Today’s guest picture shows more of the endlessly sunny weather that Dropscone is having to put up with in Malta.
In fact we too had to put up with some sunny weather here today. This came as a bit of a shock but the kindly authorities, worried in case we became too excited, took it away after lunch and covered it up with cloud again.
While the sun was out, I watched a blackbird in the plum tree wondering whether he too could try the feeder.
He thought better of it and flew off elsewhere.
I put on my walking shoes and went off to make the most of what sunshine there was going to be by walking up to the top of Warbla. With the temperature at only 1°C, I was a bit worried about icy conditions underfoot but it turned out to be a perfect day for walking.
Others had had the same idea….
…but they had got up a good deal earlier than me and were coming back down from the top. They told me that they had met a gang of ramblers at the summit but they must have chosen a more adventurous down because I saw no sign of them.
I met some sheep too. They were lurking under some trees, well shaded from any sunshine….
…but they seemed quite content, munching away on the reeds.
The views from the summit were as rewarding as ever.
Although it only a small hill, you get fine views in almost every direction and in spite of the snow capped hills in the distance, it was warm enough to let me stop and enjoy them all.
Juts in case Dropscone reads this post in far away Malta, I took a shot of the golf course, still a brilliant green while the surrounding fields lose their colour.
It was only half an hour off midday but the sun rises so little into the sky at this time of the year that the fence posts round the mast were casting long shadows.
It is at times like this that we remember that we live on the 55th parallel north, level with Canada, the very south of Alaska and much of Russia. We are not far south of Moscow and if it wasn’t for the warming waters of the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current, I wouldn’t be looking at these pleasant scenes at all.
As one of the possibilities of the current rate of global warming is that the Gulf Stream may be switched off before it reaches us, I am thinking of buying some extra big wellies just in case.
The stroll back down was as pleasant as the walk up but it was noticeable that anywhere that the sun hadn’t reached, was still frozen.
I left the track and walked across the frozen grass down to Gaskell’s walk which runs beside the Wauchope Water.
I passed this fine tree….
…and went along the track. My main object was to look at the cracks at the top of the walk that my neighbour Liz had pointed out but there was a lot of hair frost to look at on the way.
This was the most impressive. It is hard to believe that such a slender branch could exude so much moisture.
When I got to the spot, the crack was quite impressive too.
If you look closely, you can see that a little slump has occurred and half the path has dropped a little at the far end. There was an mention of this in our local paper this morning with a note that those in charge of these things are considering what it might cost to effect a repair. You can get an idea of how steep the bank is from the picture and it runs right down to the river about 100 feet below so the cost might be considerable.
The mosses on the park wall had been dealt a blow by the frost so I focused on some neat leaves instead.
It was time for lunch when I got back and then the rest of the day was spent making marmalade. We started with this….
…and ended some hours later, sticky but happy, with this.
Fourteen jars should keep us going for a bit. The taste test comes tomorrow morning.
During the day I got an email from my friend Bruce with an interesting pair of pictures in it. He had been to visit a friend, Evelyn Carlyle, on the other side of the county and found that she had used this picture of mine from a post in November….
…as the basis for an embroidery. After painting the basic colours onto Bondaweb, she used fabric, wool and threads to achieve her effect. She used free motion machine stitching and used feather stitch, granite stitch and some vermicelli stitch. Here is the result.
I was very pleased that someone had found a picture of mine interesting enough to embroider. I liked the result too.
I did manage a flying bird of the day between the mountaineering and the marmalade.