Today’s guest picture comes from our younger son Al. He took a picture this morning to show that the sun also shines on the south side of the Firth of Forth and not just in East Wemyss. (For lovers of the Proclaimers’ music this is actual Sunshine on Leith.)
We had two glimpses of sunshine here too today. Unfortunately, one came as we were having coffee with Margaret, and the other came while I was making soup, so there was no chance of making use of either of them photographically.
On the plus side, we watched the annual new year’s day concert from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra while drinking our coffee with Margaret, and the soup with green and brown lentils was extra tasty, so the morning was well spent.
I found the last flower of winter and a hint of spring in the garden when I came back from Margaret’s.
It was very windy which may have deterred birds coming to the feeder, but we did see the first greenfinch for some time, along with goldfinches and chaffinches.
With the winds gusting at 30 mph, cycling was not an option, and I went for a walk after lunch. Mrs Tootlepedal was not tempted by a walk on an increasingly grey and windy afternoon, so I went by myself.
With the light being too poor for views, I limited my looking around to the immediate neighbourhood as I walked along the Becks track and then across the valley to the lower slopes of Warbla. There were trees to admire . . .
. . .and I spotted occasional fungus . . .
. . . and a single red tipped lichen . . .
. . . and I passed a large selection of gates and stiles.
That last improvised stile took me onto the hill after I had crossed the Auld Stane Brig. I had been able to see the track that I was aiming for from the other side of the valley earlier in my walk.
The track leads back down to the Stubholm, but in search of adventure, I left it when I got to the Kernigal wood, and tried to walk down to Skippers Bridge along the track through the trees.
This proved pretty difficult, as there were trees down all over the place. After ducking under, clambering over, and walking round several fallen trees, I gave up trying the path, and headed up through the wood to the very edge of the field. I squeezed along the fence until I came to a gate with a track that had been obviously used by vehicles.
The vehicle track was soggy but had been cleared of fallen trees so I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I found solid ground beneath my feet and no obstructions ahead of me at last.
There were times while I was struggling amidst the tangled mess in the wood when I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew. It is all too easy when you get a little older to climb up and find that you can’t get down, and to drop down and find that you can’t climb back up. However, fate was kind to me, and I never got inextricably stuck. I won’t try that bit of the walk again for a while though.
I crossed the Esk at Skippers Bridge, and walked back along the bank of the river. The variegated ivy hedge at the sewage works was by the far the brightest thing that I saw on the whole outing.
That last picture makes it look a lot lighter than it really was, and although it was well before sunset, it was very gloomy by the time that I got home after four and a half miles of walking to start the year off.
The grey, damp weather is set to last a couple more days, but there is hope of cold and bright weather to come in the middle of next week. We will welcome a frost if it brings the sun with it.
We waited up to see the new year in last night but it has been a very downbeat start to the year. We were a bit cheered up by a WhatsApp video call with our daughter Annie and our granddaughter Evie in the early evening.
The flying bird of the day is another blurred chaffinch. Maybe I should stop trying to catch one on these dull days.