As I thought that it would be good to see something very cheerful from America today, the guest picture is another from Laura in Michigan.
We woke to a bright sunny day, with the downside being that it showed -2°C on our thermometer outside the kitchen window. Mrs Tootlepedal went out to check it and she couldn’t stand the cold so she came back into the kitchen.
The upside was that the sun soon began to have an effect and the frostiness began to beat a retreat….
…as did the moon. It looked a bit shifty and hid behind a tree when we spotted that it was out in broad daylight.
After it had warmed up a bit, I went out to check the flowers. It was touch and go and quite a lot had gone, but all was not entirely lost.
Traffic on the bird feeder was very slow but I did catch a couple off goldfinches early in the day.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some business in the town and I walked round to the shop by the scenic route.
We had an early cup of coffee and then drove up to the White Yett where we parked the car and took the track up to the monument on the top of Whita Hill.
It wasn’t at all a bad day for a walk to say the least and the MacDiarmid Memorial looked wonderful against a clear blue sky…
…but appearances can be deceptive and as we walked up the track, it became apparent that the light was very flat indeed and taking pictures of the views was not very productive.
We looked at other things instead. Mrs Tootlepedal noticed the the crane was in action at the fourteenth turbine on the Solwaybank Windfarm as it put the pod on the top of the tower. By the time that we had got to the top of the hill, the crane had pulled away.
I kept my eyes down and spotted the bright red tip of a lichen lurking in a shady spot on the summit.
I looked down from the hill at the larches on the lower slopes of Warbla across the valley…
…and back up towards the monument, where those with super sharp eyes might just be able to see Mrs Tootlepedal sitting on a bench.
After a look down at the town….
…and a look up the Esk valley immediately below us…
…and a broader look at it winding into the distance…
…we took the track back down to the car. Rather curiously, we saw a great many fungi close to the track which we had entirely missed on the way up.
Mrs Tootlepedal improved the shining hour by collecting sheep droppings for the garden in a handy bucket which she had brought with her.
We got home in time for lunch and then I went off for a short cycle ride round the Solwaybank Windfarm route.
Clouds had appeared by this time and sunshine was sporadic but when I stopped on Callister, it was clear that the sun was shining on the Solway Firth.
For want of anything useful to learn, I was introduced at school to the idea of the transferred epithet and the example used was a line from Tennyson containing the words, ‘the shining levels of the lake’. It is nice to know, all these years later, that when I was looking down at this view, a transferred epithet was running through my mind
I had a look at the turbine as I went round and found that they were adding the nose cone to the top cabin. They had completed the job by the time that I got round to the far side of the site.
On my way round, I stopped to look at some handsome trees on the banks of the Hotts Burn. We are coming into the season for bare trees in the blog.
After I had passed the windfarm, I had another break from bicycling to look for acorns as Mrs Tootlepedal is hoping to grow a few more oak trees. I didn’t find any acorns – the squirrels must have snaffled them all up – but I did see some more fungus on a mossy tree stump. Fungus is everywhere just now.
A brilliant hawthorn…
…and a fine group of trees, working as one, at Barnglieshead…
…nearly completed my nature watch for the ride, but I saw some fine fungus just before I got back to the town and thought that it was too good to miss.
I got home in perfect time to see the end of the Vuelta stage and have a cup of tea and a slice of bread and strawberry jam before it was time to Zoom with my siblings. They all live in England and are preparing to go into lockdown tomorrow, some with more resignation than others.
Thinking about lockdown, patient readers may well wonder why I get excited and keep putting pictures of turbines into my posts when one turbine, it has to be admitted, looks remarkably like another turbine. The fact is that Mrs Tootlepedal and I have done nothing and gone nowhere to all intents and purposes since the end of March which is a long time ago now, so more or less anything is quite interesting to me.
Among the other activities of the day, bird watching got rather lost, so there is no flying bird of the day today and a gull is standing in.