Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce. He came across this fine outbreak of yellow brain (or witches butter) fungus on his walk today.
It was a perfect day for winter cycling today, warmish, cloudy but not wet, and pretty calm. This made it all the more annoying that my cold is showing no signs of going away. As a result, I spent another very quiet morning in doing nothing.
We did have some visitors though. Scott, our ex minister, with his coffee radar finely tuned, arrived bang on time for a cup of coffee, even bringing his own biscuits with him. It was with regret that I had to turn him away as he is always good company, but passing on colds to ex ministers is not a good thing to do. He kindly left the biscuits. He knows me well.
Luckily, the birds seemed to take to the new position of the feeder and there were quite a few avian visitors today to keep me entertained. First two siskins turned up . . .
. . . and they were followed by a blue tit, several chaffinches, and a couple of goldfinches.
After an early lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off on her bicycle to check on the state of the unwanted plastic tree tubes that the volunteers had collected, and which had been stored in a shed on the moor.
Thanks to Arwen, this is the current state of the shed . . .
. . . and she had a happy time collecting up scattered tubes and tucking them safely away.
While she was out, I had a later lunch and then went for a short three bridges walk. I had intended to go a bit further, but I found that I was quite tired and needed to curtail my outing.
I got very excited when I saw a gleam of sunshine on the slopes of Whita . . .
. . . but almost as soon as I had seen it, it vanished and we were back to shades of grey again.
I had hoped to photograph a dipper so I had taken my bird camera with me. Unfortunately, the only dipper that I came across, saw me first and flew off down the river at great speed. On the other hand, the black headed gulls were determined to get their picture taken, and flew round and round above my head and flashed past me on all sides.
I saw that one was shouting a warning . . .
. . . and this turned out to be to get ducks and other gulls out of the way of its landing.
Another bird came in low . . .
. . . and performed an inelegant belly flop landing.
I walked on up to the Sawmill Brig, passing a mallard making waves . . .
. . . and pursued by yet another gull which was determined to get its picture taken too.
As I got to the Sawmill Brig, I could hear twittering in a big tree. Looking up, I saw numerous little birds. They were too far away for my bird camera so I got out my pocket camera to use its long zoom. Even with the long lens it was hard to be certain, but I think that I was watching a small flock of long tailed tits.
Taking pictures of various lichens on the trees along the Lodge Walks was a bit easier.
This was my favourite patch, a fine collection of script lichens on a single tree.
I walked across the Castleholm, intending to see if there had been any tree clearing at the Duchess Bridge. I couldn’t get to the bridge though, as there was a notice up saying that entry was forbidden as there was tree clearing going on.
I turned back and went down to the Jubilee Bridge, noting the absence of sunshine on Whita . . .
. . . and enjoying some ferns on a tree, and mosses on a wall as I went home.
I had just enough energy for a walk round the garden before I went in. I spotted another bit of colour . . .
. . . and a brave but unavailing effort to be the last rose of the year. It got full marks for trying.
I took a picture of moss on a stone beside the pond, and found when I looked at it later, that I had taken a picture of some lichen as well.
I was a bit depresed by how tired I was, so my thoughts turned to comfort food and I made a batch of date and ginger rolls.
Mrs Tootlepedal. returned safely, having cycled eight miles. I was very envious. We had a cup of tea and polished of the last of the Garibaldi biscuits.
Sandy came down in the evening, and Mrs Tootlepedal trimmed his hair for him. He has a hospital appointment coming up and he wants to look neat and tidy.
Although my cold didn’t go away, I did get a good flying bird of the day, so the day wasn’t a total waste of time.