Today’s guest picture is another of Gunta’s fine bridges. This one is at Newport.
It was another gloomy morning here with occasional rain. Even the chaffinch on the feeder seemed to be a bit hunched against the weather.
The rain stopped but it didn’t make this blackbird feel any happier about things.
At one moment, I looked out of the window and thought that the rain had caught fire…
…but it turned out to be the reflection of the Christmas tree, newly decorated by Mrs Tootlepedal.
The morning was full of preparations for a seasonal visit from our granddaughter Matilda and her parents, but I had some time over lunch to look at the birds.
In spite of the fact that the sparrowhawk had passed through the garden earlier in the day, the birds were back in force and the goldfinches were doing a lot of lurking.
There was action on every side when siskins arrived as well.
…and a dunnock could only stand and stare.
Though, when it comes to staring, there was nothing to compare to a passing jackdaw.
I got really excited when there was the tiniest glimpse of sunlight, picking out a chaffinch on Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree….
…but it was only a glimpse and it was back to grey when I went out for a short walk in the afternoon while our potential visitors were driving down from Edinburgh.
The berries on the severely cropped shrubs beside the Wauchope are looking amazing.
I walked along the river and when I crossed the Town Bridge, I saw an excellent turn out of gulls at their posts on the Castleholm.
The only gull left in the river was the young gull that I saw before.
I walked across the Sawmill Brig and took the track out towards the High Mill Brig, stopping to gaze at sheep grazing under a bare tree…
…and then to wonder at the sheer variety of lichens growing within a yard or two of each other on the wall beside the track.
To avoid a boggy piece of ground at a gate, I went into the field and looked at the wall from the other side. There was hardly any life on the side exposed to the elements.
At the end of the track, I had a look up the main road to the north, down which our visitors would come in the course of time.
As I went to cross the Ewes Water, I thought that the sun might have come out again when I saw a patch of yellow, but it was just the topmost twigs on a tree.
Two hundred yards further on, there was a genuine brightening and the trees at the Rugby Club bridge were lit up by actual sun.
They are building a third log cabin at the Whitshiels cafe and are at a stage which reveals clearly the cunning interlocking method of construction.
As I got back to the Sawmill Brig, the sun had already sunk behind more clouds…
…and the light rapidly faded as I walked home across the Jubilee Bridge, my fifth bridge crossing of the day.
It was dark by the time that Matilda, Al and Clare arrived but there was still time for Matilda to enjoy a couple of board games with me before tea. I was fortunate to come out top at Snakes and Ladders but Matilda comfortably beat me at Ludo so honour was satisfied.
On behalf of Mrs Tootlepedal and myself, I would like to wish all blog readers a happy Christmas and thank them for their continued attention over the year.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow, an uncommon visitor these days.