Today’s guest picture comes from sunny East Wemyss. Our son Tony took this nice photograph of one of his dogs this afternoon.
We had another fine day here, but we had to wait for a little unexpected rain at breakfast time to clear away before the good times rolled in.
The shock of the rain, natural indolence and a slight reluctance to get going brought on by looking at the speed of the clouds scudding across the sky kept me off my bike until midday.
I looked at the birds to give myself another excuse not to go anywhere. The usual customers were around…
…but a greenfinch arrived and weighed up the options.
Another one leapt straight into action…
…and claimed a place at the table.
It was too nice a day not to bicycle though, so in the end I did get going.
It was quite a battle up hill and into the wind for the first six miles but I finally got to the top of Callister. I found some startling works in progress at Falford when I got down to the other side of the hill.
They seem to be erecting a large pipe bridge over the Kirtle Water. I shall be interested to see what develops.
I stopped a couple of miles further on to take a picture of the Hotts Burn…
…which meets the Kirtle Water…
…just in time to flow under this bridge, the Hotts Burn coming in from the left and the Kirtle Water from the right.
To my left, I could see the spire of Waterbeck Church and some rather brutally pollarded trees.
I cycled on past some gorse bushes which are usually full of flowers at this time of year. I didn’t take a picture as there were only a few rather bedraggled flowers. They have not enjoyed the long cold spell.
The quiet back roads were unusually busy today, with tractors rushing in all directions as farmers made use of the good weather. I managed to pass and be passed by them all safely and made better progress once the wind was no longer in my face. I didn’t stop to take may pictures for some reason but a large old house, mostly hidden behind trees, caught my eye near Kirtlebridge.
I kept my camera in my pocket after that, and put all my efforts into trying to improve my average speed after taking an hour to do the first ten miles. I made a circular tour, coming home through Glenzier and totted up 31 miles which was pleasing, though my average speed remained very mediocre. I just haven’t got the heart to battle into the wind any more and and I try to enjoy going at a more sedate speed than former years. On the plus side, it gives me time to think about stuff and I am expecting my plans for the comprehensive reform of British company law to be taken up enthusiastically by the government.
Snowdrops and crocuses welcomed me home…
…as did Mrs Tootlepedal. She had been busy at her drive project while I was cycling and I arrived in perfect time to help drop the latest slab into position.
Then I put it to the test by driving over it on my way to do some shopping. This was my first visit to a shop since the outbreak of cases in Langholm some weeks ago. Since then we have been tested and vaccinated. The vaccination was three weeks ago, so I relied on the protection that that should give me, but I put on a double mask as well.
I put the shopping away when I got home and went for a quick walk round the short three bridges route in some lovely evening sunshine. Instead of a dipper at the Kirk Brig, I saw a pair of reflective ducks.
I was hoping to see oystercatchers again and there was larger flock of about twenty birds on the side of the Esk today…
…but they were not standing in the sunshine which was disappointing.
I noticed that the recent rain had managed to get the river to rise enough to wash away the pile of trees and branches that had piled up under the town bridge.
At the Kikngreen, someone put down some food for the gulls and caused a commotion.
If I had had my bird camera with me, I would have been spoiled for choice for a flying bird of the day!
As it was, I dodged out of the way and walked on.
The sun was catching the tops of the pine trees on the Castleholm…
…and in one place, it caught some trunks as well.
Above me, the moon was out in the very clear blue sky and I put the zoom lens on the Lumix to ‘full stretch’ and pointed and shot. (The picture is uncropped)
By coincidence, the last time we had a clear blue sky and a moon visible in the afternoon was almost exactly a month ago. I took this shot on 23rd January. (I cropped this one a bit)
As you can see, the sky was a bit clearer today than it was then.
It was getting a bit chilly as the light faded, so I bustled on home and just had time for a cup of tea and a slice of bread and plum jam before our regular Zoom meeting with my siblings.
The forecast is offering us two days of rain to come so it was a good thing that both Mrs Tootlepedal and I made good use of these past two fine days.
The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch nicely toning in with the subdued background.