Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia, who was wandering across the Somerset levels at East Lyng when she was passed by a freight train.
From our point of view, it wasn’t much of a storm yesterday but it was certainly calm and sunny when we got up this morning. From a cycling point of view though, it was too cold and our pond was frozen over. Under these circumstances, I was more than happy to spend a little time drinking coffee and nibbling treacle scones with Dropscone.
A goldfinch on the plum tree really caught the morning sun but equally a goldfinch found the concomitant shadows on the feeder.
While we were chatting, a great tit dropped by and hung around for a moment or two.
After Dropscone left with golf in mind, I took a quick turn round the garden…
…cleaned and oiled my bike chain and set out for a cycle ride. The temperature had risen to a safe level by this time but to compensate, the sun promptly went in. There was a forecast of possible light rain later so I stuck to a fairly dull thirty mile circular route and stopped from time to time to look at three trees.
A bit further along the same road, I stopped to take a picture of the burn in a little valley below me as I climbed a hill after crossing it on a small bridge…
…and I would have enjoyed the view even more if I hadn’t been well aware that in half a mile or so, I was going straight back down another hill to cross the same burn again. That is cycling though.
The first ten miles of the trip were quite hard work with several climbs into the wind but thereafter I had the benefit of a most friendly breeze at my back and no steep hills so that I enjoyed the last twenty miles a great deal.
I stopped as I crossed the road bridge over the Irvine Burn three miles from home and looked at a little farmer’s bridge a few yards up stream…
…and then I crossed the farmer’s bridge and looked back at the road bridge which at one time was crossed by the A7 to Langholm…
…and then I turned round and stared open mouthed at the vast embankment which carries the new A7 and which must have a little hole at its foot to let the burn through.
As a driver, I like the new road on its embankment and as a cyclist, I am grateful to it because it allows me to cycle up the old road in peace.
When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy working in the garden and in spite of a light drizzle which started almost the moment that I got off my bike, I walked round the garden with my camera in hand.
The ice on the pond had gone and at least some frogs had survived.
Although new floral developments have been slowed by the recent poor weather, one crocus had defiantly opened up its petals while all the rest remained closed for business.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s avenue of snowdrops along the back path are still looking well…
…and they put thoughts of black and white flower studies into my head.
Almost everything looks interesting if you peer closely enough.
The drizzle didn’t come to anything so I thought that I might go for a little walk but then I had a second thought, watched a bird or two…
….had a cup of tea and a shower and did the crossword instead.
After that, the day ground gently to a halt.
We are going to Manchester for a couple of days tomorrow, both for a short break to take in a show and see the city and to sing with the Carlisle choir in a competition and I may well take the chance to take a day or two off the blogging treadmill while I am there, giving both myself and the patients readers a well earned rest. I may succumb to temptation but if you don’t see a post for a day or two, wish us luck in the competition and be prepared to see some city pictures when we get back.
The plant of the day is a blushing Euphorbia…
…and the flying bird of the day is a siskin.