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Posts Tagged ‘birch wood’

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He saw what looks like the narrowest tall building in the world on a visit to London.  He revealed that the secret of its narrowness is that it is triangular.  He found a good angle to take his picture.

Tony thin building

It was dry but still very windy here today and I nearly got blown off my bicycle on my way to the shop to buy some milk.  In a sign of the time, the shopkeeper told me that he is looking into the possibility of going back to glass milk bottles to cut down on plastic use.

When I got home, I had time to watch the birds battling the wind too.  At times the feeder was very rocky…

swaying feeder

…and the birds got buffeted by the breeze as they tried to land.

buffeted chaffinch

I was a second too slow with my shutter finger  to catch a flying bird of the day as this one applied the brakes on landing.

chaffinch landing

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy preparing for the arrival of our  younger granddaughter tomorrow but she also went off to deliver the second curtain to the Archive Centre  so I had time to go round the garden.

hellebore, crocus, chaffinch

A little sunshine cheered things up.

I made some vegetable soup for lunch and then, ignoring the forecast possibility of rain, I went for a walk.

When I got to the park, I could see the tidemark left by Saturday night’s flood.

tide mark in park

Things have dried up well, helped by the strong winds, but there are still some good puddles in the fields, and plenty of water coming through the pipe at the old distillery and joining the rush down the river.

puddle spout and rapid

There was a good amount of water coming down the Esk but Skippers Bridge only needed one of its three arches to cope with the flow.

skippers bridge after flood

As I walked down the road beside the river, I reflected on the size of the chap who must have sat and rested on this fence.

bent fence

I left the road and walked up the track across the old railway.  The path through the oak wood was as enjoyable as ever….

oak wood walk

…but the path back to town through the birch wood was a bit tacky…

bierch wood walk

…though not as bad as I expected.

I passed several varied little streams in gullies as I went along, but only one was a stream of moss.

streams

I approached the Round House and took advantage of the bench…

roundhouse and bench

…to rest my legs for a moment and enjoy the view over the town.

view from roundhouse

It wasn’t cold but there are still a few patches of snow to be seen on our hills…

late snow timpen

…but to counterbalance that, there are signs of spring about too.

new buds

I was able to look down on Skippers Bridge from the path home, thanks to the power line which has meant that trees have had to be cut back.

skippers from above

Near the end of the  track, I had to duck.

bent tree

When I got to the town, I called in at the newspaper office which is home to the Archive Centre.  Here I was able to admire the second new curtain installed earlier in the day by Mrs Tootlepedal.

new curtain archive centre

The data miners are now curtained off like a Turkish Seraglio and can safely practice their arcane rituals unobserved….and more importantly, without inconvenient draughts.

I walked on to the Town Bridge and was able to spot an oyster catcher having a good stretch.

oyster catching stretching

The water in the rivers has turned from an angry brown to a sullen grey, with the Ewes on the right, being greyer than the Esk.

grey meeting of the waters

I have been asked by a couple of people if I can provide them with some cheerful pictures of local areas and this meant that I had to sit down and do battle with my picture filing system.  My method for filing involves the well tested “I’ll worry about that later” principle.”

This however was now that ‘later’ moment, but I surprised myself a great deal by being able to locate the memory cards on which photos from, 2012 to 2016 were stored. I was even able to pin down a particular picture from 2014.  Mrs Tootlepedal was very impressed.  I was quite impressed myself.

Then my flute playing friend Luke arrived and we had another go through our Quantz sonata with some satisfactory progress being made.  We have both resolved to try to practise a bit more if time permits.

After tea, I went of to the monthly meeting of the Camera Club.  Sadly Sandy was unable to be with us as he is still in hospital after his operation but seven members gathered and we had a varied and very enjoyable selection of photographs to look at, with pictures from all over Britain and the world beyond as well as many local studies.  There was tea and biscuits at half time as well,  so this was a very satisfying meeting.

