Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo Abbott, a Canadian reader, who must be visiting London as she sent me this picture of a Canada goose in Regent’s Park. These Canadians get everywhere.
Our day started very well as far as the weather went and the view from the bridge as I walked back from taking the car to the garage to get its winter tyres on might make you wonder whether winter tyres were necessary at all.
In spite of the sunshine though, it was pretty chilly and I had had to wipe the frost off the windscreen before taking the car out. The Buccleuch Park looked at its best as I passed it on my way home.
It was too cold for a pedal as I am very anxious to avoid cycling in anything like icy conditions so I was very happy to wait in for Dropscone to arrive with the traditional Friday treacle scones.
He came early as he had to be back to wait for a parcel delivery and my vague plan was to think about a pedal when he had left. However, it was still on the chilly side so I set about shifting compost instead. Because it has been so dry lately, the compost is reasonably light to shift and I managed to shift all of Bin C into the recently emptied Bin D and even moved a little of Bin B into Bin C.
Then I needed a little sit down.
The garage rang to say that the car was ready so I walked up and got it and when I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal came out to admire it because the garage had kindly washed it for us and it was looking unusually smart. While we were out, we did some more compost shifting, emptying a plastic barrel with some of the contents going straight onto a bed and some being added to Bin C. I took the chance to shift a bit more of Bin B into Bin C and with luck should be able to finish the job tomorrow.
Then I needed another little sit down.
I managed to rouse myself enough to have a little lunch and a look at the birds.
I always like it if I can catch a bird in the act of landing.
While I was looking at the feeder, I noticed that the nerines below the feeder seemed to have lost their flowers and given themselves over to berry production and went out to look.
Checking the forecast and seeing that there was no rain predicted for a couple of hours, I popped upstairs and put on my cycling gear and came down again to find it was raining. A look outside confirmed that there was a lot of very grey cloud about so I went back up and took my cycling gear off. I came back downstairs, looked outside and found that it had stopped raining. How I laughed.
It still looked very gloomy so I picked up an umbrella in one hand and a camera in the other and went for a walk, planning to keep going until it started to rain again.
I needed the umbrella on occasion to help me keep my balance when scrambling about beside the river but I could have left it at home otherwise as I walked for just under three miles with the skies getting ever darker but with no sign of rain at all.
My Lumix peered valiantly through the gloom as I went along.
I walked through the park and along the Murtholm track…
….admiring a pretty umbellifer and some brilliant holly berries…
…before stopping to look at Skippers Bridge from the town side for once.
The damage from last winter’s floods looks a bit alarming…
…and we are all surprised that the road authorities haven’t done any repairs during this recent dry and settled spell.
The view through the bridge was delightful even on such a grey day.
I went over the bridge and down to the river on the far side and saw one salmon leap out of the water twice (or perhaps two salmon leaping once each) but couldn’t get my camera focussed in the right place at the right time to record this. I hung around for a while in hope and then, thinking that I might as well try to get home while it was still dry, gave up and walked up the steps onto the old railway…
…and came home via the Round House and Hallpath.
There were some fine birch polypores in the woods to see on the way.
There was the odd flower to be seen too….
…as well as neat hedges…
…and a good view over the old Waverley Mill.
It was so dark that it felt as though it was quite late in the evening when I got home but it was only three o’clock and a reminder that I will need to get started promptly if I am going to cycle in the afternoon now. I haven’t got a proper set of lights for pedalling on country roads in the dark.
I put in some time practising songs for our Carlisle choir as we have got quite a lot to prepare for our Christmas concert and then rang up the Archive Centre power company with some meter readings. They offered to tell me what our account balance was but sadly but predictably they were unable to work it out and said that they would write to me. I put the phone down quickly before I got angry again and did some more of that sitting down which is so attractive when you get to my age and have to deal with utility companies.
In the evening, I made some more apple fritters, which went down very well with Mrs Tootlepedal (and me) and then sat down to watch the telly for a bit. There was a good programme on the Scottish countryside (which included a brief visit to the spot where Dropscone and his daughter were recently on holiday) and this was followed by some live track cycling from Glasgow so it was a better evening than usual on the box.
The flower of the day is a winter jasmine outside our back door….
…and the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.