Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia’s recent visit to Madeira. As well as an abundance of fruit and veg in the market, she even had a personal rainbow.
We had another calm, sunny day today but it was the coldest yet with the temperature struggling to get above zero all day.
In the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to have coffee with friends and I stayed at home watching the birds in silhouette.
Some were familiar in spite of their disguise…
…but others were stranger.
I had to look up into the plum tree to see the scene in full colour.
We had a small invasion of starlings and the mystery silhouette above was one of them.
Not long after Mrs Tootlepedal returned, I went off for a walk.
It seemed to me that it might be a good day to see hair ice as it appears on days when the temperature is around zero. I was lucky.
I walked along this track…
….passing many frozen plants on the shady side of the path on my way.
Then I went through the Kernigal wood and came out onto the forestry track on the far side. In the shade of the trees it was icy cold but when I got into the sunshine, it was a different world.
The larch trees have not lost all their needles yet.
I could see the march wall climbing up Whita hill on the other side of the valley. This marked the border between the Buccleuch lands and the Maxwell lands in time gone by.
The sharp eyed may just be able to make out the stile which crosses the wall just below the trees in the centre of the picture.
I followed the track down to Skipperscleuch….
….then took the track down to the main road, admiring another artistic puddle as I went…
..and finally crossed Skippers Bridge and went to have a look at the bridge from the water’s side.
To my surprise, I could still find a crop of fungus on the river bank which I had noticed on my last visit. I thought that the frosts would have done for it but it seemed to be in good health.
I walked back into town along the river bank and completed the journey via the Kilngreen and the Jubilee Bridge.
Yesterday’s walk was about four and a half miles and today’s was just under four miles so although I haven’t got any cycling in because of the low temperatures, at least I have been able to get some enjoyable exercise in good conditions. The two walks are a tribute to my tin knee as I was able to (relatively) skip over some rough ground on the hill yesterday and through the wood today in a way which would have unimaginable two years ago.
I had a late lunch when I got back and then made a fruity malt loaf in the bread machine and wasted the rest of the afternoon doing some pro sitting down and resting.
I did get out of my chair for long enough to check on two of the many blackbirds which are flitting around in the garden at the moment.
In the evening, Mike and Alison Tinker came to visit. This was the traditional Friday visit for conversation and music and was all the more welcome for being the first for some time as they have been away in New Zealand visiting their son and his family there.
Alison and I eased ourselves back into musical mode and came to the conclusion that we need to settle down to some regular practice now things are back to normal. Even so, we had a great deal of fun playing Rameau and Telemann among others.
Once again there is no leaf of the day (they were all frozen) but I did find a flying gull as I passed the Kilngreen on my walk.