Mostly sitting around

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s southern Odyssey.  He went about as far as he could go and found himself and Susan at Beach Head on a very misty day.

beachy head

We had another wonderfully sunny day today but this one was more in line with the way that things should be in January and was below freezing for most of the morning and not much above thereafter.

This made cycling an unattractive proposition so I gladly took up the offer to go up to the Moorland Feeders with Sandy.  Once again the sun was shining rather into our faces…

chaffinches

…but it has got higher in the sky lately so we were able to make out the birds better than on our last visit.

There has been a dearth of members of the tit family in our garden recently and I was pleased to see that they were thriving up here.

coal tits
There were lots of coal tits
blue tit
Many blue tits
great tit
And on the far side of the clearing, several great tits. This one is sharing with a greenfinch.

The inevitable pheasant was stealing the seeds meant for smaller birds….

pheasant

…but at least it had the grace to look a little shifty about it.

A robin brightened our day…

robin

…but it was a poor day for seeing unusual birds and as it was pretty chilly sitting around, we didn’t stay for too long.

On our way back down the road, I was just remarking to Sandy that it looked like a good day for seeing hair ice when he saw some.  He kindly stopped to let me take a picture.

Hair ice

I don’t think that I have ever seen so much around here before this year.  The fungus that causes it must be spreading.

I had time for a cup of coffee and a look out of the kitchen window when I got back…

goldfinch
A goldfinch with a gleam in its eye

…and a walk round the garden in pursuit of frosty glamour…

potential Violas
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these are potential Violas

…and then it was time to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.

I noticed a door when we got to Lockerbie which I hadn’t fully appreciated before and the sun made the town sheep look very much on their toes.

Lockerbie

Our train was on time and not very busy and to make things better, there was even a train waiting for us when the time came for our return journey this week.

When we got to Edinburgh, Mrs Tootlepedal needed to do a little clothes shopping so we dodged a tram….

tram

…and I took the chance to wander along Princes Street with my camera.

Princes Street

Princes Street is well known but the shops which line the northern side of the street are a mish-mash of styles and the street gets its distinction from the fact that the southern side is building free and offers views of art galleries with the castle behind…

art gallery and castle

…the Scott monument, lit by the last of the sunshine today…

Scott monument

…and extensive public gardens.  I couldn’t show the gardens to you today as they resembled a ploughed field as they wait for spring planting.

Matilda was in very good form and honed her snap skills to a high degree.  I was absolutely jiggered after playing and reading with her for a couple of hours and extend my fullest admiration to her parents for their energy, stamina and skill in bringing up such a smart child.

The journey home went as smoothly as the journey up and although I had spent most of the day sitting down, it was very positive sitting down and I had enjoyed myself thoroughly.

The flying bird of the day is a buttoned up goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Mostly sitting around

  1. That pheasant should have been a footman.
    I didn’t know that hair ice was dependent on a fungus. Maybe that’s why I never see it.
    Dropscone’s photo of the cliff is dramatic. I wouldn’t have been able to get as close as that to the edge.

    1. The fungus connection with hair ice has been established fairly recently I think. We seem to be getting more around so I can only assume that the fungus is spreading. I don’t like cliff edges at all.

  2. I was getting nervous seeing Dropscone so close to the edge of that cliff. Looks like a long way down.

    The pheasant’s expression is priceless! Caught red-footed in the act of stealing seed.

  3. I like the juxtaposition of the very modern looking tram set against the old building, and Sandy’s shot is very striking. Not surprised you were jiggered after an afternoon with Matilda: there’s a reason that child rearing is best done when you’re in your 20s and 30s!

  4. I wouldn’t like to get too near that Beach Head edge! I would, however, like to sit and watch all those beautiful birds and finish off with a bit of retail therapy down Princes Street- so you’ve enjoyed the day I should have had!

  5. My grandma ran a daycare in her home, including me. I realize now what patience she had.

    I, too, learned today about fungus and hair frost.

    I remember seeing sheep up by the castle in Edinburgh but did not know they strolled the town.

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