A small step

Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony and the kingdom of everlasting sunshine, East Wemyss.  If you look closely, you might see a seal on the rock in the foreground and perhaps a cormorant too.

wemyss seascape

After our recent sunny spell, we went back to rather grey and gloomy today, but the silver lining in the clouds was a rise in the temperature to above zero.  It was a curious day because in spite of the higher temperature, the dampness in the air made it feel colder and rawer than the recent much colder but drier days.

And although the thermometer had only gone up to two degrees, by lunchtime the roads and paths were miraculously cleared of frost and ice.

It was still slippery in spots in the morning so Mrs Tootlepedal had to take care when she cycled off to a meeting about the community land buy out and I had to go cannily when I cycled to our ex-corner shop for milk and a cauliflower.

I got back safely though and was able to welcome a determined goldfinch to the feeder.

goldfinch december

It stood its ground while chaffinches circled around.

busy feeder

We seem to have a pair of dunnocks in the garden at the moment, this one…

one of dunnock pair

…and this one.

other of dunnock pair

I think they must be a pair becuase I read that they are quite fractious birds and if it was two males, then they would be trying to chase each other away.

I couldn’t find any reliable guide to tell me how to distinguish a male from a female.

A blackbird made a face at me when I asked it to pose prettily.

blackbird making facw

I have had a sore back and have not been sleeping quite as well as I would wish so I had a very quiet morning, doing nothing more active than my visit to the shop and making some dull soup for lunch.  A toasted tea cake with my coffee kept me cheerful though.
(If you like tea cakes, I can thoroughly recommend Dan Lepard’s Top Tea Cake recipe from his book ‘Short and Sweet’.  His kneading method is brilliant for people with arthritic hands)

After a bowl of the dull soup (which was enhanced by some onion gravy granules to good effect), I went off for a walk.  Although I enjoy walking up hills, coming down them again doesn’t suit my feet at the moment so I stuck to the flat today, and did an extended three bridges.

I had it in mind to take a portrait of the handsome white duck that hangs about with the mallards at the Kilngreen if it was there.

It was there but it wasn’t co-operating.

diving white duck

However, after some preparatory preening…

preening white duck

…it finally posed for a portrait.

posing white duck

Mr Grumpy was not amused to find that he wasn’t the star of the show today.

grumpy heron

Then I focussed on trees.

This one looks green enough but the green is entirely moss and lichen with not a leaf in sight…

castleholm mossy tree

…whereas this one still had a great many leaves hanging on.

castleholm leafy tree

My final one, standing between the pheasant rearing houses, had neither moss nor leaves.

pheasant pen tree

Although there was no ice or white frost left on the track that I was walking along, there was still plenty to be seen on the branches of trees that had not seen the sun lately…

frosty branches

…and this little tree trunk looked as though it had been iced by a pâtissier

iced gtree trunk

…and a fungus beside the path was fully iced too.  Very curious.

iced fungus

I had thought that going along this track might put me in danger of slipping and falling but as it was, I could stride out with some confidence.  This was lucky because it was remarkably raw and I didn’t stop a lot for pictures, although hair ice is always a temptation.

haor ice Lodge

As I got near home, I could see that Whita had retained its own little cloud for the afternoon…

Whita in low cloud

…with the monument peeping shyly through.

monument in low cloud

On my way past his house, I called in at Mike Tinker’s to collect some photographs which he had been given to pass on to the Archive Group, and he returned the compliment an hour later when he joined Mrs Tootlepedal and me for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake. (Tea cakes have a habit of mysteriously disappearing.  I made twelve on Saturday and the last one is going to a good home as I write this.)

Then Luke came round and we played a sonata by Hadyn and worked at a little Bach partita.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a screening from the Old Vic of a performance by the National Theatre of Present Laughter by Noel Coward .  She enjoyed it thoroughly and I must say that this new idea of screening these London plays nationally is a very good one.

I found several moments during the day to practise choir songs but was left with a strong feeling that more practice is still needed.

The temperature is due to rise a little more tomorrow, so the prospect of a bicycle ride may not be too far off.

A chaffinch is the flying bird of the day again.

flying chaffinch

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

27 thoughts on “A small step

  1. My local cinema is not showing Present Laughter, for which I’ve had my ticket for ages, until 16th December. I might well need cheering up by then.

    1. However they have very complex territorial systems and mating habits –
      Especially liked the different trees and the frosty leaves . Your photographic skills are indisputable.

  2. The white duck seems like an odd duck with its single black spot.
    I’ve found over the years that the best thing for a sore back is walking, and I hope you’ll find the same.
    I love the mossy tree and the frosty bracket fungus. I’ve never seen anything like either one.

    1. In my case cycling seems to work the back better than walking but while it is too cold to cycle, I am trying to walk every day and do my stretching exercises too.

  3. Your son Tony takes some very beautiful photos, especially that golden light on the water. I enjoyed your bird portraits and trees, and frozen scenes. Even the trees look like they are posing for you.

    Hope your back is doing better, and you can get out on the bike.

    Hot tea and cakes seem like a perfectly sensible thing on such a cold day.

    1. It is not tea and cakes separately. The item in question is a teacake, a sort of spicy, sweet bread roll made with butter, syrup and eggs, flavoured with spices and stuffed with currants and raisins. It is a great comfort food.

  4. Such a delightful collection of some ‘arty ‘ and bird photos and obviously your son has had a great teacher in how to take excellent shots too. The monument and the tree silhouettes are my favourites.

    1. I have never taught Tony to use his camera and phone camera at all. He has picked up what he has learned by himself. I am very impressed as it is not so easy to take consistently interesting pictures like his as some people suppose.

  5. Fabulous portraits of beautiful trees, out in the open. My dad used sing his party piece “A poem as lovely as a tree” and it’s very true. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Tiny Potager

Mindful, Seasonal Living in Middle England - with a family of seven

Ohio History & Travel

You can find a rich experience close to home.

That and a little bit of this

My name is Meg and in my blog I share my thoughts and philosophy of life and faith.

Occasional Adventures

A record of our travel adventures

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

Reclaiming Paradise

Tales from an organic gardener

Movin' on

Meandering with camera...

Notes From the Hinterland

A blog about nature, home, community, books, writing, the environment, food, and rural life.

PedalWORKS

Don’t ride where you drive

quercuscommunity

Life after the Care Farm

Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire. www.llettycottage.co.uk

The Geek Homestead

Homesteading, homeschooling, gardening and baking with some geeky hobbies thrown in

Klarinet

Simple life with cacti

Salmon Brook Farms

Official Home of Lavinia and Rick Ross

rambling ratz

Rambling and bimbling around Herefordshire: mostly Credenhill Wood

thegardenimpressionists

Outside musings from our garden in Carmarthenshire

%d bloggers like this: