Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. Looking through my files I noticed that I had missed this nice double bridge shot combining one of his sons with the Erewash canal. It was taken a month ago.
We had another in our series of cool and calm days here, this time with added morning light rain. The rain put paid to coffee in the garden, but I managed to fill an otherwise quiet morning with a trip to the Co-op and making some soup. I can really pad out an unforgiving hour if I try.
The rain had stopped by the time that I had got back from the shop and I saw a collared dove resting on an overhead line and taking an interest when I went out to the car and plugged it in to charge the battery.
I took a moment to watch birds at the feeder after lunch, but once again there were not many to watch.
Sometimes two arrived at the same time…
…but this chaffinch seemed surprised to find that he was sharing the feeder.
Mostly they came as singles today.
I went upstairs to get changed for a bike ride and when I looked out of the window, I noticed a blackbird having a bath in our pond….
…it came out for a good scratch and a yawn.
After a moment of thought, it had another go and was so active that the camera couldn’t catch the action clearly.
A dunnock under the feeder was more peaceful and let the camera get a slightly better shot.
The light was pretty poor as i set off on my bike, and it was no surprise to me that soon after I had taken this shot a mile and a half into my ride….
…it started raining again.
As I plodded up the hill into the rain, I was considering abandoning my proposed trip round the Solwaybank windfarm loop and running for home. However, when I got to the top of Callister, in spite of some gloomy weather to the south west where Criffel was shrouded in rain…
…the immediate prospects looked better…
…with some blue sky in the direction from which the wind was coming. I took heart and pressed on down the hill…
…encouraged by the clear skies round the slowly turning Minsca turbines.
I took the Linnbridgeford road and noticed that where there had been a dense crop of willows a month or two ago…
…they had been ruthlessly cleared now and only a field speckled with short stumps remained.
It will be interesting to see how quickly they grow again.
In spite of the slightly clearer skies, it was not a bright afternoon and I couldn’t hang around too long if I wanted to get home before darkness fell.
I had front and rear lights on the bike so I was easily seen, but the only cycling glasses that I have are dark ones so seeing rather than being seen was my concern. (“Why do I need cycling glasses?” I hear an alert reader asking. The answer is that they wrap around a bit and protect your eyes in cold weather. If you don’t wear wraparounds, your nose drips like a leaky tap and spoils your fun.)
The tendency towards banks of low clouds in the valleys and around hills was in evidence again today…
…and I get the feeling that there may be places that have been literally under a cloud for the last week.
My loop kept me in the clear though and I enjoyed some good cloudscapes as I rode home.
I got back in time for a slice of toast and a cup of tea but too late for a walk with Mrs Tootlepedal. With only two weeks to go to the shortest day, daylight hours are at a premium at the moment. (08.27 to 15.43 today)
My current bicycle back light has got a broken attachment and has to be stuck to the back of my bike with sticky tape for each journey. The tape proved a bit unreliable today in the rainy conditions so it is lucky that I have just bought a replacement. This is a cunning device which attaches to my offside handlebar and has a back and front light in the same compact unit. It came with a spare attachment so now I will be able to use my old back light at the same time, and I will be able to ride about the countryside lit up like a Christmas tree. No bad thing if this dull weather persists.
Due to the poor light and the light traffic, a very poor flying bird of the day appears today.