Today’s guest picture comes from my walking friend Mark. While I was on top of Whita yesterday and looking across the Solway to Skiddaw, he and a friend, and their dogs, were on top of Skiddaw 2000 ft higher than me, and looking back at Whita (when they had stopped posing for a picture).

We were hoping that the boiler engineer would come on schedule today. He was due to come at any time between dawn and dusk so I got up early to be ready for him just in case. Much to our surprise and delight he rang up at breakfast time and said and said he would be across from Dumfries within the hour. He arrived, fixed our problem and went on his way. As you might imagine, he has been very busy lately, and he told us that he had already done 40 hours of overtime this week. It is going to pay for his wedding.

We didn’t get too excited though, as it took almost the whole of the rest of the day to get the hiuse up to a reasonable temperature so we were still going around indoors in our coats.

The day started out in a very grey mood, but it brightened up towards midday, and and I was able to enjoy a good view of the birds out of the window. There were blackbirds . . .

. . . robin(s) (three of the frames are definitely the same bird) . . .

. . . and greenfinches, siskins, and sparrows.

And, as has become quite common recently, a dunnock.

We had an early lunch, and then as a possible forecast of snow had not materialised, I went out for a walk. I looked for ice in the garden before I left because it may all soon disappear . . .

. . . and noticed that a group of sparrows had been able to keep a little patch of water open in the middle of the ice on the dam behind the house. They didn’t wait to be photographed though.

It was pretty grey again when I set out . . .

. . . though the traffic lights at Skipper’s Bridge did introduce a splash of colour

I took a set of pictures from the bridge which I have put in a gallery. I took several because it is most unusual to see the river as icy as this, and just below the bridge, the river was completely iced over.

Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t resist a shot of the bridge itself from water level

It has been so cold that the little streams running off the hill are frozen over too.

Although the recent sunny afternoons have resulted in most of the most of the trees shedding their frosty costumes, there are still some beautiful silvery corners to be seen in sheltered spots

There were no sunlit uplands today when I got to the top of the hill at Broomholmshiels . . .

. . . but the clouds were definitely lifting, so I walked on up the hill to the Laverock bird hide . . .

. . . where I went in and sat for a moment in the hope of seeing a bird which was not hiding. A blue tit obliged.

As I walked back down the hill to take the track back home through Longwood, the skies cleared and faint hints of sunshine could be seen.

Among the trees, the sun struggled to make any impression and there were icy artworks to remind me of how cold it still was . . .

All was not entirely gloomy though, and as I walked on, the sun managed to pick out some of the oak trees as I passed them.

Having started out feeling a bit chilly, I had managed to get pleasantly warm on my walk so I put away my cameras at this point and tried to get home before I got cold again. I was only tempted to stop for a final icy flower beside the river. . .

. . . and the view after I had crossed the suspension bridge.

I did stop once more however, when I met my walking friend Mark with his wife and dog. We remarked on the coincidence that we had been looking at each other from a great distance yesterday. They have had even more trouble than us recently as their gas supply was completely cut off for a week.

I was pleased to find that our house had warmed up a bit more by the time that I got home, but it took until well into the evening before it was back up to pre-crisis levels. Mrs Tootlepedal had been out to her stitching group Christmas party. She had enjoyed herself and came home with a small prize. As it was chocolate, I don’t imagine that it will last very long. It gets dark early now so I had time to put most of a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.

In the evening Mike and Alison came round for music and conversation, and Alison and I enjoyed ourselves playing many right notes at the right times.

As I write this, our garden thermometer has crept above zero so there may be some very slippery paths to negotiate tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Re-heated

  1. It seems strange to see all your frozen water when ours hasn’t frozen yet.
    I loved seeing the robins and the puddle ice and the frozen streams.
    I’m glad you got your boiler up and running. I hope you won’t find any frozen pipes.

    1. Soi far we seem to have escaped from frozen pipes. There was a little dampness about but it was from ice on the outside of a pipe melting and didn’t lead to disaster.

  2. Thank you for the robins!

    There are flocks of what seems to be hundreds of sparrows in neighbourhood hedges and shrubs, and they have a magic talent of stopping their chirps and flutters when a pedestrian approaches. Every single bird falls silent, simultaneously, as if someone’s thrown a switch. They remain silent until you have passed, and won’t be fooled if you stay motionless and quiet beside them. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with that, but I am 🙂

  3. This is great news…. the heating is repaired – at least it was the last day with low temeratures in your house 😉
    Enjoy a warm inside weekend now.

  4. Glad the boiler works again. The portraits of birds were particularly good today I thought and I shall miss those icy pictures when the weather warms up.

  5. Great pictures – of birds and icy scenes. Congratulations to Mark and friend, and yourself for climbs and Mrs Tootlepedal for her prize – probably eaten by now! So pleased boiler working again.

  6. Lots of lovely photos to enjoy especially all the birds. After such a wonderful walk good to know you returned to a warmer house again…it really makes one appreciate our boilers when something goes amiss with them!

  7. I am glad your heat is back up and running. The photos are beautiful, frost and frozen water lending an artistic feel to them. Old Jack Frost is a good painter of scenery. He was here this morning, too, so it must have been a busy night for him. It was 22 degrees here at dawn’s first light, and is slowly creeping above freezing now.

    The birds look all puffed up and ready to tank up on seed. The robin is cheery and adds a bit of color, though my favorite is the serious little dunnock. Our birds were quite anxious for seed today.

    1. Our new supply of seed has rather large kernels and the birds are dropping a lot of it under the feeder. I hope that we get some good avian scavengers as I don’t want to encourage rats and mice..

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