The official taster

Today’s impressionistic guest picture comes from Wales where regular reader Keiron found this blasted tree which he thinks looks like something from a Clint Eastwood movie.

We had another cold, grey day here today, with a nagging north easterly wind making it feel even colder than it was. Under instruction from Mrs Tootlepedal, I ventured out into the cold garden to prune some roses in the morning. I felt very brave.

We got two very nice get well presents for Mrs Tootlepedal in the course of the day. As her primary carer, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to give them a good test to see if they were suitable for the patient. I can report that both the cake and chocolates were delicious. Mrs Tootlepedal thought so too.

In between my caring duties and walking round to the corner shop, I had a moment or two to do the crossword and watch the birds. It was chaffinch time at the feeder today and with the wind coming from the north end of the garden, the birds were coming in from the south.

Some paused to let the hubbub die down…

…but others just piled in.

…trying to get a perch before any siskins arrived.

The robin looked on from the peanut butter stand…

…and a siskin with a leg ring weighed the options from the feeder pole.

While I was in the garden, I found strange things going on….

…but it was too chilly for frogs and crocuses.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was attempting an afternoon snooze, I went for a walk up the Wauchope Road. With the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service unavailable, I am keeping off my bike for the moment.

The snowdrops at Pool Corner caught my eye…

…and not long afterwards, I passed a tree which was covered in lichens…

…and I tried to take a closer picture of as many as I could.

It was a living encyclopedia of lichens (and mosses).

A cow on a hill mooed at me moodily as I walked by…

…and I waved back.

The last time that I walked up this road, it was very cold and the cascade at Bessie Bell’s was icy.

The scene was more benign today.

In fact, with the wind behind me and in the shelter of the valley, it was a fine day for a walk. I enjoyed looking at things as I went along.

And sometimes things looked at me.

I left the road for long enough to photograph a bridge under it….

…and then to go down to the river to admire one of the many mini cascades that the Wauchope Water flows over on its trip to Langholm, then walk round the corner of the field to a gate, and finally take a path through a little wood carpeted in conifer cones. That took me back to the road again.

I took another bridge picture further on just to show that when I am cycling, I must pass over literally dozens of similar bridges which the road doesn’t even acknowledge. Some are still made of stone but many. like this one, have been reconstructed to bear the weight of the heavy traffic which uses the roads these days.

Just past the bridge, I was trying to take a moody shot of tree tops against a grey sky when I noticed a dark spot above the branches. It turned out to be a buzzard and I tried to get a shot of it too but it remained stubbornly high in the sky.

I consoled myself by looking at some striking lichen on a wall nearby.

Lichen doesn’t taunt you by flying away just as you have got it in focus.

My target for the walk was the little cascade near Wauchope schoolhouse, three miles from Langholm…

…and when I had reached it, I turned for home.

Looking at the time, I realised that I was stretching my leave of absence a bit much, so I waked home as fast as I could without taking any more pictures. The first mile on an exposed stretch of road and straight into the biting wind was not very fast, but the last two miles were much better and I got home just in time to take a cup of tea and a slice of cake up to Mrs Tootlepedal.

The evening was a blur of cooking as I made scrambled eggs for the invalid, mince and tatties for myself and a baked rice pudding for us both.

I am planning to do some more gardening tomorrow so I hope that the forecast of another dry day is correct. Some warmth would be helpful but the cold spell is due to continue for some days yet.

The flying bird of the day is one of the busy chaffinches.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “The official taster

  1. What a happy looking sheep – you have to smile when you see it do the same!

    I must say, you were brave to venture into Attila the Gardener’s arena and prune – even with instructions.

  2. I too, noted the smiling sheep. If things are going to be looking back at you, it is best they are happy. 🙂

    A fine assortment of photos from your feeders and walk, especially the birds and lichens.

    Tasting the cakes and chocolates for suitability for the patient is an important job. I am glad to hear Mrs. T is on the mend!

  3. Thanks for using my “Hang ’em High” tree, and give our best to Mrs tootlepedal. Your walk was a great bonus to me this morning. Cheers.

  4. Such wonderful things you have to see along the way on your walks! Three cheers to being a good helper to Mrs. T, and keeping us updated as she recovers. Best wishes.

  5. Fantastic photos of the lichen and all the other scenes too. The box with four different photos is just the sort of thing to start the imagination for writing a story…if only I had the skill! You are certainly adding up your Brownie points by combining all your skills in the kitchen and the garden – your patient deserves no less.

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