Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He and his partner Marianne celebrated her birthday with a weekend in Argyll on the banks of Loch Awe, where they visited the multi layered Arvich falls.
We had a cold and chilly morning here today. It was not freezing but it was cold enough to persuade me that a really idle morning would be good thing. To tell the truth, I didn’t need much persuading. If I was the sort of person who might complain about minor aches and niggles, I would have had an embarrassment of choices today. However as regular readers will know I am the strong silent type so I merely did the crossword and drank coffee until getting up could no longer be avoided.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy decorating so I wouldn’t have had anyone to complain to even if I had wanted to.
I spent some time watching the birds when I was fully dressed.
There were two types of goldfinch available, the old and wrinkly and the young and smooth.
But luckily there were plenty of both about….
..so there was plenty of action too.
Inquisitive chaffinches challenged the sitting tenants…
…and goldfinches faced off against each other with zest.
An old and wrinkled type put the wind up a smooth fellow in a big way…
…while a greenfinch watched from above with a magisterial air.
Putting down my bird camera, I made some lentil soup for lunch and while it was cooking, I made a quick record of some autumn colour in the garden…
…welcomed a robin…
…and then ate the soup.
After lunch, I considered the weather forecast. The general view was that things could only get worse so now seemed as good a time to go for a walk as any other.
I took my brolly with me for insurance and set out to walk up through a wood before coming back down to the river at Skippers Bridge and following the river bank home.
The wood was varied…
…and the path was reasonably dry…
….and there was lichen to be seen on a wall on the way and a little fungus among the trees.
I had been well sheltered in the wood but when I got to the track at the top, it began to drizzle and I was glad that I had my brolly with me. It was a very still day so I was able to keep quite dry in spite of the fact that it rained all the way home.
The track down the hill was covered with larch needles and this made me feel a little like a film star walking down the red carpet at a ceremony.
A newly felled area beside the track is regrowing with a mixture of spruce, larch and birch and even on a gloomy day, it glowed.
When I looked back up the track, I could see the larches which had provided my carpet.
Out of interest, I took the same shot with the camera on my phone…
…and nothing could make clearer the amount of work the processors in your cameras do before they give you a picture to look at (unless you shoot in RAW which I only do occasionally).
I stopped for a chat in the light rain with a local resident who was walking his dog and then made my way down to Skippers Bridge. I usually take pictures there when the sun is shining but today I took one when the weather was grey and the rain was falling just to show that it is a picturesque spot at any time.
There is a wooden fence a few hundred yards up the river from the bridge where my favourite lichen can be found if the conditions are right. They were right today. I think that it is a lecanora or rim lichen. They are very tiny.
The daisies that grow in profusion along the river bank at this point were still showing a bit of life…
…and further up river, I found a dipper perched on a stone, a bit too far out for me to get a good shot. This was my pocket camera zoom at full stretch and I would have needed somewhere to rest the camera to get a sharp shot. Juggling with an umbrella while trying to keep the camera dry made things harder.
In spite of the persistent drizzle, the windless conditions meant that I got home both dry and warm so I enjoyed my gloomy walk a lot.
I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal when I got home as she had finished her decorating for the day and then I caught up with my correspondence and discarded a lot of very fuzzy pictures from my walk.
In the evening, I went off to sing with the Langholm community choir and as we had both a conductor and an accompanist, we had a productive time.
The flying bird of the day is the greenfinch in dive , dive, dive mode when a perch became vacant at the feeders.