Today’s guest picture was taken yesterday by my neighbour Gavin, who was walking behind us back from the Market Place after the band had played. He describes what he saw as ‘a rose between two thorns’. Rather rude I thought.
We had another lovely sunny day today but with added ice…
…which we haven’t seen for some time.
The wind was light though and Alistair, Matilda and I went to visit the park again. The play equipment was too iced up to play on so we did walking instead and after some initial wariness in case of slipping, Matilda took to breaking the ice in any puddle we met with great gusto.
Sadly the fun had to go unrecorded as I failed to put a card into my camera. There were hundreds of puddles so we had a busy walk.
We got back in time for a quick look at the birds….
….followed by lunch and then all too soon, it was time for our visitors to go back to Edinburgh. We waved them goodbye and went inside sadly and then a few minutes later, we waved them goodbye again when they had come back and collected a forgotten item.
Although the walk yesterday and two days of grandparenting had both been fun, they had also both been quite hard work and the thought of a quiet sit down was quite attractive. On the other hand, the weather was so good that a walk seemed almost compulsory.
I rang Sandy and soon afterwards, we drove down to the Hollows in his car.
On one side of the river, Hollows Mill was looking impressive…
…and on the other, the little wood where the original tower once stood was looking lovely.
Sandy noticed a most unusual bird in one of the trees.
We parked at the gate to the old road…
…and walked the two mile circuit along the road, up the Byre Burn track past the Fairy Loup and back down the road past the old station.
The wall along the old A7 was full of interest…
…but it was nothing compared to the unexpected appearance on twigs all the way up the Fairy Loup track of any amount of ice hair.
It was everywhere.
I couldn’t find a perfect picture opportunity but this was my favourite today.
The Byre Burn at the Fairy Loup was running quite calmly…
It is very annoying for a man with a camera that there is no view of the waterfall that doesn’t have a branch in front of it. Unfortunately the bank is too steep for an old man to climb down it with a saw in his hand.
The same might be said of the bridge over the burn at the top of the track.
I have never seen a bridge with so many branches in front of it – whatever side you view it from.
We were struck by a rather haunted looking tree in the wood beside the track as we came up to the bridge…
…and we liked the ice rimmed leaves of a bramble as we walked up the hill away from the bridge.
Just as we got to the top of the hill at Gilnockie School, there was a tremendous amount of mewing from a buzzard (or two). It sounded very close but I couldn’t see a bird. Then the sharp eye of Sandy spotted a buzzard on a telegraph pole in a field. It flew up onto a tree on the far side of the field and posed.
We walked along the road to the station looking straight into the sun….
…hoping that any cars would be able to avoid us as we wouldn’t be able to see them coming. The camera saw much more clearly than we could.
Once we had dropped back into the woods as we got near the car, the light was kinder and when we got down to the old road again, it was positively golden.
It is going to be hard for the rest of 2107 to live up to the first two days of the year as far as good walks and fun with family go.
Sandy came back for a cup of tea, a cake and a crumpet and then it really was the time for some serious sitting down.
I sat down seriously.
The flying bird of the day really is a bird today.