Thereby hangs a tail


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.

long tailed tits

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….

dunnock and sparrow

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.

Whita with snow

 Golf hill

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….

Castle Hill

…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….

moss on a wall at Breckonwrae

…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.

Walk 2

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….

fungus on branch

…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.

Langholm Bridge

There were no dippers to be seen today and I just made it home before the rain started off once more…

coal tit

…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.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Thereby hangs a tail

  1. Jigsaws. One year as a Christmas present, we were given a puzzle with Dalmatian dogs as the theme. On both sides. And to add to the difficulty, the images were rotated 90 degrees. It defeated us, but not our jigsaw-loving neighbour. Even though completion took her three days.

  2. I look forward to seeing the evolution of the jigsaw. Such diversions are impossible in my household, as the two cats are too keen to help.

  3. I like the shots of the snow on the hills. If only ours would stay on the hills.
    The narrow trail on the hillside looks like the one that was in danger of washing away at one point. If it’s the same one they must have stabilized it.
    The robin looks like it’s smiling.

  4. Kudos to Christmas Robin for the extra shift and another fine pose. Glad the long-tailed tits visited and you sighted them, hope they revisit often. How interesting the fungus on the branch above, great upshot capture!

  5. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Hedge Sparrow. Congratulations on the Brambling and the Long-Tailed Tits as well. Your moss is well ahead of the patch I found this morning, but looks to be very similar.

  6. Lovely pictures as one is used to on your blog. Viewing at the picture of the Telford bridge I noticed again the tower of the deserted church still in scaffolding. Seems to be a real eyesore. How long is it this way already and is there any movement to change this desolate state? Mrs T. has my compassion as someone presented me as well with a 1500piece puzzle. The world can be cruel!

    1. The church has been under scaffolding for years now. The spire is considered dangerous but no one is able to find a use for the building and as it is a listed building, removing the spire is not permitted. A very silly situation all round.

      I hope that your puzzle easily falls into place.

  7. I look forward to seeing more of the jigsaw puzzle as it progresses.
    Very attractive snow-covered hills. Glad the robin came out to pose.

  8. A real Christmas present for all to enjoy the lovely photos of the brambling, the sparrows, the long tailed tit and the robin…such a selection! Good luck with the jigsaw…patience is a virtue…….!

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