Today’s guest picture comes from a visit by my Newcastle correspondent to the Washington Wildfowl Centre (the real Washington, not the one in America). It was ideal as one of her children is a wildlife fan and the other likes Lego. Win, win.
I am trying to make inroads into my newspaper index backlog by making sure that I put a week into the database before I am allowed out on my bike. I managed to put a week in this morning and then make bread and go for a routine visit to the health centre before making some vegetable soup for lunch so there wasn’t much time for pedalling…or looking out of the window.
It wasn’t that there weren’t a lot of birds about….
…(I counted 32 in this shot (including our brambling) and it was like this for most of the day) it was just that I didn’t have time.
I finally got the bike going after lunch. The forecast had suggested that there might be some heavy showers about so I was very flexible in my route planning. This was just as well because there were some very black looking clouds about when I got 10 miles out of the town.
The advantage of cycling over walking in this sort of weather is that you may have the legs to outrun or dodge some nasty looking weather so after a quick stop to admire a gorse bush…
…I picked a route that looked to pass between a couple of the least aggressive looking rain showers. It worked out well because after a fifteen minute splash through rain, I came out on the other side into first a light drizzle and then some pleasant sunshine.
I kept a weather eye out for any more threatening formations and picked a route that got me home dry. It wasn’t always a certainty…
…but some careful zigzagging brought me out above the Wauchope valley with four miles to get home in beautiful sunshine.
I even had time to stop and admire some wild flowers in the verge.
I was pretty pleased with my navigation as I had expected a thoroughgoing soaking more than once on the way round but I was even more pleased to find that the 35 miles had taken me up to exactly 500 miles for the month. I haven’t managed to hit this magic figure since September last year and indeed only managed it that once in the whole of 2015. Perhaps this is an augury that we are in for a better year of weather in 2106. I hope so.
Feeling that the post would be a bit colourless, I popped out into the garden to take a couple of flower pictures before tea just to brighten things up a bit.
I had time for a shower and a quick meal and then we went off to a practice for our local choir, Langholm Sings.
We were delighted to welcome two new members to the choir and I was particularly pleased as one of them was a tenor with a nice voice who can read music. Such people are very scarce.
We had a useful practice and got through a power of work so that rounded of a busy day very well.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.
An update on my son Alistair’s health: He went to the doctor who diagnosed (this is the technical term) ‘gunk’ in the bottom of his lungs and gave him some big pills. The medicine is working and he is feeling quite a bit better. He very much appreciates the kind thoughts that have winged his way across the ether.