Today’s guest picture is a shy creature, spied on the edge of town by my friend Bruce.
We had another calm, dry day today but it was much too cold for me to think about cycling as it had been below zero over night and was still hovering at about 2° well into the morning. Under these circumstances, a visit from Dropscone for coffee was very welcome. (The scones were welcome too.)
He had been involved with telephone conversations with bureaucracy so was in need of strong coffee and a quiet sit down. Some light hail fell while he was with us but it had fortunately stopped before it was time for him to cycle home across town.
After he left, I had a short time to watch the birds….
…and I had a quick dash out into the garden to see what if anything was left after the night frost.
Not a lot.
Almost everything else was gone.
The main business of the morning was a visit to church for the funeral of our neighbour Marion, a stalwart of the local operatic society for many, many years. It is sad but inevitable that as you grow older yourself, going to funerals will become a more frequent occurrence.
With the temperature still at a measly 3° after lunch, I decided that a walk would be the thing to warm me up and set out to climb up past the golf course onto Whita Hill.
The sound of sweetly struck balls made me stop to have a look to see who was using the practice facility. It was Dropscone, trying to hone his game.
I watched him for a while, offering sound advice whether he wanted it or not and then walked up the practice fairway with him when he went collect his balls.
Looking back, I was reminded that if at Langholm Golf Club your game is not at its best, the views from the course always make up for it.
As he picked up his balls, I picked up my feet and headed up the Kirk Wynd and onto the hill.
I was surprised to see two flashes of yellow on my way.
I decided to walk along the side of the hill above the golf course using the green track to the quarry….
…which gives very good views back down to the town…
…even though there is always a pylon in the way.
As I came near to the wall at the quarry…
…a good number of birds flew up from the trees there. It was hard to see them clearly in the gloomy light but I think that they may be fieldfares…
…perhaps drawn by the berries still around. They might be redwings though.
I climbed over the stile at the wall and walked back down the hill. Bonfires were in fashion. One was just below me…
…and the other was further down the valley.
Far to the south, I could just see a snow capped peak in the Lake District.
After a last look at the town…
I dropped down into the woods, and passing the Round House, I took the track back to civilisation.
I had had a report of waxwings at the Co-op store so I walked down to the river through the car park but there were none to be seen this afternoon. I did see and hear a dipper standing on a rock in the river tweeting away like mad, but it was too gloomy to take a decent picture by this time.
As I crossed the suspension bridge, I noted a sign of the times.
According to the forecast, today may have been the calm before the storm as there is a good chance of waking up to sleet and snow tomorrow so what with the results of the American election to come as well, there is a lot to look forward to with various degrees of trepidation.
Mrs Tootlepedal had lit the stove in the front room just before I went out so at least I came home to find a very cosy atmosphere.
The flower(s) of the day are a pair of primulas which have come out just to welcome the cold weather.
…and the flying bird is two shots of the same coal tit. It is so rare to get even a half decent shot of one of these very nippy birds that I have put in both of the ones I got today. Sorry.