Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He took this atmospheric picture of Sheffield at dusk a few days ago.
After our very bright and sunny start to 2107, our weather reverted to its more normal style of the last few weeks for today, quite warm but very grey. I made the most of the dull weather by having a very dull but restful morning.
The only moment of excitement was caused by the arrival among the usual goldfinches on the feeder…
…and in the plum tree….
..of the first lesser redpoll of the season. It was rather scruffy but it hung around for long enough for me to get a shot or two before it flew off again.
I hope to see one again on a brighter day.
There were a lot of chaffinches about for a short while too…
…but in general, our bird visitors remain below the usual numbers. In times gone by, I might have filled the feeder two or three times in a day but now it sometimes lasts for two days before it needs refilling. Why this should be the case is a bit of a mystery but the long spell of good weather at the back end of the year may explain why there is still not much call for garden feeding. I hall be interested to see what happens if we get a longer cold spell.
After a relaxing morning, I pulled myself together and got the fairly speedy bike out for the first time in 2017. My legs were still feeling the effects of walking over the past two days so I put in a gentle 21 mile pedal by going up and down the sheltered road to Wauchope Schoolhouse three times.
A curious noise from the bike caused me to stop by a little bridge so I took a couple of pictures while I was there.
I couldn’t pin down the source of the noise but it didn’t seem to be impeding me so I completed the ride. A bit of bike care will be needed before I go out again.
I thought about a short walk when I got home but thinking about was as far as it went and I retired to have a bath instead.
The rest of my day was dull but restful.
Because I was getting my cycling record spreadsheet ready for 2017 this evening, I was looking at my cycling statistics. I started to keep them on a spreadsheet in 2011, and I found that I have done 38,010 miles in the last eight years. My best ever year was 6600 miles in 2011 and I was looking forward to doing 7000 in my 71st year but occasional illness and a bad knee have kept my miles down since then. I have upped my target to 4200 miles for this year but secretly I will be disappointed if I don’t get a bit more than that on the clock. Still, it all depends on weather and health so you can never tell.
A lot of that 6600 miles in 2011 was achieved by doing a 21 mile morning run as many week days as possible in the company of Dropscone and a rough count reveals that we possibly did the ride 140 times during the year.
I go much more slowly these days.
The flying bird of the day is an impression of a chaffinch flitting through the morning gloom.