A day well spent

Today’s guest picture reveals that diver Tony was swimming with sharks in the aquarium at Queensferry near Edinburgh.   He tells me that he thoroughly enjoyed it and will not miss his left foot at all*.

swimming with sharks

We had a rare day of calm and pleasant weather today.  I perhaps should have spent more of it cycling but I had a couple of appointments in the  morning.

First I was visited by Nancy, the Archive Group treasurer, who has been very prompt in producing our accounts for 2014-15.  We are on a sound financial footing which is always a relief.

The second visit was from the scone bearer.  Dropscone was in good form and tells me that thanks to some new pills, he is recovering from an ailment brought on by the old pills.  When you get to our age, this is a very familiar story.

When he left, I went up to the chemist and got some more pills for myself.

I have been feeling a touch lacklustre about cycling lately and because we have had such a very gloomy year of weather, I wondered whether I might be a bit lacking in Vitamin D which we get from sunshine.  I purchased a little tub of tablets and will report back on the results.

I experimented with my new camera while I was waiting for the visitors (and after they had left as well).  It has more than enough zoom to see the birds through the kitchen window but I wondered if it could cope with some poor light when the zoom was active.


The jury is out and I will obviously have to do some research into getting the settings just right.

This one was better.



I had one or two goes at catching a bird in flight.

busy feeder

But on the whole, perching birds were easier…


…though not always successful.

Great tit

I will have to master the art of getting the camera to use a much higher ISO than it wants.

I took a shot from the suspension bridge when I went to get my pills.

Langholm Bridge

I was using the auto setting and the camera thought that an ISO of 100 would be a good idea.  I don’t agree so when the light is not as good as it was in Edinburgh yesterday, I will obviously to give the camera a good talking to.

One camera success, in my view at least, was this picture of the last summer flower in the garden.

Lilian Austin

After lunch,  I got the fairly speedy bike out.  I was quite pleased to have missed the morning ride as time had let the temperature rise from 3.5°C after breakfast to 7.5°C  after lunch.

I only took one picture but it shows two things about the ride.  The first is how low the sun is at this time of year.  It was lurking behind the tree at 1.50pm and the second is the dark strip along the road.

Dunnabie road

The dark strip is the result of week of repairs which had closed this road.  I was interested to see the result. The strip covers a pipe line (water I think) which had been laid and covered up not long ago but obviously not to a good enough standard.  The workers had relaid the surface above the pipe for pretty well its whole length and this had the beneficial effect of providing me with a smooth surface just wide enough for a bike for about three miles.

If I had been cycling in the opposite direction, I wouldn’t have got any benefit at all as it was down the left hand side of the road all the way.

Sometimes you win.

Sometimes you lose though.

I was planning a loop from Waterbeck at the bottom of the repaired road through Eaglesfield and back by Gair but when I got to the far end of the Gair road, it was closed.  I had to turn round and come back to Waterbeck the way that I had gone.  Still, the wind was light and the traffic was lighter so the 27 mile ride was very pleasant.

It was too dark for a photographic walk by the time that I got home so I spent some time practising songs for the Langholm Choir which has a concert at the end of next week.

After tea, I went off and put the practice to good use in our weekly choir practice.

The flying bird of the day is a new camera (NewCam) effort.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “A day well spent

  1. The things people do to have fun! I think your new camera was an excellent present, those birds feeding, perching and flying are beautiful indeed.

  2. I agree – the starling photo is a belter! The rose and the rather morose chaffinch perched in the tree are also very good. I hope the Vitamin D tablets help.

  3. The starlings look like they’re going at it hammer and tongs! Wonderful that you still have a flower in the garden.

  4. The picture of the three starlings appears to illustrate one of the more gruesome nursery rhymes!

  5. Amazing to be able to swim with sharks in an aquarium – very brave I call it.
    Glad you had an enjoyable ride on a path specially put in for you.

  6. You don’t say whether you obeyed the rule of the road all the way back, given the existence of that lovely smooth strip on the road you were obliged to take. There may be a reason for this of course…

    1. I was able to take a different road home for that section of the trip but if I had had to use that road again, I might have been tempted to ‘go French’.

  7. I’m very impressed with the images that you’re getting from the new camera already!

    Let me know if giving the camera a stern lecture makes it perform as you’d like it, if it does, I’ll have to try that with mine. 😉

  8. I agree re: the starlings. That and the self satisfied robin are my favourites.Good luck with the vitamin D – it certainly makes sense to give it a whirl 🙂

  9. I smiled at the pill comments as at the moment my doctor has been throwing everything at me to try and fix a mystery illness and they are all producing side effects. Pills to fix up pills. A never ending cycle…and not my favourite kind which involves pedalling. 🙂 You are brave to venture into the camera manual. It’s too scary for me at the moment but like you I’m not happy with some of the settings the camera thinks it should use on auto. I’m impressed with how the your shots turned out though, especially the flying bird shot and the landscapes.

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