Cooked up

Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony in East Wemyss.

It was a little bit warmer here today than yesterday, but as there was a chilly wind blowing, it didn’t feel much warmer. When Mrs Tootlepedal went off to combine coffee with buy out business, I was very happy, after a visit to the shop, to stay in and make a batch of orange and ginger biscuits. At least I would have been happy to stay in, if I hadn’t had to make a second trip to the shop to get the vital orange which I had forgotten on my first outing.

I spotted a crow on our wire on my way.

After the biscuits came out, Mrs Tootlepedal came back. She had added shopping to her busy morning and arrived home with some blue cheese in her bag. As we had celery on hand, I made celery and blue cheese soup for lunch.

In between times, I watched the birds at the feeder.

It was quite sunny at times and a chaffinch on the plum tree basked in golden rays before descending to the feeder.

The feeder is almost always in the shade on these winter mornings and the birds there kept busy eating and didn’t waste time basking.

It wasn’t busy but there was a steady flow of traffic…

I saw a blackbird on the ground below the feeder, and a trio of starlings high in the walnut tree.

I was intending to brave the chilly wind and go for a cycle ride in the afternoon, but I got a bit discouraged by a heavy shower of rain. It looked almost sleety. When it cleared up, I went for a walk instead. After yesterday’s low level walk, I decided to go up a hill today and took the track up Warbla.

There was fungus and traces of fungus to be seen on my way to the open hill….

…but when I got to the hill, it was hard to see anything because of a burst of low sunshine.

Just how low it was can be judged by the enormous length of the shadow of my legs which reached right back to the gate.

Still, it was high enough to bring sunshine to the Meikleholm Hill across the valley of the mighty Wauchope…

…and smile on the town too.

However, the higher I climbed, the lower the sun sank and by the time that I was nearly at the summit, the town was in the shadow of the hill….

…and only the hills in the background were lit up.

I had a choice of two gates and a stile when I got to the final push….

…and took the middle gate.

I was not the first at the summit as a mole had got there before me.

Why a mole should choose this rather unforgiving spot out of all the possible places to go tunnelling in Eskdale is a mystery to me.

But then there is a lot of life that I am baffled by. For instance, why did I see only one of many lichen covered boulders on my way down the far side of the hill with this attractive brown lichen on…

…and what was wrong with the other boulders? And why did I only see a single lonely fungus the whole way down?

It was lucky that I had my wellies on for today’s walk because the rough ground was pretty wet in places and I had to keep my eyes down and walk carefully to avoid sinking into a bog or slipping over. All the same, I could clearly see that I was on the wrong side of the valley if I wanted to walk in the sunshine.

I looked over at Whita Hill and admired the skills of the men who built the wall down from the ridge to the bottom of the hill. Extending the zoom on the Lumix to its utmost, I could just make out the stile which I used to cross the wall on a recent walk.

As it was about a mile away and the camera was being hand held, the resulting picture is a tribute to the zoom on the little camera.

I heard the noise of a low flying aeroplane and looked round to see if I could spot it, but it was so low that it was behind a hill. What I did coincidentally see though was a different flight altogether.

It was getting cold in the shade as I dropped down the hill….

…so I didn’t dawdle, stopping only to try my phone’s macro capability on a wall lichen….

…and the camera’s low light capability on a very unexpected wild flower beside the riverside path at the back of the Co-op.

My face was tingling with the chill when I got home and I was happy to come into the warmth and enjoy a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit (and an iced bun which Mrs Tootlepedal had bought on her earlier shopping trip).

The regular family Zoom meeting was slightly impaired by the late arrival of my brother after his walk and the early disappearance of my youngest sister with connection difficulties. But, as always, it is good to keep in touch in these constricted times.

The flying birds of the day are in that skein that I saw flying over me when I was on my walk. I have no idea what they are. Even my Lumix couldn’t get close enough for a clear shot. I thought that they would be geese going back to roost for the night but they look more like gulls to me. I would be happy to be enlightened by a knowledgeable reader.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Cooked up

  1. I was wondering if those flying birds were gulls. How beautiful they are in that formation. So amazed by your phone’s camera. Gosh, it takes good pictures.

  2. The inquisitive crow is an interesting fellow, and I have enjoyed all the photos from your day. That is a long shadow! Thank you for sharing the festive cladonia with readers.

  3. I walked a trail into the low sun the other day. It’s hard to get decent photos when sunshine floods the lens. (and your eyes)
    Some lichens prefer a certain type of stone such as limestone and if you have only one limestone boulder that’s the only place you’ll find that particular lichen. Some prefer granite and others slate.
    I like that perfectly straight stone wall and your great shots of it.

  4. Those biscuits look delicious – a worthy treat after an interesting walk. The wall is fascinating and I like gates of all sizes and designs.

  5. We both enjoy shots of nestling Langholm. The Lumix zoom is most impressive – and doesn’t appear to have connection issues. I like the sunbathing chaffinch

  6. Nah. No-one makes biscuits looking that professionally perfect. Bet Mrs Tootlepedal bought a packet at the same time as the iced bun! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  7. I know why I’m ‘addicted’ to your posts as they show most things that I enjoy in life! The birds…great photos of the chaffinch, the trio of starlings and the V shaped flight. The tracks…up the hills and down the dales. The views…towns nestling in the valleys, sunlight over the gorse, hills rolling in the distance. Flowers and lichen …through the year and to top it all…posh biscuits and mole hills…perfect!

  8. The wing undersides of your flying gulls seem too colourful to be gulls, so I think they must be geese. I hope someone can identify them for us. Just reading through your last few posts, to catch up and really enjoying. Cheers.

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