Sticking to the script

Singapore cathedral

Today’s guest picture shows Singapore Cathedral.  Mike Tinker sent me the picture and he added that he thought that I might notice that space is at a premium on the island.

Singapore cathedral

The temperature started off on the chilly side and gradually got colder as they day went on and we are now expecting snow tomorrow.

I would like to have made the best of this last ice free day by going out on my bike but my new found enthusiasm for braving the elements didn’t go so far as facing a forty mile an hour wind and the threat of occasional rain and sleet showers and a quiet morning of coffee and a crossword took the place of cycling.

I did look out of the window and the goldfinches looked a lot less bedraggled than yesterday.


A dunnock kindly stood in for the robin who was too flighty for me to catch today.


I like the way that the goldfinches favour the very tops of the twigs of the plum tree, even in the windiest weather.  The photo is fuzzy because the twig was swaying so much.

A bright moment in the morning

I dug up a couple of leeks from the garden and made soup for lunch and made an arrangement with Sandy to go for a walk after lunch  if the weather permitted.

Sandy arrived and, bang on cue, the heavens opened and a very nasty, sleety shower put an end to our plans.  We agreed that if the weather did brighten up again, we wouldn’t tempt fate by arranging another joint walk but we would just sneak out on our own and try to catch the rain by surprise.

Sandy went off and I was putting  in a little time on some of the choir songs when I noticed that the rain had stopped.  I grabbed an umbrella, put on my wellies and headed out.

I needed the umbrella almost immediately but the rain soon stopped and I was able to get a couple of miles in and get home just before it started again.

My way took me past a bare tree just before the auld stane bridge.

A touch of blue sky cheered me up

I passed an upright tree stump hosting moss and ferns and a fallen branch making a home for fungus.

ferns and fungus

Although it was cold in the brisk wind, this sheep looked very comfortable.


My chief target was to see if I could spot any script lichen on a tree trunk anywhere on my walk.  I looked closely at the trees and some looked closely back at me.

Tree with an eye

I didn’t have any luck with the lichen but I still enjoyed several more tree trunks as I went along…

tree trunks

…until I finally saw two or three examples of what I hoped was the lichen that I was looking for.

script lichen

I checked up on it on my computer when I got home and scrolling through the pictures of script lichen on Google Images, the best match came coincidentally from the website of New Hampshire Garden Solutions, the very place from which I got the notion to look for these lichens.  I am hoping that Allen will be able to tell me whether I am looking at the right thing.

I finished my walk along the banks of the Esk slightly frustrated because as I was looking at trees, first a heron flew away from a perch beside the river just behind my back and disappeared down river and then a dipper flew off before I could get turned round and focussed.  The heron wasn’t Mr Grumpy because he was standing opposite Mary Street when I walked along it near the end of my walk.


The last of the sunshine was ebbing away as I got near the town bridge….

Castle hill

…and I had one last look at a tree trunk in Mary Street…

tree trunk with fungus

…before scampering home before I got too wet.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a screened presentation based on an exhibition called Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at the Royal Academy in London.  As the exhibition itself is sold out and 300 miles away anyway, this was an interesting way to see some of the pictures in the show.

The film was chiefly concerned with Monet but included several other late nineteenth and early twentieth century artists.  I was pleased to see how many of the flowers in the artists’ gardens featured in the film also appear in Mrs Tootlepedal’s beds.   Apart from the background music, which badly got on my nerves and made my legs fidgety, this was good fun, informative and very pretty to look at.  I may have mentioned before that we consider ourselves very lucky to have the Buccleuch Centre 200 meters from our door to put on such good shows for us.

The flying bird of the day needs no apology as it arrived at the same time as some very good light for once.

flying chaffinch

I see that Sandy did get out on a walk too.  He describes it here.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Sticking to the script

  1. Incessant background music really gets on my nerves too. I am hoping that Allen agrees with you about the script lichen because it does look very much like it to me. Nice FBotD!

  2. Yes, those are definitely script lichens but I don’t know their names because there are so many different ones. Now I imagine you’ll see them everywhere, just as I do.
    I love the shot of the lone tree by the fence and I wonder what it will look like in snow.
    I also wonder how Mr. Grumpy will look in snow. Our herons don’t seem to mind it but they do mind the cold that usually comes with it.

  3. Despite knowing that your January is not the same as our January, I get a kick out of you popping out to the garden to dig up a leek to make soup for your lunch!

  4. Congratulations on finding the script lichens no matter which species they are! I also loved the photo of the bridge as the last of the sunshine was on the hill above it.

    1. I must have passed those trees many times without seeing the lichens. It is often a matter of working out how big or small things are going to be. These were smaller than I expected.

  5. I have seen that screening and could not agree with you more about the unfortunate use of the background music in an otherwise enjoyable film.

  6. Saw the first lambs in the field today and it looks as though you’ll be seeing them shortly too! Hope the tree didn’t wink back at you! I like the bare tree photo, the dunnock and the chaffinch photo is wonderful.

  7. That is a handsome, rather magisterial-looking dunnock amid all the other fine photos. The one-eyed tree does seem quite intent on looking back at you! You find quite a few interesting subjects on your walks and rides. The FBOTD is in perfect form.

    Sandy’s blog is always a pleasant stop. Thank you for pointing him out to readers.

    Our weather has been in the 20s again, with freezing fog. The rime ice in the hills makes a beautiful picture, especially highlighted by a sunbeam which has just broken through the cloud cover.

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