The flying bird of the day is a rather morose looking chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is another of my brother’s Derby insects which I found when I looked again.  This is a water boatman and he thinks that it may have capsized.

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The temperature was a little higher than yesterday but thanks to an increasingly brisk wind, it actually felt colder and more inhospitable outside today.

Mrs Tootlepedal has used some packing wool as a mulch in the garden and a small flock of jackdaws appeared after breakfast and made away with as much of it as they could carry.

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I read the papers, drank coffee and did the crossword while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do useful things around the town and then I went out too.

The river was dealing with the overnight heavy rain as I crossed the suspension bridge…

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…on my way to the health centre for the second day running.  This time they were kindly topping up my system with some vitamins to fill the hole left by taking the blood out yesterday.

When I got home, I had a wander round the garden and got quite excited by potential on every side.

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A couple of warm days would work wonders but even with our present dull weather, new things are poking their heads up every day now.

There were the usual suspects at the bird feeder but I was pleased to see a couple of greenfinches today…

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…and a pigeon took the scenic route through the flowers around the feeder.

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The green machine in the background is the cat deterrent which sometimes seems to work.

After lunch, the forecast said it might hail and then there would be light rain, but a check with the human eye saw no rain, so I went out in the car to take a little walk in the woods outside the town.

Of course it started to rain almost as soon as I left the house, but as the rain was very light by the time that I had driven to my starting point and I was going to walk in the woods, I decided to ignore it and walk anyway.

It was gloomy when I started out and I had to use my flash to pick out the moss sprouting on top of a tree stump…

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…but I was rewarded for my initiative as the rain stopped and although it was still rather grey as I walked up through the birch wood…

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…by the time that I had gone through the wood and leapt* across this busy stream…

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…things had brightened up a lot and there was even a hint of blue sky about.

I walked along a track beside a field, looking at mossy branches, gorse and willow….

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….until the track turned into a small river and then, as I didn’t have boots on, I turned round and headed back down hill.

I came to a parting of the ways…

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…and took the left hand path and went back down the hill through the oak wood…

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…crossing the stream again when I came to the old railway track.

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I noticed as I went down the final slope that there were very different mosses within a yard of each other on opposites sides of the path.

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And it wouldn’t have taken me long to find other mosses not far away.

When I got to the old railway track, I walked along it.  When I had walked along this track with Mrs Tootlepedal at the very end of last year, it had been blocked by fallen trees so I wasn’t expecting to go far.  However, some good person had been along and tidied everything up neatly…

railway track to Broomholm

…so I was able to walk right along to where the track meets the road.

Just before I got to the road, I passed this very handsome scarlet elf cap, probably the largest one that I have seen.

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I walked down the road back to the car and this gave me the pleasure of passing the finest moss wall in the civilised world.

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There was a huge selection of mosses to choose from…

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…but the wall also plays host to many lichens and a fine crop of polypody ferns.

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I joined Mike Tinker and Mrs Tootlepedal for a cup of tea and a biscuit when I got home and then I made a gentle curry for our evening meal and watched our politicians reach the end of the road when it comes to trying to put a square peg into a round hole.  It would be richly comical if it wasn’t so important and annoying. I imagine some time will now be spent trying to fit an oversized round peg into a tiny square hole.

The wind and rain are very audible outside our windows as I write this but we are hoping to escape the worst of Storm Gareth.  Time will tell.  Mrs Tootlepedal is supposed to be going to London tomorrow.  It may be an eventful journey.

Because the windy and gloomy weather made taking pictures of daffodils in the garden rather tricky, I persuaded one of them to come indoors to pose for me  in peace and quiet.

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A chaffinch battling into the wind is the flying bird of the day.

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*Note: I didn’t really leap the stream.  I found a very narrow bit and tottered over it using my walking poles.  I am not mad.

**Extra note:  If anyone has a guest picture or two, I would be very grateful to receive them.

 

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