For today’s guest picture, I have gone back into my files and found this wild eyed, tongue-sticking-out carving which my brother noticed on a visit to the Guildhall in Exeter in January.
It was a day when the clouds came right down to the ground so although it was warm enough at 10 degrees C and the wind was light, it was generally another very gloomy day when either it was raining or it was going to rain.
I had a few tasks to do after breakfast – taking the key to the Day Centre for Mrs Tootlepedal’s embroiderers group meeting, putting petrol in the car, visiting the Archive Centre – but these didn’t take long and I was soon back home, staring out of the window in a hopeful sort of way to check if it had stopped raining yet.
Generally it hadn’t.
An annoying feature of this sort of day when cycling and walking are not attractive options, is that I have plenty of time to watch the birds but very poor light to take pictures of them. Needless to say that didn’t stop me taking a lot of rather indistinct shots.
The siskins were very active again. The damp weather hadn’t improved their manners.
Nor had the rain dampened their enthusiasm for an argument.
I believe in the modern parlance, this sort of thing is called a twitter storm.
I really enjoyed a goldfinch passing through and trying to pretend that it wasn’t hearing the abuse being shouted at it from all sides.
Rather like a school teacher at a school disco.
One siskin sought a quieter snack.
Luckily, I had a very tricky prize crossword to do so that took up a lot of time and then I enjoyed a light lunch of soup and rolls accompanied by some Stilton cheese on a wafer biscuit.
I had another look out of the window after my meal and thought that I saw something different among the regular chaffinches in the plum tree…
…and sure enough, that bird in the bottom right corner is a redpoll, common visitors in some years but very scarce this year. It paid a flying visit to the feeder….
…and then flew off. I hope that it comes back with some friends as I like redpolls a lot.
The forecast had offered a very small hope that things might get better after lunch but it was still rather damp and I didn’t want to get soaking wet on my bike for two days running so I went for a short walk instead.
I met a fellow camera club member by the river and as it had stopped raining, we too stopped and chatted for some time. He is an interesting chap with a profound knowledge of photography and a bit more selective over his shots than me. He said that if he gets one shot in a month that he is pleased with, then he considers that he is doing well.
He was rather taken with the low cloud among the hills on the golf course and said he might come out again to try to capture an image. This was my effort.
(As it is a Saturday, Dropscone might have been up there in the mist trying to play golf. If he was, I didn’t envy him.)
We parted and I walked on, encouraged by the warmth in the day in spite of the gloom and by some signs of spring along the river bank.
I saw no waterside birds as I walked along the Kilngreen and over the river onto the Castleholm but I had to take a second look at this tree….
…which in the dim light almost looked as though it was covered in leaves.
….it was actually dripping with lichen.
I took two pictures of the trees on the far side of the Esk, one in colour and one in black and white and the fact that I had to look very closely to see which was which when I put them on the computer shows exactly what sort of day it was. See for yourself.
At this point, just to suit the mood of the day, my camera battery ran out so I headed for home, stopping to be cheered up by Mike and Alison’s cherry tree (taken with my phone).
I still had hopes of a late cycle ride but it was so pervasively damp, even when it wasn’t actually raining, that I gave up the idea and took a shot of Mrs Tootlepedal’s miniature daffodils…
…and went back inside.
This turned out to be a very bad idea as I was unintentionally in time to watch Scotland getting thoroughly thrashed by England on the rugby field. I should have gone cycling in the rain, it would have been more fun.
I was so morose now that I made some tea cakes and this was rather more successful….
…so that, apart from suffering from tea cake poisoning from excessive consumption, I am ending the day in comparatively mellow mood considering the weather, the rugby and the continued absence of Mrs Tootlepedal. Tea cakes are the best medicine.
A goldfinch provided me with the flying bird of the day.