Puffed out

wagtail

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia.  She was happy to see a pied wagtail on her lawn.

wagtail

We were pleased to see a bit of blue sky in the morning and although the temperature had dropped, it was still well above freezing.

The snowdrops are nearly out.

snowdrops

The birds were visiting the feeder….

goldfinch and siskin

…so it looked like a day to go for a short ride on my bicycle.  A short ride was indicated as my chest was still a bit cloudy after Friday’s longer ride and a busy day of singing yesterday.

Things looked fair enough as I went along.  I had to stop at Tarcoon to let a car by so I took a picture of one of my favourite views….

Whita from Tarcoon
Looking back at Whita

…and then I looked across the road and was struck by the coincidence of seeing a tree that had obviously suffered from strong winds….

tree and gretna turbines

…which doubtless helps to explain the line of wind turbines you can see behind it.

When I got down to Canonbie, it was still sunny and two Highland cows kept an eye on me as I passed.

highland cow canonbieP1060880

I had a number of other photo opportunities in mind for the rest of the trip back to Langholm but unfortunately I was unlucky and my route coincided with a very heavy rain shower for three miles.  It was all the more annoying that there was still plenty of blue sky about.  I got pretty cold and wet though so even though the rain stopped, I didn’t stop until I got home.

Looking out of the window after lunch, there was more rain about…

goldfinch and siskin

…which led to some bad temper….

_DSC0925

,,,but it soon stopped again and more peaceful coming and going ensued.

_DSC0930

A robin looked on.

robin

This is the time of year when Mrs Tootlepedal thinks of things to come so we paid a visit to a garden centre near Carlisle where she purchased a stock of seed potatoes and some onions.  There is an excellent fresh fruit and veg stall outside the centre so we stocked up there as well.

On our way to the garden centre, we passed a bird food store so I popped in and purchased a big bag of sunflower hearts.

The trip left us both very happy.

It was a beautiful afternoon by the time we got home, too good to waste so I nipped out for a quick walk before the sun went down, hoping for a good view or two.

I took the route that got me up a hill with the least effort and looked about.

Castle Hill January evening

It was well worth the effort.

Golf and bauchle hill

I could see the moon about which there has been a lot of talk, though I gather that I would have to be in America if I wanted to get the best view of it when it is full.

moon and monument

I was hoping to catch another very long shadow but the sun wasn’t in quite the right place….

Warbla

…but it was in the right place to give me some fine winter colour.

Castle hill from Warbla

view from warbla

It was pretty chilly on the hill as there was a brisk wind blowing so I didn’t go too far up and was soon making my way home along the Wauchope road.

I have been reading an interesting moss book, which I was given for Christmas, and am learning a lot about reproduction in mosses.  It is more exciting than you might think.

moss

There was no shortage of moss to look at beside the road.

moss

When I got home, I had time for a cup of tea and then my flute pupil Luke came.  He has been suffering from a cold and we didn’t have as progressive a session as we might have wished for but there is always next week.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in an adventurous culinary mood at present and we had a parsnip curry for our tea.  It was very good.

Fortified by the evening meal, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel for the first time this year and it was a great pleasure to get back to making music.  Carried away with enthusiasm, we perhaps played for a moment or two longer than we should have and my chest is feeling that it has had a busy day as I write this post.  Still, I take the view that doing things is better than lying around and moaning so I look back on the day with great pleasure.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch trying to sneak up on some siskins.

_DSC0927

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Puffed out

  1. A very good day, despite the soaking while cycling. How those highland cattle ever see where they’re going is a mystery to me!

  2. I hope getting caught in the rain doesn’t bother your cold.
    I love the shots of the highland cattle and I’m glad you took that walk because you got some excellent landscape photos. That’s a great shot with the moon in view.
    The snowdrops and mosses are just what I needed to see.

  3. You took some wonderful views of the wintery countryside while you were out on your bike and on foot. The leaning tree is a favourite as are also the cattle and the robin.

  4. I usually see pied wagtails in the supermarket carpark oddly enough. Your snowdrops are racing ahead of mine, they seem particularly reluctant to flower this year.

  5. I also hope that your getting caught in the rain doesn’t cause a relapse in your illness.

    The photos of the hills and valleys from during your walk were stunning, but my favorite image from the day is the second one of the moss. Great detail in that image, it’s as if I could reach out and feel how soft the moss is.

  6. What a lovely day and some fine photos- beautiful winter colour. I saw the space station overhead for the first time for ages last evening- just think of their views!

  7. The photos are beautiful and makes me feel like I am visiting your area. The Highland cattle are quite popular here in Montana and I see more of them on every drive. They always look warm and cozy in the snow. I understand the newest trend is crossbreeding them with the Angus.

  8. “Doing things is better than lying around”, what an excellent mantra. Currently, I’m doing too much of the latter. Fabulous pictures by the way.

  9. I am glad you and Mrs. Tootlepdeal are feeling better these days. The views of your area in winter are beautiful.

    Our snowdrops are coming along nicely out by the well house.

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