A last look at the Kelpies is Bruce’s guest picture of the day.
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…
…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…
…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.
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.
There was a sudden rush of finches just after lunch….
…and a little unpleasantness too among the 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.
One of my favourite trees near the Bigholms.
The wide blue yonder. I turned for home at the end of the straight.
Brown is the predominate colour now.
I was surprised to see this little crop of fungus looking quite healthy beside the road.
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….
…..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….
…but they obstinately refused to leave their posts….
…so I had to make do with some late afternoon sunshine on the Kilngreen…
…some trees silhouetted against the sinking sun…
…and any amount of interesting lichen.
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.