Peering about in the gloom

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Bruce.  He and his wife have been for a lunch at Gretna, which is on the border between England and Scotland.  As a service to their customers, the eating house of their choice shows the time on both sides of the border.

Gretna timeAfter a wild and stormy night, we had a wild and stormy day today.  Fortunately, the rain eased off and we suffered no more than light drizzle from time to time.

I started the day off with a visit to our local producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre.  To assuage my grief at the non appearance of the fresh fish man, I bought extra supplies of cheese from the cheese monger and some mint chocolate thins from our local chocolatier to supplement my usual supplies of honey, venison and lamb.

After a cup of coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went up to the Moorland Feeders where I was once again standing in for Gavin who is still enjoying the delights of the USA.

While I battled through the weather to refill the feeders, Mrs Tootlepedal sat in the car watching a pair of harriers (we think) displaying above the moor.

harrierThis was my best effort to record one of the raptors.  Mrs Tootlepedal’s delight at seeing these free flying birds was modified by the thought that her binoculars were hanging in the kitchen.  While she scanned the moor, I retired to the shelter of the hide and watched a multitude of chaffinches.

chaffinchesThey were not immune to the effects of the wind.

chaffinchesAmong the chaffinch hordes, the peanuts attracted a select band of great tits.

great titsThanks to the combination of the lack of binoculars and the poor light, we didn’t stay long

After lunch (soup and a delicious selection of cheeses), I sat down to do the crossword as it was far too windy to consider cycling.   Just when I needed a crossword that would challenge me for a good time, the powers that be provided me with one that did not detain me for very long so I went out to look at the garden.

At last, a daffodil is genuinely out…

daffodil…but in general the early daffodils are not flowering well after a great effort last year.  Another two aconites have appeared which has made Mrs Tootlepedal a little happier about them.

I met a blog reader at the Market this morning who told me that although she likes my photos in general, she can’t stand the frogs at all so if you are reading this today, Isabel, look away now.

The frogs were very happy.

frogsAnd I was very happy to see a pair of robins in the garden and especially happy when one posed for me.

robinI watched a bit of the Davis Cup on the telly but the appeal of watching tennis wears off after about twenty minutes, however good the game, so I thought that I would go for a walk as it wasn’t actually raining.  I chose to walk round Gaskell’s whihc was fairly well sheltered from the blast.

It was still tremendously gloomy and rather soggy…

soggy gate…with water running off the fields and no chance of a view….

Stubholm…with the cloud base at about 500ft so I took a little torch with me to help Pocketcam out with some lichen shots as I went round.

From a visual point of view, I enjoy lichens set among others in contrasting colours.

lichenThey often repay close examination.

lichen…though some are hard to miss.

lichen on wallCup lichens are generally my favourites…

lichen…but today, this one tickled my fancy most.

lichenI thought that the torch worked quite well with the lichens but it produced unwelcome sparkle when used with a fungus.

fungusIn the end, I was more than pleased to have been able to get a walk in and take any pictures on such a gloomy day.

The tennis was still going on when I got in and I watched the exciting last few games of an excellent doubles match.  The redoubtable Bryan brothers just got the better of the British pair in a five set match.

The  flying bird of the day was an insuperable problem and this muddy siskin apparently head butting the feeder was my best effort.

siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Peering about in the gloom

  1. I liked the head-butting siskin. I am sorry you had such a gloomy and wet day. Fortunately for me our weather was fine and sunny but as I had a migraine I couldn’t enjoy it.

  2. I like the shot of the gate with the vivid green plants near it.
    Except for the pixie cups I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of those lichens. The blue one was a great find. You don’t see many of that color. Is that liquid in the center of the last one?

  3. The clocks in the café are very funny.

    The birds are fairly getting through the food this weather. I’ve noticed it because I had a week off work and had to refill my sunflower hearts in the afternoon.

    The forecast is supposed to be much better at the end of the week so you should get back on the bike.

    Is your new knee feeling better?

  4. Those clocks – ha, funny! Looks like your friend, Gavin and wife, are seeing some of the beautiful sights up the coast of California from me. It’s just beautiful up there.

  5. the raptor in your photo looks like a red kite (if you look closely at the tail. you can see the forked shape) there has been one about this last week or so

  6. I agree with Cat that the raptor looks more like a Red Kite. Additional to the forked tail, the bird appears to have a head that is paler (grey) than the body which also points towards Red Kite over Hen Harrier. The shape of the bird and the way it’s holding itself, to me, looks very Kite-ish (is that a word?).

  7. The clocks are funny. As always, I enjoy your drollery: “Mrs Tootlepedal’s delight at seeing these free flying birds was modified by the thought that her binoculars were hanging in the kitchen. ” I know that sort of feeling! I like the frogs very much, yet I think it is kind of you to warn your reader about them. 😉

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