Unexpected visitations

Today’s guest pictures (there are two of them) show that snow was spread from London to Edinburgh today.  They come from our son Tony in Edinburgh and our daughter Annie in London.

Edinburgh snow
Edinburgh at 8am
London snow
London at 9 am.

And to fill up the sandwich, here is Langholm at midday.

John Street in snow

In the end, we got more snow than either Edinburgh or London and rather surprisingly finished up with 6 inches by the afternoon.

It snowed on and off all day.

WARNING FOR BUSY PEOPLE:  There are far too many pictures in today’s post so just take note of the snow and get on with your life.

I had to put on the full set of waterproof clothes and boots to go up to the town for a cup of tea and a meeting with a mover and shaker on a possible call for the Archive Group to be involved in an arts project.  It is all very much up in the air at the moment but the mover and shaker is very articulate and persuasive so funds may appear and the thing take off.  It sounds quite exciting.

On my way home, I went over the Langholm bridge but it was snowing hard enough to spoil the view.  I noticed that it was cold enough to have ice forming on the river’s edge.

meeting of the waters

We used to have more snow I think,when we first came to the town forty years ago and looking in the records, I see that the last serious snow fall here was in January 2016 and the one previous to that was quite late in the spring of 2013 so today’s minor blizzard was a bit of a novelty.

I spent a lot of the day watching birds.  Mrs Tootlepedal kept an eye out too and noticed a single brambling while I was out.  She took a shot on her camera and as there were a lot of other birds about, I have tinkered with her picture to pick out the brambling.

The brambling is on the right of the picture.  The rest are chaffinches.

She also saw a lot of starlings and unlike the brambling which didn’t come back, they returned.


We also had a visit from a song thrush, a very rare visitor to our garden. It sat on the plum tree for a while, assessing the situation and then…

song thrush

….returned to try out the feeder.

song thrush

Sadly it couldn’t get organised to grip the perch in such a way as to get its beak into the seed opening so it perched on the feeder pole for a while…

song thrush

…and then went off sulking.

All through the day there was always a small crowd of chaffinches under the feeder…

chaffinches in snow

…as well as a flock in the plum tree…

plum tree with chaffinches

…and a usually a whirlwind round the feeders themselves.

busy feeder

We could count thirty or forty birds at a time.  The odd goldfinch turned up too…


…but it was mostly a chaffinch day.

On the ground what looked like a dropped glove….

blackbird in snow

turned out to be a blackbird which was digging for buried food.

And a small black blob turned out to be a robin, perfectly spherical to beat the chill.


A dunnock shrugged its shoulders against the wind.


And the blackbird found a better placed food block on the chimney pot.


Sometimes birds seem to be a stupid as people and in spite of there being several empty perches, this chaffinch thought it best to gratuitously stamp on another one.

battling chaffinches

I hope it gave itself a sore toe.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal decided that a walk down to the Co-op would be a good excuse for taking a little exercise and as it had actually stopped snowing, we got well covered up and went off.

I took a camera of course.

Langholm bridge and trees

When we had done a little shopping, Mrs Tootlepedal headed for home and I walked on to Skippers Bridge in the hope of some winter wonderland pics.

I was quite glad of the exercise, which was strenuous not least because when they plough the roads to get the snow off, they just push it onto the footpath and this makes for smooth running for vehicles and heavy going for elderly pedestrians.

A7 in snow

As I walked, the snow got heavier and heavier and this put paid to any picturesque shots of Skippers Bridge…

skippers bridge in snow

…so I settled for a close up of catkins among the snow as I walked back on the other bank of the river.

snow and catkins

The snow eased off and I followed these two walkers up to the Stubholm…

Stubholm track

…and then went back home by way of a diversion along Gaskell’s Walk from which I got this view of a snowy Eskdaill  Street.

Eskdaill Street in snow

I had to be careful not to knock the bushes beside the path…


…but I enjoyed looking across at the snowy trees at Pool Corner.

Pool Corner with snow

On my way along the road from the Auld Stane Bridge, I passed a scientific snow depth measuring device….

snow on fence post

…and an ice covered pool at Pool Corner.

Pool Corner iced over

The temperature stayed around 1 degree all day today and it is to be colder tomorrow so with a bit of luck, we will have avoided the icy conditions that come with thaw and freeze.  Still, if need be, I have an old pair of Yaktrax which can be called into service.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hoping to go to the Buccleuch Centre in the evening to watch a ballet performance of The Winter’s Tale but sadly and with dramatic irony, the Winter’s Tale was cancelled by real winter conditions and the Buccleuch Centre was forced to stay shut.

There are warnings of more snow tomorrow so we will just have to wait and see.  If there is more snow, I hope it comes with some sunny spells to keep a snapper happy.

Today’s flying bird is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

49 thoughts on “Unexpected visitations

  1. Great snow pictures – we managed a miserly scattering that was slippery without being photogenic. We also saw a Song Thrush near the Mencap Garden – beating a snail senseless on the pavement.

    Stay safe tomorrow, I hear you have a Red Warning. We had a Yellow Snow Warning this week, but that always seems like the start of a joke rather than a weather warning. 🙂

  2. Lovely photos – it almost looks as though you have more snow than we do at the moment. I hope whatever’s underfoot doesn’t become treacherous. I wonder if the blackbird reminded you of a dropped glove because you seem determined to scatter your belongings about the countryside???

  3. Holy guacamole, Tootlepedal! Langholm looks a lot like Maine. Enjoy the snow, but be careful!

  4. Mr Tootlepedal I think your wintry photographs are absolutely beautiful. I suggest you make “Langholm at midday” your Christmas Card this year.
    Wrap up warm.
    Not that you need to know really, but we are all sweating here in Brisbane with the heat and humidity. Wouldn’t think we were on the same planet! (Forgive me if it’ve said that before, I probably have.

    1. You can mention the weather as often as you like, not that you have said it before. I much prefer the cold to soggy heat so I am not envious at all.

  5. I enjoyed looking at the snowy pictures, but am glad there isn’t any around here at the moment. I liked the Skippers Bridge picture; I think the falling snow made the scene look mysterious.

  6. More enjoyable pictures as well as characteristic sagacity. Cold, but not as cold and without the duration (so far) of the Big Freeze of 1962-1963 that we can recall, or, the storm of 1947 that just preceded our living memory.

  7. The birds are lucky to have such guaranteed food. The noise round our feeders is incredible as they fight it out to the perches. Hope the big melt isn’t too messy.

  8. 6 inches of snow! I don’t fancy that at all. Here it’s been trying to snow for the last two days, and the weather forecasters assure us it is going to happen late this afternoon into tomorrow, with “significant amounts” of the stuff which is worrying. Cheers.

  9. Truly a winter wonderland. Wrap up warm! Having produced such wonderful photos today, I’m kind of hoping the yaktrax need to be dusted off for tomorrow’s episode😊

  10. A happy snapper indeed! and I enjoyed every single snap. Lovely to see snow, though I suspect we could all enjoy a bit more sun by now.

  11. A novelty for you, an almost daily event here in Michigan during the winter months. We did luck out today though, a storm just missed us, giving us a few flakes now and then while dropping 8 inches not very far away from here.

    Another commenter was right, Langholm is very picturesque when coated with snow, as are the hills and bridges in your area.

    You’re right about the birds seeming to be as stupid as people at times, just when I think that I’ve seen an example of their intelligence, you post a photo of one bird being aggressive towards another, when there was no reason for it.

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