In hiding

The guest picture has flitted across the Forth today. Our son Tony in East Wemyss persuaded the sun to sit in just the right place above the sea this afternoon to create this delightful composition on his camera lens.

After more overnight rain, we awoke to another grey day here. We were able to cycle to church but it rained while we were inside. The service was enlivened by a bat flying about the church and zooming low over our heads in the choir. It was rather a sombre service with three in the choir, not many more in the congregation, and every hymn with at least five verses, so we were pleased to find that the rain had stopped by the time that we came out.

There were quite a few birds about at the feeder, but not enough light to do them justice. Flying chaffinches were ten a penny.

There were enough birds about to start an argument, and a goldfinch or two turned up as well.

The forecast was for it to remain dry after lunch, so I did think of a cycle ride, but once again the prospect of battling into thirty mile an hour gusts made a walk seem more attractive. I couldn’t decide whether to be brave and bicycle, or be a wimp and walk, and it took me some time to get going. In the end, I went to the Co-op in the car. I took a picture of a lonely colourful leaf in the garden before I left. It appears in today’s header.

Then, after I had shopped, I continued driving until I got to the bird hide on the moor.

To my surprise the sun came out as I sat in the hide and looked at the rather battered trees outside. . .

. . . and after a pause, some blue tits and great tits visited the feeder.

Another bird watcher also visited the hide, and as he was complaining that he couldn’t get a good view of the feeder from his end of the window, I gave up my seat and went for a walk while the weather was good.

Of course, the sun went in as I went out, and it felt quite chilly in the strong wind. It looked as thought it might well rain . . .

. . . but I persevered. I left the road to explore a path through the woods down to the river where there is a little pedestrian suspension bridge. Things started well, but as I went down the hill, I encountered fallen trees just where the bank got steeper . . .

. . . so I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned back, resolved to come another time with my walking poles in hand.

Back on the road, I headed down towards the road bridge across the Tarras Water at Rashiel.

When I got down to river level, I could see some of the nest boxes that Mrs Tootlepedal had helped to put up with the volunteer group not long ago.

I didn’t cross the bridge, but strolled along the same bank of the river towards Rashiel, stopping when I could see the esker below the house.

The sun made a weak effort to shine, but I would have had to have been up an electricity pole on the other side of the river to get the benefit of it.

I took a look at the river . . .

. . .and then turned to walk back up the hill to the hide, hoping that the rain would stay off until I got there. It was quite bright when I started . . .

. . . but by the time that I had walked the mile back to the hide, it was really very gloomy. I didn’t try to take any bird hide pictures, but got straight into the car and drove home, grateful not to have got wet on my walk.

While I was out, Mrs Tootlepedal had been gainfully employed making gingerbread. We had to wait until it had cooled though, so we had our afternoon cup of tea with some of Margaret’s shortbread.

I did a little recorder practice and put half a week of the local newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database before our evening meal. I felt that I had had a slow but reasonably full day.

The gingerbread was very tasty.

The flying bird of the day is one of the flock of flying chaffinches.

Footnote: I try only to use pictures that I take on the day in a post, but owing to being a bit tired, I missed two out yesterday that I liked, so I have sneaked them in as an addendum today. I thought that a tree had some interesting bark but on a closer a look, it turned out to have more interesting lichen. (Click on a pic to see the full beauty of the lichen.)

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “In hiding

  1. It has been a long time since I had gingerbread. I bet it was good!

    I enjoyed your winter photos, but am glad you decided that discretion was the better part of valor and turned back on the way to the river,. The ground is probably still saturated in addition to being had to negotiate with all the downed trees.

  2. It was all I could do to keep reading after envisioning the bat flying around over your heads while you were singing. We have gone back to remote services and although I haven’t heard differently yet I wouldn’t be surprised if our rehearsal space changes Wednesday night. Love the river and Blue and Great Tits.

    1. I am waiting to see if our Carlisle choir will start again in the new year. The omicron variant has thrown everything up in the air for the moment.

      1. We were advised last night that our in-person rehearsals are postponed until who knows when and we will have a Zoom meeting next Wednesday. 😦

    1. Almost too exciting as it swooped a foot or so over our heads. Knowing that bats won’t crash into you didn’t make us calm as it should have.

  3. Good to be cautious in iffy conditions for the sake of many walks in the future. I thought of you when I saw this photo and video of a teaspoon with sugar starling murmuration on the Beeb.

      1. Don’t know how many times I experience the same thing. Mostly pleasant surprises. One more great reason for taking photos!

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