My South African correspondent, Tom, thought that it was time to make the blog more attractive to the wider public so he has sent me this delectable picture of bare flesh. They have to put up with a lot of fine weather down there.
There was once again no danger of sunburn in Langholm as the temperature stayed near freezing all day.
I had to go back to the health centre to get the dressings on my scratches from the bike crash changed again. Things are healing up very nicely though and I should be be clear of sticking plaster by the end of the week with luck.
After his own spell of illness, Scott, the minister, proved that he had got his coffee radar working well again and appeared for a visit just as coffee was on the go. He is a keen cyclist and in view of the continuing bad weather, he has taken out a gym membership and had been spinning away in the gym before he came to see us. I am thinking about the possibility of going to the gym. But only thinking about it.
We had a look at progress on the dam bridge repair while he was with us.
The concrete has set well and the big concrete beams were being lowered into place.
After Scott left, I made some vegetable soup for lunch and kept an eye on the birds while it was cooking.
Sometimes I wonder if there are more interesting things going on round the back of the feeder than at the front.
I have put out some ground level food and it is beginning to attract some customers.
Two greenfinches arrived and showed magnificent disdain for the attempt by a chaffinch to unsettle them.
And we were pleased to see a random great tit.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal set about stripping the old varnish off the dining room table and I went out for a walk.
I stopped at Pool Corner to show the sluice and caul that provide the water for the dam (and create the pool that gives Pool Corner its name)…
…and while I was leaning on the wall and contemplating life, a dipper flew in and posed briefly for me.
I walked up the Hallcrofts road to have a look at the progress of the felling at the Becks wood. It is extensive.
A skilful combination of man and machine was adding to the already enormous pile of logs beside the road.
On a wall nearby, I studied a strand of moss and thought how much it resembled a conifer tree in miniature.
I had checked the forecast before I had set out and it offered only a very small chance of any rain and I suppose it was right in a way as I had dry spells and I also went through a couple of heavy hail showers but it never actually rained.
At least the hail stopped and looked good on some clumps of moss.
Although I am mostly thinking about moss, I haven’t lost my taste for lichens and fungus.
The lichen on the fence post at the Auld Stane Bridge was looking very healthy. The red spots are so tiny that I didn’t see them until I looked at the picture on my computer.
And there was a good set of birch polypores beside the river as I went along Gaskell’s Walk.
After the hail showers, i would have been more appreciative if the sun had shone on me rather than on nearby hills…
…but at least it stayed dry for the rest of my walk.
Following some recent advice I looked at the sori on the back of ferns…
…and following my own inclinations, I was impressed by the variety of moss within a square yard on the park wall.
The dam bridge repairs are now a spectator sport…..
…and they are a subject of considerable interest in our neighbourhood.
I was a little tired today after all the excitements of going to Manchester yesterday so I was not as unhappy as I might have been to find that the usual Monday evening trio playing had been cancelled. My flute pupil Luke came though and we had an enjoyable time working on a sonata so it wasn’t a totally tootle free day.
We noticed with sinking heart a telephone engineer climbing the pole outside our house in the late afternoon and were very relieved when he did what he had to do without cutting off our phone line this time.
When the workers had left, I popped out to record their progress on the bridge repair. They and their machines had worked hard today.
The forecast is for more strong winds, low temperatures and possible snow so I don’t think I am going to be able to test my cycling appetite and abilities for a few days yet.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch in expansive mood,