Testing the new gloves

Today’s guest picture is another much needed sunny scene from Muriwai Beach in NZ, courtesy of Stephen. It looks particularly lovely after another grey day here.

It was a degree or two warmer here today, but just as grey. Indeed, the light was so poor that I didn’t waste a lot of time looking at the birds after I had filled the feeder. I did see a little rush of chaffinches (and a lone siskin) . . .

. . . and later on, some variety was provided by a coal tit and a robin.

Margaret came round for coffee, and we enjoyed some of the shortbread that she gave us for Christmas while we sipped and chatted.

After she left, I got out my new Christmas work gloves and stacked up the logs that our neighbour Liz gave us. Then I sieved the last lot of compost from Bin D. The gloves were very satisfactory, and will come into use again soon when I turn the contents of compost Bin C into Bin D.

After lunch, I went out on my bicycle for what may have been the last cycle ride of 2021. The wind was still coming from the north, so it felt colder than the 7°C that the thermometer showed when I left. I decided to take advantage of the wind, and took the main road south out of the town and went round my familiar twenty mile Canonbie circuit in the ‘wrong’ direction.

The wind was most helpful on the way down, and I did eight and three quarters miles in 37 minutes. Equally, it was quite unhelpful as I battled back up the hill, and the next seven and a quarter miles took me 45 minutes. Luckily, the final four miles were downhill and sheltered from the wind, so I managed to sneak my average moving speed up to just over 12 mph, the minimum that I consider respectable these days.

I was happy to stop for pictures while I was going uphill into the wind. This tree comes right at the top of a short but steep climb up from the Canonbie by-pass.

Rather annoyingly, I could see sun on the hills as I pedalled along, but it was away to my right, out over the Langholm Moor and the Tarras Valley.

The arbitrary nature of the recent storm meant that these three trees near Ryehills survived unscathed . . .

. . . while a few yards away, another clump had had a casualty.

As I came over my final hill, I was treated to some fine cloudscapes with a hint of blue sky, this one behind my favourite oak tree . . .

. . . and this one as I looked down Wauchopedale towards Langholm

I had turned my bike lights on by this time, but the camera makes the scene look gloomier than it was in real life. It had got noticeably colder though, so I stopped looking at the sky and applied myself to getting home. This dramatic sky behind Whita, when I was almost back, did make me stop for the very last time..

As I was putting my bike in the garage, Mike Tinker dropped by, and I invited him for a cup of tea and a sample of our large stock of Christmas biscuits in company with Mrs Tootlepedal. She spent the day wallpapering. The lining paper was finished today.

The temperature has dropped down to near freezing as I write this, but it is supposed to get quite warm tomorrow. As it is forecast that this will come with plenty of rain and increasingly strong winds, we may not be as grateful as we should be.

I didn’t get a chance to catch a good flying bird of the day today and this was the best that I could do.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Testing the new gloves

  1. Good last ride of 2021 . You’ve put a lot of miles in this year, put me to shame.
    Although the weather wasn’t great (again) you were rewarded with some dramatic skies.
    At least the days are now getting longer.😊

  2. Lining paper? Does that mean the job involves two layers? Yikes.

    We are getting winter here at last: snow (most welcome) and some nippy temperatures (not so welcome). Of course the lower temps arrived at the same time as the announcement of higher costs for heating fuel (sigh). I haven’t seen any of even the hardest fat-tire bikers out lately.

  3. I’m glad the new gloves are helping. They’ve always been important in my work.
    I loved the shots of the sun shining on the hills and the colorful clouds.
    You’re lucky that you can still get the bike out. We had another ice storm so it has been about all I can do just to walk without falling down. We’ve been spreading a lot of sand.

    1. We have been very lucky to get no ice so far even when it has been below zero. It is bound to come though and it is no fun to go out in icy conditions as you get older.

  4. I enjoyed all the photos from the day. The hills and views look beautiful in stormlight, and it was nice to see a cheery robin along with everyone at the feeder.

    Good work gloves are a must here, too.

  5. The sun on the hills makes for a good picture… I look at a lot of photography tutorials on YouTube and they strive for sun on the distant hills and will wait for ages for the right light.

    1. I don’t have the patience for that. It is very hit or miss with me. I take a lot of pictures though so I am almost bound to get a good one every now and again.

  6. You put your new gloves to good use but hope they didn’t get too grubby. Some of the cloudscapes look rather painterly and it’s great to see some of your favourite trees still standing proudly in their settings.

  7. I liken the storm, Arwel, to the COVID pandemic, inasmuch, the survivors i.e., those trees that maintain their footing are the lucky ones. Lovely trees and scenes. Cheers.

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