Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my Friday orchestra, Alison and comes from her recent trip to NZ. It shows the dawn over Nelson.
We certainly had a brighter dawn here than we had yesterday and as a result, I was much cheerier all day. Sandy came round for coffee and while we were sipping and nibbling tasty biscuits, chaffinches flitted to and fro outside.
There were moments when the sun even threatened to come out.
A look at the weather forecast gave grounds for more optimism in the afternoon so after Sandy left, I pedalled down to the Co-op to do a little shopping, made a light lunch and occasionally looked out of the window at visitors while I waited for the sun to come out.
A sparrow showed off a nonchalant one handed landing technique….
…and a goldfinch flew in…..
…to a most unfriendly reception.
The sparrow did a very passable imitation of Fred Astaire.
The cheerful forecast proved to be a bit of a swindle and if anything, the afternoon became duller rather than brighter. Still, it was very warm for the time of year at 9°C so I went out for a walk up a hill.
I chose Warbla as my target and my first steps took me along the wall beside the park.
I like this wall a lot as it is always bursting with things to look at.
A single stone may have a whole world of interest on it.
There were some surprises as I went up the hill.
Why that one tree should have retained its berries when all around were bare is a mystery. Why a fungus halfway up a tree stump should be thriving after several frosts is another.
I followed the track up the hill as far as this tree….
…and then cut straight up the hill to the left until I came to the summit. The going underfoot was very good which was lucky as I was only wearing a pair of slip on shoes.
The view from the top however was not very exciting….
…as the cloud was creeping down onto the surrounding hills.
With no views to capture, I took the opportunity of testing the abilty of my mobile phone to remotely operate the camera. I connected the camera and phone wirelessly, put the camera on the trig point, walked away and used my phone to trigger the shutter.
It worked. I shall have to try to find a more productive use for this function.
You can see how warm it was for December. It won’t be often that you could stand up there with no hat or gloves in a steady breeze at this time of year and not feel the cold.
I took the same route back down to the track and then left the track again after a while and went straight down to the the gate onto the road at the Auld Stane Brig.
I took the chance to admire the wonderful complexity of the branch system of a tree on the hill just before the gate as I came down to it.
I was standing on the bridge, trying in vain to spot a very vocal bird when I was joined by an ex work colleague of Mrs Tootlepedal and we walked back along the road together which made a very pleasant end to an enjoyable walk.
It had got quite dark by the time that I got home so I had a cup of tea and then settled down to go through the eleven songs that I will be singing in the Carlisle Community Choir end of term concert tomorrow. It has been a busy time for song practice lately.
The garden picture of the day is neither flower nor leaf but it does have a bit of colour about it.
And the flying bird of the day is one of the reliable hovering chaffinches.