Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony and shows his efforts to teach his dogs to appreciate a fine sunset over the Forth last night.
We got a frosty morning without the benefit of any sunshine here and the temperature hardly rose at all for the rest of the day. Still, as everyone remarked, at least it wasn’t raining.
The chilly weather was encouraging birds to come to the feeder…
….and I poked my nose out into the garden after breakfast to enjoy Jack Frost’s work.
Sandy came round for coffee and we discussed Archive Group business. He is busy cleaning and scanning a large set of photographic glass plates which are more than 100 years old and he is finding the results very interesting. They will appear on our website in due course.
While we were chatting, an unexpected flash of colour caught my eye and I leapt up to see a brambling in the plum tree,
This is the second one of the season but like the first, it seemed to be a lone bird and didn’t stay long.
Unlike the brambling, the dunnocks are permanent fixtures at the moment and are obviously managing to avoid the marauding cats which haunt our garden.
Otherwise the traffic was much as usual.
After coffee, I gave my spare laptop and the Archive Group projector a trial run and then went along to the Buccleuch Centre with them where I was able to prove that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Not only did I get some excellent soup and sandwiches at the patrons’ lunch but I was allowed the privilege of showing the other patrons 100 of my photographs. They put up with this without any complaint and I enjoyed showing a selection taken from every month from December 2017 to December 2018.
Mrs Tootlepedal was helping with the catering both for our lunch and the other customers in the coffee bar and she had a very busy time. She was still working hard when I went home.
The afternoon was very still and I would dearly have liked to have gone for a quick cycle ride, as days with little wind are at a premium. However, the thermometer was still only showing 2 degrees C so I allowed good sense to take control. I really do not want to hit a patch of ice on my bike this winter and even if the road is 99% ice free, it is the other 1% that can do the damage.
I went for a walk.
It turned out to be a good decision because although the going underfoot was good, not only were there plenty of icy puddles…
…but there was also a rawness in the air that made it feel very cold so cycling would not have been fun at all.
When I got to the park, I found that someone had been improving on nature…
…and when I had passed through the park, I found that others had gone to the trouble of sweeping (or blowing) all the leaves off the path through the Beechy Plains.
This is the sort of thing that brings a smile to your face even when your nose and ears are tingling with the cold.
I walked along the Murtholm track, looking for points of interest on a grey day, such as a bright bramble leaf
…and drops of water suspended on every square of the sheep fencing the whole way along the track….
…and evidence of the recent strong winds…
…and a very fresh and green looking shrub. I am open to suggestions as to what it might be. Some sort of ivy perhaps?
I looked up at Warbla where I had been standing in the beautiful sunshine yesterday…
…and was very glad that I wasn’t up there today.
It was growing increasingly misty as I went towards Skippers Bridge and when I got to it, the view downstream from the bridge was gloomy.
Where there is a bridge parapet or a wall, there is always lichen and there was a good selection on the bridge itself and the wall along the main road as I walked back.
There as lichen of a different sort on a wooden fence beside the path further on and one or two defiant daisies to add a touch of colour to my walk.
I was surprised to see a very healthy looking fungus up a tree outside the back entrance to the Co-op store….
…and some more lower down the tree.
I was pleased to have managed to get a two mile walk in before the light completely faded but I was even more pleased to get home and into the warmth with a cup of tea and a slice of toast.
Waiting on my doorstep when I got back was a bottle of red wine. It turned out to be a present from Bob, the organiser of the patron’s lunch. I found a good home for it while I was eating my evening meal and I am writing this post in a consequently very cheerful mood. (Mrs Tootlepedal had a glass too.)
It is supposed to get progressively warmer over the next two days but as it is going to rain as well, this is not much consolation.
The flying bird of the day is outlined against the frosty lawn.