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.
39 thoughts on “Smashing puddles”
I’ve been a bit slack over the last week so just been catching up – some great dipper photos, and superb lichen and fungi too.
The dippers have been unusually happy to pose but I am still looking for a better shot.
Yes, that compulsion for the “better shot”.
I also did some serious sitting down.
It’s a good scheme.
Wonderful frost hair pictures, I have never seen anything like it.
Sorry I meant ice hair!
Such beautiful golden light, such amazing ice hair, and a perfect FBOTD.
Generally speaking, a very good day.
A wonderful 2 days with Matilda and her parents, a beautiful walk on a sunny day and many interesting photos. That will be hard to beat! I love your moss and lichen dripping trees. They could be right out of our own Cascade foothills. I have often thought Tolkien must have developed the Ent characters in The Lord of the Rings from observing such trees.
I will go looking for ice hair here over the nest week, as the cold weather is forecast to remain with us for a while now.
A few attempts at sun here today, but mostly overcast and a few snow showers.
You seem to need a frost over night and then a slight thaw in the morning with some sun to warm up the twigs. You also need the fungus Exidiopsis effusa as key to the formation of hair ice. See this article.
Thank you for the link. We apparently do have that fungi over here in the Northwest, as I found in the Northwest Mushroomers Association newsletter. We hope weather will cooperate.
Click to access march2016ne3wsletter.pdf
It is amazing stuff if you do find it.
I used to like smashing the white ice on puddles because of the tinkling sound it made. I wonder if that was what Matilda liked about it.
You must have perfect conditions for the hair ice to grow. I never see it here.
The waterfall and haunted tree were a real treat.
It was a perfect hair ice day from just below freezing to just above and some sunshine too.
Matilda liked the way the water welled up when the ice was squashed.
I would love to find that amount of hair ice! The golden light on the old road is very beautiful.
It was surprisingly different from the same spot an hour earlier.
That hairy ice is gorgeous. You will miss your little puddle-jumper 😉
We will but frequent visits to Edinburgh will dull the pain.
I like the shot of the road as you look into the sun. Very atmospheric.
Enjoy your rest!
I was quite pleased with it. The Lumix has all sorts of capabilities whihc I never use.
That bird in the tree was quite fancy. And the ice hair was spectacular!
We don’t know who put the bird in the tree. There was another carving nearby last year so he/she must be an enthusiast.
In a post full of great photos, a few still stand out, the hair ice, the look up the road into the sun, and the golden road, stunning!
The hair ice was my favourite even though it wasn’t a great picture. I have never seen so much.
Happy new year to you and yours, Tom!
And the same to you and yours.
There’s something unbelievably satisfying
…in jumping in frozen puddles…that little creak they give out before cracking and the prettiness of the shards. You certainly nevergrow out of it and it’s always more fun with an enthusiastic offsider!
That is very true (though I quite like puddle smashing when I am out by myself).
It was fortunate you had the energy to go for a walk in the sun after your previous energetic two days. Beautiful golden light, and a fine display of ice hair.
Glad Matilda enjoyed jumping on all those icy puddles.
What splendid photos to enjoy on a cold and frosty morning. Love the golden light scenes, the lichen and that amazing ice hair. Pleased I’m not the only one who forgets a card in the camera!
It was very annoying as puddling smashing photos would have been just the thing.
What a beautiful start to the new year. We had bright, cold sunshine too, but yours looks infinitely better to me. Beautiful water falling and chaffinch flying.
It couldn’t have started much better.
Love the ice hair! Puddles whether watery or crunchy are meant to be jumped in, what fun at any age! 🙂
I agree about that.