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.
(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.
I went back in and watched the birds.
A robin was checking to see whether there was anything interesting up there.
Perhaps it was counting 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.
And with the wind rocking the boat, birds had to hold on tight down here too.
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…
…while this squad sailed in smoother waters nearer the bank.
I crossed the bridge and found even more ducks resting on the banks of the Ewes Water.
The light had got very gloomy by this time so I tried to sneak past the ducks without disturbing them.
I was spotted though.
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…
…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.
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 .