Mist, a marathon but no tootle


Today’s guest picture comes from  Edinburgh and shows Matilda, who may not be hiding quite as well as she thinks.


We had a still and chilly morning so it was no surprise to find some mist about. Mrs Tootlepedal, in her restless search for entertainment, went off to the church choir annual social and coffee morning, an occasion when riotous behaviour is legendary.

As I was left with time on my hands, I decided to try to rise above the mist and drove up to the White Yett and walked up the track to the monument.

I succeeded in my aim.

Misty valley

As I climbed towards the monument, I could see the mist hugging the town below me.

misty from whita

As I got higher still it became plain the the mist was rising from the rivers and I took a panorama shot to try to give an impression of the view. (You can click on it to enlarge it a bit.)

Mist panorama

It wasn’t the clear blue sky above my head that I had hoped for but it was a beautiful day for a walk and I can’t pass the monument without my shutter finger twitching uncontrollably.


After a final look at the mist curling along the course of the Esk…

Mist in the Esk valley

I strolled back down to the car and drove down into the mist…


…and back home in time to have a coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal.

I put out some pellets on the lawn feeder and a smart starling got there before the jackdaws…


…which didn’t meet with universal approval.


Soon, the jackdaws were back in business…


…and the starlings could only wait in line.


I was pleased to see a/the brambling back again.


…as bramblings are among my favourite birds.

After an early rush of goldfinches and greenfinches had subsided, the chaffinches took their chances.


As you can see, the sun had broken through the mist so I had an early lunch (sardine pâté again, still not working) and while Mrs Tootlepedal had a quiet afternoon, I got the fairly speedy bike out and went for a bike ride.

With the sun and a very light wind, it was a great pleasure to be out on the road, even with the temperature at a rather meagre 5°C .  I was cycling down the road to Waterbeck when I noticed another fallen tree….

fallen tree Waterbeck road

…and I was very grateful firstly to the people who had cut it up so neatly and secondly that I hadn’t been cycling past it when it fell down straight across the road.  You can see the narrow but neat repair to the road that I enjoy cycling along.  It lasts for three miles.

I pedalled on through Waterbeck to Eaglesfield and then turned to come back through Gair. The Gair road had been closed for work last time I tried this route so I was keen to see what they had been doing.

It amazed me.

Gair road

They have put in a firm verge on one side of the road or the other for its whole length.  Then they had then put a bollard every twenty metres or so to stop anyone driving on it.  As the road is just under three and a half miles from junction to junction, they must have used hundreds of bollards.  (A quick calculation arrives at the rather disappointing total of about 270 if each gap really is 20m.)

I suspect that this work may be connected with the arrivals of windmills to a nearby new windmill farm.

As I pedalled home, the sun drifted behind the low haze and the light wind was in my face.  The mist was creeping in again as well…

Wauchope mist

…so I wasn’t unhappy to get home with just 26 miles on the clock.  Rather dispiritingly, I only took a few minutes less than it takes an elite runner to run the same distance but in these cold months, my old legs don’t work as well as they do when there is a bit of heat about.

The day had got too gloomy for another walk or any more cycling so I made a large pile of drop scones and ate them all (with a little help from Mrs Tootlepedal)

Other than that, the day drifted quietly away with an enjoyable and fruitful  visit from my flute pupil Luke and a couple of hours watching two episodes which we had recorded of the new series of The Bridge, the only TV drama which I watch.

After our brief spell of cold weather, we are now being promised temperatures up to 13°C in a day or two.  Goodness knows what the birds and plants think of this erratic pattern.

The flying bird of the day is a determined jackdaw.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Mist, a marathon but no tootle

    1. If the sun hadn’t been quite so hazy, the views would have been even better but I was pleased to be up on the hill at more or less the right moment. Our temperatures are shooting up again but I haven’t seen any cherry trees in bloom yet!

  1. That is a sweet photo of Matilda. They grow up so fast.

    Mist covered mountains – hauntingly beautiful, mists flowing through like a river in places. A good day for a large pile of drop scones.

  2. Very enjoyable! I liked to be able to look down on the misty valleys with you and am just as surprised as you at the proliferation of bollards all along the road. We are finding that roadworks are continuing into the winter months here as well. No doubt the mild weather has something to do with it. I love Matilda’s face in that photo and the flying jackdaw of the day is indeed determined. The details of the feet are good.

  3. What beautiful photographs from the Monument. Another postcard worthy shot. Matilda looks like she’s practicing her Christmas ‘face’. Never heard of a brambling what a spectacular bird/photo.

    1. The odd thing about bramblings is that they don’t look very much from a distance and can be mistaken for chaffinches but close up, they are very handsome.

  4. I really liked your panorama shot and the other “misty” pictures. And your narrative + photos from the lawn feeder were truly enjoyable.

  5. The mist adds quite a dramatic touch to the photos. While it’s near freezing (in the 60’s!) here finally, and the mountains have snow that I can see off in the distance, your 5 deg takes the prize for bicycling!

  6. So glad you climbed up to the monument, the pictures were beautiful to look at. Matilda looks a real sweetie and your view on the choir social was very neatly put.

  7. Love the picture of Matilda, and the mist is lovely. Jackdaws always looks so evil to me. The brambling is a new bird for me and very handsome.

    I’m confused by “bollards” which I thought were sturdy, permanent posts but I’m assuming you mean the orange things I’d call “traffic cones”?

  8. Some fine threatening jackdaw poses.
    Lovely picture of Matilda.
    You made the most of a misty day.
    Very mild here!

  9. I loved the determined jackdaw, but the landscape photos of the misty valley were spectacular!

    It may have been chilly, but it must also be nice to be able to get out for a ride during this time of year. Despite following your blog for a few years, I don’t know what a typical December is like there, but I can’t imagine cycling here the week before Christmas during most years.

    1. Our winter varies quite a lot. It is almost always grey and wet and cold but last year it didn’t freeze at all. We get less snow than we used to get but I am hoping for some snowy scenes this year. My cycling totals for December have varied between 270 miles and none at all over recent years. Ice is the main problem.

  10. What a cute picture of smiling Matilda. I do think it’s funny when they think they are hiding so well. The misty shots are beautiful, Tom. What a romantic looking landscape even though it’s chilly. You did a great job capturing that determined jackdaw shot and I think the bramblings are pretty little birds too.

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