A spruce day

Today’s guest picture comes from ex Archive Group member Ken. He is on holiday in Faro, where he spotted a stork on top of a disused church. Once again, I am happy to have a sunny guest picture on a very dull day here.

My social day started well with coffee and scones with Dropscone. The scones were as excellent as ever. Mrs Tootlepedal was away taking minutes at a Langholm Initiative meeting, so the company was much appreciated.

After Dropscone left, I walked up to the newspaper office in the High Street to take a photograph of an article from an 1899 edition of our local paper for a correspondent. She had found a family mention in the Archive Group’s online index to the paper. It is wonderfully easy to take a photo of an original article and email it to an enquirer.

I had volunteered to help the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve volunteering officer, Kat, in removing some of the unwanted self seeded spruce trees that have sprung up on the moor since the sheep were taken off. Last time I was at an organised activity on the moor, the guided walk led by Mike Tinker, the weather had been wet and windy. I was hoping for a change in the weather today and I got my wish.

Unfortunately, the change was for the worse, and it was even windier and much wetter. We lasted an hour. We had managed to cut and shift a good number of the trees before Kat called it a day and photographed the small band of happy volunteers. She kindly sent me the result.

In spite of the wild weather, we had enjoyed ourselves as you can see.

All the same, I was quite pleased to empty the rain out of my pockets when I got home. Mrs Tootlepedal had bought a treat for me on her way home from taking the minutes. It was a small two cup teapot. The key thing about is that it is that it is made of metal. She doesn’t think that even I can break that.

I had some puff pastry left over from making the tarte tatin, and as by coincidence there were six vegetarian sausages in our freezer, I thought that I would put them together and make half a dozen vegetarian sausage rolls, a new project for me. The results wouldn’t win top prizes for beauty . . .

. . . but they were good eating, with the pastry being crisp and the veggie sausages being very acceptable.

As I always have some puff pastry over when I make tarte tatin, I will try to ensure that there are always some veggie sausages about in the freezer to make use of it.

I settled down to put the monthly Langholm Initiative newsletter together after that.

I took a break from this task to have a short walk in a gap in the rain. It was dry but very gloomy. At least I could see the top of a hill . . .

. . . which had been covered with thick rain clouds when I was up there earlier.

I took a picture of the church. The scaffolding has been removed, the bell is working, and for the first time for ages, we will be able to go in by the front door this Sunday.

The Ewes Water was running faster than the Esk when I got to the Meeting of the Waters . . .

. . . and the mallards were prudently keeping out of the flow.

When I looked at the picture on my computer, it was hard to puzzle out. There seems to be half a duck missing.

There were quite few black headed gulls in their winter plumage on the grassy bank of the river.

I walked up to the sawmill Brig, and was impressed by the fiery colour of a tree beyond it.

Apart from that tree, most of the colours on my walk were very subdued, and more and more leaves are on the ground and not on the branches.

I looked at the Ewes Water as I crossed the bridge, and I was not surprised to finding it running full after the rain overnight and in the morning.

I walked along the new path round the bottom of the Castleholm, and found that the cones on the Noble Fir at the far corner were looking very skeletal.

They had looked like this in September.

It got even gloomier as I walked towards the Jubilee Bridge . . .

. . . and only some fading larch needles tempted my camera out of my pocket again . . .

. . . before the rain came on as I neared hom. I scurried in, stopping to record the winter jasmine at the back door as I went.

I went back to working on the newsletter until it was time to give Mrs Tootlepedal a lift down to the Initiative. She was looking very spruce as she had a smart dress on. The community buy out team has been nominated for an award at the D&G Life magazine’s annual do in Dumfries, and she is part of the party going to the ceremony.

They are streaming the awards live so I may be able to see if they win later in the evening.

The strong winds and the rain kept the birds away from the feeder today, and an old friend is standing in for the flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “A spruce day

  1. A fabulous portrait of Mr. Grumpy – he looks particularly neat and tidy today. Perhaps he was hoping to crash the D & G Life party . . .

  2. I enjoyed your half a duck, I think the flaming tree by the brig is nicely accented by the shipping container, the view at the meeting of the waters is lovely, but my favorite is your header and the striking view up the bridge.

  3. I like that beautiful sunlit tree.
    Even when you’re dressed for it working in the rain never seems fun. I’ve tried to make it fun for years but it hasn’t ever happened.
    Mr. Grumpy is looking well groomed.
    I hope Mrs. T.s team gets the award.

    1. Because I don’t have to do it a lot, working in the rainstorm was enjoyable just as a contrast to my normal life. It might not be much fun if I had to do it often.

  4. The half-duck photo is interesting, and I am trying to determine where the rest of the body is hidden by what. A good catch! Now how did you manage that? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Those fiery trees are like bright beacons in the woods, making even dusk seem bright.

  5. Well done to Mrs T and her team, as well as to you and yours for getting such good work done. I like the shape of the tree in the gloom.

  6. I too am stumped by the half Mallard. As the duck in the back blends into the rocks…but I like the way the half Mallard has spread its wing over its body in disguise. Your wet, chilly, grey weather still looks better than ours.

  7. A very full day for you, even gloomy photographs are good to view. I am catching up on your blog, yet again, where does the time go? It is Christmas Eve, as I type, and I am sat here alone in my signal box, like “Billy no mates”, having drawn the short straw for duties over the Christmas break, will be here till 04.30ish, bah humbug, and then back in for a night shift on Boxing Night. I hope Mrs T and her colleagues are successful and get an award for their initiative. It is still so very mild here, I am very pleased to say. My Pioneer remains with the Merthyr Bike Workshop, and I expect to have it back next week in full working order. Hope you’re having a great Christmas and all the very best for the New Year. Cheers.

      1. I get plenty of time off, so I take the cash every time, I’m a mercenary signaller lol

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