Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew, who found some nice light in a quarry on a walk at Little Eaton.
The main excitement of the day was caused by the arrival of workmen who are going to replace the bridge over the dam in the street outside our house. Our road will be shut for a month.
The road is closed to traffic and pedestrians and it gives us a great talking point.
They soon got to work outside and in the meantime, Mrs Tootlepedal got to work inside the house on giving the kitchen a thorough clean.
Under these circumstances, I thought it better not to get in anyone’s way and went off for a walk. It was dry, reasonably bright and just above freezing so it was a good day for me to check to see if my recent bike folly had given me any aches and pains that hadn’t come to light yet.
I chose a three mile route with a little uphill road work and some gentle contouring round a hillside and this let me know that all my moving parts were in very good order.
This was a relief.
It also gave me the opportunity to have a look around as I went along.
There were gulls….
….and interesting walls, fence posts and some hair ice as I walked along the main road.
Once I turned up hill on the Newcastleton road, I began to get views…
….with the occasional glimpse of snow and windmills….
….which were made better by seeing that down below to the south, The Solway was swathed in mist.
I kept an eye on fence posts for interesting mosses and lichens but in the end, the most interesting thing that I saw was a fence post….
….though it was amazing that moss had found space to grow in the tiny cracks in the knothole.
I walked along the hill.
It is a mystery that while some hawthorns have been stripped of berries, others remain with a good crop still attached.
I had a look down at the town….
….and then walked towards it.
As I came off the hill to go past the golf course, my eye was drawn to a mossy wall.
Closer examination revealed that there was a lot of lichen on the wall as well as moss…
…and by far the most striking thing to be seen was a bright red display of cladonia lichen.
I think this is British Soldier lichen, Cladonia Cristatella.
The views were still good as I came down the Kirk Wynd and the sun came out to make it very pleasant day.
I thought that I had seen some unusual moss on a stone but when I looked again, it seemed more likely to be some sort of sedum.
By the time that I got home, the bridge mending team had got well stuck into the task.
The disturbance from the work had kept the birds away in the early morning but as I made some soup for lunch, they returned to the feeder….
….in enough numbers to make some shouting inevitable.
After lunch, I had to visit the health centre to get some modest scrapes checked to see that they were healing nicely. They were but another visit later in the week is still needed.
When I got home again, I found that the eager bridge repair men had dug so vigorously that they had cut through our water pipe. Mrs Tootlepedal had warned them about where it was but they had preferred to rely on the water board’s view that it was somewhere else.
A water board man appeared and mended the pipe. Mrs Tootlepedal felt slightly smug.
I visited a neighbour with a bird feeder for her to try out, as she has found that jackdaws eat all her bird food almost as soon as she puts it out. I got rewarded with a cup of coffee and two chocolate biscuits. I may have to go back soon and check how it is doing.
In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a play. I was pleased to see that I was able to play the flute even though I had bruised my mouth a bit and so after tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.
None of the three of us are in peak condition at the moment so we didn’t play at our best by any means but the session was still very enjoyable.
The flying bird of the day really is a flying bird today. It is a goldfinch.