Today’s guest picture, a much needed splash of colour on another grey day, comes from Laura in Michigan. It shows the sort of sunsets that she has enjoyed recently when she looked towards Lake Michigan from her snow covered garden.
We had no sun to rise or set here as once again we had ten tenths cloud cover all day. It was a gloomy day for taking pictures, and unsurprisingly there are some gloomy pictures in today’s post.
It was colder than it has been, even though it didn’t freeze overnight. The thermometer struggled to get above 4°C all day. I stayed in after breakfast to look at the birds.
I noticed a stark contrast between a siskin and a chaffinch. Siskins are very messy eaters…
…while chaffinches are much tidier.
Some might say that this is because the seeds are too big for the little siskins to swallow but coal tits are even tinier and they don’t spill seed…
…they take it away and put it under their feet and peck at it neatly. (I like the concentration the chaffinch is putting into landing safely.)
There were very few goldfinches, no greenfinches and not many siskins today. It was mostly chaffinches, sometimes swooping in…
…and sometimes standing on one leg and looking quizzical.
It was still chilly when I went out into the garden to do some Virginia creeper removal while the gardener continued her recovery.
I had a look around while I was out there. Hellebores are coming out regardless of the cold…
…and other buds are available.
I am nervous about the one in the top right corner of the panel. It is an apple. Last year the apples were in really good order when almost every blossom was nipped by a severe late frost and we got no fruit. I am hoping for better luck for it this year. I like apple crumble.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s recovery is going so well that it was thought quite suitable for me to go for a short cycle ride this afternoon rather than another walk. I was pleased to get out on my bike but less pleased to find that it was just as cold in the afternoon as it had been in the morning. The day hadn’t warmed up at all. Luckily the wind was light or the outing would have been a real penance.
It was extremely clear for once, and from the top of the hill above the Kerr Wood, I could see the Lake District hills and even catch a hint of colour on them.
I couldn’t see much of the Kerr Wood itself though, as it is almost all gone now.
I didn’t want to be away from home for too long and it was too cold to make stopping very inviting, so I did a lot of pedalling and not much snapping as I went through Canonbie. The Canonbie cows were on sit down strike as you can see from today’s header picture.
Because I didn’t stop for pictures, I had time to cycle through the town and out of the other side for a mile, checking that this tree still hadn’t fallen down the banking…
…and enjoying the view that visitors from the north see as they get near Langholm.
I pedalled along the river when I got back to the town and saw our two lesser black backed gulls looking as though they might have had a disagreement.
This one looked cheerful enough in close up.
A few yards down the river, two oystercatchers could be seen. One was enjoying a good splash about and shower…
…and the other was sensibly hiding behind a rock.
I got home in perfect time to take up the afternoon tea tray (with cake) to the patient patient.
A highlight of the day was the delivery of two large pots of Marmite. The drawback was that they are so securely packaged that we won’t actually be able to get in to use them. Still, it is good to have them in the store cupboard.
After a couple of days when it looked as though spring was really on its way, we are stuck in this cold spell for the weekend and all of next week at least. We are not putting the winter woollies away just yet.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch again as there was no other choice today. Still, I cleaned and washed the feeder today so perhaps we will get a better choice tomorrow.