Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Ely. The town lies on the Great Ouse, possibly my favourite name for any river.
Some forecasts were very accurate and this was the view from the bedroom window when we got up this morning.
The snow had got a little closer to home. It hadn’t quite reached the streets of the town so Mrs Tootlepedal was able to cycle off to the hairdresser’s in complete safety. It was even above freezing at 3°C. I watched the birds for a bit while she was out.
There are still not as many birds in the garden as I would expect at this time of year but there was a steady stream of the usual suspects…
…and some arrivals came in at sufficient speed to startle the bird on the other side of the feeder into dropping its seed.
By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal returned, the temperature had reached 4°C and since it was almost windless, it seemed that a pedal was called for. Just out of the town the road sides were well covered in snow but the road itself was clear and cycling was no problem.
I did three laps of the Wauchope Schoolhouse road again to get my twenty miles as I didn’t trust the roads over the hills not to be icy…
…but I did go up the hill past the Schoolhouse far enough to get a look back towards the town.
I stopped to capture one of the last bits of colour beside the road…
…that is except for the larches which you can see in the background. They are at their best.
The snow beside the road was visibly vanishing as I pedalled and by the time that I got home, the thermometer was showing a balmy 5°C and Mrs Tootlepedal was out in the garden distributing rough compost as mulch on as many beds as she could. She had cleared quite a few plants out and I helped out with a little shredding and a little compost wrangling.
I had a quick lunch and a shower and then went down to the river before the light faded completely. I was hoping to see the dipper that I met on yesterday’s walk and not only did I see it but I saw another one as well.
They were both extremely vocal and I don’t know whether they were claiming territory or singing love songs but you couldn’t fail to hear them.
On the other side of the suspension bridge, the low water in the river has provided many convenient rocks for perching on.
One had a special guest looking a bit distrait I thought.
Gulls flew overhead but it was too gloomy to get a picture of them as you can see.
I didn’t stay out long and was soon back inside, toasting my toes at a warm stove.
In the evening I went out again, this time to our Langholm Sings choir practice. We are getting rather short of singers so if any local readers fancy having a go at some singing, they would find themselves more than welcome. The choir welcomes singers of all ability and none. Anyone can learn to sing if I can.
While we were gardening, I was thinking that all the flowers had gone past their best by some way and was preparing to have a leaf of the day instead of a flower of the day….
…when Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out a clematis in fine form. The flower was well protected by other foliage and was lying very near the ground so that was what had saved it perhaps.
Anyway, here is the flower of the day (ignore the leaf above)….
…and here is the flying bird of the day, with its eye very much on the prize.