A general absence of sunshine

In need of some cheer, I have gone back into my files to find this guest picture of the day. It shows Tony’s dogs enjoying a sunny game of volleyball in his garden in East Wemyss.

It was a miserable day here today. When it wasn’t raining, it was about to rain, and when it was either raining or not raining, the wind was blowing vigorously. The wind is howling and the rain is battering on the front room’s windows as I write this in the evening.

I managed to avoid having to get on the bike to nowhere by watching the birds. before the worst of the wind and rain came on.

A disgruntled and damp greenfinch appeared first…

…followed by a friend.

Then they were pestered by chaffinches until one greenfinch gave up.

There was a ground crew of chaffinches scavenging for fallen seed (at one time Mrs Tootlepedal counted over twenty of them)…

…and when the greenfinches left, the chaffinches took over the feeder.

Blue tits and coal tits have been very scarce lately so I was pleased to see a blue tit today.

The weather got too wet and windy for the birds so I turned to making some strawberry jam to pass the time. Some very unseasonal strawberries had jumped into my shopping basket yesterday. The jam may have turned out to be a bit runny but that is no bad thing as it will last longer if I have to spread it thinly on my bread and butter (and it will make a good sauce for ice cream topping).

I made some lentil and carrot soup for lunch and then decided to defy the elements and go for a short walk.

It had actually stopped raining for a moment when I set out, but it soon started again and I was grateful that I had put on sensible clothing. I went round Gaskell’s and down to Skippers Bridge , glad to take a little exercise, but taking photographs was less rewarding as I didn’t want to get the camera soaking wet and the light was appalling anyway.

I did note that this little stream at the start of Gaskell’s Walk…

…had overflowed a blocked drain, carved out a channel in the path and poured stones and mud all over the road in the recent heavy rain.

I enjoyed this colourful tree trunk, painted by nature’s answer to Jackson Pollock…

…but there was not a lot to see as I went along. I do wish that someone would magically appear and clear the branches away from this view of the Becks Burn joining the Wauchope Water…

…as it makes a fine sight as it rushes down a staircase to plunge in.

I had hoped that the rain might stop again as I went down to Skippers Bridge, but it didn’t and I had to keep my head down and my camera in my pocket as I walked into the wind. I took my camera out as I walked back along the other side of the river for a token picture of the variegated ivy screening the sewage works.

I didn’t expect to see any oystercatchers at the waterside when I crossed the suspension bridge but to my surprise, a lone bird was sitting on a freshly made nesting hollow.

I fear that she was too optimistic and her nest will have been washed out by the rising river by now. It is due to rain most of the night and tomorrow too, so a restart will be necessary. It seems rather early for nesting anyway.

My coat was still dripping wet four hours after I got home!

Exhausted by battling the elements, I let the rest of the day do what it liked and took no interest in it.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, also keeping its head down.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A general absence of sunshine

  1. It does indeed sound like a miserable day in Langholm. Your header and guest photos are quite cheerful though!

  2. I never would have known the waterfall was little if you hadn’t said so. It looks beautiful.
    Always nice to see the snowdrops. They don’t seem to mind rain.
    The Jackson Pollock is a mystery. I’ve never seen lichens that dark.

  3. Not very elaborate nest makers, those oystercatchers, are they? I like the lichen covered tree. My father will not go for a walk without a pair of garden shears in his pocket, for just such problems as the obstructed waterfall view (never mind if it’s someone else’s private property), but I think your branches may be too far away for even his solution.

  4. Those elements are out there to be battled daily by tootlepedal, so that we, his admirers can follow his tootling and pedalling. Myself, well I had half-heartedly planned on a pedal of my own this morning. Half-heartedly because the forecast had promised 93% chance of rain. Amazingly, it was hammering down, still is, when I got up from my slumber. So I stoically postponed my adventure, I mean it would be such a shame to get my Pioneer wet after her special treatment these past couple of days. When I tried her yesterday, up and down our street, she was full of beans, raring to go. Sad to say this welshcyclist is not so brave. That decorated tree reminded of a totem pole, you must have wandered into “injun country” lol. Cheers

  5. A star for going out in that weather and taking photos too. The oyster catcher’s wing looks a bit bent maybe she was just resting! Love the Jackson Pollock tree trunk- looks a very odd black lichen? These storms are doing untold damage to the roads- potholes are getting larger by the day and loose stones can’t be safe for cyclists…you’ll have to have a word with those that know about these things!

  6. This continuous rain is doing such damage everywhere as well as causing frustration in those of us in need of outdoor exercise! I liked the bluetit, the over-enthusiastic little stream and Tony’s dogs.

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