A disappearing wood

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair who lives in Leith, a part of Edinburgh. Those familiar with the songs of the Proclaimers will know that sunshine and Leith are inextricably linked.

Once again, the forecasters proved fallible, and what should have been a rainy day turned into a fine day with only occasional showers. It was unfortunate that Mrs Tootlepedal was caught in a short but very sharp sleety shower as she cycled back from a shopping trip. As I had got back from my shopping outing before the rain started, I was very sympathetic.

Generally though, I had a quiet morning. I did manage to put some of the newspaper index into to the Archive Group database, and coffee and crossword solving also featured.

I found that the birds at the feeder reflected the changing nature of the weather.

At ten to eleven, we had siskins in the shade:

At twenty to twelve we had chaffinches in the sun:

Then there was an interruption of by a goldfinch . . .

. . . and after a moment’s peace . . .

. . . by ten past twelve, the sunshine and most of the chaffinches had gone.

The goldfinches fell into dispute . . .

. . . and by half past one, the sun and the chaffinches were back in charge.

It looked as though the weather might stay fair for the rest of the afternoon, so in spite of cool temperatures (4°C) and quite a bit of wind, I decided to get my bike out again and make use of the unexpected chance to add a few miles to February’s meagre total.

I put on waterproof over trousers just in case another sleet shower turned up, and these, combined with the brisk westerly wind made progress very slow as I headed west over Callister with a view to being blown home again.

The bullocks at Wauchope Schoolhouse were wisely turning their backs to the wind when I passed them.

Far from encountering any rain, I had a dry and often sunny outing . . .

. . . which was lucky as my legs were not nearly as keen on cycling as I was, and pedalling the twenty miles took me nearly two hours.

There was added time for taking pictures of cows posing for me at Allfornaught.

I stopped again to take a picture which may not look very remarkable in itself . . .

. . . but it is what is not in the picture that is quite striking. This was the view two weeks ago.

The tree eating machines have polished off the whole wood. Things were being tidied up today.

I had an unhappy meeting with two buzzards as I got near to home. They were standing in a field not far from the road as I went past. Then an old dance played out. I stopped, turned, got my camera out and switched it on, and the buzzards flew away as the I pressed the shutter button to get a focus. One of them then played ‘annoy the photographer’ by hopping from fence post to fence post every time that I found it in the viewfinder.

I packed the camera away and cycled on. I was most surprised to see the two birds standing at the other end of the field when I got there. Regardless of the knowledge of how this would play out, I went through the same rigmarole all over again, with the same result, and the only thing that I got was a crow who stuck around, and a lot more birds in a tree who were disturbed by the buzzards as they went off laughing.

I didn’t make much of a better job when I tried to photograph the winter honeysuckle when I got home. It is doing really very well. To be fair, the light had gone and it was windy.

After a reasonably quiet morning tomorrow, we are offered a mixture of sunshine and showers, perhaps heavy, and some strong winds for tomorrow afternoon as Storm Dudley arrives. It would be good if the forecast turned out to be too pessimistic again.

Mind you, my knees tell me that they will be very happy if it has to be a quiet day indoors as far as they are concerned. I don’t know what went wrong with them today. They were quite happy yesterday. Too many biscuits perhaps.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “A disappearing wood

  1. We were due 90% chance of rain this morning. Fortunately we got the 10%, which means I got 90% of a job done, with the remaining 10% outstanding because the 90% started at midday. If you see what I mean.

  2. It looks like the wood eaters do a fair job of cleaning up after themselves.
    Buzzards must act the same the world over, but the crows don’t.
    I hope the knees feel better. I’m going to have to look into some of those waterproof trousers.

    1. I am a late convert to waterproof trousers, i.e. trousers that are trousers and not over trousers. I find them very good for walking in particular as over trousers make walking hard work.

  3. Buzzards! One of those birds which I have hardly ever managed to photograph despite them being big and common. Thy seem to have a sixth sense for a photographer. Better luck next time!

  4. That is a beautiful selection of photos from your day out. The reddish-brown cow with the white muzzle and white “eye liner” is interesting. I am guessing most of these cows are crossbred and are for being raised for meat, but that one looks like she may have some Jersey in her.

  5. Thank you for documenting what happened to all those trees. You wouldn’t want to meet one of those lorries in a tight space. They must do terrible damage to the roads.

  6. The series of chaffinch pictures is brilliant, with so much interest. The scene will have been less peaceful in Edinburgh today with the storm we have passing through.

  7. Goodness that tree eating machine has certainly had its fill! At least an interesting view has been revealed and lots of wood for various purposes! By the by what is the wood usually used for- not pit props any more! The timeline of bird visitors to the feeders is most interesting and you were the subject of interest by the cows!

    1. The trees used to go down to Wales for making newsprint but they use recycled materials these days I believe. I don’t know where they go these days. There is a huge timber yard at Lockerbie so they may go there. I read this on a website: This is a versatile timber, with smaller trees being of particular value for paper making due to their fibre length and white colour. It is also used in the manufacture of different types of board. Sawlog material is used for pallets and packing cases with the better grades used for building.

      1. Thank you for the information. It’s really interesting. There is a shortage of paper so maybe those lovely trees will help fill the gap.

  8. Nice to see your winter honeysuckle. Mine did not bloom this year. It seems to have got caught by the January cold snap. I can imagine the wonderful fragrance.

    There are days when one’s body just won’t live up to what you want to do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: