An eponymous day with added extra

Today’s guest picture comes from Canada.  Lucie, who sent it to me, is scratching her head as to why she can’t find people anxious to share a cup of tea with her on her patio when there are such comfortable looking cushions to sit on.

Lucie's snowy pergola

At least Lucie has had some sunshine.  We got another grey day today but not as windy as it has been for which we were grateful.

The sunshine in my life was metaphorical in the form of Sandy who came round for a coffee in a very cheerful mood.  His foot is a lot less sore and he has been sleeping exceptionally well so no wonder he was smiling.

As well as Sandy, we had plenty of other visitors today and I had to fill the feeder twice, a rare occurrence this year.

The siskins have wasted no time in making their presence felt as can be seen by this picture of a diminutive siskin blowing an incoming chaffinch away.

chaffinch blown away by siskin

A chaffinch did manage an unimpeded landing a little while later.

elgant chaffinch

Meanwhile the siskins took to creeping round the feeder to surprise goldfinches.

siskin sneaking past feeder

After Sandy left, I decided to go for a cycle ride as the forecast offered a few dry hours before the rain came.   It was still pretty breezy with gusts of up to 20 mph so I took things easy as I went round my customary Canonbie 20 mile circuit and kept my eyes open for things to photograph…

…like trees shaped by the prevailing wind…

bare tree chapelhill

…and more trees with some branched pruned by the passing winds…

bare tree Canonbie road

…and even more trees, this time standing in a relatively sheltered spot.

bare tree neat Canonbie

When I came to bridges, I stopped.

This is the Canonbie Bridge, low and wide…

Canonbie bridge

…and this is the Hollows bridge a mile or two up the road, high and handsome.

hollows bridge arch

Landowners grossly neglect their responsibility to provide uninterrupted views of river bridges for passing photographers as you can see from the Hollows bridge and this picture of another good looking bridge, a mile or two up the road which is almost submerged in trees and bushes, whereas….

old A7 bridge

…this ugly road bridge a few yards away is as clean as a whistle (and they have been cutting down more trees near it).road bridge

There is no justice….

…and bridges are not the only cause of photographic dissatisfaction.  Road furniture is a pest too as you can see from the junction at Canonbie where a lovely bank of snowdrops has been overwhelmed by clutter.

snowdrops and road signs

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy helping out at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop so I took a look around and noticed that she has got the Christmas tree out of the greenhouse and is getting it acclimatised for life in the garden.

christmas tree in garden

In the ‘signs of spring category’, new life on a rose was encouraging.

rose leaf

I went inside where I had a late lunch, battled with the crossword and did a little bird watching.

The stalk of the sunflower makes a convenient stopping place for birds waiting for a vacant perch on the feeder.

chaffinch on sunflower stalk

Some birds didn’t wait but made straight for the feeder…

horizontal chaffinch

…while others did their best to remove those who had got there first.

chaffinchs attack

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from a very busy session at the coffee shop and had a restorative cup of tea.  It must have been strong tea because as soon as she had downed it, we went off for a short expedition by car to the White Yett and then by foot up the track to the Monument.

Even on a dull day, the Ewes Valley is worth a look…

ewes valley

…and on any day at all, the lichens on the boulders beside the track and what I think is algae on the monument itself are very eye catching.

lichen and algae

Mrs Tootlepedal had brought her binoculars with her and took a moment at the summit to scan the skies for interesting birds…

Mrs T bird watching on whita

…in vain.

I looked down on the town, eight hundred feet below…

Langholm from Whita

…and then we went back down the track to the car before we got caught in the rain which was threatening to arrive.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went back to the Buccleuch Centre to watch a screening of a performance of Don Quixote by the Royal Ballet company while my friend Susan arrived to take me to Carlisle where we had an excellent evening of tootling.  The ballet was very good too, Mrs tootlepedal reported.

It was raining lightly as Susan and I drove down to Carlisle and it was very wet as we drove home so I was lucky to get my cycle and walk in before the rain arrived.  Sometimes the weather goods relent and give a man a break.  However, it does say that it is going to rain all day tomorrow so it was just a small break.

Another horizontal chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “An eponymous day with added extra

  1. We were watching the live transmission of Don Qixote from the ROH in Spain. Isn’t modern technology marvellous? I agree with Mrs. Tootlepedal- it was a great performance.
    Loved the picture of the “wee bit toon” from the Monument.

  2. I went to see Joe’s film this afternoon. I thought it was wonderful, especially the way it was from the point of view of children. Not my normal sort of film of course, but the kids around me seemed to get excited in all the right places, and I enjoyed the odd touches of humour aimed at adults, which had me chortling.

  3. Interesting how good looking bridges get covered with undergrowth and the ugly one is left unadorned. A bit like faces and beards, I feel.

    You still managed some great photos despite an unpromising grey day.

    1. The relative care of the bridges reflects the fact the the motorist always seems to come first. This in turn reflects the fact the more senior civil servants and politicians drive than cycle.

  4. I’m glad Sandy’s foot is better and I hope yours will be soon. Strange that you’re both having foot problems, as if you both stepped in something on a trail.
    The lone trees are nice to see. It’s hard to find a tree that isn’t surrounded by others here.
    Great to see rose leaves. It’s another sign of spring, which will visit us soon.

      1. Lucie’s biscuits (as is everything else she bakes) are excellent! You really need to meet her creme caramel 🙂

  5. Sometimes metaphorical sunshine brought by a friend is even more warming than the real sunshine. Loved your vertical flying birds, they look like torpedoes going for the feeders.

  6. A grey day, but many beautiful things to see in your area. We are having one of the coldest Februarys I can remember here. I see many signs of spring, although it does not seem spring-like at all.

  7. Lots of lovely bird and landscape photos to enjoy. Well done to Mrs T for remembering to take the binoculars- they are so easily forgotten. Far too many road signs everywhere and roads too busy to read them all!

  8. Beautiful views and I enjoyed the bare trees and the bridges too. I also get angry at the amount of street furniture and agree that the snowdrop bank is spoilt by it. I love the photo of the thoughtful chaffinch sitting on the sunflower stalk.

  9. Such very pretty views. I truly enjoy seeing them, but I had to chuckle at your observation that folks just need to get out there and clear some of the obstacles from the bridge views. You don’t seem to have quite as many power lines and poles from what I’ve noticed. Or you’re very clever at avoiding them.

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