A parting of the ways

Today’s guest picture is another of Venetia’s interesting Somerset trees.

To be fair to the weather today, it was slightly warmer than it has been, but as it was windier too and there was often a bit of rain about, it was far from being a pleasant day. We had to tend to the cheese after its night’s rest, cutting the curds up with a sharp knife and then letting them hang in a muslin basket to drain the whey. As this hanging has to last for thirty six hours, we are not getting too excited about eating the cheese yet.

I left the bike to nowhere to look after itself this morning, but at least there were some birds to watch today to help pass the time.

A small bunch of goldfinches turned up instead of the usual chaffinches.

Things got quite busy for a while…

…and there was at least one moment when all four perches were occupied.

As the rain came down, numbers decreased…

…and half an hour later, there was only a single chaffinch in sight.

There was more action on the grass beside the dam at the back of the house, where two jackdaws were deep in a very serious conversation.

As it was not raining after lunch, we decided to go for a walk. Needless to say, almost as soon as we had stepped out of the back door, a light rain started to fall. We pressed on though, and crossed the Jubilee Bridge and took a new path for us to get to the top of the woods above the Lodge Walks.

It has been looked after by our keen mountain biking enthusiasts but was still quite steep and narrow for elderly walkers…

…and we had to hope that the tall trees that we passed were securely rooted.

Sadly, when we got to the final few yards to get to the very top of the banking, the way was too steep and too muddy for us to get up in safety and we had no alternative but to beat a retreat back down the way we had come.

I take my hat off to the people who are brave enough to cycle down it.

When we got back to the Lodge walks, it was apparent that the rain had got heavier, and Mrs Tootlepedal who can take a walk in the rain or leave it alone, decided to leave it alone today, and sensibly opted to go straight home by the way that we had come. I was well dressed for the weather and decided that I would walk home by way of Potholm. We parted at the lichen covered tree near the cricket ground.

I had seen a couple of yellow fungi already…

…but the rain made me concentrate more on walking than looking around and I saw no more fungus or lichen that was obvious enough to make me stop on my way.

I did see several good patches of snowdrops waiting to flower.

The clouds were a little higher than yesterday…

…but the views weren’t any better.

I liked an improvised bridge over a ditch beside the track…

…and the way that the woods seem to reach down and put a protective arm round the cottage beside the river at Potholm.

The snowdrops at the farmhouse at Potholm are looking very promising even if they are not quite out yet…

And the Esk was fullish but far from overflowing.

I was not the only one enjoying an outing in the rain. I met my South African correspondent Tom’s niece, and then another Tom, both going in the opposite direction. Tom was very cheerful in spite of the gloom that he was walking towards.

Going back along the road into town, I kept an eye out for scarlet elf cups but saw no new ones. A helpful former hedge tried to point me in the right direction but seemed confused.

By this time, I needed to use the flash on my camera to catch some ivy and moss sharing the top of a concrete fence post.

It was the weather rather than the time of day that had spread the gloom though, as once again I timed my walk perfectly to arrive home just in time for a cup of tea and two date and ginger rolls.

Once again, the family have been digging out old holiday pictures to share during our sibling zoom, and it was very good to see some sunny pictures of beaches in Greece at the end of such a dreary day.

The day ended badly when I tried to use up some surplus goats milk to make a small batch of cheese to tide us over until the Greek style cheese is ready to eat. I got myself in a muddle and put ingredients into the pan at the wrong time. In the end, I had to throw the whole lot away. Mrs Tootlepedal sagely observed that it might do us no harm to cut our cheese consumption down for a day or two and I daresay that she is right. Always look on the bright side of life….(de dum, de dum de dum etc.)

Mind you, it is quite hard to keep absolutely cheery when the forecast says it is going to get colder again next week.

At least I avoided another chaffinch as flying bird of the day. A goldfinch stepped in to take the role.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A parting of the ways

  1. The expanse of snowdrops is beautiful. Ours are blooming now, an indication spring is not far off.

    The birds are always a treat, and I enjoyed the jackdaws holding a private meeting.

  2. The ivy and moss looks like an arrangement you would see at a florist’s. Not surprising they’re thriving, given all the rain you’ve had. Those jackdaws are handsome birds – wonderful photo.

    Nippy forecast here (between -30 and -35 for the next six nights) – perhaps one of your photos of sunny Greece could be a guest photo?

    1. Hi mj, from neighbouring Saskatchewan! Perhaps a screenshot of our weather outlook for the next week would cheer up Tom and his UK readers? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. “But it’s a dry cold”, as I’ve been told for the last 34 years since I emigrated from sunny, tropical Ireland.
      Stay warm!

      1. Hi to you as well! Cold is cold when it gets that low – but after 34 years, hopefully you’re acclimatized! (or at the very least, have the right clothes!)

  3. Truly some cool photos here, Tom, you have a great eye for the unique. The shot of the four perches filled by goldfinches is very pretty and the one as the flying bird of the day is wonderful!

  4. I don’t blame you for turning back on a steep, muddy trail. Steep is doable and so is muddy but not the two together.
    That’s a great shot of the lichen covered tree, and the landscapes are always welcome.
    The snowdrops are encouraging. We won’t see any here for a while unless they come up through the snow.

  5. I very much enjoyed your confused former hedge. I find a lot of comfort in your posts despite discouraging weather and restrictions. I am finding the weather here challenging and gloomy as well.

  6. I loved the two jackdaws whispering to each other, most likely asking about the guy with the camera. Great shot! πŸ™‚

  7. I loved to see those snowdrops, we have them here too for the moment.
    Rain is gone, the birds are back πŸ™‚
    Stay safe on the MB tracks.

  8. Sorry about your cheesy tale! Love the photo of the two jackdaws chatting and the photo of your friend Tom walking away down the road. It seems to be an excellent year for snowdrops and seeing all those clusters of lovely snowdrops around your way must be a welcome sight for everyone

    1. The snowdrops do look very promising, I agree. I just hope that our cold spell is not followed by a very rainy spell so that they get a chance to come out properly.

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