I have delved into my archives to find today’s guest picture sent by my Somerset correspondent, Venetia last October. It shows a footpath that is not totally welcoming.
We woke to an altered view from our upstairs window.
The snow hadn’t got down as far as the town though and I was able to walk to our corner shop on surprisingly ice free roads.
Sandy, who had missed the camera club last night, came down for a cup of coffee and Mrs Tootlepedal combined having coffee with us with putting more coats of gesso on the rocking horse. The horse has been brought in from the cold and is enjoying life in our spare room. More importantly the gesso is going on a lot better and by the end of the day, the horse was looking a lot smarter…
…although there are several more coats to go on before it will be ready for painting.
When Sandy left, I did the crossword and kept an eye for action outside the kitchen window.
I got an unexpected chance to catch a regular visitor…
…which doesn’t usually sit quietly for long enough for me to take a picture.
In spite of the snow, it was a reasonably pleasant day with occasional bursts of sunshine and although the temperature was only 3°C and it had rained overnight in the town, we were mysteriously free from ice so I went for a walk half way up a hill.
I went up the Kirk Wynd and onto Whita, stopping before I came to any serious snow. The sun had been out when I started but sadly clouds had intervened and it was a pretty grey day.
Even on a grey day though, there is usually something to cheer a walker up and there was a good show of lichen on a wall….
…and the view up the Ewes valley always lifts the heart whatever the weather.
I was on the very edge of the snow line as I walked along the contour of the hill towards the Newcastleton road but the going was very good and I had sensibly taken my walking poles with me so I enjoyed myself.
And when I got to the road, I was rewarded with a sparkling display of moss among the snow on a wall…
…and a wintry view through the pines.
Looking back up the hill, I was glad that I hadn’t been tempted to climb up to the monument as it looked decidedly chilly up there.
I followed the road down to the A7 and walked along to the Kilngreen past this fine display of holly berries.
On the Kilngreen, the light seemed perfect for capturing the sinuous patterns of this picnic bench…
…and I was very happy to see Mr Grumpy on the bank of the Ewes Water. I haven’t seen him for some time and was getting worried about his health.
There was more agreement about the way to go among the mallards today.
Looking back towards the Sawmill Brig and Castle Hill, it was hard to imagine that I had been walking in snow not long before.
I got home and sat down to a nourishing plate of soup. Mrs Tootlepedal returned from helping out at the Buccleuch Centre cafe and I watched the birds for a while…
…being pleased to see a greenfinch and by accident I took a picture which shows how small our garden bird visitors are in the great scheme of things.
Whatever it is that is causing me to have discomfort when walking at the moment hadn’t been made worse by my walk so I decided that the roads were probably ice free enough to risk a few miles on the slow bike to see if that sort of exercise would help.
The sun came out…
…which was a bonus and I pedalled very gently for seven miles without meeting any icy patches or making my leg worse so I was very happy. I will try a longer ride next time when the weather permits.
In the evening, the ever busy Mrs Tootlepedal laid down her crochet hook and went off to act as front of house for a screening of the Queen of Spades at the Buccleuch Centre and stayed to see the opera. As Tchaikovsky is not my favourite composer, I stayed at home and did a little more work on learning the Carlisle Choir songs. Like putting gesso on a rocking horse, this is a slow business.
A chaffinch is the flying bird of the day as the visit of the sparrow hawk didn’t keep the birds away from the feeder for long.