Cold rolling

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.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Cold rolling

  1. I am happy to know that all is tootling along pleasantly. I hope you will both enjoy a good (and warmer) weekend!

  2. Nice to see the hellebores.
    We’ve just gone through the weather you expect to see next week. They say we’re in for quite a warm up here next week so maybe it’ll reach you eventually.
    I’m glad to hear that Mrs. T. is on the mend.

  3. The birds put on a good display. I know what you mean about some being messy feeders. That would be our towhees, here. The chaffinch keeping one foot warm was a nice catch, too.

    I hope your apple tees come through the winter. It is our pear tree that most often gets hit with late frosts, as it is an early bloomer.

    Marmite – your post reminded me I was going to get some vegemite and give it a try. I think it is like marmite?

  4. What a beautiful sunrise ! I hope your apple tree blossoms will not be atacked by the frost this year. I love the picture of the solitairy tree.

  5. I was awake early this morning, I always am, but somewhat earlier than normal, so I read your post well before I was actually up. Up is not a great description, because the crutches are such a nuisance. I was with you for every pedal stroke, I keep imagining being out on my Pioneer, even wild camping in a tent. There is so much to see out there on highways, trails, and byways. I have read a couple of cycle touring books in the past, but am searching for another to read. Setting off on my Pioneer, for a self supported few days, is a dream I have had for a long time. I had known of round the world cyclists for a long time and their books. But the idea of such a tour, a very small one pour moi, came from me actually meeting one. As you know I have been commuting up and down the Neath Valley for a long time now, since 2006, I think. During that time I have met so many characters and seen so much wild life, I really feel blessed. Well one lad, who, for probably a full twelve months used to pass me in either direction on my valley commute. We used to wave and if conditions were OK would stop and chat. He was a young man just left the navy, and I would ask him where he was en route for, his answers were astounding to myself. He would state quite matter of factly that he was heading for Brecon and back home again to Neath? He told me he was in training for a cycle ride for charity from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska. He blogged about the trip, but sadly, I have forgotten his name and his blog, I know they are available in my own almost forgotten blog http://www.welshcyclist.wordpress.com. New cycling gear has started to arrive, again, after the returns I had sent back. So I am still, very much, in the all the gear, no idea chrysalis stage of my great return to actually pedalling. Walking through the house from front to back, then vice versa as many times as I can, and bending my knee ditto, are the only sort of self inflicted physio I can manage at present. What with her indoors care and supervision, I believe, I am making some progress, just by the way my knee feels. Keep pedalling and thanks for providing your blog every day. Sorry for piggy backing all this on to your blog, I hope you don’t mind. Cheers

    1. Keep doing the steady exercise. There are no short cuts back to bicycling! I look forward to reading about your forthcoming self supported tour of Wales. I will try to keep myself fit and safe.

  6. Lovely header photo- the cows look very content but I still wouldn’t like to walk through a field if they were there. Hope you can get the marmite open once you’ve got through the packaging- I’ve had to resort to buying a gadget for opening jars with various lid sizes!

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