Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s Northumbrian holiday. It shows Bamburgh Castle, which he visited with his daughters and granddaughter even though he had to pay to get in. His granddaughter got in free in her pushchair though.
As Mrs Tootlepedal had an assignation to have coffee with her ex-work colleagues, I walked up the hill to have coffee with Sandy. With Dropscone being away, there has been a scone drought so I was very happy to find that through the good wishes of an earlier visitor, Sandy had a supply of unlicensed scones to go with our coffee. They went down well with some raspberry jam.
After our recent sunny days, it was back to normal today and it rained from morning until after dark. When I left Sandy’s, the rain had eased back to a gentle drizzle so I took the opportunity to stretch my legs with a walk across the Becks Burn.
A horse and and I had a meeting of minds on the state of the weather.
There has still been no demand for the fallen crab apples beside the track.
A sheep posed nicely for me and showed off how wet the ground is now.
When I got to the Becks Burn, I was able to see the law of unintended consequences in action. The stream used to flow straight on when it was flooded making access to the bottom of the steps on the far bank very difficult if not impossible. Someone created a serviceable dam out of natural materials and now the stream stays in its bed and it is possible to get to the steps on dry ground.
However, the strength of the stream as it is forced to go round a corner instead of going straight on has eaten away at the opposite bank so that support for a walkway has been undermined and getting down to the bridge is getting more difficult all the time.
It is still passable though so I crossed the bridge and walked up the steps to get to the road home.
There were several crops of fungus, bright enough to catch the eye on the way.
As I walked back down the hill to the town, I could see that the snowdrops are nearing the end of their flowering life…
…but there is never any shortage of lichen on the hedge plants…
The trees by the river are mossy too.
Mrs Tootlepedal was still out when I got back so I did the crossword, had a light lunch and occasionally watched birds.
There hadn’t been many about after breakfast…
…but I had changed the feeder before I went to Sandy’s and two greenfinches were enjoying the new feeder. They were managing to waste a lot of my expensive seed. I will have to offer the birds lessons in neat feeding.
On the whole, the birds were a bit shy…
….and as the light was poor, I didn’t do a lot of bird watching.
Mrs Tootlepedal got back thoroughly soaked from bicycling around the town on business but the heavier rain didn’t discourage the siskins who arrived later…
A blackbird kept well out of the way.
I spent some useful time practising songs for the Carlisle Choir and looking at hymns for Sunday’s church service and managed not to get too depressed by the return of the rain.
Mrs Tootlepedal watched a news item which said that Scotland has had twice the normal rainfall this February. February is usually the driest winter month apparently, but with it being a leap year so the month has an extra day and another named storm arriving tomorrow, this month is going out in whatever the opposite of a blaze of glory is.
For our tea, Mrs Tootlepedal made a delicious toad in the hole with some sausages lightly flavoured with chillis and perfect batter. The evening was further brightened by a visit from Mike and Alison who were pleased to find that the rain had stopped by the time that they came round for their usual Friday evening visit. I enjoyed the duets with Alison.
It hadn’t stopped when I took the flying bird of the day picture earlier on. The chaffinch was expertly avoiding the heavier raindrops.
Welly boot note: The Norwegian weather forecast says that we are not going to be too oppressed by Storm Jorge tomorrow. I hope that they are right. The BBC was more gloomy.