Today’s guest picture shows the Royal Yacht Britannia. It is parked in Leith as a visitor attraction and lies just outside the window of the soft play area attended by Matilda and her father.
We woke to what is traditionally described as a winter wonderland today. In fact it wasn’t particularly wonderful as the snow was rather wet and slushy and it had all the makings of an inconvenience rather than a photographer’s delight.
Still, it did bring more than the usual amount of traffic to the feeder…
…including several siskins.
The heavy traffic led to some road rage incidents.
Sometimes the rude shouting…..
…provoked a rude response.
A little more light would have helped but the morning stayed rather grey and I had to wait until after lunch to take these action shots.
There were some peaceful moments…
…where the snowy background helped me out.
There had been occasional snow showers in the morning but I got fed up and went out for a walk in the afternoon, hoping not to get too wet. In the event, it turned out that I had chosen a good time and the clouds lifted off the hills soon after I started and the higher that I climbed up Meikleholm Hill, the bluer the sky became.
On my way up to the open hill, I passed a rather resigned looking horse…
…but it wasn’t long before I could take a bare tree against a much more cheerful background.
The snow on the hill was more substantial than the snow in the town, the extra few hundred feet of altitude being enough to lower the temperature that necessary fraction…
…and I had the childish pleasure of feeling like an explorer as mine were the only footprints on the virgin snow as I climbed up the hill.
The wind was very nippy and I was really pleased when I finally found myself walking in sunshine. The views were good too.
I got to the top of Meikleholm Hill and decided against pushing my luck and going on up Timpen. I stopped at the gate and looked at the clouds behind the hill. They looked restless…..
…so I enjoyed the fence that marked the route up to the summit…
…but left it to itself and turned back down the hill.
It was pure happiness to be out on such a day in such a place.
Across the valley, Whita and the monument stood out against the grey sky behind.
I had another look up the Esk valley to my left where the light was quite different…
…and then looked back over the town. The light really was very blue in that direction.
You can see that every hill seemed to have a cloud behind it so it was obvious that it was one of those rare days when I was in absolutely in the right place at the right time.
I came off the hill through a gate, which I naturally stopped to record…
…and was soon out of the thick snow. Looking back up the track to the hill, it was hard to believe that I had just come out of an all white landscape.
Hoping to round off a good walk with a riverside bird or two, I walked down through the Galaside wood and came home over the sawmill brig, along the Kilngreen….
…complete with duck…
…and then walked beside the Esk in the hope of seeing a dipper. I spotted a dark shape on a rock ahead of me….
…and scooted along in the hope of getting on its sunny side before it flew off.
My arrival home and the covering of the sun by the clouds coincided so I was more than pleased to have found such a good moment for a stroll.
Nevertheless, the three miles covered, much of it in quite strenuous underfoot conditions, made me equally pleased to be able to take the weight off my feet and enjoy a cup of tea and a jam butty.
I should have gone to Carlisle with Susan to play recorders in the evening but by mutual consent we decided that driving around on a snowy day in freezing temperatures and in the dark was probably not the most attractive proposition even with a tootle on offer and we cried off.
The forecast is for freezing temperatures and good sunshine tomorrow so be warned, there may be more snowy scenes to come.
Meantime, there is not leaf of the day but there is a flying chaffinch just catching a gust of wind.