Going out like a lamb

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. I had to look twice to see that East Wemyss does not in fact have mist shrouded mountains in the background.

After a night of heavy wind, we were relieved to find that there had been none of the destructive gusts that brought trouble before. In fact, it was a relatively calm and fine day, with the temperature at 2°C and rising gently through the morning.

The birds enjoyed the good weather, and the feeder was busy all morning.

In fact it was busy enough to persuade me to fill the feeder to make sure that there was a perch for everyone.

I was happy when the sun got far enough round to light up proceedings.

The chaffinches kept coming (with the occasional goldfinch but no siskins today).

There is always one bird who would prefer to start an argument than go to an empty perch.

During the morning, I cycled round to the shop, had coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret, ate a bacon sandwich for an early lunch, and then set off for the last bicycle ride of the month, an entirely unexpected bonus.

It was just under 8°C by this time, but with a briskish north westerly wind, I still had to wrap up well. The sun has crept up in the sky enough to bring a little heat with it these days, so the road up past the Bloch farm could hardly have been more different than on my pedal up it last week.

Then it looked like this . . .

. . . and today it looked like this.

The wind gave me a good push me up over the hill and down to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass, and I was going so well that I only stopped once on the way.

I liked the contrast in colours when I looked back towards Whita (which is further away than it looks) from the top of the little hill at Tarcoon . . .

. . . and I enjoyed whistling down the hill on the other side at 33 mph without having to pedal.

I had expected, after such a helpful section, to find that the road back to Langholm would be a vale of tears into the wind, but on this occasion, the wind was just at the right angle not to be a nuisance. Although my speed naturally dropped a bit, I still got home at a very respectable average for me these days.

On my way, I took a contrasting view of Hollows Tower . . .

. . . looked up the valley towards Langholm which is tucked up beneath the surrounding hills. . .

. . . and pedalled home thinking that sometimes life is not too bad at all.

I got home to find Mrs Tootlepedal just finishing typing out the minutes of two meetings. When I remarked that they may have been minutes but they seemed to have taken hours, she was mildly amused.

However, she forgave me enough to come out for a two mile walk round three bridges to see if we could see a dipper on the river.

I had time for a quick look at the garden before we left. I found the pond looking interesting. The date stone is a relic of the time when the garden was a mason’s yard. The reflected heron is a plastic decoy to keep other herons away from our frogs.

Elsewhere there was a combination of the remains of last year and new hope for this.

We didn’t see any dippers when we got to the Kilngreen but we did see mallards.

When we got to the Lodge Walks, we found that the fallen tree and branches had been neatly cleared away . . .

. . . and the uprooted tree trunk had been trimmed and pushed back into its hole in the ground.

My brother wonders whether they hope that it will re-root itself and start to grow again. We shall see. It may just be temporary until they find someone to take it away.

We continued our walk round the Lodge where we saw a viburnum.

We strolled on past the Duchess Bridge towards the Jubilee Bridge, and as we went, we were passed by a stream of running schoolchildren (a running stream of schoolchildren?). It turned out that they were doing a ‘fitness module’, and I must say that they were doing it very well.

We had seen some long tailed tits high in a tree on our way up to the Lodge, but they wouldn’t sit still long enough for a picture. On our way back, we saw the handsome fungus that features in today’s header picture, and we heard a lot of interesting bird song. Although we peered eagerly up into trees, all we saw was this . . .

. . . and not a single glimmer of the singers. I really ought to learn a bit about bird song so at least I would know what we were looking for.

When we got home, there was time for me to dig over another row of the potential potato bed. We are very nearly finished now.

The active day concluded with the regular Zoom meeting with my siblings.

The flying bird of the day is not one of the many chaffinches I saw, but a gull passing over head as we walked along the Kilngreen.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Going out like a lamb

  1. What a busy day you had – my workout and walk to buy a new snow brush for the car pale in comparison. Not only that, your views were much more scenic!

    Lovely fbotd.

  2. I enjoyed all your photos. You had good weather for today, and that is a beautiful gull FBOTD. Your heron decoy reminds me it will not be too long before frog spawn appears. Our frogs have been chorusing on warmer, damper nights. They do start early over here.

    Neighboring chickens showed up at our feeder today.

  3. Another active day for you both with lovely views. I love the sight and sound of young children being active too and am delighted that the children are back at the prep school near our home – it is delightful hearing the shouts and happy calls of the children there.

  4. I was interested to hear that your garden was once a mason’s yard.
    My great grandfather was a stone mason, he built the house in Eskdaill Street that my mother grew up in.
    He would have been 19 in 1867, I wonder if he might have carved your stone….

    I also struggle to identify bird-song (I usually rely on my wife) but I have found the BirdNET phone app works surprisingly well.

  5. ‘What a difference a day makes!” The sunny photos taken on your cycle ride are lovely and your walk added some extra interesting photos too. Having a date stone in your garden is special. Gulls look so sleek, smart and happy in flight.

  6. I like to think of myself as a bit of a twitcher, but sadly, I am unable to identify bird song, except for those of the wren, blackbird, magpie, robin, nuthatch, and jay. Simply, because I’ve had the opportunity to view them while being able to see them at the same time. As you can see it is far from a long list. I’ve just thought of a couple more a carrion crow, and a buzzard. So much to learn. Cheers.

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