Today’s picture comes from my friend Bruce who saw a horse in a field across a canal. We will get closer to it tomorrow.
We had another near freezing but sunny day today and it was most frustrating. I have hardly done any cycling this month, what with bad weather and a long and irritating cold so I have been hoping to put a mile or two in before December comes.
Thus I spent a lot of today anxiously looking at the thermometer and frozen puddles in the drive, hoping that the thermometer would rise and the puddles melt.
Neither happened and the thermometer stayed stuck at 4°C and the puddle stayed frozen. I am very aware of being a great deal more fragile than I was ten years ago when 4° would have been an invitation to go out for a pedal and a gentle fall wouldn’t have been too serious. I have fallen off more than once in ice and snow but time passes and joints and bones are not what they were so I have become risk averse. 99% of a trip might be ice free but that 1%, a shady corner on a damp stretch under the trees, might be just enough to spoil things.
So I had coffee with Sandy, looked at a bird or two…
…and then went for a short walk before lunch to give things a chance to warm up.
Pool Corner was very peaceful…
…but the larches on the bank behind it are almost at their very last gasp.
In the absence of leaves, I looked at branches….
…and walked up the track onto the lower slopes of Warbla from where I could see a few views for a small amount of climbing.
Where the sun hadn’t reached, the frost remained and reminded me of why I wasn’t out on my bike.
If I had a serious mountain bike, winter riding would be more possible but I don’t have one and skinny tyres make ice a threat.
After lunch, I looked hopefully at the thermometer again and then went for another short walk in a rather grumpy state of mind.
The blue flash of a kingfisher, a very rare sighting for me, as I went along the banks of the Esk cheered me up and after crossing the Langholm Bridge, now back to complete calm after the recent rains…
….I walked along the Kilngreen beside the Ewes Water….
…and communed with the ducks.
Mr Grumpy saw me and decamped to the opposite bank of the river.
I too crossed the river. The low sun shining through the moss on a wall caught my eye…
…and I caught the eye of a sheep.
I was on the same bank as Mr Grumpy now. He looked ready to flit back to the other side at a moment’s notice so I left him alone and walked on….
…under the trees and into the sun.
I passed the castle ruins…
…and found myself in the shadow of our hills as I walked up the river Esk to the Jubilee Bridge so that the only sunlight was now in the branches of the trees above my head.
The temperature was already dropping when I got home but where the sun had struck the soil in our garden, it had made it soft enough for Mrs Tootlepedal to plant a few more tulips and I spiked some of the middle lawn.
As the light faded, Eric, a fellow member of the Langholm choir tenor section, turned up and we had a useful practice together. Christmas concerts are looming up and all the practice that we can get in is useful.
The day rather fizzled out after that and in spite of the two walks and the singing practice, I was left with the strong feeling that it had been wasted. As the next two days are forecast to be sunny but even colder, I fear that any dream of cycling miles in November will have to be abandoned.
There is always the gym…..aaaargh!.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, caught at a busy moment on the feeder.