Ten free miles

Today’s guest picture is a Christmas tree spotted by my sister Susan. I don’t think that she is a big Elvis Presley fan but she put a filter on her phone that brought out this tribute to a Blue Christmas.

We had a grey day here, but once again it was comfortably above freezing at 4°C, and it was very calm in our garden.

We didn’t have time for the drive project or coffee outside as I had a visit to the dentist and Mrs Tootlepedal had a visit to the hairdresser planned.

Unfortunately, in spite of it being all that I wished for, I am not going to get my two front teeth back for Christmas. If all goes to plan however, I will be able to smile again at the end of February.

After my dentist’s visit, I did have time for a quick look at the birds.

There was a good number of chaffinches visiting today…

…with incumbents always ready to take issue with other arrivals…

…and some having an interesting slant on affairs.

It wasn’t a great day for taking pictures of flying garden birds and after coffee inside, I went for a walk while Mrs Tootlepedal was getting her hair done.

I passed the last of the willows still showing any leaves by the river…

…and kept an eye out for Mr Grumpy on the Kilngreen.

He wasn’t about but gulls were queuing up to get into the blog.

So many took to the air when they saw my camera that I was hard pushed to find one still on the ground.

The others flew past me, first in one direction….

…and then in the other.

On the river itself, a male mallard paddled steadily upstream…

…while his partner felt that this was the time for some plumage care.

…and made quite a splash about it.

I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked up the track behind the estate offices. I was a bit alarmed by this sign as I passed the gate to the offices…

….as I wasn’t aware that there was a likelihood of being attacked by pedestrians. I kept my head down though and scurried past safely.

The lichen on the wall beside the track is looking healthy.

On the other side of the track, I liked this group of trees.

I hadn’t noticed it before but it looks as though the outer two trees are forming a protective arch over the smaller middle one.

I went along the Baggra. It was still muddy but a lot drier than the last time I went along it with Mrs Tootlepedal.

In spite of some very ominous clouds, it has stayed remarkably dry over the past few days. I was hoping the the dry spell would last at least until the end of my walk, but by the time that I had stopped to admire a colourful lichen on the wall…

…and some equally colourful weed in a ditch near the end of the track…

…it had started to rain lightly.

I gave up any idea of extending my walk, turned back through the gate provided by the Langholm Walks project…

…and headed straight home.

When I got back to the garden, I took a picture of the magnolia beside the front gate. It mistakenly thinks that it is spring time…

…and we just hope that it survives the shock when it finds that it is still winter.

The one surviving nasturtium flower was not enough to halt the march of Attila the Gardener, and the whole set of plants beside the front door had been swept away while I was out walking.

The afternoon was given over to driving to Dumfries, where Mrs Tootlepedal had an routine appointment at the infirmary. As well as giving us a beautifully smooth ride over to Dumfries, the electric car also found us a vacant parking spot specially designated for electric cars in the car park and, as a bonus, with a free charging point to top up for the return journey.

Unfortunately, the power may have come free of charge but it also came very, very slowly, so that by the time that Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her visit, it had only added ten miles to our potential distance. It was lucky that we still had a lot left in the battery after our outward trip!

The journey home in the dark, in the rain, and in the face of a constant stream of oncoming traffic, was more exciting than I would have ideally have liked, but we got home in the end but we were very ready for a cup of tea and a slice of fruity malt loaf when we got there.

The forecast is very gloomy for the weekend and the whole week ahead, with plenty of wet and windy weather to come. I hope it holds off for long enough for us to get a walk in tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day, soaring above its competitors, is one of the Kilngreen gulls from my morning walk. The black headed gull is not a big bird but it still has an impressive wingspan.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Ten free miles

  1. I can sympathise with your missing tooth, since lockdown began I have been sporting a large gap in my smile. The false teeth I was provided with were uncomfortable, so I haven’t bothered to wear them. Her indoors is not impressed at all. “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”. They don’t write songs like that anymore. What was the other one Max Bygraves used to sing? “A blue toothbrush and a pink toothbrush”? Anyway they got married in paste! Lol.

      1. Obviously, I wasn’t far behind. The radio was on all the time in our house when I was growing up. Cheers.

  2. Love the flight of gulls coming into land and the FBOTD gull too. As you say the three trees look like a mum and dad protecting their child in the centre- it’s a lovely photo. This is the first time I’ve been a first in the comments…drat the welsh cyclists has just piped me to the post whilst I’m writing this!! I’m happy being second!

    1. Sorry about that Lletty, pipping you to the post. But I use my phone on the go nowadays, becoming quite the techie! I think that’s the right name for it these days, should probably say “old techie” lol.

      1. No probs! When I’m driving over the hills I’ll watch out for a cyclist on his phone …it may be you!! My techie knowledge also has greatly improved however, the downfall is I can only remember it for an hour then it’s back to square one!

      2. Blogging while pedalling is still a skill level beyond me, especially up hill, but a quick stop in a cafe or on my break at work is “on the go” for me. Like you, if I don’t do it everyday it fades from my database. Cheers.

  3. Like the three trees shot,looks to me like the two bigger boys don’t want the little one to grow as big as them 😉
    The shot of the Baggra track is a great photograph.
    You did well to capture the flying bird of the day,excellent shot.
    I think due to my recent unpleasant and not to successful visits I’ve suddenly developed a fear of dentists
    Is there a name for that I wonder?
    Hope your visit has a more positive outcome.

    1. Fear of dentists is classed as normal behaviour in my book….though it has to be said that going to a dentist these days is a doodle compared to going to one in the 1950s.

      1. Fear of dentists = dentophobia. I agree that it is regarded as normal behaviour by many, which is why it is easy to find an excuse not to go to a dentist 🙂

  4. Your in the dark, in the rain, and in the face of a constant stream of oncoming traffic sounds like many of my morning trips to work lately. I’m glad you made it.
    Those are great shots of the lichens. I’ve never seen one like the blue one. It’s amazing.
    I think my favorite photo is of the road beside the sheep pasture. It’s very atmospheric. Since our forecast is much like yours I might get one like it.

  5. I enjoyed the photos from your day, once again! The birds and commentary are always a favorite. The set of three trees was interesting with mother tree, father tree, and little tree all in a row. Your winter tree subjects remind me more of Tolkien’s Ents, and I half expect to see that they have up and walked away.

    A cold day hovering around 40 here. I did get to see sunrise before the sky was overrun with low grey clouds. We are still waiting for the parts to come in for the heat pump.

      1. It is keeping warm enough on the “emergency heat” setting, which only uses the electric furnace, not the heat pump. It just runs a lot more and I can hear the cash register ringing at the power company. The HVAC people did call this morning. The parts did not arrive, but they are hoping to have them on Monday. An appointment has been made for Tuesday, if they have the parts in hand. I am not sure how they are getting delivered to the company, but if it uses our postal system, that could be a problem. Our postal system here has been gutted and the employees demoralized in the current political climate. At this time of year, packages can get easily lost.

      2. It has been sad to read about the assault on your postal services Our power company is reaping rich rewards from our gloomy weather too. I hope the part comes soon.

  6. I’m glad you were able to avoid any harm from pedestrians in that dangerous area. A local anti-pedal faction? Or perhaps your dentist is a pedestrian?

  7. Good luck with the dental work! The gulls are beautiful, and so are the ducks. Driving in the dark and the rain is absolutely no fun at all. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

  8. A beautiful header photo – it’s the kind of place that invites you to walk there. I also enjoyed the incoming gulls – they look like planes stacked up on the way into Heathrow!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: