Today’s guest picture is a Paddington Basin sunset captured by my sister Mary. I don’t usually go for sunsets but this is a cracker.
We had another even colder day today, without the benefit of any added sunshine.
Thanks to a very slowly dripping but unnoticed tap in the guest bathroom, it was cold enough to freeze the pipe when the trickle of water got to the outside wall of the house. In turn this caused the condensate pipe from our boiler to stop working and we woke up to a rather chilly house and no hot water.
We have fires to put on so we were in no danger of freezing ourselves but the lack of hot water and the chill in the unheated rooms was annoying.
After trying and failing to do some ad hoc thawing of pipes with hot water and hair driers, we gave up and I went for a walk. The forecast is for a thaw over night so we are keeping our fingers crossed.
When I looked down the frozen dam at the back of the house, I saw that there was a small unfrozen patch which had attracted a lot of blackbirds. I counted ten at one time spread along the dam but they didn’t all stay in place for this picture.
They were very busy popping on and off the ice at the water hole and one of them got very indignant when some starlings had the effrontery to want a drink too.
The starlings retreated to a wire and waited for another chance.
There had been a hint of mist about when I got up so I was hoping for some ice covered trees but after a promising start at the park…
…the rest of the walk was a bit disappointing as the taller tree seemed unaffected. There was plenty of ice about…
…and the view up river at the Meeting of the Waters was very wintery.
As I crossed the Sawmill Brig, I could see a little cave of icicles where a small steam joins the Ewes from an underground pipe.
Langholm Castle looked quite forbidding….
…and as always, I was keeping an eye out for fence posts.
It was too cold to linger for long and I didn’t want my camera to freeze so I didn’t dilly dally and was soon looking over our front hedge into a very frosty garden.
I had stopped to look at the gulls at the Kilngreen on my way round. There were a lot about today, including a headless gull…
…and the gull (very) close formation flying team.
Although these are black headed gulls, they haven’t got their black heads yet but they do have very decorative feet and beaks.
Once inside, I didn’t go out again but I did keep looking out of the kitchen window when any movement caught my attention. The sub zero temperatures brought a lot birds to the feeders.
There were siskins…
…and the chaffinch aerial ballet corps…
…which descended into arguments when it was time for a seed break.
The feeder on the left of the pole was busy today and this gave me the chance to get some left to right flying chaffinches instead of my usual right to left shots.
Other flying birds were available.
As well as flying birds, there was some top quality posing too.
And a collared dove won the trophy for the most fluffed up bird of the day by miles.
I could have spent a lot of time enjoying the birds but the kitchen, which has no heater, was rather chilly and as I couldn’t stand the cold, I got out of the kitchen.
I went into the computer room and spent a happy afternoon putting music onto the computer for my flute pupil Luke and doing some flute practice too.
As we can’t leave the fires on overnight, it is going to be very nippy when we get up tomorrow so I hope that the pipes will have taken advantage of the slight lift in the temperature and unfrozen themselves. If not, we may have to call for assistance.
One of the Kilngreen gulls is the flying bird of the day.