An improvement

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s visit to Wells with my sister Mary. They enjoyed the much photographed view of the cathedral.

I didn’t much enjoy the view here when we woke up this morning. There was a thin covering of snow on the lawn but not enough to make a good winter scene on our hills.

That is to say, just enough snow to be annoying without having any beneficial photographic side effects. Fortunately, the day was warm enough for the snow at ground level to disappear before Mrs Tootlepedal had to go out on her bike to do some business in the town. And Dropscone was able to cycle safely round (with scones) to have a cup of coffee.

While I was waiting for him, I had a look at the birds. The regular crowd of chaffinches, goldfinches and siskins were enjoying the better weather too.

Dropscone’s scones were very good, and Mrs Tootlepedal got back from her business in time to join us. While we chatted, I noticed what looked like a redpoll visiting the feeder. It flew off before I could get a picture of it.

I got a picture of the lesser spotted Dropscone as he left the garden instead.

Then the redpoll returned and I got a picture of it too.

It was pretty chilly and quite windy, but the forecast suggested that it might get chiller in the afternoon and rain as well. Under the circumstances, a morning walk was in order, so leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to finish making her crochet cushion cover, I set out for a short walk before lunch.

I passed the the regular oystercatchers between the bridges, and found another one, hunkered down with a duck for company at the Kilngreen.

I saw a vehicle making use of the new electric charging point at the car park.

On the other side of the river, Mr Grumpy looked as though he could do with some charging up himself.

I walked up to the Lodge and took the waterside path round the pheasant hatchery. The recent stormy weather has left what was once a well wooded track looking very bare . . .

. . . with many trees now lying in the river.

The weather looked as though it would hold up, so when I got to the top of the pheasant hatchery, I kept going, hoping to catch up with one of the fleeting glimpses of sunshine . . .

. . . which always turned out to be a few hundred yards ahead of me . . .

. . . until I got a little way up through the woods to a clearing and looked down. Now the sunshine was a few hundred yards behind me.

A buzzard flew high overhead . . .

. . . and laughed at me as I puffed up the steep hill to the track at the top of the plantation.

I was happy to have some easier going, and leapt gaily over this obstruction when I got to it.

. . . or possibly, walked carefully round the top of the fallen tree, until I got to the path back down to the valley on the other side of it. (It is annoying when trees are too high to clamber over and too low to stoop under.)

The track down the hill led me to the snowdrops at Holmhead, and I make no apology for taking another gallery of them. They are a continuing delight.

I walked back down to the Duchess Bridge. It is still closed, and the track on the far side is still impassible, so I stayed on the same side of the river and strolled onto the Castleholm, pausing to admire the lichen on the gate . . .

. . . and one of what are now quite a lot of hazel flowers beside the path.

The hazel flowers are quite early, so I hope that they don’t get caught by a late frost. There is still plenty of time for us to get a sharp freeze.

My stomach was reminding me that it was lunchtime, so I stopped stopping and kept going until I was brought to a halt by a crow in the old primary school playground. It had found an apple . . .

. . . and was showing off some fancy footwork.

It was only a short walk, but the little climb up through the woods had left me quite happy to snooze the afternoon away without doing anything more exciting than making a brioche loaf in our breadmaker. I feel that I might have been doing something useful but when I look back, if I was doing something useful, I can’t remember it. Perhaps I was just snoozing.

I have just paid WordPress for another year of putting pictures in posts, so patient readers should be aware that this sort of stuff is going to keep coming. You have been warned.

The flying bird of the day is that lofty buzzard.

Footnote: I was hoping to have had a cup of coffee with Sandy today, but they enjoy his company in the hospital so much that they have kept him there for a few extra days. We should get our our cup of coffee next week if all goes well.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “An improvement

  1. It was nice to see the hazel flowers. I hope they don’t get frost bitten.
    The snowdrops just keep going and that’s fine. They’re beautiful.
    Better an apple than a golf ball for the crow. Wasn’t it your crows that were stealing all the balls from the golf course?

  2. I hope Sandy is discharged soon! Your walk took you through some interesting sun-highlighted scenery. I really enjoyed – and paused for a while – the variety of lichen on the gate.

    1. The lichen on the gate was very good. I have passed through that gate on many occasions without noticing it before so I wonder if it has had a recent spurt of growth. Perhaps it was just the light at the moment when I went through.

  3. From snowdrops to lichen, lots of delights in this post. Also enjoyed the sighting of the lesser spotted dropscone. And I really, really liked the picture of the electric car charging at one of the new charging points. Excellent!

  4. Amazing lichen on the gatepost and again beautiful photos of the snowdrop glade. WordPress will be weighed down with pounds now- Β£75 from me this week too! It’s an expensive business this blogging! Good to know you’ve paid up!

    1. I had to pay a lot to get unlimited photos and no ads. But I feel it is worth as it gives me something to do that doesn’t involve eating too much, my other big hobby.

  5. I hope Sandy is alright and he gets to go home soon.

    The cladonia trumpets look quite joyous! The lesser spotted Dropscone photo was a nice catch among all the birds. πŸ™‚

  6. I’m pretty sure I remember a day when tootle pedal, map in hand and bramble bashers to the fore, would have cleared that tree in a single bound.

  7. The snowdrops are an utter delight. No apologies needed! And what beautiful lichen you included. Dare I say I liken’ your lichen? πŸ€”

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