Deferred gratification

Today’s guest picture comes from my Lake Michigan correspondent Laura, the daughter of my friend Sandy’s cousin. She visited Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph and found these fine icy structures on the beach grasses.

We were far from that sort of frost here this morning at 3°C, but sadly it was in every other respect a rather miserable day. The clouds were so low that not a hill was to be seen, and a light but persistent drizzle made cycling very unattractive. I decided to put any thought of cycling to one side for another day, and make sure that my legs were in order for the promised sunshine tomorrow.

During the morning, I got another set of entries for the Archive Group’s newspaper index from data miner Nancy, and I put half a week of my manageable backlog of entries into the database. I found time to watch the birds on the feeder. Unlike yesterday, there were quite a few about.

. . . including a coal tit who waited in the plum tree before darting in for a seed.

A loud noise outside drew me into the garden, and I found that rooks were flying around in all directions . .

I had just gone back in, after taking a look at a collared dove on our power line . . .

. . . when a different noise drew me back outside. This time it was a huge skein of geese heading south.

There were so many geese overhead that I couldn’t get them all into one shot as I had my bird feeder camera in my hand and not my big sky Lumix. My phone made a feeble effort to catch the whole skein as it disappeared into the distance.

There were well over 100 birds, and perhaps nearly 200 in total, so they made an impressive sight and sound as they went over us.

Our resident bird life seemed a little tame after that, but there were plenty of pairs of jackdaws about . . .

. . . and the feeder stayed quite busy with goldfinches and chaffinches in the rain.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy on the computer in the afternoon, so in spite of the miserable day, I went for a gentle and flattish walk just to keep my legs working smoothly.

As the drizzle was only light when I set out, I did without an umbrella. I hadn’t gone more than a couple of hundred yards at most before I realised that although the drizzle might be light, I was going to get unpleasantly wet if I went on. I used my brain for once, and went back and got my umbrella and set off again.

I have learned from experience that getting your camera wet doesn’t do it any good, and the light was terrible anyway, so I was very sparing with picture stops along the way. I thought that this summed up the day quite well . .

A couple of bits of fern on banks stood out.

But otherwise, every picture told the same gloomy story.

It was gloomy.

It wasn’t windy though, so the umbrella kept me dry, and it is always a pleasure to walk through the oak and birch wood in any weather.

I had an interesting encounter on the way when I met two men with a very big machine. One of them told me that they were just going to start to clear the enormous tangle of trees that have blocked the path to the park through the Beechy Plains. He thinks that they will have cleared it by the end of the week. It is an enormous task but he was quietly confident.

I took my time over the four mile walk, so it was extremely gloomy by the time that I got home. I was pleased to be welcomed with a cup of tea and some Christmas hamper shortbread provided by Mrs Tootlepedal.

Life is running at a very slow pace during these dark days, and I managed to fill the rest of the day without doing anything that I noticed. We did have a Zoom with my brother and sisters, and there were fishcakes for tea, but that was all the excitement.

The forecast is very promising for tomorrow, so I will definitely cry if I don’t manage to get out for a cycle ride, especially after great hopes for today were dashed by the drizzle.

A small selection of the flock of passing geese are the flying birds of the day. I don’t know what sort they are. They might be pink footed geese.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Deferred gratification

  1. Great photo of the geese- looks like they’ve got fed up of our weather too! Love the photo through the wood with the beech branch and leaves and the bracken adding that touch of colour.

  2. That is a beautiful guest photo. Ice can form some very interesting structures.

    Grey drizzly days have their own beauty, and I enjoyed all of the photos from your day. The track into the woods looks well worn and quite muddy, though still inviting. I especially enjoyed the trees of Longwood.

  3. I liked seeing the geese in formation too. Those are nice shots.
    I love the misty day as well. We seem to be seeing more of them than we used to.
    The hart’s tongue fern is one I’ve never found here. Your polypody ferns are much longer than ours.

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