A much better use of some sunshine

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair who has visited his local park. It shows that Mr Grumpy’s relatives are branching out in Edinburgh.

After some heavy overnight rain, it was a relief to wake up to a dull but dry morning today, with the temperature well above freezing.

In these dark days at the turn of the year, we are in no hurry to get up and rush about, so we had a quiet time er the newspapers after breakfast until coffee. I did fill the feeder and the birds were far from having a quiet time themselves. As is so often the case, where there are siskins about, there is rude behaviour.

I only watched the birds for a minute or two, but there was enough action to keep my shutter finger busy.

In the more peaceful world underneath the feeder, I saw two sorts of pigeon.

I was just thinking of what I might do with my day when I looked out of the window and saw that the sun was shining. A check on the forecast showed that this might continue to be the case for at least a couple of hours, so I forwent my lunch, ate a banana and a slice of bread and marmalade, put on my cycling clothes, and went off for the first pedal of 2023.

Because there was a noticeable wind coming from the south I went down to Canonbie by the direct and sheltered route and not by my more usual route across the open hill. As I went across the river, I could see that the overnight rain had raised the river level considerably.

Nevertheless, because it was the middle of the day, there was even a little heat from the sun as I pedalled along, and I was happy to stop and take pictures to show what a nice day it was as I went through the Hollows.

The wind wasn’t as fierce as the forecast had suggested it might be, but I was still pleased when I got to the bottom of the Canonbie bypass and turned onto the road to Glenzier with the wind now helping me.

Once again I was happy to pause on my way to take pictures, this time of some of the many trees beside the road.

I liked the effect created by the muck spreading on the field.

I was glad to see that the rain had washed any thorns from the hedge clipping off the road

A conifer for variety

The clouds behind this tree made me decide not to take too many more pictures but to concentrate on pedalling for a while.

The rain had deposited quite a lot of water in the seasonal ponds further along my route. In fact, the one at the bottom of the Tarcoon hill was spreading over the road.

There were no ducks swimming about on it, but it still made for a very pleasant pastoral scene.

If the main road to Dumfries had been relatively quiet on our trip yesterday, the back roads that I was on today . . .

. . . were even quieter and the views were pretty good too.

I don’t think that I met more than half a dozen cars on the last 11 miles of my journey today.

The second seasonal pond was duck free too today.

Sadly those background clouds crept over my head and the sun disappeared just before my final photographic pause to admire some unexpectedly bright bushes beside the busy burn at the Kerr.

I bustled on home after that, but not quite fast enough to get my average speed over 12 mph. Still, it was a very enjoyable outing. I included a short diversion down to the river in the town when I got back to the town to try to take another picture of the high waters, but rather surprisingly, the level had dropped quite a bit while I had been cycling so I kept my camera in my pocket.

Mike Tinker dropped by as I got into the house, and we had a cup of tea and an exchange of news with Mrs Tootlepedal. When Mike left, I spent some useful time finishing off putting a week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group’s database, and practising some singing in preparation for returning to our choirs tomorrow.

A quiet evening in followed.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “A much better use of some sunshine

  1. The bird feeder provided good entertainment. Those siskins many be small, but they are tough.

    I enjoyed the photos from your ride, especially the tree portraits today. Warm golden sun and dark skies make a pleasing combination.

  2. Excellent picture of pigeon drinking technique. As I understand it, they are the only bird which can suck water up. All the others have to grab some water in their beaks and then throw their heads back to swallow it.

  3. The drinking Pidgeon looked to be filled with bliss.
    I loved the sunny foregrounds and dark clouds. That seems to be a rare thing here.
    After having lived beside a river that flooded occasionally when I was young the high water of your river seemed a bit alarming. I’m glad it went down a bit while you toured the countryside.

    1. I was surprised to find the river so high. It must have rained harder in the catchment area than it did on us. The combination of sunshine and dark clouds is quite common with our weather drifting up from the sea for the most part.

  4. I enjoyed all your landscape photos, especially the green hill with one stark tree, and the sheep grazing down near the water…we rarely see such green fields in Australia. (although a few more this spring). It was also interesting to see how quiet the roads were, a pleasant change I’m sure.
    …on a driving holiday through Hampshire we found the high hedges a challenge.

  5. You have chosen the perfect day for your first cycling trip. Despite the traces of the abundant rain, it looked like a beautiful winter day with a hint of spring already over it. Thank you for the beautiful images you took along the way.

  6. I like the sheep-sprinkled hills as you have them all over the area. Hope the wether allows you some more outings.

  7. Well done fitting in such a lovely cycle ride at the start of the year. Wonderful photos of views with sunshine and a delightful blinking pigeon and lots more- quite uplifting in these rainy, stormy days!

    1. It was good to get a break from the weather for a couple of hours. Apart from the very cold spell, it has been fairy gloomy for what seems like ages.

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