Today’s guest picture shows the marina at Willington, which was my brother’s ultimate objective on his cycle trip yesterday.
A sub zero but sunny morning gave me the task of clearing the ice from the car before Mrs Tootlepedal drove off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to see Matilda. One of the recent gales severely damaged a viaduct on the route and the railway has only just reopened. It is a relief that it is back on the go as getting to our nearest station now requires a round trip of just 36 miles rather than the 90 miles we needed when the line was closed.
After she left, the thermometer was still showing a minus value so I was pleased when Dropscone came round for coffee to help to pass the time. He is having to get used to leading a quiet life until his ribs are fully healed.
It was still only just above freezing when he left so I did the crossword and looked out of the window for a while.
So that I could do both things at the same time, I set the camera up on a tripod and used a remote control to fire it off. This is very relaxing but as you can’t look through the viewfinder while you are taking pictures, you can get some unintended shots.
The chilly weather brought a steady flow of traffic to the feeder.
Chaffinches hover all the time whether coming in from above….
There is no shortage of bad manners when the feeders are busy.
In the end, the temperature reached 2°C and I decided on a short walk before lunch. Before I tucked Newcam into my pocket, I pointed it at the feeder just to see what would happen.
I decided to walk along the Esk, over the Duchess Bridge, round the pheasant hatchery and back by the Kilngreen. On my way out I saw a few things of minor interest…
….stopped once to get a view of the Duchess Bridge from below….
…and again to admire the snowdrops at Holmhead.
And on the way back some contrasting moss on a tree stump looked attractive…
…and two mallards on the Ewes water might almost have been cloned in Photoshop.
At the meeting of the waters, I saw not just one or two oyster catchers…
…but three, although they wouldn’t all look up at the same time.
To be even handed, I took pictures of three black headed gulls having a quick shake and shower in the Esk below the Town Bridge.
I got back in perfect time for a bowl of leek, chick pea and potato soup, kindly left for me by Mrs Tootlepedal who had used Dropscone’s gift of leeks to make it.
Then I got out the slow bike and pottered round the town doing some business and shopping before setting off for a sight seeing trip up the Wauchope road. I visited my favourite cascade just to show how quickly the rivers go down after a few dry days.
The low water gave me a chance to consider the forces which bent the strata beside the stream.
The Wauchope is a very short river, running for only three miles. It is fed by two main tributaries and I cycled up them both in turn for a while.
I got to the top of Callister and then turned and rushed home to be in time in case Scottish Power rang at four o’clock.
Mrs Tootlepedal got home safely after having a fun time with Matilda and crossing the repaired viaduct very slowly both times.
In the evening we went to see a production of As You Like It recorded at the National Theatre in London and shown on the screen at the Buccleuch Centre. We liked it a lot.
The flying bird of the day is one of the gently hovering chaffinches.