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.