An extra window

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who passed this municipal work of art, The Rings of Derby, on his walk today. What it signifies is a bit of a mystery.

It was slightly warmer today than recent days in Langholm, but if possible, it was slightly greyer too. As it was still remarkably calm and it wasn’t raining, we weren’t complaining.

Both Mrs Tootlepdal and I devoted the first part of the morning to going into the town looking for this and that. I saw two dippers but only had my phone to record this one below the town bridge.

Our neighbour Liz drew my attention to a fine burst of fungus on an old log in her garden when I got back.

It has appeared very suddenly and surprised her.

Then, after coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk along the Becks track. I went upstairs to put my walking socks on and noticed that a small group of collared doves was visiting the feeder. They noticed me and flew off leaving just this one for the record.

It was pretty gloomy on the walk and once again we could see clouds clamped on the top of our hills. This time Whita was under a cloud.

Birds both domestic and wild posed for us we went along.

…and a robin hopped about from gate to hedge to gate again until it had made sure that I had got a good shot.

We crossed the Becks Burn and walked back down the road…

…happy to have a peaceful walk in December even if there was not a lot to see on the way, apart from some very pale fungus and some cheerful lichen.

Mrs Tootlepedal had bought me some black pudding for my lunch, and fortified by that, I took a moment to watch the birds at the feeder. There was a good selection about today with a blackbird…

…sparrow, goldfinch, coal tit, and robin.

The robin was hungry.

The forecast had suggested rain in the afternoon, which was why we had gone for our walk in the morning. However, while I was watching the birds it seemed clear enough outside, so I put my cycling gear on and went off in the hope of getting a few dry miles in before the rain came on.

Regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that it started raining almost as soon as I set off, but I wasn’t going to be fooled by that and pressed on.

It turned out to be a good decision as the rain soon stopped and I got an unexpected twenty miles of enjoyable cycling in before it got too dark to be fun.

I wasn’t going to go too far from home though, just in case, so I took a short diversion up the Cleuchfoot road…

…and then found that there was no cloud on the top of Callister when I got there…

Looking over towards the turbines on the new windfarm, I could see that although their blades weren’t turning, their wind direction sensors must have been in action because all fifteen where lined up facing exactly into the light wind which was behind me.

The highlight of the trip was discovering that this landslip, which I photographed just after it had happened in August last year, and which has had traffic lights holding up innocent cyclists ever since then…

…has finally been repaired.

The traffic lights actually disappeared between my outward and return journey. The repair is neat but minimal.

I hope that it works.

It got even gloomier as I cycled home but I have got new lights for my bike and now have two front lights and two rear ones…

…so I am reasonably confident that I should be visible even in these dark afternoons.

A cup of tea and the last slice of the fruity malt loaf was a good reward for taking the exercise. Since the darkness came early, there is nothing left to report about the day except for an enjoyable sibling Zoom and a tasty evening meal of baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce.

The poor light made catching a flying bird hard, and this was the best that I could do.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “An extra window

  1. Those landslips can be a bit disconcerting, and I am glad that one you showed has finally be repaired. It happens a lot here due to the rain, sending trees and large boulders down onto roads. In some steeper areas they have heavy wire nets up over the ground.

    My favorite photo today is that handsome white rooster. I had a pet leghorn rooster as a child.

  2. The collared dove is quite a handsome bird..At our old house we had a good number of them until the bigger wood pigeons began to take over their territory until eventually they sadly disappeared completely. I’ve heard this is not uncommon?
    Your well lit up there,a motorist could never use the excuse they didn’t see you.👍
    I usually have only one light front and rear,but I might follow your good example and use two.
    Better seen than sorry.🚴🏼‍♀️

    1. I am told that collared doves are currently a declining species but we have a good stoke round here.

      I am anxious that if I do get knocked off my bike, the insurance company’s lawyers will not be able to claim that it was my fault. 🙂

  3. Whatever the weather, you can rest assured your roads will be safely gritted when you wake…by Grittney Spiers if our googling is correct. Amazing what you can find when you are procrastinating over lunch😁

  4. The lights on the bike look very bright. They’ve come a long way since I used them.
    That shot of the tree by the stream with green grass behind it is very beautiful. It makes me want to be outside.
    It looks like the people who fixed the landslip believe, if there is another one, that it will happen in that exact same spot.

  5. Your bike is very nicely lit up – those should do the trick. Lots of robins, including one on the feeder, which is a bit of a rare spotting, isn’t it?

    It rained quite a bit here two days ago and set up a nasty layer of ice that won’t likely melt. Since then it’s been grey and grizzling – may as well be in Langholm! 🙂

    1. I just emptied another five inches out of your rain gauge so although it hasn’t rained hard and the rivers are quite low, it has obviously rained quite a lot here. No sign of ice so far for which I am grateful.

  6. Have greatly enjoyed reading your blog this year. Your gentle activities, reflections and observations are comforting in these strange times. Happy Holidays to you and Mrs. T and all the characters – plant, animal and mineral – that populate the pages of your blog. Thank you! All the best from Maine, USA.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is amazing to think that someone from so far away can enjoy these literal and metaphorical ramblings from the south of Scotland. The internet may have its less savoury side but it still is a wonderful place.

  7. Thank you to Anne above for finding out about The Rings of Derby. …my husband worked in Derby for over 35 years and wanted to know all about them too! The repair job is like something I’d do…tick the box and make everyone happy but don’t hold your breath when there’s another rainstorm! I think they should ask Mrs T to get it sorted and organised and then it would be a proper job done. Good to read that you are safely lit up on your travels now whilst taking all those lovely shots of the countryside. Love the stone wall and single tree compositions.

    1. I am reasonable confident that the road repair will do its job even though it definitely looks a bit skimpy. Time will tell though. I am much happier pedalling in these grey afternoons now that I am all lit up.

  8. Very impressive sneaky 20 miler, keeping those December miles on the up. Plus a walk as well. I’m not very impressed with the ‘Rings of Derby’ a bit arty farty as far as I’m concerned. Why the powers that be do not properly consult the public, who are, after all, paying for these works of art, I cannot understand? We have similar works of art foisted on us along the Aberavon sea front. Great to see your bike lit up so well. Are yours rechargeable? Cheers.

    1. The lights are rechargeable by a USB cable. I must say that I like a sculpture that is more than just an idea but something worth looking at in its own right.

  9. Very nice pic of Whita framed by a tree. I have said so many times how cute your robins are, but darn, they are so cute I have to say it again. Nice cover photo of winter jasmine. I do notice the excellent choice of long and narrow cover photo subjects every day.

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