Lucky thirteen

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He saw these daring window cleaners dangling by a thread today.

(Talking of guest pictures, our friend Bruce sent me a message to say that if the sign in yesterday’s guest picture that Ken saw on a gate caught your fancy, you can buy one on eBay for a reasonable price. I thought that that gate looked suspiciously new.)

When I looked at Mary Jo’s rain gauge this morning, I saw that we had had an inch of rain yesterday. After five inches in the couple of weeks before, it was a relief to wake up to find that we had a dry and fine day today.

I had a look at a couple of early birds after breakfast.

Thanks to our early rising regime, I was quite an early bird myself, and I was able to get for a pedal on my bicycle and be back in time for coffee. I had to go in the morning as I was due to get my flu jab in the afternoon. Because the roads were still wet after yesterday’s rain, I tried to put my overshoes on, and I was a bit upset when the zip on one of them broke. I had to throw them away rather than wear them.

Still, it wasn’t a bad day when I got to Callister, having pedalled through the worst of the puddles…

The day got even better when I turned to look at the other side of the road and realised that the crane at the thirteenth turbine of the Solwaybank Windfarm was actually working. It was lifting a blade so slowly that it took me a second glance to see that something was happening…

…but by the time that I had cycled further up the hill, the blade was level with the housing on the top of the tower.

I think that you can just see the figure of a worker getting ready to guide the blade into place.

I cycled on and thought that I might regret my lost overshoes when I hit a sharp shower of rain but it didn’t last. I worked my way round to the road on the other side of the windfarm site and looked at things from a different angle as the sun came out.

While I watched, the crane disengaged itself from the blade, which was now securely in position, and began to lower the blade carrying harness to the ground.

By the time that I had cycled a little further, the crane was fully lowered and the blades were were being very gently turned to line the mechanism up to receive the third blade.

Another few miles let me look back and see the that everything was ready for the third blade.

Although I was really pleased to see construction in action, it has to be admitted that it was not a terrifically exciting event as it all proceeded at a snail’s pace. However, I now know that new blades are fitted from a horizontal position. This makes sense when you think about it.

I had spent quite a lot of time watching the slow progress so I didn’t stop to take any more pictures on my way, except to note that it is easy to see when there are larches beside the road…

…because they leave a carpet of needles for you to cycle over. This is one occasion when I am grateful for passing traffic as it sweeps a cycle lane clear for me. Larch needles can be pretty slippery on a wet day.

The sun was out when I got home after my 21 miles, and so was Mrs Tootlepedal. She had gone out to a coffee morning and to get her flu jab. I wandered round the garden trying to get pictures of all the flowers that are still out. I missed a few but there were more than I realised.

Severe critics may complain that i have sneaked in two Lillian Austin rose flowers, but my view is that you can’t have too many Lillian Austin roses in a post. I was pleased to see quite a few insects about. I met our local bee keeper later on and he told me that they will keep going out if the temperature is above 10 degrees which it was this morning.

I made some leek and potato soup for lunch and then went off to combine a flu jab with a short walk in the afternoon.

As I crossed the suspension, three dippers flew past in the middle of a terrific argument. They were far too quick for the camera so I settled for showing that in spite of all the rain, the river was up but not particularly high.

The flu jab arrangements were efficient and the jab was painless so I was in a good mood as I walked along to the Kilngreen where an old friend was to be seen along with a small troop of black headed gulls.

Mr Grumpy moved during my walk so that I saw him again as I came back to the river later on.

There is still a bit of autumn colour about, thanks to the larches….

…and the sun brought out the best in some leaves on the Castleholm.

But there are a lot of bare trees now, and as we are told that we will have very heavy winds and more rain tomorrow, there may not be much colour left soon. It has been a reasonable year for autumn colour so we shouldn’t complain.

And there are always other things to look at when you pass a wall, like moss and spleenwort.

I enjoyed a sunny view of Whita as I came down towards the Jubilee bridge…

…but there was a change in the weather by the time that I had crossed the river and come down Mary Street.

I had looked at the fine larches at the end of the Scholar’s field when I crossed the bridge.

I had come back down to the river in the hope of seeing the squabbling dippers again but they were nowhere to be seen. I was entertained by a goosander splashing about instead.

Taking the hint, it paused for a moment for a portrait…

…before going off splashing about again.

I got home in time to watch the end of the Vuelta stage with Mrs Tootlepedal. Then we went out and I took on the role of supervisor and moral support while MrsTootlepedal did all the actual work work for laying the next slab in her drive project. When the time came to lift the slab, I literally lent a hand, and the slab dropped most satisfactorily into the right place. Nine in and sixteen to go.

The day wound down with the regular sibling Zoom meeting followed by corned beef hash for tea.

Because I was out walking and cycling, and then there was work going on the drive, I didn’t get the opportunity to catch a flying bird picture today. Mr Grumpy is keeping an eye open for one on my behalf.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Lucky thirteen

  1. That’s an excellent sequence of wind machine building. I hope the person sitting on top of it is well paid.
    And it’s nice to see the flowers. We had 3-4 inches of snow today.
    I’ve never seen a blue heron sit like that. It doesn’t look very comfortable but if he is okay with it so am I.

    1. The heron did look odd but as it was able to get up and stand on a rock later on, it must have sat down by choice.
      I am sorry about your snow. I hope it melts before you have to think about roof clearing.

  2. What big variety of pictures you posted including a fuchsia. Very interesting to see how the wind turbine gets puts together. After all that waiting you must be pleased to have seen the men in action.

  3. I agree Mr. Grumpy looks a little caught off guard squatting like that – perhaps reverting to a begging behavior. Fascinating to see the turbine assembly, if agonizingly slow. My hope is that over here we will go back to supporting cleaner energy solutions soon and maybe coat the blades with something only birds’ UV vision could pick up.

  4. Those golden larches are splendid, and I am enjoying what is left the leaves on your trees. Our sudden killing frost here turned almost everything except blueberries and and peony foliage brown. Your flower panels are always a pleasure, a taste of summer left behind. It is always good to see the birds, too. Mr. Grumpy even looks somewhat pleased.

    1. We are still waiting for our first frost but we are getting much more rain and wind than is comfortable. There may not be many leaves when I next get out for a look.

  5. Late to the game here, but my, what a varied and wonderful post! Lots of colour, interesting shots of Mr. Grumpy, a rainbow, a happily splashing goosander, progress on the paving stone front, and best of all – action shots of the craning! I appreciate that it’s a slow game, but the sequence of shots you posted do well at showing the process. The open hatch with the worker in place shows how truly huge those turbines are. (p.s. my flu jab was also painless this year, which was very nice, as sometimes it’s like having a fence post pushed in my arm!)

    1. Our turbines are huge and there are bigger ones about which must be overwhelming when you get up close to them.
      I am glad to hear about the painless fly jab.

  6. PS The entire city of Seattle comes to a halt with one or two inches of snow. It is quite hilly and, believe it or not, the snow is heavier in texture, wetter and more slippery that in the Midwest.

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