A good block

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who did some bird spotting in the centre of Derby today.

It was another pretty dreich day here when we got up, and it wasn’t a great surprise considering some more overnight rain, that I found Mary Jo’s rain gauge pretty well full to the brim when I looked later in the morning.

That makes eight and a half inches since the just before the beginning of November and the paths and tracks are often getting quite soggy when we go for a walk now.

We were happy to sit and read the papers after breakfast and I didn’t stir until just before coffee time, when I had a look at the birds.

The feeder was a bit busier today from time to time…

…but mostly the pace was sedate….

…with time for the birds to look around.

This picture shows that bird photography can be a bit hit and miss…

…as I took both pictures from the same place with the same camera settings. The sparrow came out well, while the coal tit is not so good. Maybe the light was just a little bit better when the sparrow was at the feeder, or maybe my camera just likes sparrows more than it likes coal tits.

There was quite a lot of posing going on as usual…

…and a blackbird and a a jackdaw showed contrasting amounts of confidence while exploring the lawn.

Because of the drizzle, we didn’t have coffee in the garden, but the drizzle petered out and I went on a flower hunt in the garden before lunch. I had to look quite hard to find any.

We had an early lunch and then got into the car and drove down to the Hollows. Loyal readers will know that the Fairy Loup waterfall disappeared underground a week or two ago, leaving just bare rock at the popular beauty spot. We had heard that somebody had managed to block up the entrance to the subterranean channel and that the Byre Burn was once again flowing over the fall. We thought that we would check to see if this was true.

We walked along the old road from the Hollows, enjoying bursts of colours from berries and moss…

…and then turned up the track beside the burn through the woods.

We could hear the waterfall before we could see it, so it was no surprise to find it in action again.

We walked along to where the hole had been and found that whoever had blocked up the hole had done a comprehensive job.

It will be interesting to see if the water finds its way back into the hole again.

We walked on up the track until we came to the road and then crossed the bridge and walked back through the woods on the other side of the valley.

This is where we passed the sheep in the header picture.

The track was in much better condition than we had feared, and apart from one soggy corner, we arrived at the bench at the top of the hill above the sawmill without any trouble.

We paused at the bench to enjoy the view over the sawmill and across the Esk valley…

…before tottering cautiously down the steep steps to the woods below.

There are some pretty mature spruces in this part of the wood and they are a pleasure to walk through….

…on an excellent path.

We got down to the old road and followed it back over the burn again to the Hollows.

It is very fortunate that there are bridges over the Byre Burn at about a mile apart, so that if you go up one side and back down the other, you get a nicely varied two mile walk. With our little extra bit added on to get to and from the Hollows, we enjoyed a two and a half mile walk today. What made it even better was that the rain held off and we were well sheltered from any wind, so it was a pleasant outing for a November day.

And we passed some items of interest on our way along the old road back to the car.

We combined our walk with a trip to the Co-op on the way home and arrived back in good time to have a Zoom with our son Alistair and our granddaughter Matilda in Edinburgh. She is going to a Gaelic school in Edinburgh and read us a story out of a Gaelic book today (in Gaelic) and then provided us with a translation. We were impressed.

As I write this in the evening, the wind and rain are back, rattling round the house in a depressing way. We were very lucky to have found a gap in the weather for our walk, especially as it looks as though it will be very hard to find a dry moment over the next two days.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A good block

  1. I love it – I had to look up “dreich” and now I am going to add it to my vocabulary. My mother used to call these days “glismal,” but her word isn’t real. We had the same kind of day and my ability to focus was also challenged this morning. Nice of your Dunnock to pose.

  2. I suspect some heavy equipment was involved in the in-fill project. Water finds a way though, and I hope the fix lasts – the waterfall is too pretty to lose. If it doesn’t stop raining you’ll soon have moss growing behind your ears!

    1. p.s. Poor you – I just looked up your current weather: apparently it’s raining, with 100% chance of rain . . .

  3. That’s a lot of rain in two weeks.
    I’m surprised they were able to fill that sink hole. I hope it holds.
    The waterfall, bench and views all made me wish I was outside but it’s a little dark now.
    I wonder if Matilda will be a great lover of history.

  4. Great picture of the caffinch. Looks as though the bird is suspended in mid-air. So very glad the Fairy Loup waterfall was falling again. Best watch out, though. Fairies tend to be fey and unpredictable.

  5. Congratulations to Matilda, reading and translating in Gaelic!

    A beautiful woodland walk. I never cease to be impressed by all the trails about your area.

  6. You seem to have an interesting variety of paths and bridges in your area – quite enough to please everyone. Perhaps your walks are not as solitary as they appear to be: do you often meet other walkers?

  7. Great to read that Gaelic is definitely safe now that Matilda is learning and enjoying it. Lovely photo panel of flowers and pretty tracks through the autumn woods…hope the kind person (elves?) who mended the sink hole had a mechanical helper…lots of hard work can be seen!

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