The guest picture of the day comes from my neighbour Liz. She has been on holiday in Spain but must have strayed into Portugal because she tells me that these are Portuguese fishermen mending their nets.
It was rather chilly and the cloud was clamped on the hills when I got up. It was nearly windless so I thought very hard about going for a cycle ride and had to weigh up the damp, cold conditions against the lack of wind. My cough has not disappeared. At one stage, I got into quite a heated argument with myself but in the end, sense prevailed and I invited Sandy round for a cup of coffee instead.
After coffee, I checked on the garden birds….
…and then I went out for a short walk with the hope of finding some misty shots involving bare trees for dramatic effect. I found a dipper, a dripping conifer and some birch leaves….
…but no dramatic misty treescapes.
However, there was some curiously striped mist about…
…and a hint of a hilltop above the mist…
…and this was enough to suggest that a drive up to the White Yett might provide a shot worth taking or two and so, on a whim and a prayer, off I went.
Things looked promising as I went up the hill…
…and more promising the higher I went…
…higher and higher…
And the promise was fulfilled when I got to the car park.
I don’t think I have seen mist in such well defined streams before.
I decided that a walk up to the monument was called for and as I went up, I kept snapping.
Timpen hill was like an island in an icy sea.
The mist was filling the col between Timpen and the windmills on Craig and Ewe Hill
On the other side of the town, the mist had smothered the Wauchope valley and I was very glad that I had decided not to cycle there earlier in the day. It would have been dark and damp.
The stripes of mist were most unusual and thanks to the cool and very still day, they stayed where they were for long enough for me to enjoy them thoroughly.
Once at the top of the hill, I expected to see the Solway plain full of mist too but it was pretty clear so that I could see the Gretna wind farm on this side of the firth and the Lake District Hills on the far side. ..
…but as you can see, they had some low level mist on the English shore too.
I could have sat up there for some time but I had an afternoon appointment so I reluctantly came back down to the car, taking a shot or two on the way of course…
…including a panorama to try to give an impression of how neatly the mist was wrapped round the hills. You can click on the panorama for a closer look.
As I came down, I saw two things of interest. The first was a bird perched on a snow pole. When I looked at the picture for the first time, I thought that it was only a stray chaffinch but a closer look tells me that it is something else.
(Helpful readers have told me that it is a stonechat, I am grateful to them.)
The other interesting sight was Sandy. I had sent him a text to say that there was interesting mist and he had come up for a look for himself.
I didn’t have time to stay and chat as that afternoon appointment was looming up and I needed to have lunch before I went.
I combined lunch with staring out of the window.
There was the usual charm offensive…
….and an offensive charm too (goldfinch flocks are called charms)…
…but the siskins can more than hold their own when it comes to being offensive.
I couldn’t stay for long as I had to drive over to Powfoot on the Scottish side of the Solway shore to visit my physiotherapist.
The local health authorities have made it almost impossible to see an NHS physio so it was lucky that I know and have used the services of an excellent private physio, even though it costs me money.
A few weeks ago, I injured my left bicep by reaching gently behind me to pick something off a shelf and in the process, damaged my long head tendon. Two visits to the doctor hadn’t provided me with either much information or a referral to an NHS physio so I was in search of good advice and, if possible, a miracle cure.
I purposely arrived in enough time to go down to the Solway shore.
The tide was out, there was no wind and the scene was eerily quiet.
I don’t think that I have ever been able to see the reflections of the Anthorn radio masts in the sea before and may well never see them again.
It was hard to choose whether the views from the hill or the shore were better but it was a great privilege to have been able to see them both in one day.
I went to my appointment and discovered that the tendon was irreparably burst and wasn’t going to miraculously join up again so that my bicep would never recover its natural good looks. This dashed my hopes of appearing in the Mr Universe competition.
On the up side, it turns out that as there are other tendons about, the loss of one is not a disaster and I should, with care and attention, not do any further damage and be able to gradually improve the situation with judicious light exercise.
As the physio then eased my arthritic shoulder and freed up my neck so that I can actually turn my head now, I considered it money well spent and drove back very cheerfully.
I might have stopped on the way and waved at the starlings at Gretna but I hadn’t brought the right lens with me so I went straight home.
In the evening, I went out to the Langholm Sings choir practice and got shouted at by the pianist. Deservedly. But I was tired and my cough hasn’t gone away so I felt a bit hard done by.
I did get a flying goldfinch of the day before I went to Powfoot.