Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s sister, Elizabeth. She hangs out a good array of different feeders and was rewarded by a visit from long tailed tits.
The forecast was quite correct. It was just as cold this morning as it has been for the past few days but there was no sun to brighten things up. Under the circumstances, it was just as well that I had things with which to occupy myself, or I would have had to get back on the bicycle to nowhere to fill in the morning.
As it was, I started off by preparing a lamb stew for the slow cooker, and followed that up with an improved effort at making presentable date and ginger rolls.
All I need to remember now is to wipe the knife between cutting each slice to avoid that little rim of filling round the edge of the rolls. I am sorry to say that the answer to getting neatly shaped results is to cut off the ragged edges of the rolled out dough and discard them, something that goes against the grain. It has to be done though, if good presentation is the aim.
They tasted pretty good and most of them seem to have mysteriously disappeared already.
I did have a little time to look at the birds between doing the cooking and the crossword and drinking a cup of coffee.
The feeder was quite busy.
…and there was a steady stream of chaffinches.
After lunch, I decided to try to get a walk in before the possibility of a light snow shower later in the afternoon.
As I left the house, a bunch of starlings were finding something to peck at on our lawn.
It was still chilly so I decided to stick to the valley bottom and rather boringly walked up the Wauchope road. A thin film of ice across the Wauchope Water just above Pool Corner showed how cold it has been.
And a thick wedge of ice where water had been running down the road made me happy not to have got my road bicycle out.
Walking was fine though, and the road surface was generally dry and ice free as I went up towards Wauchope Schoolhouse. It is more easy to stop and look when you are walking so I saw some fine lichen which I would passed without seeing on my bike…
…and it was no bother at all to pop down the banking at Bessie Bell’s to admire the little cascade there…
…which had as much ice as water about it today.
There were a great number of icicle decorations.
And there were more to be seen a little further up the road where a small field drain trickled over rocks before going under the road.
The road itself was quite interesting. Repeated freezing and thawing, together with some gritting and salting had left intricate patterns on the rougher surfaces of the tarmac.
Although it looked as though it was icy and should be slippery, it was dry and firm to walk on.
As ever, there was plenty of lichen to look at whenever I passed a wall.
Looking ahead, I could see occasional faint hints of sunshine, and these turned out to be caused by the slowly turning blades of the Solwaybank windfarm catching some weak rays of sun when they pointed in my direction.
The camera can see better than I can. I couldn’t make out the turbine towers and the blades seemed to me to be floating in thin air.
Since I had enjoyed the icy cascade at Bessie Bell’s, I turned aside to look at the other little cascade below Wauchope Schoolhouse.
It too had its share of icy decorations.
There didn’t seem to be any sign of the impending snow shower when I got to Wauchope Schoolhouse so I extended my walk by strolling up the road to Cleuchfoot.
I stopped to look at the ice on the Glencorf Burn, and to my surprise I saw a wren hopping along the rocks at the side of the stream. It saw me too so I don’t have a photograph of it. Not do I have a picture of the hare which leapt up and ran away as I walked a bit further further upstream. I took a few pictures of the ice on the burn to console myself.
There were sights to be seen on the way up the Cleuchfoot road, like this electronic lobster climbing a pole…
…the farm bridge at the end of the road…
…and a sheep whose coat was almost as thick as the one that I was wearing.
By the time that I turned for home, the clouds were getting thicker and darker, so I didn’t stop much on the way back to Langholm. Another look at the ice from the streamlet tricking over the rock made me get the camera out…
…and I took a tree near the end of my walk to go with one that I had taken near the furthest point.
I felt quite smug when it started to snow gently just as I got back to Langholm after eight and a bit miles and in perfect time for a cup of tea and a couple of date rolls. However, although it did snow a little harder for a short while, it didn’t come to much in the end.
I then made a big mistake and decided to watch the Scotland versus Wales rugby match. The outcome was unhappily familiar and I got quite depressed. It is not so much losing, which we are used to, it is the manner of the defeat and the many “what ifs” that linger in the mind when the game is over that do the damage. Getting beaten is bad enough but getting beaten in a game which they could and should have won is upsetting.
I could have done with a nice bicycle ride to cheer me up tomorrow but the forecast says that it is going to rain and that the wind will be blowing at 35mph. Not much joy there.
The flying bird if the day is a chaffinch. Astute readers will notice that it is flying in the opposite direction to recent flying birds. The wind has changed and hence the change in the weather.