Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Liz. It shows her daughter Jane and their dog Riley on their walk this morning in some very unexpected snow near the Auld Stane Brig.
Liz and Jane get up early for their walks but there was still some snow about on our lawns when I poked my head out of the window…
…and on Castle Hill too.
But as you can see, the sun was out and it didn’t take long for the snow to disappear as the sun hit it…
…and by coffee time, we were joined in the garden by Margaret, Liz who was back from her walk, and a fine blackbird who had seen off a competitor….
…and the snow had all gone.
After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal got busy in the garden while I dug up the last of our leeks and used three of them to make leek and potato soup for lunch. Although it had been very cold in the early hours of the morning again, the sun was warm enough for the soil to be completely unfrozen.
As I dug up the leeks, I could see the defeated blackbird looking morose in the rowan tree.
The early frosts must have discouraged the bees though. In spite of inviting fritillaries…
…there were no bees about.
After a bowl of leek and potato soup for my lunch, I checked on the chaffinches. They were busy landing on the feeder.
…and shouting, “Get out of my way!”
There was a bit of a delay while I got distracted by a very good play on the radio, but finally I got my bike out and went out to enjoy the sunshine.
After yesterday’s walk, I was a bit worried that my legs might be in non-compliant mood, but they were all for a pedal, and we had as good a time as is possible when there is a chilly wind about in spite of the sunshine.
I saw lapwings again in the field at the Bloch Farm again. They stood absolutely still and looked at me as I cycled by. Then they played “Annoy the Photographer” with zest as soon as I stopped when I was well past them, They waited until I had clicked hopefully and then flew off before I could get a good shot. For more fun, they then flew round in circles, landing every now and again to wait for just long enough for me not to be able to get focussed.
When I finally thought that I had caught one standing still, it turned out to be a crow!
Trees are easier to catch. My favourite oak had added sheep today.
Just to prove that there was a cloud in the sky, I stopped at Torbeck Hill, a modest eminence of 154m but which has a trig point on its summit. You can see the cloud to the left of the hill.
Residents in Somerset may note that we take this lovely little hill very calmly and have not surrounded it with shops selling healing crystals and hand woven baskets.
Coming over the hill at Tarcoon and looking across to the north of England hills, I could see signs that gamekeepers were burning the heather.
Thanks to the keen wind not being helpful, it took me some time to get down to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass, but the journey back up to Langholm was very pleasant. I didn’t rush back and stopped to have another look at the bridge over the Esk at Canonbie. It was rather grey when I looked at it recently so I thought that it deserved a better day for a portrait as it is a fine bridge.
I drove over it on a regular basis for thirteen years on my way to work, and I have cycled over it hundreds of times since I retired.
The river was beautifully clear like the Tarras Water yesterday…
…and it was so low that I could walk under the bridge and do something that I have never done before, take a picture of the bridge from the upstream side.
The original bridge is very narrow and about thirty five years ago the road authorities added footways on both sides of the bridge to make it safer for children to walk to school and worshippers to walk to church.
I only stopped once more to take the picture that appears as today’s header. It shows that for the most part, we are still waiting for spring.
As she likes excitement, Mrs Tootlepedal had driven up to a larger pile of horse manure after lunch. She had just finished putting it about the garden and then transplanting some hostas when I got home.
There was time for a cup of tea and another look at the birds before the regular Zoom meeting with my siblings.
The feeder was well down and I had to refill it first. Luckily a new delivery of birdseed arrived today.
Once again birds were getting in the way when I tried to photograph birds….
…but I did spot a redpoll dropping in for a seed and a chat.
A large greenfinch soon sent it packing.
The Zoom meeting and our evening meal rounded off the active part of the day. We are due for one more sub zero night and then, if things go as forecast, some slightly warmer weather is on its way.
The flying bird of the day is a relaxed female chaffinch gliding in.