I am short of guest pictures so I have had to slip back earlier in the week to find this picture of golden East Wemyss from our son Tony. It was worth going back for, I thought.
There was not a hint of sun in the sky when we got up here, and there was another half inch of rain in the rain gauge as our spell of gloomy weather continued. Gales had been forecast but wherever they were, they weren’t in Langholm, and Mrs Tootlepedal was able to cycle off to a meeting with no need for extra rain gear.
While she was gone, I checked the bird feeder. I was happy to see that the undaunted goldfinches were back again.
There were also a lot of blackbirds about during the morning and I have collected four of them for a blackbird panel.
It wasn’t very cheerful outside, but it was warm enough for coffee in the garden with our neighbours Liz and Margaret. Sadly, the conversations were cut short by an annoying little shower of rain. It didn’t last long but it lasted long enough to drive us back to our respective houses.
Once inside, I looked out again. The rain had stopped and chaffinches had taken over from goldfinches….
…though other birds appeared too.
The light was very poor and getting a flying bird was a problem, especially when potential candidates got shouted at.
I settled for a more restful pair.
I dug into my cheese store and had Colton Basset Stilton, Lincolnshire Poacher and Highland brie with my lunchtime soup and bread. A post-cheese check on the weather forecast suggested sunny intervals and showers with light winds for the afternoon. I didn’t like the prospect of the showers too much and I didn’t believe in the sunny intervals (correctly), so I consulted another forecast. This one offered cloudy but dry conditions with a stronger wind. I chose it rather than the rain and set off for a sheltered walk.
After two quite strenuous walks, I decided to take a flatter route today and went ’round Potholm’ by road and track. I normally think about doing this route in a clockwise direction, but today in a restless search for novelty, I went round anti-clockwise. To tell the truth, I started in this direction so that I could go along the river in the hope of seeing some waterside birds while there was still enough light to get a picture.
It was a good plan.
Humming a familiar song as I went, I took a series of long and winding roads.
…and by the time that I was getting near the end of my walk, the light made even taking pictures of roads a bit fuzzy, though the camera kindly brightened up this result quite a lot for me.
On my way round, I looked towards the river from one side of the valley…
…and later on, I looked back across it from behind the wall on the other side.
In between, I crossed bridges…
…of various sizes…
…and noted that the Esk was high enough to have the riverside trees dipping their toes in the water.
And of course, where there is a wall, there is lichen.
Lots of lichen.
I got home after five enjoyable miles to find Mike Tinker chatting to Mrs Tootlepedal who was working on her drive project.
Never one to miss an opportunity, I asked Mike if he would be kind enough to bring his tyre gauge and foot pump round so that I could check the Zoe’s tyre pressure. Since I don’t have to go to a garage to fill up with fuel, I don’t get an opportunity to use an air pump there. Mike consented to help me out and I was able to assist Mrs Tootlepedal with the laying of another slab before he arrived with his pump and we added a bit of pressure to all four tyres.
By the time that we had done that, the light had faded and the active part of the day came to an end.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a Zoom meeting with my siblings in the evening, and we were very pleased to learn that one of my sisters has received the call to get a covid vaccination this weekend. As my sisters are all older than us, we will probably have to wait until they have all had their dose before we get ours, so it was good to see that the process has started..
The flying bird of the day is a very poor effort.