A poor second

Today’s guest picture is another that Bruce took on the misty morning of December 18th.  I use it in particular because it is now five days since we saw any sun and it is good to be reminded that the sun does come out here from time to time.

bruce's misty morning

In real life, rather than recollection, we had another grey and sunless day here, so I was very happy to be cheered up by the arrival at coffee time of Dropscone.  On this occasion he brought with him not only his excellent scones but his grandson Leo as well.

Leo, who is seven, lives in Glasgow so I had not met him before.  Leo turned out to be a splendid fellow with a good appetite.  He ate one of the scones so I had less than usual but he had such a charming smile that I didn’t begrudge him his scone at all.  Like our granddaughter Matilda, he goes to dancing classes and he demonstrated some fine street dancing moves to Mrs Tootlepedal and me.

When he had taken his grandfather off, I watched the birds for a bit.   It was too gloomy to get good pictures but a robin is always welcome.

robin on tray

I washed out my new feeder and put the old one in its place.  The goldfinches were quite happy to use either.

goldfinches on old feeder

A siskin appeared when there were no perches available and in spite of being smaller than the goldfinches by some way…

siskin approaching

…it weighed up the situation…

siskin thinking

…and attacked.

siskin attacking

On this occasion though, it failed to dislodge the incumbent and flew off, leaving the feeder to more goldfinches (and a chaffinch).


I made some red and green lentil soup for lunch and then, in conference with Mrs Tootlepedal, considered how best to use the extra second of daylight that we had today.  Unfortunately, we over considered the matter and the second had gone before we could use it.  We shall have to be a bit sharper tomorrow.

Yesterday’s forecast had said that it would start to rain at 2 o’clock and it did.  Today’s forecast said that it would start to rain at 2 o’clock and I took the view that judging by its record, the forecast could not possibly be accurate two days running.  I got my bicycle out.

I was distracted by two jackdaws with white feathers on a neighbour’s roof…

two jackdaws with white feathers

…but I got going and hoped for the best.

It was drizzling faintly  so I thought that I might get ten miles in and get wet in the process, but as I went on, the drizzle stopped and I got fifteen satisfactory miles in and stayed dry.  However, I shouldn’t be too smug about my view of the weather forecast because while I was out pedalling in the country, it did rain in Langholm itself and Mrs Tootlepedal got quite wet cycling to the shops.

It was too grey to take pictures but I recorded a tree at Wauchope School just to prove that I did go out.

tree at Wauchope School

And I liked this shot of the cattle tucking into a treat at the foot of Warbla.

cows having food

I thought for a moment that I had spotted a two headed animal.  My camera, operating in auto mode, thought that I needed the help of the flash because it was so gloomy and I liked the resultant stars in the eyes of the cows.

double headed cow

Just at the top of the little hill before I got back to Langholm, I noticed that a rather strange streak of fungus was still thriving beside the road.  I first saw these fungi almost a month ago and I am surprised to see them still there and so untouched.

fungus at top of manse brae

This one looked as though a neat elf had been tidying up.

fungus with leaf

The two nearest the hedge are a good size and although something has had a nibble at one of them, they must be unappetising in some way to have lasted so long.

big fungus

Our friend Mike Tinker’s tea radar was functioning well and he arrived on time for a cup after I had got home.  He had kindly brought a packet of ginger biscuits as a gift so he was even more welcome than usual.

After I had polished off a biscuit or two, I had to pop out to the health centre for my three monthly vitamin B12 top up and this went off so painlessly and punctually that I was back in plenty of time to greet my flute pupil Luke.

Our work on improving his counting is paying off and we played sonatas by Finger and Loeillet pretty successfully.

After our evening meal, I brought in the Christmas tree and Mrs Tootlepedal started decorating it.    We realise that this is too early as it is not yet Christmas Eve, but what the heck, live dangerously is our motto.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch going off to find a feeder with more spaces on it.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A poor second

  1. Always a bonus when the weather turns out better than expected.
    I’m still confined to the R.T.N. in the man cave/workshop..in fact in a strange masochistic way I’m beginning to get used to it..for all its ills it’s better than nothing.
    Hopefully my bad chest will get better soon.
    Good for you getting 15 mls in,I’m jealous.

  2. Pleased that the elves are keeping everywhere shipshape for Christmas. Hope the tree decorating went well and you have some brighter days ahead to enjoy another cycle ride .

    1. A lot of brighter days would be even more welcome than some brighter days. I feel that we are owed some good weather after the last two months. I hope that you haven’t been washed away.

  3. Good to see that all is progressing well, though the early start to Christmas speaks of a certain lack of gravitas. Unfortunately Julia sneaked our tree into the living room last week while I was out so my curmudgeonly moral high ground has been seriously eroded.

    Despite my concern about levity, I hope you and Mrs T, and family, have a happy Christmas.

  4. When I have had a tree, I get tired of it taking up room after about five days….so having a tiny one to decorate on or just before Christmas Eve is a good idea.
    The two headed animal could have been a PushmePullyou.

  5. Funny, I have that very same problem with those extra moments. We have been having a siskin invasion. Seems we’ve been included in their daily rounds from alder tree to our seed feeder and on to the alder treetops again. If I could just find that extra moment, I might do some posting.

  6. I suppose that ought to give me some needed incentive to post some pictures of our “pine” siskins. They are really fun to watch since they form something very close to a murmuration as they swarm from tree to tree. I will be interested to compare your siskins to ours. I’m afraid that the nuthatches have my attention at the moment since I’m trying for a repeat of the hand feeding routine. I seem to have one pair where the male (I’m guessing) dive bombs me to try to scare me away rather than picking seeds from my palm. They do seem to have distinct behavior. Pity they’re not easier to tell apart.

    1. We had a very good Christmas thank you, Clare. The tree will come down on Twelfth Night of course, and then it will go back into the garden for another year.

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