Today’s guest picture came out a curious colour, but our son Tony sent it to me just to show that they have a moon in East Wemyss as well as lots of sunshine.
We didn’t see the sun or the moon here when we got up today because we were back to cloudy and grey weather. It was a degree or two warmer though, so the snow had gone and there were no slippery spots to negotiate.
We had a very quiet morning in. I did rouse myself enough to look for birds from time to time. There were none about at all when I first looked, but visitor numbers built up over the morning.
. . . and it got quite busy . . .
Sometimes the birds were so busy that they were just a blur . . .
. . . but if I pulled back the zoom, I could get a clearer picture.
The forecast had said that it would be quite windy with a chance of rain, but it seemed fairly quiet and clear, so after lunch, I got my bicycle out for the first time in 2022 and went for a spin round my familiar Canonbie circuit.
I did get a light sprinkling of rain soon after starting out, but the wind was not too bad at all and I was quite happy.
I got even happier when the sun came out after six miles.
With the temperature at 5.5°C, it had turned into a very friendly day for January cycling.
Beech hedges, which retain their leaves in winter, added a little colour to my trip.
I stopped to say hello to old friends at Canonbie.
I would like to say that we see eye to eye, but I don’t think that that is possible.
There had been some heavy rain overnight, and there was a bit more water running down the Esk and under the bridge at the Hollows as a result.
I have passed a lot of cut tree trunks after the storm, and many of them have the differential colouring that I saw on this example at Hagg-on-Esk.
I don’t know whether this is normal, or a natural result of exposure to the air after cutting, or whether it indicates a bit of ill health that might have contributed to the tree being felled. I would love to be able to interpret tree rings. It looks as though something interesting might have happened to this tree about thirty years ago.
I had to keep my eyes pretty carefully on the road while I was on the bike paths and old road sections of my trip from this point onwards. There was a lot of debris and wet leaves about as well as the very occasional patch of slushy ice. This knocked my average speed down too, but I was in no hurry and arrived home safely.
I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off for a five mile walk, so after calling her up on her mobile phone to check her direction of travel, I got changed into walking clothes and went off to meet her.
We were getting near to sunset by this time but the weather was still good and the road past Holmwood has got much brighter since the storm blew the trees down.
You can get views that have been hidden by trees for many years.
Mrs Tootlepedal was going well, and I hadn’t gone a mile before I saw her coming towards me.
She hadn’t intended to go this far when she set out, so I was pleased to be wearing my bright yellow cycling jacket to make sure that passing motorists could see us as we walked back to town. The moon was up . . .
. . . and some threatening clouds were extending their hand towards us . . .
. . . but we got home exactly as the sun set, so that was perfect timing.
The cycle ride had made me feel very positive, and after tea and two pieces of shortbread from the Christmas hamper, I found the strength to fill in two sets of forms which I had been successfully ignoring for several days.
Sunrise is getting a minute earlier every day now, and sunset is coming two minutes later so we really are on the journey to spring. Mrs Tootlepedal even mentioned gardening today.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Covid cases in our area are rocketing up, all would be well. Sadly, we are far from being carefree yet.
The flying bird of the day is another chaffinch.