No wonder

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He saw this buzzard in a tree while walking his dogs a day or two ago.

The forecasters had been pretty certain that we would get a good fall of snow today and I was looking forward to being able to have a winter wonderland on show in today’s post. Sadly we were just a little too far to the west to get the snow and only got some miserable rain instead. I would probably have muttered about treacherous conditions underfoot if it had snowed, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain.

I will complain. It was a miserable and gloomy day….and no good for photography.

It was almost too dark in the morning to be able to see the birds properly, but peering through the gloom, I did see a few welcome visitors to the peanut butter feeder.

Then I went off to do 45 minutes on the bike to nowhere and didn’t look for birds again until after cycling and coffee.

When I looked out of the window, all I could see was a dunnock leaping about on the feeder tray and looking quite pleased with itself when it landed on the rim.

Next, some chaffinches and a few siskins and goldfinches arrived…

…but traffic was light, and I went off to look at a tray of seed on a table that Mrs Tootlepedal has put out so that she can watch birds from the kitchen window. It had drawn the inevitable chaffinches too.

…though a blackbird was lurking around nearby…

…trying out a few poses.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a walk. The rain didn’t seem very heavy and as there was no noticeable wind, it looked like quite a good idea and we went off up the Wauchope road under our umbrellas to stretch our legs and get out of the house.

In spite of yesterday’s thaw, our own road was still very slippery in places but once we got onto busier roads, the going was good and we were able to look around as we crossed the Becks Burn.

We were headed for a walk beside the river at Bessie Bell’s, and when we got there, we were very surprised to see a large floe of ice pancakes in the shallows…

The picture doesn’t do justice to these strange forms about the size of a pizza.

We walked round the grassy flat beside the river and I took pictures of the decorative dead head of a cow parsley…

…and of a dash of colour from some rose hips.

In site of the rain, we had seen quite a few examples of hair ice beside the road but it wasn’t at its best today.

Walking back home, we passed a cow taking much the same view of the weather as us…

…and a good example of the less than peaceful time our rocks have had in the past…

…as well as an indication of how cold it still was.

The valley was filled with mist and this was a typical hill view today…

…though some colour was provided by a burst of green from a mossy tree…

…and some abundant lichen.

Then, most excitingly of all, we came across three nifty fence wire connectors.

Readers will be interested to learn that you don’t need tools to fit these connectors as they work with an internal spring.

It was no brighter when we got back to the town than it had been when we left…

…but we still enjoyed our stroll.

We had a quick look round the garden when we got home and I picked out the green of the bamboos…

…and the cheerful red of the dogwood stems.

Just under three miles was not a bad outing for a wet day and we felt that we had earned our cup of tea with some of the last of the Christmas fancy biscuits (I may have had a ginger biscuit too).

A dull day was considerably enlivened by the arrival of a delivery of seven different sorts of cheese from my cheese supplier in Glasgow. The only problem was which to try first.

As darkness fell, the day wound down with a sibling Zoom and an evening meal of liver and onions.

Flying chaffinches of the day were hard to come by and when they did arrive, they were not made to feel welcome.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “No wonder

  1. Thank you for the tip on the wire connectors. Rick could use those in the vineyard on trellis wire he is replacing.

    I enjoyed the birds views and winter colors, especially the moss and fern covered trees. It was warm here, in the low 50s, and some garden work was accomplished today. Much more to go.

  2. The pancake ice was interesting. It looks just like what we have here.
    The mosses and lichens were beautiful and the bamboo was a surprise. I didn’t know it could take the cold.
    I’m glad you were able to get outdoors. It would have been a shame to miss what you saw.

  3. That’s a wonderful photo of the wet and grumpy cow! And the colours in things like the grass and the odd berry definitely stand out against the general gloom.

    Oddly enough, it’s raining here today as well (very oddly, given that it’s Jan. in MB). Should be a skating rink tomorrow – roads to the NW of us are closed already. The only good ice-related news is that the Yaktrax finally made their way across town and are now firmly affixed to my old winter hikers. I don’t need to go anywhere tomorrow, but I might have to try!

      1. They worked very well! Definitely preferable to the spike version I had a few years ago. I think I could have saved $10.00 and used some of the velcro straps I keep on my bike instead of the purchased straps that go across the top of the boot, but life is a learning curve.

      2. Sad to report that with the third wear one of the rubber straps has broken and the wire coil flaps and trips – yikes!

      3. They did look a little fragile to me so I am not entirely surprised. That is very disappointing all the same. A stiff note to the supplier is in order.

      4. All’s well that end’s well – so far! I was impressed that within a half hour of emailing about a warranty claim, I received a very polite reply with an apology and an assurance that a replacement pair would be sent to me. Hope the break was a “one off”, but the service was impressive! Meanwhile, I’ve jury-rigged a repair and am stepping about on ice with confidence. (and I promise – no more notes about my Yaktrax!)

  4. A gloomy day perhaps, but thanks to your description and photographs I can smell the dampness, the freshness of the air, the herby aroma of wet vegetation, and can feel the cold air biting my cheeks and the tip of my nose. A pleasant stroll indeed.

  5. Love the atmospheric header photo and all the different and interesting things spotted on your walk. Those ice pancakes are bizarre and unusual ! Love the lichen, mossy tree and icicle but the winner is the cow who sums up what I feel about the weather!

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