Today’s guest picture is another from Tony. While walking his dogs, he saw this big flock of sea birds floating just off shore.
For some unknown reason, I was feeling a bit tired this morning so I decided to have a leisurely time and I was just standing in the garden contemplating life when Dropscone arrived in his car.
He was bringing a gift so I invited him in for a cup of coffee. The gift turned out to be a loaf of brown bread which Dropscone had noticed lying in the last chance trolley at a supermarket in Galashiels late last night when he was coming back from a golf meeting. There had actually been two loaves, both reduced to 11p and this seemed an irresistible bargain so he had snapped up both of them and kindly brought one round to us. We ate several slices with apple jelly while we drank our coffee. The bread was worth every penny.
When he left, I looked in vain for some bird action on the feeder but only spotted a single chaffinch happy to pose for a moment.
Perked up by the bread and apple jelly, and a hint of sunshine, I got my cycling gear on and set out to go round my usual Canonbie circle. The sun promptly went in and didn’t reappear but it was reasonably warm at 8°C and although the wind was strong, it was generally in a helpful direction so cycling was enjoyable.
The Highland cows in Canonbie were hiding behind each other…
…but a youngster was less coy.
I cycled through the village and stopped for a second look at the carvings in the wood at the Hollows. The artist has placed some birds in trees…
…and arranged a rather unsettling trio of heads on the ground.
I cycled on and added a couple of extra miles to the trip, recording 23 miles for the second day running. Added to my walking miles, this took my total to the month to over 200 miles which is very satisfactory for the first half of January but as the forecast is for near freezing weather for every day after tomorrow for ten days at least, the final total for the month may not be much higher.
I had a walk round the garden when I got back and noticed a little colour here and there…
…but the stars of the show are the snowdrops which are going well.
I don’t have to go far to find lichens as I noticed this crop on our back doorstep.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been helping out at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop and when she got home, she started working on her rocking horse restoration, which is progressing well, and I did the crossword and went out for a short walk in the hope of seeing some birds as there were none in the garden.
My hopes were somewhat dashed by finding cheerful dogs running up and down the waterside and as a result, no birds.
I did notice that someone had come along with a saw and cut up the trees which were resting against the Town Bridge. The trees had been removed and only a splash of sawdust remained.
When I got to the Kilngreen, the bird situation was no better and a lone gull on a fence post was the only one in sight.
I went on to the Castleholm and took the new path towards the Jubilee Bridge. Looking over the fence, I could see a female mallard standing on a rock in the Esk.
There wasn’t much more to see and very little light to see it with so I only took one further picture before I got home.
Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea and invited us to go and view the new fence which had been erected earlier in the day on the edge of his garden by the chap who made our new bench. I will take a picture of it next time that I go past.
Mrs Tootlepedal went out to see a screening of Richard II in the evening after cooking a fine penne and smoked sausage casserole for our tea and I settled in for some singing practice and a little late archive data entry.
As well as the lone chaffinch on the perch, only two other chaffinches appeared while I was looking today. One was too quick and the other was too slow to appear as flying bird of the day. Still, I am saving a lot of money on bird food this winter.
Note: I am in the market for fresh guest pictures.