Today’s guest picture is another from that demi-paradise, East Wemyss. I have used a lot of our son Tony’s pictures as guest pictures of the day but if he keeps sending me pictures like this one which he sent today, I will probably use a lot more.
We had another chilly but calm day here today and it had the added bonus of providing us with quite a lot of welcome sunshine.
I was glad of the sunshine when I walked down to the river on my way to a routine health centre visit. I couldn’t make up my mind whether the church and its lonely tree looked better in silhouette….
…or with the sun on them….
…so I have put them both in. (It was a quiet day for taking photographs.)
When I got home, I prepared a shin of beef stew for the slow cooker, using leeks and turnips from the garden. Then I joined Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret, who were sensibly blanketed up, for a coffee and a biscuit in the garden. It was very pleasant to sit and chat in the sunshine.
After coffee, I took a moment to watch the birds. Once again there weren’t very many about. I think that it must be too cold to make a trip to our garden worthwhile for the goldfinches and greenfinches who come to us from a little further away. But we did have our usual suspects, including a blue tit..
…and a chaffinch who seemed surprised to have come up short with its landing plan….
…and another who was very happy to have landed safely.
Then I fuelled up with a slice of bread and honey and put on many, many layers of cycling gear before going off for a ride. As both the walk and the cycle ride yesterday had been out and back affairs, I decided on a more circular ride today and went round that old favourite, the twenty mile Canonbie route. It is more oblong or elliptical than circular but at least it wasn’t out and back.
With a light north wind blowing, it felt pretty chilly, even in the sun and there were enough clouds about when I looked back down Wauchopedale…
…to make sure that I didn’t hang around taking too many photos as I went along.
The Kerr Wood is fast disappearing…
…and I shall miss the shelter it used to provide from the prevailing winds.
As I went on, the clouds became the most interesting thing to watch so I did stop and take some pictures of them.
When I looked down into England from the top of the hill at Tarcoon, I saw that once again it had been cut off from civilisation by a thick band of mist ….
…but not as thick a band as the one lying low over the Solway to my right. It is not often that you get a layer of ground, a layer of cloud, a layer of sky and then another layer of cloud quite like this.
Luckily, none of this mist was on my route but the clouds did cover up the sun and it felt quite parky as I cycled home into the wind.
Any ride in December is welcome though, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. With good gloves and excellent socks, I kept my extremities warm. This is the key thing in winter cycling.
I had a quick scout round the garden when I got back Flowers are getting harder and harder to find and I have added berries, a box ball and some interesting fungus to one of the few nasturtiums that are left.
After some biscuits and cheese for lunch, there was still time for a short (but circular) three bridges walk with Mrs Tootlepedal, and the light was just good enough to take a picture or two on the way.
As we crossed Langholm Bridge, we could see the gulls at their posts. Mrs Tootlepedal wondered if they each have their own special posts or whether it is first come first served.
I showed the picture to the sibling Zoom group later on and my sister Caroline was sharp eyed enough to notice that Mr Grumpy, the heron, can be seen in the bottom left corner of the shot. I had not noticed him at all.
We crossed the bridge and when I went down to the waterside, the gulls very obligingly took to the air. I had a happy time catching them in flight, both on high…
…and swooping low over the river.
Not all my shots were successful to say the least and when I looked at one of my misses on the computer, I saw that Mr Grumpy was in the shot, once again without me seeing that he was around.
The camera tied to catch him even if I didn’t.
We crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked round the new path on the Castleholm. The trees stood out as we looked towards the setting sun.
Behind us, a group of larches was picked out by that same sun. It was an odd sight but they really did look that colour.
Like yesterday, we would have had to walk up a hill if we had wanted to stay in the sunshine.
We got back home in nice time for a cup of tea and a view of a gentle sunset.
After our illustrated sibling Zoom, it was time to see how the shin of beef slow cooked stew had come out. The result was pretty satisfactory. Eight hours in the slow cooker does wonders for the shin of beef, and the knowledge that it is an economically priced cut of meat makes the resulting meal all the tastier.
To make a good day even better, I ordered large quantities of cheese and dates online in the evening.
One of the obliging gulls takes its place as the flying bird of the day.