No guest picture today but a picture of an intriguing present instead. Our older son gave Mrs Tootlepedal a jigsaw puzzle and she has just started out on it. I hope to reveal the picture as the puzzle is solved.
Our Boxing day weather can best be described as mixed, with sunshine, sleet, rain and wind all coming and going as the day went on.
Other things came and went as well. I thought that I was looking at a standard clump of chaffinches when I checked out the feeder….
…but a second look showed me that there was a brambling at the back. It stepped forward for a solo performance later on.
That was good as I always like to watch bramblings but even better was to follow when an odd shape caught my eye.
It was a pair of long tailed tits, exceedingly infrequent visitors to the garden. Another arrived a moment later. I have only had two other pictures of long tailed tits on the blog since I started (and neither of them very good at all). There have been reports of them round the town so I hope that now that they have found the feeder, we may see them again.
Hedge and house sparrows were also to be seen….
And very sportingly, the Christmas robin put in an extra shift.
Once again the brisk jet stream was driving fronts over our heads in a lively fashion and when a burst of blue sky appeared, I took the opportunity to nip out for a walk.
It was colder than it has been lately and although the sky was blue….
…and there was fungus still to be see on tree stumps, there was also snow to be seen on the surrounding summits.
My plan was to walk up to the top of Timpen….
…and enjoy the views but even as I looked up at the top of the hill, I could see grey cloud building up from the west. I didn’t fancy getting caught in a snow storm so I turned to my right and walked down the track to the Bentpath road.
On the other side of the river, Castle Hill looked calm enough….
…but I found myself walking through a sleety drizzle before I even got to the road. I paused for a while when I reached it….
…being distracted by moss on a wall but then decided to take the rather muddy track through the woods above the river which leads down to the Duchess Bridge.
I was able to fashion a handy walking stick from a fallen branch and with its help, I got down to the riverside without falling over.
The recent rain has put some life back into the little streams that run off the hillsides…..
…so I had a gentle musical accompaniment to my walk.
I was trying to take a suitably Gothic picture of a tree draped in hanging moss and lichen near the bridge when a lone fungus on one of its branches caught my eye….
…and I took that instead.
My route choice turned out to have been very sensible as the trees protected me from any rainfall and when I emerged into the town, the sun came out again.
There were no dippers to be seen today and I just made it home before the rain started off once more…
…and so I had a light lunch and settled down to doing another (enormous) prize crossword, grazing on various chocolates and other sweets which Santa had brought and then watched interesting and cheerful things on the telly.
The wind is due to drop tomorrow as the storms give us a break and I am hoping to be able to summon up the energy for a bicycle ride, if I can still remember how to ride a bike.
The leaves of the day are from a viburnum looking very perky, I thought…
….and the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.