I am a bit short of guest pictures at the moment so I have gone to my files to find this fine ‘Burning Bush’ photographed by my sister Mary in Regent’s Park in January.
For the second day running we had a very fine, sunny day with large quantities of blue sky, absolutely free at the point of use.
What made the day even better was that it was calm and after the persistent winds that we have been used to, this was a rare and precious gift.
After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda and I would have liked to go cycling in the sunshine but a thermometer reading of 1°C stopped me. The cautionary tale of Dropscone, who appeared for coffee nursing several bumps and bruises after falling off his bike on an icy patch in the town yesterday, emphasised the need for caution.
As a result, when Dropscone left after coffee, I left my bike in the garage and went for a short walk round the pheasant hatchery to see what I could see.
The pheasant shooting season is over and the pheasants have taken to attacking each other now that no one is shooting at them. These two were going at it like hammer and tongs.
I did see some hair ice on my walk….
….and I enjoyed looking at Timpen in the sun.
There was a lot of bird song as a musical accompaniment to my stroll. Usually, I cannot pick out the singers in the trees at all but today the lack of leaves and the good light let me spot two of them.
They were both high in trees beside the path but obligingly stopped long enough for a quick snap.
There were many bunches of snowdrops which were defying the cold weather and enjoying the sunshine.
When I got home, I had a quick look to see if the sun had encouraged any flowers in the garden. It had.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s avenue of snowdrops is looking promising too. If the sunny weather continues, it should be worth a photo very soon.
I went in to have some lunch, do the crossword and occasionally peer out of the kitchen window.
I had hoped for the temperature after lunch to reach five degrees to let me out on the bike with some peace of mind but it remained obstinately around 4°C and I settled for another walk instead. Timpen, the hill that I had photographed on my morning walk, had looked so inviting that I climbed its summit.
The ground was just frozen enough to let me waltz gaily over soggy patches and leap from tussock to tussock with many a merry laugh. This was when I wasn’t puffing and blowing my way up the hillside of course.
Once I got to the summit, I enjoyed the views.
The town lay below me, tucked away in the valley.
I decided to walk over the summit and down on the north side of the hill to reach the road at the quarry…
…which I could see below.
The hill is steep sided here so I traversed across the slope, losing a little height with every step. The veiws continued to delight.
Occasional clouds produced strong contrasts and made taking pictures tricky. As I descended I could see accommodation for sheep and mill owners.
I arrived safely at the road and followed it back to town, stopping for a look at the rock exposed in the quarry.
As I walked along the road above the river, I considered the state of the fence beside it….
Each dip in the fence shows where the bank on the far side has slipped away. It is a wonder to me that the road hasn’t slipped away with it.
I was passing the manse when the minister came out to enquire why I wasn’t cycling. He sympathised with my caution and introduced me to one of his chickens. He is a great chicken fancier and keeps several unusual birds. This one…
..is a German Langshan.
Once I got home, I found the the power company had once again phoned while I was out and once again had refused to leave a contact number. I presume that they expect me to sit quietly at home for eight working days, waiting patiently until they call. Would it kill them to say, “We will ring tomorrow between thee and four,” for example? Obviously it would, as that would suit the customer more than the customer service team and that would never do.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Edinburgh and I was taken to Carlisle by Susan for a meeting of our recorder group. Our usual host Jenny was unavailable so we met at Heather’s and enjoyed playing some of our pieces with her keyboard accompaniment which made for an enjoyable session.
I was never in at quite the right time to catch a good flying bird today so this fuzzy chaffinch will have to do.
Here is a link to Sandy’s post about our day out yesterday among the squirrels