Snapping my fingers at the clouds

Today’s picture comes from sunny Morocco where my friend Sue was recently on holiday.  It shows her on a camel.  She is the one looking cool on the right.

Camel in Morroco with SueOnce again, it is lucky that the guest picture comes from sunny climes as we had another very overcast and gloomy day here.

It wasn’t a day for taking pictures so of course I took a few.

The frenetic activity in the pond has calmed down for the moment but there are still frogs about.
A jackdaw looks rather disappointed at the quality of the suet balls that I had scattered on the lawn.  I apologised.

The main business of the morning did little to alleviate the gloom as we went to our friend Arthur’s memorial service.  Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church choir and they made a very nice job of singing Abide with Me in the middle of the service.

A distinguished professor gave the encomium.  He was very good and cheered us all up by working the word ‘desuetude’ into his text.  He didn’t apply it to Arthur though but merely to an old library which Arthur had helped to restore.  The encomium was interesting, informative and both commendably brief and to the point, qualities which Arthur himself would have admired so we felt that he had been well sent off.

All the while, progress was being made on the new chimney.

chimneyAfter lunch, I peered through the kitchen window for a while.

busy feeder
A mixed bag on the feeder
dancing chaffinches
There were dancing chaffinches here today.

Then I went up to the town to do some banking business and extended the trip into a walk.  It was still too gloomy to take any photographs but once again that didn’t stop me.

I walked up the Kirk Wynd to the golf course, stopping to admire some promise on the way…

spring  bud…and then turned on to Tibbie Lugs Walk.

Tibbie LugsBeside the path, an old tree stump covered with fungus caught my eye.

fungusI walked along until I met the Copshaw road and turned up the hill.  I passed this fine clipped beech gateway…

beech hedgeThen I cut across a field, plunged into a wood, leapt across the stream at the bottom of the little valley…

stream at Hillhead…climbed through the wood on the far side….

wood at Hillhead…and came out at the far side of the wood.

Terrona fieldOnce I had climbed the path, I had a fine view up the Ewes Valley….

Ewes…which would have been better for a little sunshine.

(When I said that I leapt across the stream, I was lying.)

I walked back down the track to Whitshiels, admiring the fresh colour of the spiky gorse blossoms…

gorse…and  stopping at a favourite spot for seeing British Soldier lichens (Cladonia cristatella).

soldier lichensOnce I had got down to the main road, I followed it back into the town.  A hazel dripping catkins on the river bank made me pause for a moment.

hazel catkinsWhen I got home,  I just had enough time to look out of the window again…

siskin violence
The siskins were competing fiercely for places at the feast.

…before putting on several layers of warm cycling clothes and going off on my slow bike for a circular tour with Mrs Tootlepedal.

garmin 13 March 15As you can see, we weren’t in a great rush.  It was pretty chilly and we wearing lots of layers and there was a very keen north easterly wind discouraging us whenever it could.  Garmin doesn’t always get the weather right so I should say that it wasn’t raining and the wind was stronger than it suggests.

We plugged away cheerfully enough until near the very end, when the chill and the wind got to us a bit.  All the same, I was pleased to have taken my knee for its first circular ride and Mrs Tootlepedal was pleased to have swapped the bike to nowhere for an actual moving experience.

This time it really was too dark to take pictures as we pedalled along and I didn’t even take Pocketcam with me.

In the evening, we were joined by Mike and Alison and Alison and I played some duets with some more than usually exciting variations from the composers’ original intentions.  Nevertheless, as Alison remarked, playing duets is always good value even when there are a few wrong notes.

The flying bird of the day is an excitable siskin.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Snapping my fingers at the clouds

  1. It looks like it was a fine day for photography. The green trails and treeless hills look very inviting.
    That’s a great shot of the hazel catkins. It’s not easy to find a good background that will show them off like that.

  2. I loved going along on your delightful walk. The fungus on the stump was wonderful, and so were the hazel catkins. I’m awfully impressed that you could do that walk, and then a fourteen mile bike ride, in one day! You seem well recovered from the knee replacement; good for you.

    1. The recovery is going well. The knee is still quite swollen but I am reliably informed that it might take a year to go down so I am not panicking (yet).

  3. The fungi on the tree stump caught my eye. At first I thought they were oyster shells. Very Interesting. I haven’t seen anything like the British soldier lichens here. Thank you for the lovely walk. Quite amusing to see the guest camels at the beginning!

  4. Great picture atop the blog of the camels.
    Also fine ones of the frog and blackbird among others.

  5. Sorry, but being a sucker for a pretty face, the photo of the camel is my favorite for the day. I do love the Scottish countryside though, it looks so inviting in your photos, despite the weather.

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