Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. As well as rain and snow in recent days, he has seen an owl too.
Our run of cool days continued but once again we didn’t get a frost, although the thermometer wasn’t far above zero. It was pretty still again in spite of low pressure and we seem to be under the calm centre of a depression while others are getting much stronger winds than us.
I had a look at the birds after breakfast and found a blackbird under the feeder again.
Once again, traffic was light, and fleeting visits from coal and great tits were all that there was to see.
Other birds did turn up after a while…
…but there must be plenty of other places for birds to get food just now.
In spite of temperatures around a mere four or five degrees C it was pleasant enough for Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret to have a suitably crochet blanketed coffee in the garden, while I went off for a cycle ride with no worries about icy patches. As I went to say goodbye to the coffee drinkers, I noticed that Lillian Austin is still doing her best.
I’ve tried to get up to the old hotel at Mosspaul twice in recent rides, and have been beaten back by fog and rain. I don’t like to be thwarted so I tried again today, and this time everything went smoothly.
There were still low clouds on the hills…
….but they stayed on the hills and didn’t come down to the road.
I got up to Mosspaul (which is no longer a hotel) and stopped to record the fact…
…wondering once again why they feel the need to have a bus parked outside their front door.
The hills ahead were misty…
…but peering past a pylon, it looked as though there were blue skies ahead rather than rain clouds….
…so I went a couple of miles down the other side of the hill, turning back at the little valley that runs up to Phaup cottage.
As you can see from the photographs in spite of a hint of blue sky, it was still a pretty gloomy day, but the light wind was behind me for the thirteen miles home, and I got back both dry and cheerful.
I had a look round the garden for any (just) surviving flowers.
Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she and Margaret had lasted outside for forty minutes for their coffee, not bad for December.
I had a light lunch, and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I made use of some sunshine by going for a walk.
As we set off, I noticed that the walnut tree was hosting a jackdaw convention.
We took the Murtholm track down to Skippers and found that the sun had already sunk low enough behind the hills to leave us in shadow…
…and at Skippers, only the tops of the trees were catching any rays.
I took a picture of the work of art painted by the spread of lichen on one of the stones in the bridge parapet…
…and then we looked over the wall beside the road on the other side of the bridge. My neighbour Liz had told me that I would find some fungus there if I looked. She was right.
She had described it as upside down fungus and I could see what she meant..
…but Mrs Tootlepedal gave one of the brown ones a poke with her stick and the puff of ‘smoke’ that came out showed that they were some sort of puffballs. The ones in the left picture in the panel had already opened up to let their spores out.
It was a day for fungus and lichen, as we saw a good selection of both at Lands End…
…and a very fine burst of fungus on a tree outside the Co-op store.
( I only took three examples of the fungus on the tree so I have thrown in a picture of nearby ivy to fill the panel.)
The fungus is on the middle one of these three trees. The nearest one had some nice lichen on it.
Although we had been too low to enjoy the sunshine, it was a lovely day as we could see when we got back to the suspension bridge and looked up river…
It was calm enough for the church to be reflected in the Wauchope as we walked up Caroline Street.
We got home in good time to have a cup of tea before I went to my computer to join this week’s Zoom rehearsal with the Carlisle Community Choir. These virtual sing songs are not very satisfying but 35 other members took part, and I think that they have probably helped to keep the choir together in a bleak time for singing, so I am glad to have taken part.
I made a simple but tasty meal of scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast for our tea and that brought a satisfactory day to a close.
I even got a half decent flying bird of the day.