Into the woods

Today’s guest picture brings a bouquet of South African garden colour into our gloomy winter scenes, courtesy of my South African correspondent and Langholm exile, Tom.

tom's sa flowers

By contrast, what Langholm looked like today when we got up was this….

snowy garden
The photo is is in colour but the scene is in black and white!

…but the snow had stopped and gradually melted away during the day, although the temperature never rose more than a degree or two above freezing.

I gave my sore foot a rest in the morning and drank coffee, did the crossword and looked out of the window.

There were sparrows about on the feeder…

two sparrows

…and a bunch of starlings on top of the walnut tree.

starlings in walnut tree

Green and gold finches turned up too….

gold and greenfinches

…and birds frequently flew off in all directions…

birds leaving feeder

…and then came back again…

three birds on feeder

…so I wasn’t bored.

We gave the snow some due consideration but having checked that the main roads were cleared and that the trains were running on time, we set off for Lockerbie and the train to Edinburgh.

On the drive, the main problem was not snow or ice but quite thick mist covering the whole countryside almost all the way to Lockerbie.ย  We arrived safely though and caught the (on time) train and travelled up to Edinburgh in good conditions.

I was hoping to catch a shot of the Tinto Hills covered in snow and gleaming in the sunshine but they had generated their own cloud which covered them completely…..


…and were a disappointment.

Al, Clare and Matilda are camping in Clare’s parents’ flat while they are waiting for their new house to be finished and this gave Matilda the chance to take me for a walk in a nearby wood.


She was a confident guide and we got back safely without meeting any wolves or being stung by bees.

Mrs Tootlepedal and Iย  spent a pleasant few hours chatting with the family and enjoyed a wonderful Persian based meal before we left to catch the train home.

The journey home passed off without incident, although the mist made for careful driving.

I did find a chaffinch arriving at the feeder and it has the honour of being the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Into the woods

  1. Your brambling from yesterday must have moved south as I saw my first in the garden today. I wasn’t sure of identification until I checked your photo, thank you.

    1. I can’t imagine what it is like to live in prolonged snow. On the rare occasions that we get snow that lasts for more than a week, I get quite bored.

  2. I just hope we don’t get any snow here! It’s depressing. Even the birds look cold. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The starlings look quite cold in that photo. You must be going through a lot of seed in this weather.

    I am glad Matilda has nearby woods to play in. I was a lucky youngster to have many hours in the woods, swamps and fields.

  4. Just now I think I’d prefer to see the flowers in your guest photo out the window rather than the scene that you saw! The photo of Matilda going through the wood is one to treasure.

  5. The snow on the garden is depressing, even if I can make out a few hints of green in the photo. I hope that it doesn’t get as cold there as it has here, or the flowers that will spring from the garden will be delayed.

  6. What a perfect walk through the woods led by the intrepid Matilda! I think that should be a treasured image when she’s grown.

      1. How easy it is to forget the changed circumstances for the new generation. Perhaps there might be some special sentiment attached to certain particular images, much as the ones I keep in my mind… perhaps in later years? Hard to tell.

  7. The Matilda shot reminds me of the time I confidently led Julia and the kids down a path that became a bosky dell, then a ditch then a canyon. A mile later we escaped, enjoyed a session of the traditional family game “Recrimination” and agreed that I was not allowed to lead walks in future.

    Such is life.

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