Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie. She found this tree also waiting in the queue when she went for her booster vaccination yesterday.
We had another grey, and somewhat damp day here today. The temperature had crept up a bit but it still felt chilly and unwelcoming, so I was happy to have my cold to give me an excuse to lounge around doing nothing in the morning.
Once again, no birds appeared at the feeder, so later in the day I moved it to a new position, sheltered under the plum tree, and I wait to see if this will encourage more visitors. To be absolutely fair, there were one or two birds today, but they only arrived after I had turned my back on the feeder and put my camera down.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy writing up the minutes of a Langholm Initiative meeting, so I entertained myself by making some lentil and carrot soup for lunch.
After lunch, in spite of my continuing cold, I thought that it would be a good idea to stretch my legs, so I looked out of the back door to see if the rain had stopped, and when I found that it had, I went for a walk.
The clouds were thick and sitting heavily on the hills. It wasn’t a good day for taking pictures.
You can’t walk through the park and along the River Esk at the moment, so I took the path along the mossy wall beside the Wauchope . . .
. . . and followed the track up to the Stubholm and then came back down again to the Murtholm at the far end of the riverside path.
Looking back I could see that there had been a lot of clearing to make my way plain coming down the hill . . .
. . . but also that it would be sometime before anyone would enjoy a stroll along the riverside path back to the park.
I stopped to take a picture of prolific lichen (possibly oak moss lichen, Evernia prunastri) on a tree branch . . .
. . . and then walked steadily on down to Skippers Bridge without finding anything tempting enough to get my camera back out of my pocket.
When I had crossed the bridge, I saw that the retaining fence on the top of the stone wall had been taken away, leaving the new wooden fence behind it.
It is still not clear to me what the purpose of this new fence is.
On the other side of the road, trees have been cleared, leaving a better view of the bridge from the north.
As I walked back towards the town, I could see that moles have been busy . . .
. . . and no less than three blackbirds were pecking away within ten yards of each other beside the path as I passed the sewage works.
Variegated ivy shields the works from the gaze of passing pedestrians.
The only hint of colour apart from grey and green, and it was just a hint, came from the bare branches of a willow beside the water.
Looking across the river at the banking on the other side, it occurred to me that even if the fallen trees across the path are cleared, it may be considered that the banking is in too dangerous a state to allow the path to be reopened to the public.
I had taken my walk at a very gentle pace so I got home in good order to find Mrs Tootlepedal still hard at work. I had a quick snoop round the garden before I went in and took my boots off.
A little colour was provided by a dogwood in the back border . . .
. . . and by a tiny bit of beech next to the drying green.
It is not much, but you have to be grateful for what you can get in these, the darkest days of the winter.
Tea and Garibaldi biscuits were consumed, the curtains were shut, my siblings were Zoomed, and the day came to a peaceful and uneventful close.
My cold is slightly better and the forecast for the next two days is slightly better too, so I’m hoping that there may be more interesting posts in the near future.
No flying bird today, just a distant glimpse of two little birds on the very top of the walnut tree.