Just in time

Today’s guest picture is another from MaryJane in New York. She and her husband thought it worth while getting very cold fingers on a freezing day to catch a picture of a Harlequin duck at Jones Beach before it left for the season. I can see why.

After a night of strong wind and heavy rain here, the day started remarkably calmly and I had no problems walking up to the Heath Centre for a routine visit. There was a bit of water coming down the Esk…

…but not as much as I had expected after what had seemed quite a wild night. It is blowing and raining again as I write this so there may be more water in the rivers tomorrow.

I called in at the corner shop on my way home to top up my supplies of honey and raisins and arrived back in nice time to have coffee and date rolls with Mrs Tootlepedal.

And a quick look at the birds in the gloom.

A greenfinch arrived on the big feeder…

…while a siskin paused for a moment on the pole…

…before descending to the feeder where it was joined by a chaffinch.

The forecast offered a spare hour before serious rain arrived so while Mrs Tootlepedal retired for a restorative nap after coffee, I put on my big coat and went out for a short walk.

I kept an eye out for hazel flowers…

…and saw a few more than on my last outing, but still hardly any compared to the huge number of male catkins.

I also saw the first primroses of the spring beside the track.

They cheered up a very grey day with the clouds firmly clamped on the Whita Hill

Having said that, the view across the valley to Warblaw, which is a couple of hundred feet lower than Whita Hill, seemed remarkably green today…

…and there were plenty of signs of spring in the hedgerows once I had crossed the Becks Burn…

…but looking down on the Auld Stane Brig showed a very wintery scene still.

I stopped to admire the good growth in the pixie cup lichen garden on the top of the fence post at the bridge end…

…and then took the Gaskell’s Walk track back towards the town.

In spite of the recent rain, the track was pretty dry…

…and I soon got to the Stubholm where I found tiny buds on the blackthorn bushes….

…and moss creeping up a set of tree trunks.

As I went along the precipitous bank above the river, I was struck by the literal sticking power of this tree.

Although it had started to rain lightly by the time that I had come down the hill to the Murtholm, I decided that it was light enough to let me walk down to Skippers Bridge and back along the other side of the river.

I went for relative speed rather than illustrations on this section of my walk as the threat of heavier rain was very real and I was walking into a brisk wind.

I only stopped to look back at the bridge after I had crossed it and had the wind and rain behind me.

A good quantity of willow buds beside the river…

…and a couple of fuzzy shots of a male goosander and an oystercatcher…

…were the only things that detained me for a short time thereafter, and I got home before the heavier rain started.

The birds on the feeder just had to put up with it.

Mrs Tootlepedal came down for lunch and we spent the rest of the day very quietly indoors.

The wet and windy weather is due to continue for a day or two, but we are promised a chance of sunny intervals tomorrow. That will be very welcome. Mrs Tootlepedal would enjoy a walk round the garden.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch. Their ability to fly slowly on gloomy days is much appreciated.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Just in time

  1. It looks like the river can take more rain but I hope it isn’t tested.
    That’s a great shot of the hazel blossoms. I still haven’t seen any here.
    I like the buds with purple on them. I’ve never seen any like them.
    I’ve never seen primroses in the wild either. You’re lucky to have them.

  2. That is an excellent photo of the hazelnut bloom. It looks almost like a tentacled sea anemone. I especially enjoyed seeing buds and that nice patch of pixie cups on the fence post,

    I am watching buds swelling on the trees here too. Life is bursting forth all around. After a uniform silver-grey sky day, the sun is finally emerging now that is is setting. I did get to see a very nice sunrise this morning.

  3. Every time I look at one of your posts I think what a beautiful place it is that you live in. I am sure that you photograph it to its best advantage too.

  4. Wish we had Harlequin ducks over here…beautiful colours. Love all the different greens seen on your walk especially the mossy paths and tree . The lichen also had a large range of greens and the lovely view across the valley showed the fields greening up too…bet the sheep are pleased to have fresh grass to nibble. Better mention the pretty greenfinch as I seem to be going all green in this comment…sorry!

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