Another outing for the new coat

Today’s guest picture comes from Gunta and shows that although her siskins on the west coast of the USA are not quite the same as ours, they do behave in a similar manner.


We had a very windy day here today and there was frequent rain too, so Sandy did well to find a dry moment to walk down and have coffee with us.  His luck didn’t last though and I had to drive him back home through a downpour.

While we were drinking coffee, we were entertained by the desperate efforts of a jackdaw to hang onto a walnut tree twig in the stiff wind.

jackdaw flapping

(I think it is a jackdaw, it might be a crow.)

When I came back from taking Sandy home, it was time to take down the Christmas decorations as it was Twelfth Night today.  The Christmas tree, cleared of its tinsel and lights, was put out to get used to being outside again.   It will go back into a bed when the weather is better.  It is lurking in the shelter of the wheelie bin to protect it from the wind.

christmas tree outside

I went back in and watched the birds.

A robin was checking to see whether there was anything interesting up there.

robin peering

Perhaps it was counting goldfinches.

four goldfinches

I was happy to see any birds in the wind and rain but it was a rare moment when all the perches were in use on the feeder.

two siskins two goldfinches

And with the wind rocking the boat, birds had to hold on tight down here too.

goldfinch hanging on

It was a day for doing things indoors so I made some leek and potato soup for lunch and after lunch, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  Then I practised some choir songs.  We are going to have to learn songs off by heart so an early start is essential for me as I find retaining words and music very difficult.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that there won’t be clapping too.

Mrs Tootlepedal bravely cycled off to the shops and when she returned, she reported that the rain had stopped so I put on my new coat and took it out for a walk.

There were a lot of ducks about.  This bold bunch were swimming in the Esk through the waves below the Town Bridge…

esk ducks rough

…while this squad sailed in smoother waters nearer the bank.

esk ducks smooth

I crossed the bridge and found even more ducks resting on the banks of the Ewes Water.

kilngreen duck bankers

The light had got very gloomy by this time so I tried to sneak past the ducks without disturbing them.

I was spotted though.

white duck hiding

On the far back of the river, a familiar figure stood guard.


At this point, the rain started again and got steadily heavier, giving my new coat a good test which it passed with flying colours.

The rain then stopped before I got home so I was quite dry when I joined Mrs Tootlepedal and our friend Mike, whose tea radar was once again finely honed, for a refreshing cup and some shortbread.

After Mike had gone, my flute pupil Luke turned up and we had fun playing.  The persistently damp weather doesn’t do our breathing any favours and we ran out of puff from time to time, but we did our best.

Because of the lack of colour in recent posts, I thought that I should take advantage of the Christmas season to put in two cut flower pictures, the first a gift from Clare and Alistair which is lasting well…

christmas flowers

…and the second a bunch of Alstroemeria which Mrs Tootlepedal bought to brighten the house.  They have repaid the purchase price handsomely.


Flying birds were at  a premium in the gloom today and this was my best effort.

flying goldfinch

It is a mark of what the day was like that it almost seemed brighter after dark when the rain and wind subsided than it had been during the day.  The forecast is for tomorrow to be even worse .

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Another outing for the new coat

  1. It is good to see the feeders busy and birds about down by the river, in spite of the weather. It is cold and grey here today. Most of our wind squalls were this morning.

      1. Come on now, Mr T! Have Mrs T take a photo of you walking away then. 🙂

        We’ve been having weather similar to yours for two weeks now. Happy times for those who like some good winter reading weather.

  2. Glad to hear your new coat is up to the job!
    Santa also brought me a new to add to my collection.
    It’s a good fit but unfortunately as it’s intended as a skiing jacket it’s a little too warm for our unseasonably mild temps at the moment. I’ll have to wait for colder weather to test it properly
    Until then I’ll have to wear my old favourite the Haglofs barrier 111 which is the best jacket in my collection.
    The weather here is similar to yours so still no cycling and I’m rapidly losing a bit of hard won fitness..ah well.
    Great shot again of your resident robin.

  3. I’m glad the new coat met its expectations. I know what it’s like when they don’t.
    The robin looks very innocent today but I know that looks can be deceiving.
    I like the shot of the white duck. It’s different enough for a blue ribbon.

  4. We used a potted Spekboom as a Christmas tree and it is delighted to return to the sun; its leaves turned bright green again almost overnight.

  5. Lovely to see some bright cut flowers in the house to cheer one up in these damp and dreary days. When are we going to see you model your new coat?

  6. We’ve had some rather intense squalls come and go today. They seem to come in waves. The creek is rising, but has a very long way to go to threaten us. Perhaps I’d best not brag though, tempting fate.

    I like your term for the wheelie bin. Much nicer than our “garbage can”! I may adopt yours.

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