping for some rarities. It would have been extremely rare to see a Black-Headed Gull on Lake Michigan, if not impossible. As it is people were traveling far and wide across the state to see an Ivory Gull in one place and a Slaty-Backed Gull in another the last couple weeks. Of the 7 species of gulls on Saturday, we had nothing that special.

      1. It’s kind of a where-do-gulls-go-in-the-winter and who’s-crazy-enough-to-watch-them thing. I’ll elaborate on that thought when I get around to my unscientific blog post about it. 🙂

  6. What a day with nature, great photos, really love the last one of the gull. And so nice to see a budding crocus, I had a bed of them years ago, was my first sign of spring. 🙂

  7. Gulls do like their bread. We have huge gull fights here on our river when someone gets the bread out. The lodge reminds me of East Lodge here. Perhaps they were built at a similar time. Good to see you out cycling and walking.

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