Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo, my Manitoba correspondent, and indicates that perhaps I should stop complaining about the weather here.
In fact, we had a pretty good day here today with lots of sunshine in the morning and early afternoon. This left me frustrated again by not being able to cycle on such an eminently suitable day for cycling. Everyone I meet seems to have the cold too so there really is a lot of it going about.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a whole day embroidery workshop so I was left on my own to go to the Producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre. To my great joy, a cheese seller has appeared so I was able to add cheese to my purchases of honey, fish, beef and venison.
I had a cup of coffee with Mike Tinker while I was there and he too is finding it hard to throw off a cold so we indulged in a little mutual sympathy.
I got home and downloaded the shopping and seeing that the forecast was for clouds later, I went out for a walk while the going was good.
I keep hoping that a bit of fresh air will blow the cold away but really, I just like taking a bit of exercise on a good day.
I walked along the river and Kilngreen without seeing anything to detain me and when I had crossed the Sawmill Brig, I headed up the hill past the estate offices. There is a wall beside the road that almost always has peltigera lichen and there was some there today.
Once I got out of the wood, the pattern of sunshine and shadow on a beech hedge made me look twice.
I followed the track along above the rugby ground and dodged the soggiest bits while enjoying the strong contrast of light and shade.
It has gates too.
What I didn’t expect to come across on a sunny and dry day was this.
It shows just how much moisture there is in the air when you can get half a rainbow without any rain.
Although I miss the autumn colour, I enjoyed the bare trees that I passed on my way.
There are still needles on the larch trees among the spruces.
This track took me about a mile and a half north of the town and when I got to the end of it, I turned back down to the main road, crossed the High Mill Brig…..
…and further downstream, I passed the more utilitarian modern bridge to the rugby pitch and caravan site.
When I got back to the Sawmill Brig, I made my route into a figure of eight and crossed the bridge again and took the new path across the Castleholm to the Jubilee Bridge.
I looked up as I went.
I got home in time to have a look for garden survivors….
…and have an excellent pie which I had obtained at the Producers’ Market for my lunch and then I found myself at a bit of a loose end.
I put the camera up and stared out of the kitchen window.
The sun came and went which didn’t help my camera settings but there were plenty of birds about today.
I had bought some mixed seeds as a change from endless sunflower hearts and put them out in a second feeder but there was no demand for them at all until quite late on when a single coal tit arrived and sampled the quality.
We will have to wait to see if it tells its friends about this new opportunity or keeps it to itself.
We were threatened with rain showers in the afternoon but when none came. I went out and sieved a little compost and cleared up a pile of nettles on the drying green, the result of some recent garden tidying by Attila the Gardener.
As I was going out in the evening, I went back in and looked at the photographs that I had taken so far and by the time that I had finished doing that, Mrs Tootlepedal was back from a hard day’s embroidering.
We had a cup of tea and watched some rain.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to be a front of house manager at the Buccleuch Centre and I followed on to be a customer. She went home when the show started but I stayed to enjoy an excellent concert by Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood. Because we watched a recording of Strictly Come Dancing when I got home, it is too late to put a commentary on the concert here if I am to post before midnight so all I will say is that the programme was varied and enjoyed by a good audience.
The flying bird of the day is two chaffinches.