Today’s picture comes from my Canonbie friend Simon. His work takes him across Europe, and he found the River Rhine under a cloud when he went out for his walk yesterday. It took me a moment to work out that he was above the cloud.
Yesterday ended unusually late for us, or to put it another way, today started unusually early as it was past midnight when Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her outing to the D&G Life awards ceremony. Sad to relate, the Langholm Initiative had not carried off the prize for their hard work on the community buyout of the moor, but the buy out group will always be winners in our minds.
Not unexpectedly we got up a bit late, and by the time that I had got the Langholm Initiative newsletter finished and published, it was past coffee time.
On my way through to the kitchen, I checked on the birds and only saw a single goldfinch.
. . . though there was another bird hiding behind the feeder. The seeds are going down, if a bit slowly, so there are birds about, but they have mastered the art of coming to the feeder when I am not looking. Bird pictures are rare at the moment.
It was a lovely sunny day with light winds, so at midday I got my bicycle out and set off to cycle the 25 miles up to Bailliehill, round the Crossdykes windfarm and back home by Paddockhole and Callister.
I avoided taking yet another picture of the Gates of Eden, and took some sheep in the valley bottom instead.
The fields are still green but the hills are brown and colour elsewhere is fading fast, with only a few colourful trees remaining . . .
. . . and many being completely leafless.
The sun struggles to get up high enough to really warm things up, and every bump in a hillside casts deep shadows even in the middle of the day.
It was all the more surprising then to come upon this radiant vision in the middle of Bentpath village . . .
. . . and I saw nothing to match it further up the valley.
With the low sun to the south west, most views have to be taken looking north or east at this time of year and I had to stop and look backwards or sideways for the rest of the views from my ride.
A curious sheep wondered what I was doing with my camera.
As you can see, it was a lovely day. This was just as well, as the cycling was extremely hard work and I needed distraction from the fact that my knees were very conscious of the amount of hacking and hauling that I had done on the moor yesterday. They were so conscious of it indeed that I had to be extra nice to them to persuade them to get me up the hills. As a result, I recorded my slowest ever time on this route.
Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I were quite tired in the afternoon, so we left the sun to shine outside while we had a quiet sit down inside and the day meandered to a close.
I did check on the birds from time to time, but once again I only saw a lone goldfinch. As a result, it is the sitting bird of the day.
Footnote: I see that I will have to make sure tomorrow that that perch is properly screwed into the feeder before it falls off.