Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who visited Talkin Tarn yesterday with his wife Lesley. They were surprised to see that the very cold weather had not put the rowers off.
Our day started with a light snow shower but although it lay as it fell, it had soon disappeared and we were left with a cold, grey day with occasional snowflakes floating about to no great purpose.
My morning had no great purpose in it either, other than coffee, a crossword, pro resting and very occasional glances out of the window.
I sometimes wonder whether I keep on photographing the same chaffinch day after day or whether different ones visit us. Are the two pictures above of the same bird? I find it very hard to tell.
This is definitely a robin.
Still, chaffinches kept arriving and tucking in, some with more success…
I pepped myself up with a tin of sardines for my lunch and then wrapped every part of me up snugly and set off for another chilly bike ride. The temperature was at 3°C, which is my lower limit for cycling as I don’t have winter tyres but the road was free of ice and the wind was pretty light so I enjoyed myself.
Once again it was too cold to stop often but a nice tree is always a temptation…
…and a friend has started a Facebook page to show the river Esk and its valley throughout the year so I stopped to take the Archimedes Screw at the Hollows because the lack of foliage make this the best time of year to view it.
While I was on the bridge, I looked up river…
…and noticed that it hasn’t taken long for lichen to arrive on the relatively newly painted bridge railings.
At least, I think that it is lichen.
I had a look at Irvine House as I passed too.
I hope to remember to take this view again in spring, summer and autumn.
I got home in good order and after a slice of toast and marmalade, I went out for a short walk to make the best of a calm afternoon.
There were signs of spring in the garden as I went out.
It wasn’t a bad day for walking….
…and I was hoping for some more signs of spring but there was not much to see although this little burst of fungus was pleasing to the eye.
Although it was grey and cold, the east wind meant that we were in drier air than usual and the tops of the hills were clear of cloud.
I had expected to see more snow lying on the hill top but there had obviously not been enough to make an impression.
I had told a curious reader that hart’s tongue fern was common in our district and then hadn’t seen any for a while so I was feeling a bit guilty but my guilt was assuaged today by seeing a good outbreak on a damp wall by the track side as I went down towards the park near the end of my walk.
Mrs Tootlepedal had lit the fire in the front room while I was out and it made the room feel very warm and cosy when Mike and Alison came round in the evening and Alison and I retired to the front room to play music. Having played recorder yesterday, I stuck to my flute this evening and we enjoyed ourselves a lot in spite of one or two unintended dissonances creeping into otherwise harmonious pieces.
The grand thing about playing music without an audience is that you can easily hear it in your mind it as it should have sounded rather than worry about how an audience would have actually heard it.
The flying bird of the day is an unidentified chaffinch.