Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone who is on holiday in Wales. He took the opportunity to see one of the most famous engineering feats of Thomas Telford, a local Eskdale hero. The picture shows the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries the Langollen canal through the skies over the river Dee.
We had a slightly warmer day here today but not much warmer so after having checked the weather forecast (grey but dry) I idled a couple of hours away after breakfast to let the temperature rise before getting out on my bike.
I spent some of the time watching birds.
Goldfinches had come back today but my attempts to find a flying bird were generally less than successful with chaffinches either hiding behind the feeder…
…or sneaking up before I was ready…
…and the goldfinches weren’t much more helpful.
I liked this pair with the sparrow in the role of Esau (my brother Esau is an hairy man…) and the chaffinch posing as Jacob (…but I am a smooth man).
I set off on my bike, full of hope and with an ambitious itinerary in mind. This lasted all of five miles because when I looked down into the Esk valley from the top of the Kerr hill, all I could see was rain, and heavy looking rain at that.
Within a minute, the rain had swept over me too and I was under fire from some painful, sleety raindrops which were being propelled by a strong and gusty wind.
I turned tail and tried to beat the rain. I succeeded within a mile or so and instead of resting on my laurels and heading for home when I got to the Wauchope road, I set off to the top of Callister instead. This was a bad mistake and the pedal home back down the hill was a full on experience of getting thoroughly wet.
Still, 17 miles was better than nothing and a hot shower restored my equilibrium.
Of course it had stopped raining by the time that I had got out of my shower so I went for a short walk.
There was even the odd glimpse of sunshine…
…but everything was very wet…
…wherever you looked…
…and as there were ominous clouds building up and my foot was hurting a bit, I took a quick stroll along the park wall where the pixie cup lichens ….
…were to be seen on every side.
The lichen stained bark of a tree caught my eye…
..but I had got discouraged so I headed home and looked for flowers in the garden. The crocuses looked a bit discouraged too…
…but a hellebore was looking well and even had a fly for company.
I lifted the head up to show that it was in good health.
Once I got in, the weather brightened up but I was fed up by then and I did some singing practice, had a cup of tea and a biscuit with Mike Tinker who dropped in and made a beef stew for my evening meal.
While I was doing these things, Mrs Tootlepedal was continuing with her crochet blanket (the end is in sight) and doing some detailed work on the rocking horse as part of the preparations for painting it (a lot of work to go).
After tea, I went off for the first meeting of 2019 for the Langholm Community Choir. There had been worries that the membership might drop off but there was a very good attendance with a new member on hand. Mary, our director, in consultation with the committee, has settled on fewer new works this session and as they are fairly easy arrangements, we had a relaxed session. I think this is a good plan as we ought to be able to sing the material very well by the time our concert comes round without any stress.
The best flying bird of the day that I could find was this chaffinch, just out of focus. It matched my efforts to read the weather correctly.