Casting a long shadow

Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony’s visit to the pre Christmas fun in Edinburgh.  He saw salmon being smoked.

smoking salmon

We had another frosty but bright day today with the temperature once again struggling to get above zero.

Most of the morning was spent getting everything packed and ready for the departure of our guests who were heading back to Edinburgh after lunch, hoping to get the best of the driving conditions for the trip.

Among all the action, I didn’t get much chance to look out of the kitchen widow until Matilda and her parents had gone but perhaps I wouldn’t have seen much as Alistair spotted the sparrowhawk paying us a visit and picking up an unfortunate small bird on its way.

Once we had waved our guests off and shed a sorrowful tear, I did a little robin spotting….


…and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off to see how the felling of the Becks wood was going on.

It was still really chilly as the frost in the garden showed….

garden ice

…but it was a glorious December day for a walk….

View from Scott's Knowe

…and as long as we stayed in the sunshine, it even felt quite warm.

The felling of the Becks wood is going on apace.

Becks wood felling

We were able to watch the skilled operator cutting trees, lifting them up and snedding and slicing them with ease.

Becks wood felling

It won’t take him long to clear the whole wood.

We obviously couldn’t go through the wood so we turned back and walked down to the Wauchope road through the field, taking a party of visiting walkers with us.  They had been hoping to do the Becks walk and were pleased to get some guidance on an alternative route.

When we got down to the road, Mrs Tootlepedal headed for home and I crossed the Auld Stane Brig….

Auld Stane Brig

…and headed for a track up the hill.

On my way I passed a curious frozen puddle with a translucent centre….

frozen puddle

…and yet another example of hair ice.

hair ice

It was cold in the trees and I was pleased to come back into the sunshine when I got onto the hill.

There were trees to be seen at the bottom of the hill….


….a sheep on sentry duty on the track further up…

sheep on warbla

…and a blasted hawthorn, survivor of many gales.

tree on warbla

I could see snow on the hills just outside the town….

Snowy view

…and the moon hanging in the sky above the track.

Moon over warbla

I could look back across the Wauchope Water and see the wood which is being felled.  I don’t know how much of the wood will go but it will be missed when it is gone.

Becks wood

When I got to the track back down to the Stubholm, I noticed a strange black line down the centre of the roadway.  A second look showed me that it was my shadow and I stood with my legs apart to take a picture of it.

long shadow

It is not every day that I find myself on a gently sloping track with the sun low and  dead behind me so this might well be my only chance to prove that in the right conditions, I can have a fifty yard long shadow.  (I paced it out.)

As the sun got lower, the light got more golden.  We may not have had a very colourful autumn this year but we are getting some enjoyably colourful winter afternoons now on the days when the sun shines.

Meikleholm Hill

Whita in winter

I walked down the hill with care as there were some icy bits to avoid but I was able to keep my eyes open enough to see some fungus on a tree on the Stubholm track….


…and some lichen on the park wall.


It is a constant source of wonder to me that two stones in the same wall, just a yard or two apart should have different lichen on them.

The house seemed very quiet when I got back.

A look at the forecast in the evening revealed a very confident prediction of snow for tomorrow and I am not so old yet that I don’t consider the first snow of winter to be an exciting event so I hope that we do get some.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch giving a siskin the hard stare.

flying chaffinch and siskin

Here is a little video of the three eating machine for those with 20 seconds to waste.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Casting a long shadow

  1. In the photo of the snow on the hills above the town there’s a large blue-roofed building in the left foreground. What is it? The cutting & stripping attachment on the tree-felling machine is scarily efficient.

  2. Having cut down a few trees and chopped them into firewood myself I can say that any machine that can do that is amazing.
    Also amazing is your shadow. I’ve never seen one so long.
    Nice to see mushrooms in December, and I like the puddle with a viewing window. That ice is the kind that makes a tinkling sound when you break it. I’m still trying to find hair ice here.

  3. A fine day for a walk, even if it was a bit chilly. The house must seem very quiet with Matilda and her parents gone. I’ll bet that it wasn’t quiet near the tree destroyer though. I know that the trees will grow back, but I’m always saddened when I see them being cut.

    1. As it is quite a rapid process here and the woods are small, the felling and regrowing process offers us an ever changing landscape which is no bad thing.

  4. A delightful read this morning: it is interesting to see salmon being smoked and I have enjoyed the words ‘snedding’, ‘pontitecture’ and ‘chibbly’!

    1. I can remember using the word snedding but if I used ‘pontitecture’ and ‘chibbly’ my typing must be worse than I thought…..Ah, I have just read all the comments and see where they came from now.

  5. Lucky you. I’ve never seen hair ice, but it looks so lovely in your images. I’ve seen those machines mowing down trees around here, too. Quite a bit bigger than the ones you showed. They’re pretty incredible, but they seemed to have put quite a few loggers around here out of jobs. Progress, or so they say?
    That’s quite a long shadow you cast! 😀

  6. Excellent post! The salmon smoking photo is v good, I have never seen it happening and your shadow and tree eating machine video are also v good. We had several flakes of snow a couple of days ago but now it is just rainy. Hope you get good snow!

  7. That is a very clever tree machine. I would happily have watched a much longer video.
    So glad you had sunshine – lovely pictures and shadows.

  8. You cast a long shadow over the blogosphere.

    An interesting puddle.

    Sorry to see the woods go. Happens often around here, as we live in “timberland”. Woods that are cut are usually replanted unless cleared for housing. Do you know the fate awaiting that acreage?

  9. That salmon smoking is how they do things the “native people” way-have seen it on an island off of Seattle, Washington, but usually in the open around fires. Of course there’s always smoke shacks. Very tasty too!

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