Today’s guest picture shows a spectacular Pantanal bird, the orange-backed troupial. It was spotted by Venetia on her Brazilian expedition last month. You can see more of what she saw if you visit her recent blog (including some lovely jaguar pictures).
Mrs Tootlepedal started the day with a routine visit to the dentist (nothing needed) while I dawdled about the house until she returned and we had coffee. We were enjoying our first cup when Dropscone dropped in, having just finished playing nine holes of golf with a friend. Luckily there was enough coffee in the pot for him too.
It was a beautiful sunny morning but he reported that there had been a touch of ground frost on the golf course and he had had to watch his footing for the first few holes. The chief purpose of his visit was to advise me that there might be something of interest for me to see beside the fifth hole on the golf course so as soon as I had finished my coffee, I got a lift from him up to the town and set off to explore.
I climbed up the Kirk Wynd….
…said hello to a horse….
I walked along the sixth fairway and looked across the course….
…before walking back through the trees….
…and then going back onto the Kirk Wynd. As it was such a glorious day, I walked a little further up the hill until I came to Whita Well, which is a natural spring.
This was once the source of water for the town and it was the site of a pitched battle between the workers of the distillery and townsfolk over the right to the water. Wanting both water and whisky, a compromise was reached.
I looked back over the new town below. The old town is tucked under the hill and was invisible to me. Holmwood is on the hill behind the new town.
…and Pocketcam for a close look at some lively lichen.
The rich deep red of this poppy caught our eye.
It had to be quick because company was on its way.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal set about improving another corner of one of the flower beds and I sieved some compost for her to use as a soil improver with certain additives and did some dead heading while she toiled.
She had an appointment for her flu injection so I got out the speedy bike, pumped up the tyres and did 20 miles out to Paddockhole and back. I passed the men who are building the access road onto the hill opposite Grange quarry and one of them told me that they are going to put up 6 windmills to start with and that they are hoping for another 16 later on. In a sign of the times, he added that he had previously worked in coal mining.
My legs are a bit grumpy at the moment so although I enjoyed the ride in the light winds, it was quite hard work and no speed limits were exceeded.
In the evening, we went to our usual Langholm Sings choir meeting and Eric and I agreed that yesterday’s practice session had paid off as we sang several notes that were not only in tune but at the right time as well.
The flying bird of the day is one of the pellet seeking jackdaws and in answer to a query, it does seem to have the same raised feathers on the front of its wings as the one in a recent shot had.