A winter’s tale

squirrel

Today’s guest picture shows a friendly squirrel which approached my sister Mary in the hope of a snack.

squirrel

After yesterday’s gloomy and damp afternoon, I was more than pleased to wake up to this view from the bedroom window this morning.

Whita in snow

After breakfast (and a little lie down to get my strength up), I looked out of the kitchen window….

Robin

…to see some visitors….

blackbird

..and then set off to climb up to the monument to enjoy the snowscape.

It didn’t take me long to be able to look back over the town.

Langholm in snow

My route ahead was a challenge.

Whita in snow

But I plugged away and in the course of time was able to enjoy the views from the top of the hill.  I looked east into the Tarras valley….

Tarras in snow

…and north up the Ewes valley.

Ewes valley

I would have liked to linger a little longer but there was a brisk and biting north easterly wind blowing…

trig point whita in snow

monument in snow

…so I was soon on my way back down amid the snow covered tussocks.

snowy tussocks, Whita

Luckily I had my Yaktrax in my pocket and I put them on for the downhill section.  They were useful and I leapt from boulder to tussock with great confidence.

Near the end, I walked down the golf course which wasn’t looking quite as green as it was yesterday…

golf course in snow

…and got home in time for lunch.  I was very grateful for my new knee as I wouldn’t have been able to contemplate this walk last year.

I had time to look out of the window again….

chaffinches in winter sun

greenfinch

…before I had to go off to see the dentist for a routine check up.    Sadly, I am going to have to go back and see him again soon.

It was such a lovely day that when I got back, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal to come out for a walk round Gaskell’s.

We noticed a huge and quite old fungus on a tree stump which we have passed many times.  It has been hidden until recently by some scrub which has now been cleared.

fungus

 It was very nice to be out in the sun but we had to keep our eyes down as the tracks and paths were very icy in places.  It was a relief to come out on the road at the Auld Stane Bridge where we could look about and walk at the same time.

It was hard to relate my snowy morning walk to the mellow sunshine on the fields beside the road.

Wauchope field

..but we had a glimpse of Whita and the golden light as we came back into the town.

whita and meikleholm

Using his advanced tea kettle detector skills, Mike Tinker arrived just as the pot was being filled and enjoyed a slice of Selkirk bannock with his cuppa.  He told us that an article in his morning paper had said that the hair frost, which I had seen yesterday, was present in dead branches which had been infected with a certain fungus and this fungus had caused the holes through which the frozen moisture is exuded.

In the evening, we went off to the Ewes SWRI Burns supper where we had an excellent meal, listened to some well delivered speeches, were enthralled by Grace’s renowned recitation of Tam o’ Shanter and generally had a good time.  Luke and I played four tunes on our flutes.  Luke played very well throughout and I played better for the second pair than I did for the first two.  It was incredibly hot in the hall and it took me a bit of time to get the feel right.

It was -4°C when we came out.    Definitely a winter’s day today.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

I owe Evelyn Carlyle a deep apology as I inadvertently put her embroidery into last night’s post upside down.  I blame the lateness of the hour, old age and natural stupidity on my part.  I have rectified this in the post and put it here the right way up .

Evelyn Carlyle embroidery

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “A winter’s tale

  1. A lovely wintery tale! I like seeing snowy landscapes because seeing them here, ever, is less likely. I liked the massive fungus, and of course, the visiting birds.

  2. Well done for climbing up the hill in the snow – well worth it for the splendid views.
    Glad you and Luke successfully brought off your flute pieces well, in spite of the hot hall.

  3. You received the snow that you had been hoping for, just the right amount from the look of your beautiful landscape photos! Even better, you had some great light to work with, especially the last photo of Whita.

  4. The embroidery was put the same way up in your last post or I am seeing wrong? Beautiful wintery photos and what a pleasant evening you have had. Love the birds too.

  5. That is a rather plump squirrel – seems like the mild winter is suiting them well. Sadly no Burns supper for us this year – how many are you making it to? Evelyn’s embroidery is splendid – a very impressive reproduction of your photo.

  6. I like to think of you galloping down the hill. Hooray for knee-surgery! Sorry you have to re-visit the dentist. Richard visited the dentist today and has to have two more visits to have a crown fitted. Beautiful snowy vistas and some lovely bird photos too.

  7. Beautiful landscape shots, Tom. You’ve caught the light wonderfully in them. The old fungus is a cracker. I wonder how long it’s been there. Don’t worry about the picture being upside-down. We’ve all done that I’m sure. When I published my latest post I had one upside-down too! I’ve fixed it now though. It’s a gorgeous embroidery. 🙂

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