Today’s guest picture shows the Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London. My sister Mary took the picture while going down the river by boat for a second visit to Greenwich earlier this month.
After yesterday’s picture totally white font lawn, today was a different kettle of fish altogether.
It was the kindest of winter days, with sunshine, light winds and not a drop of rain or snow. This was very fortunate as I had a full day planned.
It started with a visit to the garage before breakfast to put the car in for its annual MOT test. This led to me check on the mileage that we had done during the last year and I am pretty sure that I cycled more than I drove over the past twelve months. In spite of the light mileage, the car needed some repairs before it could get its certificate. This will lighten my wallet no doubt.
After breakfast, I had to go up to the town again, this time to collect the key for the Day Centre where the Camera Club holds its monthly meetings.
On my way back I noticed a splendid clump of snowdrops on the bank of the dam behind our house.
Encouraged by this, I took a walk round the garden.
When I had done this, it was time for a quick coffee and the intake of some cycling fuel (two slices of bread and jam) and then I got the fairly speedy bike out, cleaned the rust off the chain and pedalled off into the unknown.
I have done very little cycling recently so I was unsure of how far I could go before my legs gave up but I set out full of optimism and caution combined. I stopped fairly frequently early in the ride to make sure that I didn’t overcook things and this gave me the chance to take more shots of my favourite little cascades on the Wauchope, one at Bessie Bell’s…
…and one near Wauchope School.
Melting snow had added a little zip to the flow.
Because it was a beautiful day, more like autumn than winter….
…and my legs were relatively cheerful, I was encouraged to aim for a decent distance so I decided to go to Lockerbie by way of Corrie Common.
Maybe because the sun was out at exactly the right angle, I was halted in my tracks by a tree literally dripping with fungus.
I have cycled past this tree many, many times and have never taken a second look at it before. I was amazed that I could have missed such a display.
My route up to Corrie Common involved some hill work so once again I was happy to stop for a breather, this time with the excuse of counting the windmills on the the new Ewe Hill windfarm.
I counted seventeen….
…but there may be one or two more as I was too far away to get an accurate picture.
When I got to the hill above Lockerbie, I looked over Annandale…..
… and paused to take a picture of Lockerbie golf course…
…which in spite of the good weather, seemed to have only a single player going round.
From Lockerbie down to Gretna, my route was not so scenic and I pressed on down the old main road, nose to the front wheel, until I came to the new windfarm at Gretna. This is now full completed with nine turbines…
…although the turbines are not turning yet.
I stopped to eat a banana on a bridge over the mainline railway near the village of Springfield and was happy to find a mainline train approaching the bridge at a very modest speed which let me take this picture.
Normally they go by in a flash.
While I was looking over the wall beside the bridge, I noticed this fine crop of moss on the top of it.
I pottered into England and took this picture of this English tree near Englishtown….
…before pottering back into Scotland and heading for home.
I arrived in Langholm with 48 miles on the computer and was overcome by decimal mania and added a couple of miles by going through the town and up to the rugby club and back again to bring up a satisfyingly neat fifty miles.
I celebrated by taking a picture from the Town Bridge as I crossed it.
Snow? What snow?
Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy while I out, collecting the car and doing some gardening and as a result was resting and reading when I got in.
I didn’t have long to hang about recovering though because I had preparations to make for the Camera Club meeting in the evening and then my flute pupil Luke came and we played duets by Boismortier and Telemann.
After he had gone, there was time for a meal and then I went off to the Camera Club meeting. We had twelve members (one for the first time) there, eleven of whom had brought pictures on flash drives for us to look at so we had an interesting evening with some very original images to look at. There are some very skilled photographers in the group so I always have something to learn every month.
The new member told me how much he had enjoyed a camera club meeting where there was no discussion of how images were deficient and should have been improved but rather a full hearted appreciation of the good things in the pictures and a willingness to share experiences with the other members. This was heartening, as this was precisely the principles on which the club was founded.
I took no pictures of birds today for the simple reason that whenever I had a moment to look out of the window, there were no birds in the garden at all. Very strange. I will have to see what tomorrow brings as far as the birds go.