Today’s scenic guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. Although it looks peaceful enough, he tells me that the wind was blowing so strongly that he literally had to hold on to his hat as he crossed the stream.
We had quite a windy day here too, and it was grey and occasionally rainy. I went out to walk round to the corner shop in a faint drizzle and nodded at our plum blossom as I went.
After coffee, I put a dull day to use by entering a week and a bit of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database. I also had plenty of time to watch the birds, who were out in force again.
(I took so many pictures that I have put a lot them into galleries and you can click on a small picture if you want to see it in a larger size.)
There were chaffinches, siskins and goldfinches in good numbers . . .
. . . and one or two greenfinches too.
My two favourite moments were watching a chaffinch trying to work out a plan of attack . . .
. . . and the surreal moment when a siskin tried to kick a greenfinch off its perch.
Chaffinches could be found both fighting at the feeder, and under the feeder acting as ground crew doing a valuable job in cleaning up fallen seed.
Regular readers may remember that I got into difficulty a week or so ago when trying to charge our electric car at the Kilngreen charging point because my card was out of date. A new card arrived today, and as we had used a few miles going to Carlisle on Sunday, I thought that it would be a good idea to check to see if the new card worked. Mrs Tootlepedal came too, and having waved the card about at the charging machine, we plugged the car into one of the slower chargers and went for a walk.
The ditches beside the road and tracks we followed as we went up to and along the Baggra were lined with golden saxifrage. I don’t know if it just that I am noticing it more, or whether it is a good year for it, but it was everywhere today.
There was also some interesting balls of moss on a hawthorn and several clumps of primroses to be seen.
When we got to the end of the Baggra, our intention was to go up the track through the wood, and take an adventurous route round the contours of Castle Hill and come down to the Langfauld track.
All went well as we walked up to the gate into the wood, looking back down at the High Mill Brig, and enjoying the jewel like lichen on a little boulder . . .
. . . but we hadn’t gone more than 100 yards along the track through the wood . . .
. . . before we came across a herd of cattle grazing among the trees just round the corner in front of us. As they had calves with them, we decided to keep our distance. We were faced with a choice of climbing up the steep hillside on our right and going round above them, or going down the hill to our left and squeezing between them and the wall at the edge of the wood. We chose the lower route, and somewhat ironically, we were able to plot our way through the trees by following well trodden cattle tracks.
Although the cattle gazed at us with curiosity as we tried to sneak past them unnoticed, they were quite happy to let us pass while they returned to grazing peacefully.
We passed a large fungus and soon came to more open ground where we could look across the valley to Whita and ahead to the town.
As we came back down the track to the Sawmill Brig, we saw fresh green leaves on a birch tree.
Like the cattle, our Zoe was grazing peacefully when we got back to the Kilngreen.
Our walk hadn’t been long in distance, but the need to detour round the cattle on slippery paths had meant that we had been out for an hour and a half, enough time for our battery to be nearly fully recharged. We had gained 60 to 70 miles at a cost of £4; very reasonable, we thought.
We got home and had just settled down to a cup of tea when we were visited by our friend Mike Tinker. He joined us, and we had a catching up conversation as he and his wife have been recovering from a heavy cold and we had not seen them for a couple of weeks.
I went out into the garden with him when he left, and took the opportunity to snap a few flowers in the light drizzle.
It looks as though we are heading for some more cold nights before the temperature warms up a bit so it will be some time yet before the gardening season really begins.
As it was very gloomy, I made more good use of my time by starting to put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Database. I see that the team have put in over 97,000 entries so far.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch. (I edited out an annoying twig in the background.)