There is no guest picture today because I do not have one and so a gallery from the Moorland Feeders will take top billing instead.
We were threatened with wind, rain and snow as storm Doris came to visit us today but after a night of rain, we were largely untroubled by her during the day. Since there was heavy snow to our north and gales and flooding to our west and south, once again we seem to have got off lightly.
It was quite wet when I went up with Sandy to help him fill the Moorland Feeders but in spite of the rain, we spent a little time on the hide. We weren’t rewarded with anything special in the way of interesting birds but there was constant activity so we weren’t bored.
Among the throngs of great, blue and coal tits, siskins and chaffinches, we noticed a greenfinch and a woodpecker or two…
…but this bedraggled pheasant really summed up our visit.
Sandy stayed for a cup of coffee when we got back and when he went off, I spent a moment or two looking at our own birds….
…and was pleased to see that some pink pellets had tempted a blue tit to come to the feeders.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent quite a lot of time considering whether it was a good idea for Mrs Tootlepedal to brave the floods and snow and travel to Edinburgh to see Matilda but as the Edinburgh train service was disrupted by floods between Carlisle and Lockerbie, we thought that it would be wise not to risk it and she went off to Carlisle in the car to do some useful shopping instead.
While she was out, I went for a short walk to check whether the repair at Skippers Bridge had survived its first angry river test.
I am sorry about the branches in front of the bridge but it wasn’t a day to get too close to the water’s edge!
Seen from the downriver side, you realise how much of the force of the river hits the central pillar when the water is high.
On my way down to the bridge, I kept my eyes open. I usually look at walls and rocks for my lichen shots but today I was looking at trees and saw both script lichen, probably on a beech…
…and this fine colourful selection on a silver birch tree trunk.
There was plenty of water that was not going down the rover.
On my way back from the bridge, I walked up through the oak and birch wood…
…and this gave me the chance to look back down on the bridge from above….
…and it also took me past a wall where I could be sure of seeing some blue green algae (which is often yellow).
The New Hampshire Gardener had a wonderful picture on his most recent post showing how unexpectedly fluffy this algae is and I wanted to check this out. Although it was very damp, our algae looked quite fluffy too….
…though my pictures weren’t very good. I will come back on a better day and have another look. It is very educational reading other people’s blogs and I learn something on most days.
After playing about with the buttons on my camera on my last walk, I met another wall further on today on which gave me the same colour effect but without any pressing of buttons on my part. The wall really does look like this.
My walk had been remarkably pleasant in spite of a light drizzle and I took a last look at the river before I crossed the suspension bridge…
…and went home for a nice cup of tea and a slice of toast and marmite….and a final look out of the kitchen window.
Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Carlisle which was encouraging as later in the day, Susan arrived to take me down to the city to play with our recorder group. The day had calmed down completely by this time and there was even the odd star to be seen.
We had a good play, followed by an excellent biscuit with our tea and drove home thoroughly relieved to have avoided any of the scenes of storm related accidents and disasters being shown on the news programmes.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch in the drizzle.