Two unexpected encounters

Today’s guest post comes from my Lancashire correspondent Paul. It shows a fine sunset over Rivington Pike where they have obviously had more snow than we have had a good many miles to the north.

We had another bright and chilly morning here, with freezing temperatures keeping things icy. I tottered out to John’s shop, mostly on dry pavements, but occasionally having to watch out for black ice. He told me of more cases of Covid in the town, so we will have to continue being very cautious.

When I got back, I spent some time making marmalade and watching the birds.

The peanut butter attracted a coal tit this morning…

…while a pair of chaffinches preferred the seed feeder. The one on the left doesn’t look particularly happy to find the same old seeds as yesterday again.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal put out some ham and cheese scraps on the drive and drew in an appreciative crowd of jackdaws.

I had time to notice a blue tit having a look round before tucking into the peanut butter…

…while a female chaffinch posed on a bamboo.

Just to stretch my legs because I hadn’t bicycled to nowhere in the morning, I then went out for a short walk, picking the best cleared pavements and roads that I could find.

At the Kilngreen, a lady had been feeding the gulls…

…so they had deserted their posts.

Just as I came to the far end of the Kilngreen, a car drew up in the car park and Sandy got out. Quite by coincidence, he had decided to take a short walk before going shopping. We wished each other a happy new year and walked up the Lodge walks together until we came to Lodge where a stretch of ice covered road ahead looked threatening enough for us to turn back. A good many other people had had the same idea and the Lodge Walks were busy.

When we got back to the Kilngreen, Sandy drove off to do his shopping, and as it was still sunny, I walked up the main road towards the High Mill Brig.

I was serenaded by a buzzard flying along the top of the trees above the road.

I stopped to take a picture of the bridge when I got there….

…just to show what a lovely day it was. There was blue sky behind the tree beside the bridge…

There is no pavement here, but the road had been salted and was safe to walk along. There was little traffic and as the verges were well frozen, I was able to move on to them easily when a rare car came by.

I was enjoying my stroll and thinking about going a mile or two up the road when I looked up and saw a change in the sky…

…the first clouds of 2021.

As you can see from the picture, I was still in sunshine but this didn’t last and before I had gone a couple of hundred yards further up the road, it started snowing and the hills ahead disappeared from sight.

I didn’t want to walk home on freshly fallen snow on top of icy patches, so I changed tack smartly and headed back to Langholm. The scene at the High Mill Brig was a lot more wintery than it had been a quarter of an hour earlier!

The forecast in the morning had said that Langholm would be right on the edge of the wet weather, and for once they were extremely accurate because, although it sleeted on me for most of the mile back to the Kilngreen, by the time that I got there I was in sunshine again…

…and looking back from the town bridge, there was not even the slightest of hint of the snow clouds that had been following me down the road.

When I got home, the golden late afternoon light was making the chimney pots of Henry Street look like works of art.

I may not have gone quite as far as I had hoped, but I had done almost four miles so I wasn’t too unhappy and a cup of tea and a slice of toast soon cheered me up completely.

I did think of getting on the bike to nowhere after my cup of tea, but strangely the sofa in front of the telly seemed to be exerting some sort of magnetic force and I was unable to get up for some time.

I did take one reasonable picture of a would be flying chaffinch today….

…but sadly, it got its foot down half a second before I clicked on the shutter button, so here is the less satisfactory flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Two unexpected encounters

  1. Thank you for documenting all that bird activity. The weather gave you the opportunity to take a sheaf of different views, each one with its own attractions.

    1. Yes it is. The peanut butter comes in a glass jar which screws into the green holder. One blue tit spent quite a lot of time pecking at the closed glass end of the jar when it first met it.

  2. Word about Annie’s peanut butter feeder seems to be spreading. I agree about the chimney pots – they’re often very sculptural and make a city skyline interesting – we have far fewer here so they’re enjoyable to see.

  3. Although your a good bit further north than us you seem to generally get better weather? maybe you have your own little micro climate ☀️
    Great unusual shot of the chimney stacks,but no sign of any smoke..your a hardy bunch you Scots 😉
    Lovely view from the town bridge.
    Our neighbours living behindus have all had positive COVID tests,and walked with others prior to the positive results..they are the first known cases in our little hamlet of 30 or so people..it really makes you sit up and take note when so close to home..we’ve kept to all the rules as far as we know,but you can never be 100% safe,quite worrying times.
    If everybody sticks rigidly to the rules and self isolates with symptoms it shouldn’t spread any further,who knows.
    The lodge walks are deservingly busy.

    1. I did a SLOW few miles ride to nowhere yesterday..the hardest part is actually getting your gear on and getting those pedals turning,at least I have a nice view from the workshop window,and the Beatles box set to pedal along with.

    2. Not many people still have open fires. There are a few stoves about (we have one) but the coming of gas put an end to most coal fires. Of course, the gas will have to go now and we will doubtless be all electric or hydrogen soon.

      1. Alternatively we all have wood burners..they’re bad for the environment and high maintenance with cleaning out every day,getting hold of dry logs and kindling is pretty expensive too.and they only really heat up one room.
        Folks get brainwashed by watching “ escape to the country “
        There is however a bit of the boy scout in me so I don’t mind “firing up” the old wood burner.

      2. Our is quite small but heats my ‘blogging room very quickly. If it has a drawback it is that it get too hot and I have to into the kitchen to get out of the heat.

  4. The chimney pots are stunning! I too am a fan of your peanut butter feeder. And the Jackdaws with their more omnivorous leanings. The female chaffinch has an understated beauty all her own.

  5. You show a lovely variety of birds today and I have enjoyed going on a different walk today – love the bridge and the golden sunshine.

  6. A beautiful day there, with golden sun. The Lodge Walks were beautifully illuminated, and I am glad you had a chance to walk with Sandy a bit.

    I enjoyed seeing the birds again, especially the jackdaws. The one in the lower left looks especially pleased. The peanut butter feeder seems to be a big hit with both the birds and humans.

  7. Lovely photo of the chaffinch and the golden chimney pots. The sun does seem to keep shining for all your lovely walks…the saying must be true then…the sun shines on the righteous! Sorry to hear today about Scotland’s total lockdown…I’m sure you’ll be allowed out to go walking…explain to anyone who queries you that you have to consider the mental health of all your readers!

  8. Love the sunny chimney pots. We don’t have them in the Pacific Northwest so on my long ago visit to the UK, I was smitten with them and took many photos of them.

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