Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony’s visit to the pre Christmas fun in Edinburgh. He saw salmon being smoked.
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….
…but it was a glorious December day for a walk….
…and as long as we stayed in the sunshine, it even felt quite warm.
The felling of the Becks wood is going on apace.
We were able to watch the skilled operator cutting trees, lifting them up and snedding and slicing them with ease.
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….
…and headed for a track up the hill.
On my way I passed a curious frozen puddle with a translucent centre….
…and yet another example of 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…
…and a blasted hawthorn, survivor of many gales.
I could see snow on the hills just outside the town….
…and the moon hanging in the sky above the track.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a little video of the three eating machine for those with 20 seconds to waste.