Today’s guest picture comes from Tony. He was impressed by the power of some ivy which he found eating a castle turret.
I had a day neatly divided into three parts with a wide variety of weather to experience.
My day started when I crossed the suspension bridge in grey, slightly misty conditions.
I had a bit of business to do in the town but it didn’t take long and I was soon on my way for a three bridges walk.
When I got to the Kilngreen, the gulls were have a bath…
…and the rooks were looking for food in the grass.
At 4°C it was cool but there was little wind so it was a good day for a walk.
After seeing some very interesting moss on my walk yesterday, I had another look at moss on a wall today but found nothing unusual.
I did find an interesting lichen though.
It was my intention to walk round the pheasant hatchery and I made good progress along the road beside the field, noticing this device for tightening fence wire…
…and wondering whether a black and white setting would give a truer picture of the day than colour as my camera always tries its best to make the colour look as colourful as possible.
I had just got to the top of the pheasant hatchery and was considering this old tree surrounded by potential youngsters in tubes…
…when a cacophony of whistles and banging made me aware of the presence of a group of people who had arrived to reverse the production of pheasants by shooting them.
This is not the sort of shooting that I am comfortable with so I took myself and my camera back the way that I had come, crossed the Duchess Bridge out of range of the guns and waited until I had got home before doing some of my own shooting of birds in the garden.
A stout sparrow took the chair…
…while stupid chaffinches wasted time and effort arguing when there were free perches available for all.
I made some lentil soup for lunch and and ate it. After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents and I went for a bicycle ride.
The temperature was still only 5°C but the sun had come out and the day was transformed from dull grey to full colour as this view over the Bloch shows.
Sadly, it only took about another two miles for the weather to revert to grey as the sun slipped behind a bank of cloud and mist rose up from the valley.
I was going round my Canonbie circuit and coming up the Esk through the village, I began to wonder if the mist would get so thick that cycling might be dangerous. However, as I left the village and began the gentle climb up to Langholm, the mist thinned out and I could see Hollows Tower clearly, although the trees behind were still rather vague.
Looking up the road, the low mist was still lying but there was plenty of blue sky up above…
…and by the time that I got back to Langholm, I was in full sunshine again. I pedalled on through the town and up the A7, hoping to get a sunny view up the Ewes valley but that bank of cloud got in the way again and only the hills at the top of the valley were clear with mist rising from the fields again.
I turned and cycled home in the gathering gloom….
…and got there not a moment too soon as within half and hour, the mist was so thick that I couldn’t see past the end of our road.
I made myself a sausage, onion and leek stew for my tea and then my friend Susan kindly appeared to give me a lift to our recorder group in Carlisle. I was worried that thick mist might make the journey uncomfortable but it had thinned out and we drove down without too much difficulty.
We enjoyed a good tootle (and excellent biscuits) with the group and found that the mist had cleared away before our return to Langholm, where I found Mrs Tootlepedal back from her trip to Edinburgh.
In between all this, I had a go at the ‘blowing down a straw into water’ recommended by my speech therapist. It was noisy and splashy and fun so it won’t be hard to remember to do it twice daily for the next seven weeks. After that, I hope to be able to sing like a bird…
…though I probably still won’t qualify as the flying bird of the day.