Today’s guest picture comes from my son Al and shows Matilda enjoying one of her Christmas presents. As our daughter Annie gave it to her, she will be happy too.
We had another grey day here today but at least the geese had managed to find the way home by the time that I got up. They had had to wait until dawn before they went on their way.
We had a gentle morning with a leisurely breakfast, a lot of garden talk between Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie with a sharing of seeds, a cup of coffee and some occasional feeder watching.
After coffee, Annie borrowed her mother’s bike and I got out the slow bike and we enjoyed a very gentle eight mile pedal up to Cleuchfoot and back. Mrs Tootlepedal spent her time on her bike to nowhere while we were out.
It was warm and the wind was light so in spite of the low clouds…
…and some occasional drizzle, it was a good day for a pedal. We were well wrapped up…
…so we took no harm.
We were in no rush so if anything caught our eye, we stopped and looked at it. Regular readers will not be surprised to find out that my eye was caught by some striking lichen.
It was on the roadside wall at Blochburnfoot and once we had stopped to look at it, it was hard not to notice a complete lichen gallery on the wall in the space of a very few yards.
Half way up the road to Cleuchfoot, we had stopped to look at some catkins when another fine lichen demanded to be photographed.
The catkins came off second best….
…and only got a shared frame.
I was going to take a picture of the gate at our turning point but Annie’ sharp eyes noticed some mossy jewels on the top bar of the gate so I took a picture of them instead.
We had a light lunch when we got back and then, while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some food shopping, Annie and I went for a walk hoping to see some waterside birds.
We saw the grand total of one, a dipper at the sawmill bridge.
It was still pretty gloomy….
…so in the absence of views and birds, we walked on hopefully but didn’t see much to tempt the shutter finger.
Some neat hedge clipping did merit a click.
And a buzzard flew lazily by as we walked along the Castleholm…
…but it was still too quick for me and I could only get a parting shot.
There was a vociferous crowd watching a football match on the Scholars’ Field and I noticed the sometimes the players lined up facing one way…
…and sometimes they lined up facing the other way. It was very exciting.
To make up for the lack of wild birds, we stopped to admire the ministers chickens…
…and we also found out that the local sparrows are all in a neighbour’s garden.
Even after a gentle pedal and a quiet stroll, there is need for some sustenance so it was fortunate that the supply of crumpets hadn’t run out and we were able to keep our energy levels up.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie went off to attend the annual new year concert of Viennese music given by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Buccleuch Centre. We had been too late to book tickets for this sold out concert but sadly for them and luckily for us, Mike and Alison Tinker had got tickets which they couldn’t use so they kindly passed them on to us.
In spite of the crumpets, I was not feeling great so I was happy to stay at home and make some bread rolls while they had fun.
The flying bird of a grey day is a reliable chaffinch.