Less grey

Today’s guest picture come from my Lancashire correspondent Paul. He correctly divined that I would appreciate a colourful offering.

We had a less grey day today, though it wasn’t much warmer. The better light deceived Dropscone who cycled round for coffee and scones. By the time that he got here, he was wishing that he had worn his gloves. I had already cycled up to the town to get more lights for our Christmas tree, and could have told him that gloves were needed if he had asked.

When Drospcone went on his way, I spent a moment checking on the birds. A robin was the first bird to appear . . .

. . . and then a chaffinch and a siskin shared the feeder. I like the way that the chaffinch in the right hand picture is wondering where his bit of seed went. I resisted the temptation to shout, “It’s behind you.”

I was distracted from the feeder by the sight of a jackdaw obviously intending to give my lawn a good pecking.

When it saw me looking at it, it stalked away indignantly, offended by my suggestion of illicit pecking intent . . .

. . . but as soon as it thought that my back was turned, the evil deed was done . . .

. . . until it saw me looking again, and then butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth . . .

. . . and it stalked off in high dudgeon. “Honestly, just because you are a jackdaw, everyone thinks that you are a lawn pecker! It’s just not fair.”

I dropped in on our neighbour Margaret, who was entertaining Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Liz with coffee and biscuits. I stayed long enough to scoff a biscuit, and then went off for a bicycle ride while the going was good. Strong winds were forecast for later in the day.

I found that I had the wind behind me as I set off to go round the Solwaybank wind farm by way of Callister Hill, and I made good progress. The light was much better than yesterday, and I could enjoy the sight of a little cottage that is even more dilapidated than the photographer.

There was a little hint of sunshine when I went past one of my favourite bridges on the other side of Calllister.

The hint was only a hint though, and by the time that I had gone a mile or two further, there was more than a hint of light rain.

I passed some upstanding trees on my way to the wind farm . . .

. . . just to show that storm Arwen left a lot of trees alone.

The rain didn’t last long, and I was soon able to get a view of Tinnis Hill, ten miles away on the other side of the Langholm Moor . . .

Just beside me, the turbines were turning, and I noticed the very pronounced curves in their blades.

As they were facing into the direction in which I was pedalling, it was obvious that I was going to find the wind in my face now after the friendly start to my ride. Luckily, although there had been quite a bit of damage . . .

. . . there were enough trees left to give me shelter from the breeze.

When I came to the junction in the road that gave me the choice between a 20 or a 25 mile ride, I chose the longer option, gritting my teeth at the thought of the last six miles back into the wind.

Sometimes though, the weather gods get tired of mocking elderly cyclists, and on this occasion, they tipped the wind direction round just enough to get it to help me home. I welcomed this assistance with open arms as the light rain had started again. With the wind behind me, I hardly felt it at all.

I got home just in time to find Mrs Tootlepedal going out for a walk. I discarded my gaudy cycling jacket, and donned a more sober walking one, and went with her round a short three bridges outing.

It was more of a sociable than a photographic outing, as the light had gone again by this time.

We did see a dipper at the Sawmill Brig but it flew off down the river. We followed it and it flew under the bank of the river. We were very surprised when rather than the dipper reappearing, several ducks emerged . . .

. . . and we wondered if this was some sort of magical transformation, but shortly afterwards the dipper emerged too and flew back up the river to the Sawmill Brig. We didn’t follow it.

I took a picture of a gull instead . . .

As the dusk fell, the new lights on the Christmas tree came into their own.

We ended the day with a Zoom with my siblings. Well we nearly ended the day with the Zoom but we are going to a Watchnight service on the Kirk just before midnight this evening to support our organist Henry. We hope that we will not be the only ones there.

The flying bird of the day is a fuzzy chaffinch. I just didn’t have time in a busy short day to get a better shot.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those who follow my ramblings, both literal and metaphorical, a very merry Christmas. If you are a reader who has dropped in by accident, I wish you a merry Christmas too.

Footnote: Apropos of the carved door which appeared in yesterday’s post, Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she took a picture of what I thought might be a new door in the wall as long ago as last January. I must learn to pay more attention as I walk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Less grey

  1. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs T. and many thanks for all the wonderful pictures and entertaining commentary on life in the Langholm. 🇨🇦

  2. Your jackdaw narrative is wonderful. I do like the first shot just on its own merits – you can almost see the gears turning as it ponders upcoming mischief.

    Safe, happy and well fed Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Nothing like a good cycle ride to banish the winter blues,or should that be greys😊
    I’m confined indoors atm,with what started as a cold becoming bronchitis,but I’ll hopefully be ok in a few days.
    Hope you and Mrs T have a wonderful Christmas,and thanks for keeping us entertained with your wit and great photograph..feels like we know Langholm without visiting it.
    Our young grandson is developing a keen interest in bird spotting and photography,so we’ve got him a camera and bird book for Christmas,let’s hope he keeps it up.🐹

    1. With a camera and a bird book, he shouldn’t look back. I look forward to seeing him starring on future TV nature programmes. I hope that your bronchitis clears up quickly.

      1. That’s what we’re banking on ,him becoming the next Chris Packham.and looking after us in old age haha.

  4. I wonder how fast those wind turbines turned in that gale you had. Maybe they stop them so they can’t hurt themselves in a wind that strong.
    It’s always nice to see your mallards so closely.
    That’s a nice shot of the Christmas tree. I’d guess you got the tripod out and left the shutter open for a bit.

  5. I enjoyed all your winter day photos, especially the jackdaw series. What are they finding to eat in the lawn at this time of year? Are they worm eaters?

  6. A Merry Christmas to you and Mrs Tootlepedal and all your beloved ones. We also thank you for all the hikes and bike trips you made that we ould enjoy thanks to your blog !

  7. I have always said it is us who should thank you for the unwavering daily entertainment you provide for your readers. Merry Christmas from the welshcyclist family here in South Wales to yuo and Mtr T. Cheers.

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