Today’s guest picture shows the Cutty Sark, much restored and now resting on top of a visitor centre at Greenwich. My sister Mary took the shot a few days ago.
The temperature here rose into double figures, propelled by warm air from the Canary Islands sweeping up over the whole country. In the north east of Scotland, the temperature rose by 20°C from one day to the next.
The warmth would have been more welcome here if it hadn’t been accompanied by some brisk winds and the thickest and lowest clouds imaginable. I went out for a walk just after lunch and when I tried to take a picture, my camera told that I was attempting a ‘hand held night shot’ which gives some idea of the encircling gloom.
Still, although I couldn’t take a picture of a moving bird today, even with the ISO at 5000….
…it did mean that I had time to do something useful.
I wrote a couple of letters to local funders on behalf of the Archive Group, put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and did some serious singing practice for two concerts at the end of this week with two different choirs.
I did look out of the window from time to time and very occasionally there were a few birds about….
…but this was the only time that I saw five birds on it and the combination of wind and rain meant that the seed had hardly gone down at all by the end of the day.
I also tried my hand at making crumpets. This turned out very badly and next time I feel like a crumpet, I shall go to a shop and buy one.
As I said, I did go for a walk in the afternoon and got quite wet with that persistent drizzle that doesn’t feel too bad while you are but leaves you soaking wet when you get home.
The hills were not available for viewing…..
…and although the overnight rain had put a little water into the Esk, it didn’t look very happy about it.
The one thing that the wind and rain had done was to knock the remaining leaves of the trees….
…leaving the bare bones to be seen. I like trees in the winter.
I was surprised to see a bit of fungus still on the go here and there in the deep recesses of a wood….
…but there was not much else to catch the eye.
The ends of the felled trees along the Lodge walks provide a sort of Rorschach blot test for the walker.
I thought I saw a graceful swan sailing serenely onwards when I first looked at this one but now I see a winged horse savagely attacking a pheasant. Is this what cooking crumpets unsuccessfully does to your psyche?
Here’s two more.
I was looking at a nature website last night and it suggested that a good task for the week would be to find some spleenwort and suggested that I look at a wall. I looked at a wall at the end of the Lodge Walks…
…and found lots. I think that this is maidenhair spleenwort.
It hadn’t got any brighter by the time that I got round to the Kilngreen.
…and it was definitely raining by this time so I didn’t linger and hurried home.
After my disastrous crumpet experiment (I now have several spare projectiles for a ballista if anyone wants them), I went off to the final practice of our Langholm choir before our Christmas concert at Canonbie church on Friday. I would like to say that I was note perfect by the end but that would be paltering with the truth a bit. Still, it shouldn’t be too bad and I have got a couple more days to smooth off the rough edges.
The leaves of the day are from the clematis over the back door. Yesterday they were on the plant, today they are on the doorstep.
The flying bird is perching.
As a footnote I might add that such is the wonder of the internet that by the time that evening came, I had received a very generous response from one of the funders that I had approached by email in the morning. The work of the Archive Group will continue.