Today’s guest picture was kindly sent to me by Laurie Graves, author and blogger, and proud resident of the state of Maine. It shows Mr Cardinal, a red beauty who comes to her yard. She tells me that he is very territorial and does not allow any other males to come into the yard. On the other hand, he is very attentive to Mrs. Cardinal, and frequently feeds her.
We had a chilly and windy day here, with the occasional sunny moment in the morning. One sunny moment was metaphorical when Dropscone arrived for a cup of coffee. He had sad stories to tell of a recent round of golf but was nevertheless quite cheery. And his scones were good. Our neighbour Margaret came round too, and the conversation was as good as the scones.
When they left, there was a moment of literal sunshine while I watched the birds. The feeder was busy once again. I watched goldfinches, chaffinches, siskins and a single redpoll flying in from all sides.
Greenfinches are odd. There were several among the crowd when I first looked. All the birds flew away when my camera appeared at the window, but within seconds they were all back, except for the greenfinches. They went away and stayed away. This quite often happens. I don’t know why greenfinches get so huffy.
I looked at some flowers in the garden too. The vinca that Mrs Tootlepedal planted beside the slabs in the drive are going from strength to strength, and I spotted the first brunnera blossoms.
Owing to accidental over purchasing, we found ourselves with a surfeit of mushrooms today. While Mrs Tootlepedal went shopping, I made some mushroom soup,. When Mrs Tootlepedal returned with some cream in her shopping bag, we had cream of mushroom soup for our lunch.
Although it was too cold and windy for cycling fun, it was not a bad afternoon for a walk, so I put on my boots and my warm coat, picked up my walking poles, and set out to walk through the woods alongside the Tarras water. I had managed to miss the path in those woods on my last outing on this route.
They have started work on a new play area in the park.
My walk took me down the river Esk to Skippers Bridge, through the oak woods to Broomholmshiels, down to the bridge over the Tarras at Rashiel, and then along the far bank of the Tarras Water to the bridge at Glentarras. I took far too many pictures, so I have gathered them into galleries which can be whizzed over at speed or clicked and studied as the mood takes you..
The first could be characterised as ‘Growing things I saw along the way’. All identifications are liable to be changed if anyone knows better.
The second gallery might be entitled ‘Birds and animals I met’
The third gallery is strata beside the Tarras Water. I noticed ones that I hadn’t seen before today.
I have had a couple of walks in these woods since the day I mislaid my sense of direction, and using the knowledge gained there, I managed to keep to the correct route today. The fourth gallery is ‘Where I went’
The last part of my walk was along the road from Glentarras to Skippers Bridge and then along the Murtholm Track back home.
I passed a fine driveful of daffodils at Broomholm, a wonderful trametes versicolor beside the Esk, an excellent view of both the old and new play areas in the park, and finally another good display of daffodils beside the Wauchope Water.
Slightly annoyingly, the sun came out as I got home, and it turned into a lovely evening just as I sat down to relax after eight miles. I took a picture of flowers in the garden before I went in.
I was pleased to find that Mrs Tootlepedal had made some gingerbread while I had been out walking. I gave it a taste test with a cup of tea, and found it to be very good indeed.
The forecast says that we are in a for a few calmer days with cold nights. If it warms up enough, I hope to go for a pedal or two, as I have only been out on my bike once this month.
I surprised myself by finishing putting another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database after our evening meal.
The flying bird of the day is a redpoll.