Feeling the chill

Today’s guest picture comes from my Australian correspondent Stephen.  Having read about the Langholm Christmas tree illumination, he sent me this shot to show that Australians can do Christmas too.

australian Christmas tree

Talking about Christmas, our resident robin is working hard to get us into a Christmas mood.

sunny robin

As you can see, we had another sunny day today but once again, it was pretty nippy and the thermometer didn’t get above zero all day.

The odd goldfinch braved the cold and made it to the feeder, but they didn’t stay long.

goldfinch departing

Mrs Tootlepedal had a quiet morning in after yesterday’s very long day, so I went off to sing in the church choir by myself.  Our potential new minister has been voted in by the congregation but will not start work for ten days so we had a visiting minister today who chose cheerful hymns and gave us an interesting sermon.

When I got home, the feeder was still quite busy but the bright sunshine is a mixed blessing when it come to taking pictures of the visitors and I settled for a flying chaffinch…

flying chaffinch

…and a sitting greenfinch…

greenfinch on feeder

…before getting ready for a walk.  The robin appeared again before I could go out…

sunny robin 2

…but I managed to resist the temptation to take even more pictures of it and went out into the cold.

Out of the sun, it really was cold in the garden and this was the side window of our car.

car window ice

After three days of frost, the leaves in the garden are no longer just fringed with crystals, they are covered with them.

garden leaf ice

…and even our wooden heron has got signs of a runny nose.

garden heron drip nose

A box ball summed up the two sides of the day…

half frozen box ball

…and Lilian Austin was frozen stiff.

frozzen rose

The chilly conditions had turned every leaf on one of the golden box balls into little ice flowers.

frozen golden box leaves

I left the garden and walked up to Pool Corner where a lone larch tree has retained some its needles.

last of the larches

I liked this contrast in tree shapes as I passed the Wauchope graveyard.

three trees wauchope

Expert navigators are supposed to be able to tell the points of the compass by looking at moss growing on tree trunks.  Today, the ice on fence posts gave a pretty good indication of East and West.

frozen fence post

Who needs diamonds when its frosty?

fence post ice

I crossed the Auld Stane Brig and walked back towards the town along Gaskells Walk.  I was keeping an eye for hair ice and I was pleased to find an example beside the path.

hair ice gaskells

The track runs along the side of the hill and was in shadow so it was occasionally icy underfoot and always chilly.

 

icy gaskells

My hands had got pretty cold from taking my gloves off to use the camera and I had to keep a good eye on the where I was putting my feet so the camera stayed in my pocket and I concentrated on walking fast enough to keep warm.

I added Easton’s walk to the end of Gaskell’s walk and found another example of hair ice as I walked back along the river.

hair ice eastons

I was pleased to get back into the warmth when I got home.

When we drove to Carlisle after lunch to go to our Carlisle Choir, the temperature was -5°C and we hit a fairly thick patch of fog not long after we started.  I wondered how the electric car would enjoy these conditions but it seemed unworried, although the battery charge went down a lot more quickly than it does in the summer.

Luckily the fog didn’t last for long and we got to the choir in lovely sunshine. This was the last practice before two concerts next weekend so we worked hard to polish up some of the awkward corners that had remained a little rough.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I agreed as we drove home (-6°C) that time will have to be found during the week for some final homework on the songs.

The temperature should get above freezing tomorrow (fog permitting) and we are due to get up to double figures by Friday.  I hope we do as I have done very little cycling lately and I am getting distinctly tubby.  Two mile walks taking pictures are fun but they don’t burn calories.

The flying bird of the day is a rather dashing chaffinch, showing great determination in the pursuit of a seed.

flying chaffinch lunge

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

38 thoughts on “Feeling the chill

  1. Sorry you have been so cold, but the sunshine makes up for it in my book. We have been gloomy, cloudy, drippy all weekend, with only a few minutes of the clouds parting. Love the chaffinch and I’m with you in last-rehearsal-before-the-big concert mode. I’ll be checking in to compare notes. 🙂

  2. Even when she is frozen Lillian Austin glows with beauty.
    It’s always a pleasure to see the hair ice. I hope to see it in person someday.
    We’re getting our first snow right now and they say it might be a big one, so I’m glad to see your sunshine.

    1. I hope that you don’t get overwhelmed by your snow. Unlike us though, I expect that you are fully prepared for these conditions. Snow always catches us unawares.

      1. It’s the price you pay for all the beautiful views. When I win the lottery I’m going to split my time between the Lake District (spring and summer) and a desert (autumn and winter). As I’m currently not buying lottery tickets this is a somewhat long term plan.

  3. Jack Frost has painted a lovely, frozen scene again, and I especially enjoyed the examples of hair ice. Be careful walking out there. That is how my brother broke his arm a few years ago.

  4. That chaffinch is dashing. Lovely frosty pictures. Somehow, despite the cold, we don’t get frost like that in Maine. Wish we did. I would dash out with my camera.

  5. The Christmas robin is putting on a really grand show already! Love the poor heron pic with his sniffles and all the frosty photos too. Good to see the hair ice…can’t believe a year has flown by when you posted photos of it before! Great action shot of the chaffinch- definitely off to complete a secret mission!

      1. I remember last year walking around the Botanic Garden with my walking group and spotting some hair ice and amazed everyone by knowing what it was called! Everyone knew about your posts after that!

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