Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia’s African adventure. As well as many wild animals and birds, she found time to take in the countryside as well.
We were spared the worst of some inclement weather today with towns to the north of us getting a heavy snowfall. We did get constant rain and wind so we didn’t escape entirely.
It was very wet and windy at first and it was still raining heavily at lunchtime when there was just enough light to let me look out of the window at the birds.
It eased off a bit from time to time, but even when it wasn’t visibly raining, a trip to the back door showed a fine mist of drizzle being blown across the garden at a brisk pace.
The birds didn’t come to the feeder in great numbers, probably because of the wind as much as the rain, but there were still moments when they had to queue.
These two summed up the day quite well, I thought.
And as usual, some chaffinches would prefer to get in an argument than to go to an empty perch.
I did step out into the garden and found a washed out chionodoxa….
…and daffodils hanging their heads down….
…but as it felt cold in the drizzle and wind, I soon went back indoors. Luckily there was an afternoon of rugby on the telly to help me pass the time, and I watched Wales thoroughly outclass a rather dispirited looking Irish team. It was a game with a single try very near the start and another right at the end and in between there was a lot of bash, bash, bash which was quite tense without being very interesting if that makes sense.
After the game, I made a pot of sausage stew and then, since it was still drizzling outside, I sat down with foreboding in my heart to watch England walk all over Scotland. This they proceeded to do with some style and they were more than twenty points up in less than twenty minutes.
I checked the weather. The rain had stopped and there was a hint of blue sky. Phew, I could go for a walk and leave them to it.
Under normal circumstances, I would have walked as far as the evening light would have let me and I would have come home well after the game had finished but as my foot is still a bit iffy, I merely walked down to the river to admire the daffodils…
… check on the flow rate…
…and say hello to a couple of pairs of mallards…
…who had managed to find pockets of calmer water.
I was laughed at by a bunch of rude starlings in the tree beside the Buccleuch Centre…
…and pottered home to find that the first half had finished with England leading by 31-7.
At least Scotland had scored a try.
Rather against my better judgement, I sat down to watch the second half and was rewarded by a modest miracle. Scotland played a lot better, England played a lot worse and it was one of the days when fortune favoured the brave and the bounce of the ball went Scotland’s way. As a result, with two minutes to go, Scotland were actually leading by 38 points to 31 and in sight of a famous victory, but it couldn’t last and they gave away a crucial penalty with only seconds to go. England kept their heads and scored a well worked try under the posts. The subsequent conversion tied the match at 38 all. So it really was a match of two 31-7 halves, most remarkable and a privilege to watch.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch who was unmoved by the whole rugby thing.
I have two footnotes to today’s post:-
The first was sent to me by my friend Bruce, who for reasons that he can’t explain found this scan of a ceefax page from roughly thirty years ago relating to a local school on his computer. All I can say is that the lucky head teacher must have had an excellent staff to impress the inspectors.
The other footnote is a composite shot of the pictures that I have framed for the exhibition in the Canonbie church cafe. They have all appeared on the blog before and I have tried to pick out ones that might have general appeal and have some impact printed at A4 rather than seen at 800px on a screen.
I realise that the top left picture needs re-framing.