Today’s guest picture is a taster from Sandy’s visit to the other side of the Atlantic. He claims it is Las Vegas but I seem to have seen that statue somewhere before.
Our spell of calm, dry weather continued today with the added benefit of temperatures remaining well above freezing.
I had a gently full day which started with a visit on my slow bike to the High Street to take some folded picture cards to the paper shop. I continued in a circle past the cash machine and our corner shop, topping up with necessities at both.
I then spent some time looking out of the kitchen window. I set the camera up on a tripod and waited. Normally going to the trouble of putting the camera on a tripod means that there will be no birds to watch while it is up and just recently, birds have been hard to find anyway so I wasn’t very positive.
For some reason though, today was the day and there was steady procession of obliging chaffinches, coming and going….
…for the whole time that I was watching.
Each chaffinch took up a different position as it approached the feeder…
…and I clicked away happily.
It came as quite a surprise when one actually paused for a moment on the feeder.
I could have done with the weather being a bit brighter….
…but otherwise I couldn’t complain.
The chaffinches kept coming.
And all the chaffinch pictures above were taken in a four minute period. Sometimes I wait for ages and no flying birds are available.
After a while, other birds arrived and the feeder became a centre for cross cultural conversation.
I had a cup of coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal, did the crossword and then pottered around putting on cycling gear and pumping up my tyres until I finally got out for a ride just before midday.
I took the well travelled route across the hill and down to the bottom of the Canonbie bypass, returning by the old A7 and managed to maintain a very steady and respectable (for me) speed throughout. I didn’t stop for any pictures but I had to stop whether I liked it or not when my front mudguard finally broke catastrophically. I have been patching the mudguard up with tape for some time but this fracture was fatal and I threw the thing away in a handy litter bin and cycled home with a naked front wheel.
I will have to do something about this because cycling on wet roads getting soaked by a shower of my own making is not among the things that I find attractive.
After lunch and shower, I visited the offices of our local paper. On my way, I was waylaid by a couple of vocal robins.
After continuous publication since 1848, our local paper, The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is facing closure later this month by its present owners, a Carlisle local newspaper group. The editor is trying to ensure that the extensive photographic archive stays in the town so I went to see what the Archive Group could do to help.
After a constructive conversation, I went off for a short walk in the gathering gloom. As I passed the ducks on the Kilngreen, they took exception to my presence and dived off into the river.
On a grey day, I had to find any colour where I could.
There was certainly hardly any to be seen on the Lodge Walks….
…or on the hills.
A little brightness was provided by a snowberry bush on the bank of the Esk.
When I got home, I thought of making crumpets to cheer myself up but it seemed like a rather elaborate process so instead, I made some dough in the bread machine which turned into bread rolls later in the evening.
In the meantime, a good dish of macaroni cheese for my tea made up for any crumpet deficiency and the evening was rounded off very well by a visit from Alison and Mike Tinker.
Alison and I tinkled and tootled away cheerfully and occasionally correctly on electric harpsichord and flute and then we joined Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal for conversation.
Any day with a pedal and a tootle is a good day by definition but when it is a dry, calm day in December with added chaffinches and conversation, it is a very good day indeed.
The leaves of the day are provided by a lithodora, looking healthy beside our drive…
…and the flying bird is one of the obliging chaffinches trying out a new “no tail” flying style.