Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew, who was visiting Nottingham University when he took this picture of the main buildings in the background behind the lake and a very interesting looking mini golf course with giant acorns.
We woke to a sunny day but as the thermometer had dropped several degrees and a very biting northerly wind was blowing, I wasn’t tempted to go further than the garden before church. In spite of the cold, definite signs of spring are all about.
The church choir, though small in number, sang away heartily at the hymns and a short anthem and at the practice after the service we agreed to try something a little more ambitious for Easter. Time will tell if we have bitten off more than we can chew but our organist and choirmaster is so enthusiastic that it will be fun trying.
When we got home, I fortified myself against the chill with a cup of coffee and went for a walk. Yesterday’s day of rest had made my sore foot worse if anything so I thought that perhaps exercise might be a good idea.
I aimed for a route which would have the wind at my back when I was exposed and which would find me in the shelter of hedges and the valley on my way home. This took me along the track to the Becks Burn and back along the road. It worked out well.
When I read other people’s blogs, I often long for some context for their pictures and words so I took the chance to show Wauchope Cottage tucked into the heart of the new town of Langholm
Our white front door can be seen in the centre of the picture with the walnut tree in front of the house.
A little further up the hill, I could now see the new town in the foreground with the old town behind and Whita Hill providing the backdrop.
I noticed a healthy looking polypody fern on a wall near Holmwood.
If you could get out of the wind and into the sun, it was a pleasant day for walking.
Although the fields along the track are still fairly green…
…the rough pasture on the hills is losing its colour and we won’t get our green hills fully back now until May.
The felled trees in the wood provided some pretty patterns.
I was passed by a jogger after I had crossed the Becks Burn and was impressed as he sped up the hill on the far side.
The road back down into the valley was richly dressed with catkins in the hedge…
…and when I got down to the Wauchope road, I had a good time looking at various very healthy lichens on the walls.
I filled the feeder when I got home and watched the birds for a while. Two male chaffinches showed off their fine colouring in the sunshine…
…while a female looked unavailingly for a free perch.
This goldfinch had found one and was keeping a close eye on it as he approached.
Another goldfinch had a friend who was kindly keeping the sun off him as he ate.
After lunch, we drove down to Carlisle in glorious sunshine to attend our community choir there. The wind was gusting at 40 mph so for once I wasn’t at all unhappy not to be cycling on a sunny day.
Unlike the church choir, the Carlisle choir was very well attended with about 100 members enjoying an excellent and productive practice. My time spent trying to learn the songs for our Manchester competition paid off and I found that I was fairly confident in the two that we sang today. It was lucky that we didn’t sing the third one, as I have a lot of work to do on that still.
We paused outside the chip shop in Langholm on our way home for long enough for a poke of chips to insert itself into the car as if by magic and eating the chips with the last of my tapsi flavoured sausage stew brought a satisfactory day to a close.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, applying the brakes and looking keenly for a free space at the feeder.