A more gentle stroll

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline in Southsea. She came across a very fine floral hedge on her outing today.

We enjoyed another blue sky day here, but once again it was chilly. It was below freezing when we got up, and though it did rise to a heady five degrees around noon, this was only for an hour or so, and it is back down to -3.3°C as I write this post in the evening. We may get sleet or snow tomorrow.

After a quick look at the feeder where the chaffinches didn’t seem to mind the chill . . .

. . . I walked up the hill to have coffee with Sandy. He had had two good nights of sleep, and was in as cheerful mood as anyone who is stuck in the house can be. He is longing to get out and get walking again.

I came back home in time to join our neighbour Margaret who was having having coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal. The sun had reached the bird feeder by this time, and as I had filled it up before I left to visit Sandy, there were plenty of customers about.

Not all of them were chaffinches, but this robin was the only one who wasn’t.

I could count about fifteen chaffinches around the feeder from time to time . . .

. . .and there always seemed to be at least one or two about when I looked . . .

. . . and a steady stream of replacement flying in if the perches got empty.

In spite of the sunshine, it was still too cold and there was still too big a chance of meeting icy patches for me to be tempted to get my bike out, so after lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk.

When we got to the Kilngreen, we found that the gulls were divided over whether to hang about beside the water, or stay at their posts.

We decided to walk along the Baggra, and soon we could look across at Whita over felled trees above the rugby ground. Even in the sun and with a blue sky, I thought that the light had a decidedly chilly air about it.

The upside of the chill was that the ground and puddles were frozen and the going was very reasonable for the time of year. Mrs Tootlepedal likes walking along the Baggra because it is the old road to Edinburgh, and she likes the feeling of walking in history’s footsteps. It has good views too . . .

. . . and plenty to look at as you go along.

When you get to the end of the old road, you can see the new main road to the north below you.

We walked round the field down to the High Mill Brig, enjoying the backlit sheep . . .

. . . but feeling the chill of the shadows as we got further down towards the river.

When we got to the Castleholm, there was enough sun left to light up moss on the wall . . .

. . . but the shadows over the cricket pitch were impressively long considering it was not yet three o’clock.

To be fair, they were being cast by tall trees.

The tree across the new path had been neatly cut up to allow pedestrians to pass through. This has been common practice and there are a lot of these tree passages around.

A cup of tea with some gingerbread and an evening Zoom with my siblings completed a leisurely day during which many of the useful things which might have been done, remained to be done on another day.

The flying bird of the day is an inevitable chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A more gentle stroll

  1. I do adore your Chaffinches and the Robin was a special treat. I can empathize with your frozen temperatures; it makes it difficult to be out for long. But easier when you have such a beautiful landscape to explore. The sunshine feels warm to look at. 🙂

  2. I know what you mean about blue sky light having a decidedly chilly air. I suspect it’s an atavistic combination of the length of shadows combined with their angle at the given time of day. If you see what I mean.

  3. Glad to read Sandy is feeling better! Lots of lovely pictures, but the one of the moss is my favorite. However, I agree with Lisa that the robin was a special treat.

  4. I love your description and photos of the Baggra walk and especially Mre. Tootlepedal’s “walking in the footsteps of history”. I also enjoy you often mention what you are cooking, baking and eating. Sometime would you share your gingerbread recipe? There are many variations and I’m curious about yours.

  5. Your robins look like they’re smiling even when they’re eating.
    It seems odd that they would cut all the tree on a hillside and leave a strip like they did in your view of the new road. I wonder how doing so would be a plus from a business point of view. I would think it would be cheaper to cut them all while you had the equipment right there.
    I’m glad you had two sunny days in a row. We had one.

    1. That isn’t a strip that was left, it was a strip that was planted like that. Grants for planting encouraged these rather odd samll plantations at one time. I am glad that you got at least one sunny day. Our sunshine didn’t last long.

  6. I am still having a tough time attracting birds to my yard. Really weird. I get some juncos now and then, but I get excited when a cardinal or bluebird comes. But their visits are few and far between. Really different.

      1. There don’t seem to be a lot of birds in our neighborhood except in pockets here and there. When they do come to my yard, they are few, and they come pretty much only the same time of day. Really weird.

  7. A chilly day, but that low angled sun looks so beautiful, as are the long shadows that fall the trees. Spring is not far off. The days seem to go by faster and faster, though the sun is n his way back north.

    I love the gulls on their fence posts!

  8. Save the robin photo for next Christmas card- it’s a lovely shot. The bright colours, the shadows, the low sunshine and the bare trees tell you it’s another beautiful winter’s day on the Borders…lucky you.. pleased you were able to enjoy it all and share the photos.

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