Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who came upon a horde of ladybirds on one of her visits. This picture shows just a few of the insects that she saw.
It was a bright but chilly morning here and I had to scrape ice off the car windscreen after breakfast before I could drive up to the Moorland bird hide to fill the feeders as a substitute for Sandy who is still on holiday.
There was a lot of mist about along the river and enough of it had spread up the hill to the hide to give me a rare treat when I got out of the car, a mistbow.
It soon faded away and I set about filling the feeders and then lurking in the hide to watch the residents emptying them again.
I did a brisk business with tits. Here are a blue tit and a coal tit taking in some peanuts…
…and here is a great tit waiting to take its turn.
I had to wait a while for a greater spotted woodpecker to arrive but when one did, it posed very graciously for me.
There is almost always fungus on the ground near the feeders at this time of year.
Coming out of the hide to go home, I found that the hide was in sunshine and the valley below in mist.
I plunged bravely into the valley and the mist and headed for home.
Although the temperature was only 3°, the day was very calm and it felt much warmer than it should have done. In the circumstances, it seemed too good a day to waste indoors so in spite of it being nearly coffee time, Mrs Tootlepedal agreed to come for a drive up the hill road on Whita.
We were soon back above the mist and looking down.
It was well worth the effort.
We drove up to the White Yett and looked back over the Esk and Ewes valleys.
We parked in the car park at the MacDiarmid Memorial and I walked a little further up the hill, passing this delight on the way.
From there, I could see the mist lying over the rivers below.
I would have liked to have stayed longer and to have taken innumerable shots in pursuit of the perfect mist picture but it really was coffee time by now so we headed back down the hill.
We stopped for a moment at the Kilngreen where Mrs Tootlepedal had been asked to say what she thought some bright red small fruits were in the garden there (amazingly deep red crab apples most probably was the verdict).
I took the opportunity to look around. It really was the most perfect day.
And we were now….
…looking back up at the mist.
Coffee and ‘things to be done’ called us and all too soon we were back in the car after a light lunch and heading for Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents.
Matilda, her mother Clare and I went to the Botanical Gardens to feed the ducks…
…but we were a bit slow off the mark and bells were ringing for the closure of the park almost as soon as we had got there.
Still the ducks got their rice and we had our fun and it was still a good day for a walk so we weren’t too unhappy.
Alistair, Matilda’s dad, is a dab hand at making tasty pizzas so we had an excellent evening meal before catching the train home with a tricky crossword to while away the time.
In all the going up and down, I had little time for the birds in our own garden but I did catch a flying chaffinch while the feeder was still in the morning shadows.