At last, a tootle and a pedal

Kelpies

A last look at the Kelpies is Bruce’s guest picture of the day.

Kelpies

We were greeted by another cold and sunny day today but as the temperature had risen a degree or two and the north wind had slacked off a bit, it was a more promising day.

It was still pretty cold in the morning so I was more than happy to sit inside, drinking Ethiopian coffee and easting the traditional Friday treacle scones that Dropscone brought round.

He has been quite pleased that it has been too cold to play golf lately as the state of his game has been giving him no pleasure.  I am hoping that this little break will do his game some good.

Normally, I would spend a fair bit of time on a morning like this glancing out of the kitchen window and enjoying the antics of the finches on the feeder but today the garden went all Rachel Carson and there were no finches to be seen.

Not any?  Not any.

Not any at all? Well hardly any.

Honestly, I only saw three finches all morning…

greenfinch

…and they didn’t stop.  We suspected that a sparrowhawk might be lurking and putting off visitors but on the hedges, under the feeder and in the plum tree, blackbirds…

blackbird

…dunnocks…

dunnock
This one was checking out some apples which I have put on the bench.

…and no less than four robins scampered about very freely.  I know that there were four robins because I saw them all at the same time.  I think that we might have two couples as there was some chasing going on but quite often two robins seem happy to co-exist.

I took a lot of robin pictures but it is hard to tell whether I got shots of four different birds or four shots of the same bird.

robin

It is a real treat to have so many robins about.

I went out into to the garden to see if I could see a sparrowhawk lurking but I only saw a robin sitting on the fence.

robin

There was a sudden rush of finches just after lunch….

BUSY FEEDER

…and a little unpleasantness too among the greenfinches…

greenfinches

..but it was a small rush and it didn’t last long.  We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether this is a temporary phenomenon or not.    It was quite worrying to see so few birds.

However, it was less worrying to find that the temperature had climbed to a balmy 4.4°C after lunch so I put on a stout jacket and set off for a short pedal on my slow bike to check the state of the roads.  Because of the combination of my prolonged cold and some very unsympathetic weather, I only cycled three times in the whole of November,  totting up the grand total of sixty miles.

The roads proved to be pretty well ice free today, though a little care was needed at some very damp and sheltered corners, and I enjoyed my outing very much.  I was in no hurry and stopped to take pictures as I went along.

The sun brought a little warmth but the hills and fields are looking very wintery now.

Wauchope field

One of my favourite trees near the Bigholms.

Wauchope field

The wide blue yonder.  I turned for home at the end of the straight.

callister

Brown is the predominate colour now.

wauchope view

I was surprised to see this little crop of fungus looking quite healthy beside the road.

fungus

The sun was still out when I got home so after taking a picture of a Leycesteria in the garden which has obstinately remained out….

leycesteria

…..I took the opportunity to walk round my Langholm, Sawmill and Jubilee Bridges short walk in the hope of catching a flying gull.

There were gulls about….

black headed gulls

…but they obstinately refused to leave their posts….

black headed gulls

…so I had to make do with some late afternoon sunshine on the Kilngreen…

Kiln Green

…some trees silhouetted against the sinking sun…

bare trees

…and any amount of interesting lichen.

lichenlichenlichen

It was just about dark by the time that I got home so I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.  She had been test driving the cooking of a vegetarian recipe while I had been out.

In the evening, having eaten the vegetarian meal, we were delighted to welcome Mike and Alison for the first Friday evening visit for some weeks.  What pleased me most about the visit was that it meant that there was Friday evening music again after quite a gap.

Alison and I played Telemann, Loeillet, Rameau and Marcello and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting these old musical friends.  If we weren’t exactly note perfect after the lay off. we hit enough right notes to keep us happy.

And of course the playing and cycling made for a Tootlepedalling day and filled a cold winter’s day with warm feelings.

The flying bird of the day is not a good picture but i felt that since the robins had stayed while the finches had deserted us, one of them deserved the accolade.

flying robin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “At last, a tootle and a pedal

  1. The huge horses are amazing.
    I like the silhouetted trees, and I’m glad you have so many robins in the garden. I can’t think of a bird as cute.
    I’m not sure about the first or third lichen but the second one looks like a hammered shield lichen. It might also be a crottle.

  2. It’s odd that most of the birds that normally visit the feeders stayed away, maybe some natural food was more to their liking. Let’s hope that it’s only temporary.

    It must have felt good to be back on the bike after the long break.

    I loved the photos of the robins and the landscapes that you shot while both riding and during your walk.

  3. Your landscape photos are wonderful! I especially like the wide, blue yonder one and the silhouette of the trees against the sun. Very nice robin pictures, too.

  4. Pleased you had a grand tootle and a pedal day. Loved the gulls on the line and the silhouettes of the trees. The robins are so abundant in your garden as they are telling you that Christmas is not far away so get ready!

  5. The picture of the dunnock examining the apples is wonderful – he/she looks quite bemused by them.

  6. Yay for the bike ride! And those Kelpies are magnificent. I can imagine them coming to life.

  7. A beautiful day out with a definitely wintry feel to the photos. The robin panel was a visual treat!

    Larger birds here have started working on any apples left high in the trees. I have not seen our own sparrow hawk of late, but with all the little birds coming in to find food, I sure I will one flash by.

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