Today’s guest picture comes from Marianne, who was actually our guest today. She took this picture of her partner Tony and his dad as they were walking dogs this morning.
It was another bright but chilly day with 1.5°C the best that we could do all day.
The colder weather has brought the birds back to the feeders and there were robins…
…and any amount of chaffinches about after breakfast.
I didn’t get too long to look at the birds though before we were invaded by two boisterous dogs who brought our son Tony and his partner Marianne with them. They had driven down from Edinburgh to bring us a very handsome hamper of goodies for our Christmas present.
Unfortunately, Mrs Tootlepedal had an engagement with her Embroiderers’ Guild branch’s annual festive lunch so after providing coffee and drop scones for our visitors, she had to go off to have fun.
The dogs, Tara and Milo thought it would be good to take Marianne, Tony and me out for a walk so we wrapped up well and set off to stretch our legs.
The dogs were very good at rounding up the walkers and making sure that they went in the right direction.
It was a sparkling and crisp day and the the layer of icing on the hills looked very pretty but I was surprised to sheep grazing so high up the slopes of Whita.
This horse seemed a bit surprised to see us.
There was more snow left on the north facing shadier slopes of Warbla.
The green on the trees at this time of year is provided by moss and lichen.
Our walk took us along the fields on the Murtholm…
….where sheep grazed beside ice covered puddles.
A little seasonal colour was on show.
I liked the way the sun caught the smoke from a barrel burning rubbish at one of the stables along our way.
In spite of the cold, the dogs plunged into every pool and stream they could find and needed a last visit to the river to get their feet clean before we went home…
…where they displayed a lively interest in the food which we were eating for our lunch.
After Tony, Marianne and the dogs left for the drive back to Edinburgh, I had another look out of the kitchen window.
Two goldfinches were having a competition to see which of them could drop the most seed…
….and this provided plenty of good pickings for the blackbirds. We could see as many as seven blackbirds at the same time in the garden on several occasions today.
The robin (or a friend) returned to give me a selection of poses.
I took a final shot of a goldfinch in the plum tree before the sun got too low.
I retired to an easy chair with a crossword to wait for the return of Mrs Tootlepedal from her festive fun. She came back in a very cheery mood which was solely attributable to good food and good company as no strong drink is needed for embroiderers to have a good time.
We took some time to practise the songs for our concert tomorrow and then ventured out into the cold to watch the International Space Station as it trundled across the sky above our street.
It was very bright tonight. I read that they are the process of having a crew change and it seems fantastic that people can fly up to what is just a speck in the sky and actually meet it.
Then we settled in for the evening. I made some corned beef hash for our meal and we watched the Strictly Come Dancing semi finals.
I really enjoy watching ballroom dancing but the vastly over fussy lighting effects and the frenetic camera work and constant cutting made it quite difficult to see what was actually happening on the floor. I often wish that television directors trusted the audience to have a bit of interest in the subject matter and content of their shows and didn’t feel the need to dress them up so much. I am definitely able to watch something for more than ten seconds without nodding off, even at my age.
Looking at the weather map, it seems that we might be one of the few parts of the country to avoid snow over the next few day. As we have to go to Carlisle tomorrow, this will be very welcome.
Once again, a chaffinch is the flying bird of the day. I will have to try and find a flying gull by way of variety tomorrow.