Today’s guest picture come from Mike Tinker. Knowing my fondness for taking photos of pheasants, he sent me this picture to remind me of how they start out.
The planning for the day revolved around someone being at home to greet the gas man when he arrived to give our boiler its annual service. Since we had been given a six hour window, this entailed quite a lot of hanging around, complicated by Mrs Tootlepedal spending two hours volunteering at the Buccleuch Centre and my anxiety to put a fine day to good use by cycling.
It was sunny but far too cold to cycle after breakfast so I was happy that I had arranged a dentist’s appointment followed by scone sampling with Dropscone over coffee. It had warmed up enough after coffee for Dropscone to go off to play golf while I walked round the garden…
…and watched the birds.
We started in a yellowish sort of way with siskins and a goldfinch…
…and then things got greener when a greenfinch arrived on the scene.
Greenfinches always look rather imperious even when they are sitting quietly in the plum tree.
A pair of blackbirds were busy feeding on the ground below the feeders.
There was also a pair of robins and as they weren’t chasing each off the premises, they may be a couple which would be good. I could only catch one of them at a time though.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre and I sat beside the phone in case the gasman called. Some of the sitting was more metaphorical than actual as I made some dough for rolls in the breadmaker, hung out the washing and ate some soup and cheese for my lunch as well.
When Mrs Tootlepedal returned, I was already changed into my cycling gear and after a quick scout round the garden….
…I was soon cycling up the Wauchope road in chilly but windless conditions. The sun was out and how ever much I may have been charmed by the bridges of Manchester, the views of Wauchopedale trumped them by far.
I cycled to the top of Callister but didn’t want to get too far from home while the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service was waiting for the gasman so I turned, appropriately enough, at an entrance to one of the valves on the main natural gas pipeline into our town…
…which pretty accurately reflected our recent changeable weather.
Having climbed Callister to get to my turning point, I now had the pleasure of the gravity assisted return journey….
…back down the hill.
I stopped to admire the lichen on a concrete fence post beside the road a little further on. It was glowing in the sunshine.
I had done 15 miles by the time that I got back to Langholm and seeing that the gasman had arrived and was at work, I nipped back up the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse to add another six miles to my total.
I stopped on the way back to add to my collection of winter trees….
…though at not much more than three metres in height, this one may be regarded as more of a bush than a tree perhaps.
On the other side of the road, the afternoon sun provided a very mellow gate scene for me.
There was still enough light when I got home for Mrs Tootlepedal to point out first a robin and then a dunnock, both perching on a bush outside the kitchen window.
Although they were only a small distance apart on the same bush at the same time, the double portrait above shows them in typically contrasting style. The robin likes to survey the world from on high while the dunnock likes to peer at it cautiously from a bit of cover.
I was just shaping the bread roll dough into rolls when Mike Tinker dropped by to see how we had done in the singing competition. He stopped for a cup of tea while I went off for a relaxing soak in the bathtub.
As I looked out of my bedroom window, I could see some lovely evening light on Whita so I opened the Velux window and took a picture of the hill and the monument over the roofs of Henry Street. Quite by accident, I included the window as well and rather liked the result.
Since it was Shrove Tuesday, Mrs Tootlepedal made some delicious pancakes for our tea and when the rolls had risen and been baked, the day came to a very satisfactory end.
The morning scones with the conversation and coffee had all been interesting, the washing had dried in the sun, the rolls had come out round and brown, the pancakes had been flat and tasty and the cycling had been most enjoyable and on top of all that, the gas boiler had survived for another year in fine condition. All is good.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.