Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. I inquired how the weather was in East Wemyss today so he sent me this delightfully impressionistic shot.
We had a dry and sunny day here today, but it had dropped slightly below freezing overnight and it never felt very warm, even in the sun. With a brisk northerly wind blowing at times, it was definitely a winter day.
I needed a woolly hat and gloves when I went up to the High Street after breakfast to do a bit of shopping. I had hoped to pay for some bird seed which I had ordered, but my supplier told me that her supplier had not been able to deliver and I would have to wait until next week. There are shortages and delivery problems on all sides at the moment so I will just have to be patient.
I have some seed left, and luckily this was one of the rare days when there wasn’t a great demand for the seeds in our feeder. Perhaps the cold weather doesn’t make it so worthwhile for visiting birds to expend a lot of energy travelling to our garden.
I enjoyed watching the birds that did come.
A starling kept watch from the very top of the walnut tree.
Our neighbour Margaret had a visitor so we had coffee by ourselves today, and then I found useful things to do on the computer until lunch time.
I had bought some new bootlaces on my morning shop, so although I did think of going for a cycle ride after lunch, a particularly gusty spell of wind persuaded me that this would be a really good day to try the new laces out and I went for a walk instead.
I walked up Meikleholm Hill, stopping to admire a complex gate and the winter sunshine before I got out into the open.
It was a glorious day . . .
. . . and with good going underfoot, I was soon at the top of Meikleholm Hill and looking at Timpen, my next target.
The climb to the top is a lot steeper than the camera makes it look, so I was happy to pause and look back to Meikleholm Hill on my way up.
The town was already half in shadow when I looked down at it.
. . . but the view onwards from the top of the hill was as rewarding as it always is on a fine day.
It was extremely parky in the brisk breeze on the top of the hill, so I abandoned any thought of walking along the ridge and began to drop down to the road below soon after leaving the summit. I was a bit sad to be abandoning the sunlit uplands . . .
. . . and the varied views . . .
. . . but I have reached a stage of my life when, even with my phone in my pocket, wandering about by myself on rough ground on a hilltop, with the light fading and a snell wind blowing, is probably not quite the carefree activity that it once was. I was happy to have the wind behind me on my way home.
I found a good track to follow down the hill and was soon walking in the shadow of the valley . . .
. . . and looking up at a sunny hilltop through the Gates of Eden.
I walked a little way down the road back towards Langholm and stopped when I saw a log lorry coming down a track towards what looked like an impenetrable wall of felled logs. It turned out to be an optical illusion, and the lorry snaked its way through the piles of timber.
This is still part of the clearing up activity after last year’s big storm.
I left the road and walked down the newly opened track to the Duchess Bridge. The track is in good condition with the remains of tidied up trees on all sides. Some new duckboards have been added at the muddiest spots.
The light was fading fast as I crossed the Duchess Bridge and came down the Lodge walks to the Kilngreen . . .
. . . where I found about fifty mallards swimming around in a thoughtful fashion.
At the Meeting of the Waters, I could look up the Esk and see the two hills that I had climbed at the start of my walk.
I have remarked before, and I will doubtless mention it again, but you can get wonderful variety in a four and a half mile walk round our town.
And there was gingerbread to go with my warming pot of tea when I got home.
As the day got thoroughly dark, I found more useful things to do on my computer until it was time for our evening meal. We have had three days of excellent broth from the stock of the ham hock I bought recently, and this evening, Mrs Tootlepedal used the air fryer to make tasty ham rissoles from the meat. A good value purchase.
When I looked up into the sky later in the evening, a nearly full moon beamed back down at me.
It is going to be a frosty night.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch at full stretch.