A welcome and a welcome surprise

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He found a moment in his working day yesterday morning to stop and appreciate the sunrise.

We woke up to a fine morning here today, and at 7Ā°C it was theoretically quite warm for the time of year. It didn’t take long in a piercing wind outside to persuade me that it was actually pretty chilly. I put on my winter coat when I walked up through the town with Mrs Tootlepedal to have coffee with Mike and Anne, fellow church choir members.

The coffee was good, the conversation was wide ranging and stimulating, there were both home made biscuits biscuits and mature slices of Christmas cake, so two hours slipped by in the twinkling of an eye, and when we got home again, it was time for lunch.

While Mrs Tootlepedal’s ham broth was heating up, I had a look at the bird feeder. Traffic was light . . .

. . . so I didn’t fill the feeder, and a goldfinch had to wait for a free perch . . .

. . . more than once.

The sun was still shining after I had polished off my bowl of soup, and in spite of the weather people talking about winds gusting at 25 mph, I felt the need to see if the wind really was that strong, so I got my cycling clothes on and went for a cycle ride.

Out of the shelter of the town, the wind proved to be pretty brisk, and I had a real battle to get up to Wauchope Schoolhouse at a miserable 9 mph. Here I was faced with a choice, battle on straight into the wind for another 7 miles and get shoved home, go back to town and do another two short laps up and down to the schoolhouse, or go over the hill and down to Canonbie, hoping that the crosswinds would be more helpful than harmful.

I chose the third option and could soon look back down Wauchopedale . . .

…and across the valley at wind farms making full use of the wind . . .

. . . though as you can see, the wind was also blowing some cloud in.

It didn’t take long for the clouds to cover the skies, and I was glad that I had dressed for cold conditions. My hopes that the crosswinds would be more helpful than harmful was fully justified though, and although the wind remained brisk, the rest of my ride was a lot easier than the first three miles had been.

Strong winds do tend to make you keep your head down, and you don’t see nearly as much on a windy day as you do in calmer conditions. I didn’t stop for another picture until I met three old friends at Canonbie.

I stopped again when I got to Hollows Bridge. After the recent rain, there is a bit more water running down the river at the moment . . .

. . .and since we had been talking about Archimedes screws with Mike and Anne over coffee in the morning, I thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of our local example putting some of that flow of water to good use.

In spite of snowdrops, it definitely isn’t spring yet . . .

. . . but there was still colour of sorts to be seen as I cycled along the old main road.

I will be keeping an eye on this larch on the banks of the Esk . . .

. . . because it is one of my favourite spring shots. However, looking at my records, I see that I may have to wait two months before it produces its flowers, so I am not getting too excited just yet.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal busy in the garden when I got home, and while she worked, I wandered along the snowdrop path at the back of the garden . . .

. . . and found the the winter honeysuckle still flowering well in a front bed. . .

I had seen a crocus open in the morning sun, but I couldn’t get a good shot of it, so I have combined a half open shot of a blue crocus taken before my cycle ride with a closed yellow crocus taken when I got home.

We have finished all the oatmeal and raisin biscuits, so I thought that I ought to keep my hand in by making another batch this evening. Practice is needed when new biscuits are attempted, and this lot were not quite so successful as the first try. They had to go back into the oven to get fully baked. They taste all right though.

Finding a flying bird of the day in the few minutes that I had for watching the feeder was difficult, and the only one that I saw managed to get away before I could get a good shot.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A welcome and a welcome surprise

  1. The Wauchopedale and other wide views are always breathtaking. You do have crocus for some good color! I have not seen mine yet.

    It was dry and partly cloudy here today, and we may get a colorful sundown yet.

  2. The flowers were beautiful to see, especially in February.
    I’ve never seen the eyes of highland cattle, so that was a surprise. Maybe that one went in for a trim.
    The wind turbines bother a lot of people but I like seeing them. They’re so huge.

  3. What is that Archemedies screw being used for? I don’t recall ever seeing one of those in all my long life. Very interesting. You always share such interesting stuff. Thank you! Best from New Jersey, USA

    1. The Archimedes Screw is generating electricity. It uses water coming from the river down a channel built for the time when the mill had a water wheel.

  4. The wind blew you in the right direction to get some lovely photos of the views and the cattle. The snowdrop path looks really pretty.

  5. A tootle in the day makes for a very rewarding one. It gives you much more energy and instills a positive frame of mind. At least that is how it affects me. Such a mild winter and I am limited to my own bike to nowhere. Which, I am sad to say fails to instill the same type of positivity. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

  6. So good to see your Canonbie friends. We are not doing so well here. January, normally a month of rain measured in feet rather than inches provided a mere eight inches. This month has been utterly dry so far. I am dreading the coming summer if this continues.

  7. I think I need to buy two bags of 100 snowdrops each and make a snowdrop path. I read that Galanthus nivalis is the one that naturalizes best. The path is just beautiful.

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