Today’s guest pictures come from my occasional correspondent and Langholm exile, Irving. He sees these buzzards regularly in his garden and thought correctly that I might be interested in seeing them too.
There wasn’t much to see in Langholm today, apart from very low cloud and occasional rain. It was still reasonably warm at 7°C but the dank conditions didn’t make it feel very pleasant.
Dropscone complained about the weather when he came round for coffee but I didn’t complain about the scones that he brought with him as they were very good.
Birds were mostly notable by their absence and often the ones that did come looked a bit miserable to say the least.
Oddly, some goldfinches seemed less bedraggled than others.
A small flock of ten goldfinches was the largest crowd of the day and they weren’t very polite if a chaffinch intruded…
…but no one seemed to mind when a lone siskin turned up.
We haven’t seen numbers of siskins in the garden since late summer and I don’t know where they have been. Mrs Tootlepedal is generally quite happy not to see siskins as they are very messy eaters and this leads to untidiness and odour.
After Dropscone had gone, Mrs Tootlepedal and I took our Christmas tree out and replanted it in the garden. It was less of of a chore that we thought that it might be and it looks quite happy to be back where it came from in December.
Nearby, the first shoots of rhubarb could be seen.
When Dropscone and I had been drinking our coffee, we had been reminiscing about cycling in past years and I was reminded that we used to pedal quite often in pretty poor weather conditions. I have got a lot more picky lately which cuts down cycling opportunities so when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre cafe, I thought that I should brave the damp conditions and go for a cycle ride.
The forecast had said that there was a possibility of rain over lunchtime but I hadn’t gone far before the possibility turned into reality and I had a soggy time while I was out. I was well wrapped up though and with a peak on my helmet to keep the worst of the drizzle off my glasses, I managed a steady 21 miles in relative comfort.
Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea later and that concluded the excitement for the day.
Well perhaps, not quite because after he had gone, I got the second half of the dough out of the fridge and made another batch of rolls. In spite of my best efforts, they wouldn’t win any prizes for looks but they cooked perfectly well.
As I am still struggling to throw off my husky throat, I was quite pleased to have had a quiet day. I am cutting down on cheese for the moment because that has been implicated in throat troubles and I am inhaling salt vapour through a cunning device that my daughter gave me and either for these reasons or just through the march of time, things are beginning to get a bit better. Whether cycling twenty miles in a chilly drizzle is part of the cure is perhaps open to question.
The flower of the day is a cheerful winter jasmine to offset the general greyness…
…and the flying bird is one of the goldfinches, ploughing through the morning drizzle.