Another opportunity taken

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who was able to enjoy a fine sunset out of her back window in London this evening.

We had another grey and miserable morning here, with very low cloud and a lot of drizzle. I was very happy to while away my time on a crossword, coffee and the newspapers. Mrs Tootlepedal went off on a shopping and business trip and when she came back, I took time out from idling to watch the birds.

A goldfinch summed up the morning weather.

Traffic was light when I started to look out of the window and several birds tried to catch my eye as flying bird of the day…

…without success.

Things got busier as time went on….

…as some sparrows joined in the fun, making it hard for chaffinches to find a perch….

…but there was not quite enough traffic…

…to start a fight and everyone got a peck at the seeds in the end.

Mrs Tootlepedal had bought a ham hock yesterday and made stock with it. She used the stock to make a delicious broth for our lunch today and had enough bits of ham left over to promise to make rissoles tomorrow.

We enjoyed the soup for an early lunch and I went out shortly after one o’clock for an unexpected bike ride as the rain had cleared away. It was another still day with only a 7 mph wind and with the temperature at 6°C, it was as nice a day as I could reasonably hope for at this time of year. Mrs Tootlepedal set about working on her drive project.

Although we haven’t had heavy rain lately, it has still rained quite a bit as I found out when I looked at Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge and discovered that it had over five inches in it this morning. This means that even in a dry spell like this afternoon, everything is still very wet. With the humidity at over 90% again, I couldn’t mistake it for anything other than winter day as I pedalled along. Looking back at Langholm as I took the road over the hill…

…I could see the clouds that had brought the morning rain. The current conditions have brought split level clouds over the last few days, and today was no exception with more low clouds under high clouds.

Looking to the west, I could see a hole in the sky with the promise of sunshine on the far side…

…but although I pedalled in that direction, I never reached the sunshine and spent the whole of my ride in the gloom. There was a hint of blue sky as I passed under this striking pine tree near Chapelknowe…

…but as I turned back east at this point, I never got the benefit of it.

I was anxious to get home before it got too dark so I didn’t stop for any more views on the way back and bustled along helped by the gentle wind behind me. When I had crossed Skippers Bridge, I noticed that Daniel Lacey, the furniture maker, has now got work in his display room at the old distillery.

It looked very attractive, I thought.

I managed twenty six miles in the time available and there was still just enough light to walk round the garden when I got home. The broccoli and the perennial wallflower are soldiering on…

…and the amazing rosemary still has a few out of season flowers. There are plenty of buds about to give cheerful thoughts of next spring too.

I checked on our Christmas tree which has survived another year in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s freshly raked and cleaned gravel was looking very neat (except where some clod on a bike had ridden over it.)

Rather annoyingly, the weather mocked me by providing a colourful sunset now that I had stopped cycling.

In spite of the persistently grey weather, I have got out on my bike for short rides on seven of the last eight days. I only need a couple more good days before the end of the month to hit my extended annual mileage target. Fingers crossed.

The flying bird of the day is an unusual angle.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Another opportunity taken

  1. The driveway, even with the clods tyremarks, looks fantastic as does the furniture makers showroom; that the kind of window display I could waste way too much time drooking over!

      1. It is a very handsome window even if it had nothing in it. That’s also an excellent wind bent tree. Congratulations on getting so many miles in difficult weather.

  2. At last we have a full view of Mrs’ Ts flag laying..very impressive I must say 👍
    Are twenty under your belt,it’s looking like a record breaking year for miles,good work.
    That old pine has had a hard life,but it’s still standing,bit like me 😊
    I do like your header photo shot..well captured.

  3. I love the shot of the wind blown pine. I’d bet that is has quite a root system.
    Mrs. T.s slabs look perfectly flat and straight just as I’d expect. I’m guessing they’re stepping stones so you don’t have to walk in the gravel.
    I don’t know how your Christmas tree could be doing any better. It has buds all over it.

    1. They will make a dry track to the back door, which is the one we always use, when they are completed. The Christmas tree looks quite healthy, I agree. I hope it does us for a few more years yet.

  4. I also liked the unusual pine looking like its hair is blown back. You find some unusual trees with character on these rides.

    The flying bird of the day is a good catch too, landing gear deployed and ready. Our main feeder visitors these days are the towhees and juncos, with a few assorted sparrows I have not yet identified. I’ve heard a few chickadees, but not seen them stop by yet.

    Our weather patterns are much like yours, although today we got a short reprieve and some good sun, though it was somewhat filtered by high ice clouds.

  5. I love how you stage tryouts for the Flying Bird of the Day. That is a most unusual pose for the about-to-land chaffinch. The ham hock brings back memories. I used to have the hardest time finding one for a black bean soup I loved to make. But now I’m a vegetable stocker.

  6. The chaffinch is certainly one for the flying bird of the year photo! Love the silhouette of the pine tree and the cloudscapes. Great that you are nearing your bumper annual mileage target…methinks a ribbon across the excellent newly renovated drive for you to cycle through would be a fitting end to both your endeavours!

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