A shorter day

Today’s guest picture comes from a fellow blogger, Gunta. She lives in Oregon, and having read the correspondence about Mr Grumpy sitting down, she sent me this lovely picture of a heron standing up in her neck of the woods. (She sent sitting down pictures too, but I liked this one best.)

It was -7°C when we got up this morning, but the sun was shining brightly which offered a tiny bit of comfort to the two hardy chaps, Callum and Peter, who arrived to prune our walnut tree.

They didn’t hang about and soon got to work. In fact, that is not quite true, because Callum did a lot of hanging about . . .

. . . but luckily he was skilfully attached to sound branches as he worked, hauling up his saw, cutting neatly, and dropping down branches for Peter to recover and pile up.

While they cut and trimmed, a starling took the opportunity for one last perch on the topmost branch . . .

. . . while I dawdled about indoors taking pictures of Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday flowers. As some have faded, she has rearranged the survivors.

The boys came in for tea, coffee, some gingerbread and a good chat about air fryers, bread makers and quality coffee beans.

Then they went out into the cold and started again.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from the Langholm Initiative where she had been taking the minutes at a meeting and we had lunch. When I left to go for an afternoon walk, the major pruning was nearly finished.

I take my hat off to Callum for his fearless scrambles around the tree on a very cold day, and to Peter for telling him so precisely where to cut to achieve a satisfactory final shape.

I had to call in at the Langholm Initiative to leave a message from Mrs Tootlepedal and this determined my route today. It was a beautiful day . . .

. . . but it was still freezing.

It was very calm in the river valley . . .

. . . and even if the computer can make it look quite cheerful . . .

. . . it was very cold.

I was happy to leave the river bank and head up the road towards the sunlit uplands.

Though it was still cold.

When I got to the top of the hill at Broomholmshiels, the uplands really were sunlit . . .

. . . so I left the misty valley behind . . .

. . . and headed up the new track towards the pylons . . .

. . . and then, having been in the sun for as long as possible, I headed back down the hill towards the town and the misty valley.

Volunteers and the Tarras Valley Nature reserve team have been hard at work in the felled wood at the end of the track. Hundreds of trees have been planted and a new pond (currently frozen stiff) has been created.

When I got home, the boys had finished their work on the tree . . .

. . . and several heaps of prunings are waiting to be shredded or turned into firewood.

We are very happy with the results, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the old tree will survive its haircut. The tree surgeons cut it back as far as they thought it could bear. We hope that our neighbours will sleep a little easier now on very windy nights.

After a regular zoom with my siblings, and an evening meal of salmon and spinach, Mike and Alison came round for their regular Friday evening visit. Owing to one thing and another, this was the first visit for some time and all the more welcome for that. Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike chatted while Alison and I played several pieces for recorder and keyboard. They went very well considering that neither of us had done any practice.

Visits to the bird feeder today had been badly disrupted by the tree pruning , so it was fortunate that a flock of pigeons flew overhead during my walk. They are the flying birds of the day

Footnote: I will try to remember to post before and after pictures of the walnut tree tomorrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A shorter day

  1. I’m guessing that a tree that age and size will start growing quickly again once spring comes. I couldn’t do what the tree men did. It looks great.
    I’m glad there was no slipping on all that frost.
    I liked the shot of the bridge and river even before the computer pepped it up.

  2. Our huge old elm needed a good trim and due to the location of wires it was not possible to use a lift. Like you, I watched with some trepidation as the arborist clambered about the branches.

    The red leaves near the bridge are lovely set against the frosty grass (or is that computer magic?).

  3. Thank you for showing the arborists at work. I cannot imagine such frosty conditions – especially as we sweltered at 38 degrees C yesterday!

  4. My deepest respect for those guys cutting your wallnut tree in freezing temperatures. At least, you will feel much safer now when storms come in. Winter has realy arrived at your place. We are expecting the first snow flakes tomorrow.

  5. So glad the tree pruning went well thanks to your intrepid cutters.
    Beautiful views of frosty scenes and autumn colours.
    Lovely heron guest picture.

  6. Tree surgeons are amazing when they climb to the top of the trees with all their equipment and prune away. They have made an excellent job of your tree and as you say everyone will be happier! Beautiful photo of the bridge with the beech sapling giving that all important blast of colour. More hair ice too…lovely walk.

  7. Gunta takes some amazing photos of our beautiful State of Oregon.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your photo selection, especially the sunlight on the hills. I am not what the atmospheric conditions were, but the lighting seems exceptionally warm with an orange cast. Sunset must have been quite beautiful.

    I am glad Callum was firmly tethered to solid sections of tree. That is dangerous work! Our neighbor also has a large old walnut tree. We often find nuts that squirrels and mice have dragged over here. There are many commercial walnut, and hazelnut, groves in the valley.

  8. The two bridge photos are lovely, despite the computer changes. We have our big trees trimmed every year, and I have so much admiration for the arborists who trim them….watching them standing on high branches, it looks so dangerous to me.

  9. Thank you for the kind mention.
    I can’t say I miss the icy days, but they surely make for some lovely photos!
    One has to admire those agile tree trimming chaps.
    How lovely that Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday flowers are still looking so perky.

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