Slow progress

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He gets up early, and was out in time to enjoy this fine sunrise at East Wemyss this morning.

I wasn’t up early, and even if I had been, there wouldn’t have been a fine sunrise to enjoy here as we had another grey and chilly day. What we did see was more overnight hedgehog activity in the garden, captured by the trail camera.

It looks well fed.

I was determined to look after my knee so I had a very quiet morning, only getting into to my outdoor clothes with just enough time to cycle to the corner shop before having coffee in the garden with Margaret.

After coffee, I made ginger biscuits and managed to get a shot of the whole batch before the biscuit tester got busy.

I was in the nick of time.

While the biscuits were cooling, I photographed a quizzical chaffinch…

…and another looking as though it was going to need all its braking skills as it approached the feeder. (Note the goldfinch below shouting, “Steady there!”)

After lunch, I took some more time to enjoy the birds at the feeder, though there was a slow start with only a siskin siskin on show.

I thought that the fake buddleia stems made an artistic background for these goldfinches seen from the downstairs window.

It was quite a busy day and chaffinches had to look hard to find a free perch.

There was a briskish wind and the temperature never got out of single figures Celsius, but all the same, as it wasn’t raining, it seemed like a good day to try out the state of my knee while cycling.

The brisk wind gave me a good excuse to go slowly. I was heading more or less straight into it as I set off towards Callister and it didn’t feel very spring like, but there were lambs in the fields.

My plan was to go to the bottom of the hill on the far side of Callister, and try out the road which leads to Westerkirk. This has been shut during the past week for resurfacing, and I was looking forward to seeing what the workmen had achieved. It has been in terrible condition over the winter, so any improvement would be welcome.

The result was a pleasant surprise.

They had gone the whole hog and laid an entirely new surface. Unfortunately, I had miscalculated the length of time that the road would be closed, and the work had only been finished as far as the top of this little hill.

However, I was able to turn off at the crossroads at the top of the hill and follow the single track road over the bridge at Linnbridgeford.

This took me past the field of cropped willow trees. It will be interesting to see how quickly they start to regrow.

I went past the windfarm at Solwaybank, and then enjoyed the peace and quiet of the rolling road under the tunnel of trees.

When I came out of the trees, I could see that the sun was shining on the English hills to the south.

I was distracted from my envious contemplation of the scene by bright lights and loud noises in the sky. It turned out not to be an invasion from space, but just a helicopter, whizzing by low overhead.

When I got to the Kerr Wood, I could see that the foresters are still busy there.

Luckily, the log lorries are taking the timber out down an old forestry road, so I am not likely to meet a timber wagon while I am cycling on the narrow roads near the wood.

My knee was doing very well at the modest pace that I was sticking to, so I extended my ride by taking the slightly longer route home by the Hollows instead of going back by way of Wauchope Schoolhouse. The brisk wind was now mostly helping, so it was no hardship to add three miles to my outing.

I was very excited to see a definite sign of spring on a larch beside the river on the bike track along the old A7.

My knee seems to have survived the 23 mile trip with comfortable ease, but I will have to wait until tomorrow to be sure that it is better. If the weather permits, I will try a few more slow rides before giving it a more severe test.

Mrs Tootlepedal had done a little light gardening while I had been out cycling, so we had both come through yesterday’s drive project works safely.

I walked round the garden when I got back to see what was growing.

There are signs that the tulips are thinking about coming out…

…and the drumstick primulas are starting to show…

…but the rhubarb is a bit disappointing, with not much hint of stems developing yet.

As we have passed the vernal equinox, there was plenty of light left to watch the birds when I went in. For a change, I found a chaffinch shouting at a siskin today.

My brother and sisters had all been very enterprising since our last Zoom meeting, so there was plenty to talk about at the regular Zoom meeting in the evening.

A last helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s delicious brisket of beef rounded off a slow but satisfactory day.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Slow progress

  1. Your son Tony from East Wemyss takes some very beautiful photos of his area.

    Back in the days when I used to bake them, I could never wait for a new batch of cookies to cool before eating them. I always thought they were better hot out of the oven, with a good hot cup of tea. πŸ™‚

    It was good to hear your knee did well with some light cycling. I hope it is still doing well tomorrow. I enjoyed all these photos from your day, especially the quizzical chaffinch.

    1. I like to have a bit of crispness in my biscuit so cooling is essential. I am very proud of the way that Tony has taken to being a photographer since he moved to East Wemyss. It helps to live in a good area for photographs. πŸ™‚

  2. Those biscuits look just right to go with my coffee later this morning. Glad to hear your knee isn’t moaning while pedalling, I hope it stays schtumm today as well. Cheers.

  3. Your hedgehog seems to be well fed and out and about early in the year. Ours here are just waking up from their hibernation. East Wemyss seems to be a blessed place and Tony comes after his father re his photographic skills.

  4. The ginger biscuits would certainly be a treat at the end of your lovely cycle ride. Interesting to see the cropped willow trees …I wondered why they did that and found out! Willow produces a lot of biomass in a short space of time! Again I’ve learnt something from your blog! Hope the knee holds up.

    1. Quite a few farmers tried willow farming when the wood burning power station started up but they found that the costs of harvesting were higher than they thought that they would be and a lot gave up quite soon.

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