Through the rude wind’s wild lament….


I have run out of new guest pictures so I am returning to my Somerset correspondent Ventetia’s trip to America.  She was driven along some beautiful  but slightly scary roads.


While we didn’t go quite as far as the guest picture, we were visited by some very unwelcome snow here and the temperature only just crept above zero all day.

flying chaffinch

The snow was mostly very light but as it was accompanied by a brisk and bitter wind, we viewed it largely through our windows.

I did go out to take two views of our completed bridge.



Severe critics have complained that  the gap below the railings on both the right and left sides are big enough to let a small child through but these are people who have no bridge of their own and are jealous of ours.  A child needs a little adventure in its life.

Marching bands, acrobats, peers of the realm and assorted reality TV celebrities are being lined up for the official opening.

While I was out, I admired the winter aconites which are looking promising…

winter aconites

..but even winter aconites need a bit of help from the elements to come into full flower.

The birds were grateful for some food on a chilly day…

flying chaffinch

…and chaffinches in particular turned up in large numbers.

flying chaffinch

But the odd greenfinch….

green finch

…and goldfinch was to be seen too.

flying goldfinch

Over lunchtime, I watched Scotland making very hard work of beating a good Italian side  in their final match of the Six nations rugby tournament and then, as the sun had come out, I went for a walk to recover from the excitement of a tense finish to the game.

It looked like a wonderful day…

Esk view of George Street

…but in the brisk wind the “feels like” factor was well below freezing.  I was hoping to see some waterside birds but they obviously didn’t care much for the cold either and I had to settle for some gently paddling mallards…


…and a herring gull on a rock in the river.

herring gull in river

Among dozens of black headed gulls, we seem to have only two resident herring gulls.  They like standing in the middle of the rivers.

You can see why I often like to walk along the Kilngreen….

Sawmill Brig

… and over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks…

Lodge walks

…but even in when the sun was out, it was a bit of a penance today.  I only met one other walker and that was our friend Gavin.  He was also recovering from the stress of watching Scotland play.

Some cheerful moss on a tree stump…

moss on tree stump

…and a large and aged bracket fungus on a dead branch…


…gave me some thing to look at as I went round.

And I took a good look at a large tree on the other side of the playing field…

licheny tree

…which at first sight might look as though it had started to have some early spring foliage on it.

A closer look showed that any vibrancy in the colouring didn’t come from the tree but from its guests.

licheny tree

It is covered from head…


to toe in lichen and moss and has so much vegetation on it that it should be declared a national park in its own right.

An onrushing blizzard of light snow hurried me home but it stopped as I got to the house and the sun came out again.

This pattern continued for the rest of day with enough snow to start lying as the evening got colder.

It is due to keep snowing on and off through the night and tomorrow is going to be close to zero again (it is -2C as I write this) but with luck, there will be no travel problems when we want to go to our choir in the afternoon.

It doesn’t feel very much like four days before the vernal equinox though.

The flying bird of the day is one of the black headed gulls from the Kilngreen.

black headed gull


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Through the rude wind’s wild lament….

  1. That bridge. I don’t know about a small child being able to get under the railings, but ir seems to me, from the picture anyway, that an intelligent one could just go to the side of them?

  2. Sorry you are experiencing what I hope is winter’s last grip. We had some of that too recently and I apologize if we blew it over to you. I will look up winter aconites, I am not familiar with them. Your birds are still lovely. And I think the gap under the railings of the bridge looks possibly attractive but might be less so from a shorter perspective. Good luck with the acrobats though. 🙂

  3. This post arrived in my inbox thank goodness. Loved the colours of the stones in the river under the mallards. That new bridge is really something, look forward to the grand opening.

  4. If there are people complaining about the railings on the new bridge, some one should ask them how the human race survived when the world wasn’t built in such a way to make it idiot proof to every one.

    I enjoyed your walk today very much, probably because I was nice and warm and saw it on a computer screen rather than dealing with the nasty wind that you had to endure. I can relate to that, it’s been very windy here on most days when there has been any sunshine to speak of, and cold enough to force every one to bundle up.

    I agree with you, that tree could be a national park all by itself.

  5. The day here was much like yours weather wise, and I also watched mallards in the river. Your photos are much better than mine which aren’t usable, probably due to shivering.
    If all you saw was that amazing moss, lichen and fern covered tree your walk would have been well worth it.
    I’m looking forward to seeing blooming winter aconites. I’ve never grown them.

  6. little do all those supposed celebrities know that they have been pipped to the post and the bridge has already had it’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
    As for the small children, I’m with you!

  7. I loved the lichen-covered tree! What an exceedingly cold day it’s been – the furthest I’ve been is our postbox. I admire you for taking a walk.

  8. Got up to discover heavy snow falling here in the Neath Valley, and it is still accumulating fast. According to the local forecast it’s not due to stop until 14.00. Like yourself, I found the rugby quite stressful. While I watched Italy v Scotland we had a power cut. It didn’t come back till half way through the England game. Wales against France was a nail-biting experience all the way. I should have gone for a walk instead.

  9. Well done for venturing out on such a cold day.
    Hope you manage to get the celebrities you want for the official bridge opening.

  10. Looks like they’ve done a great job on your bridge. Glad to see the new railings look “pooh sticks” compatible:-) I have childhood memories of playing pooh sticks there c60 years ago. Maybe you could have Matilda test it out, next time she visits.
    BTW your Herring gull is a Lesser black-backed (darker back and yellow legs are the give away)

  11. Love the view of the town, the flying gull and the mossy tree photos – another lovely walk to enjoy and how you avoid shaking the camera in this biting wind amazes me! Great rugby matches even though they were all hard to watch- not relaxing at all!

  12. I do see why you like to walk along the Kilngreen and the Lodge Walks–those are calendar-worthy pictures, in my opinion. I always like seeing the mallards. There used to be a couple mallards visit on the creek for a few days in March/April. I haven’t seen them lately.

  13. Thank you for the chuckle that arose from your comment:
    “A child needs a little adventure in its life.” I couldn’t agree more! 😀

  14. Lichen covered trees can look like they are in new spring growth. Our trees are very much the same, each limb sporting a park all of its own.

    I love that view of the Lodge Walks, in any season. An inviting road!

    I went out to the old garage this morning and found a starling had found a way in through the overhang. It took a bit of coaxing and an open door, but eventually they flew out.

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