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Posts Tagged ‘chionodoxa’

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone who was alarmed to see some bears while he was out on a walk  in the town.  He calmed down when he noticed that there was a stout fence between them and him.

bears townfoot

It was a very unreliable day today as far as both the weather and the weather forecast went.  The forecast changed every time that I looked at it and the weather changed even more frequently.  At one moment the sun shone brightly and at the next it was raining or even sleeting.  There was one consistent factor however, a strong and cruel wind that cut like a knife.

As a result, I gave up any thoughts of cycling and watched the birds for a bit.  There are still plenty of them to watch at the moment, with twenty or thirty chaffinches and goldfinches on the plum tree and at the feeder….

invading chaffinches

…and siskins hanging about too.

siskin acrobat

There finally came a moment after coffee when the weather seemed to be set fair for long enough to let me out for a short walk, so I chanced my arm and went for a stroll round Easton’s and Gaskell’s Walks.

There was blossom in the park…

blossom in park

..and plenty of signs of wild garlic growing on the bank beside the river as I went along Easton’s.

wild garlic shoots

Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t like this walk much as she thinks that the trees don’t look quite well grounded enough…

bare roots

…and she may well be right as there are always little landslips happening along the path and many of the trees are leaning in a threatening manner, but I got along safely today.

As I turned back up the hill at the end of the riverside track, I saw a rich bank of moss…

mossy bank

…and the promise of a good show of bluebells to come later on in the spring.

bluebell shoots

When I got up to the Stubholm there were more signs of spring…

hawthorn buds

…and as long as I could keep out of the wind, it was a very pleasant day for a walk.

stubholm path

I didn’t dawdle though as I went along Gaskell’s because I wouldn’t have enjoyed being out in a heavy rain shower so I kept my camera in my pocket and stretched my legs until I was well on the way home.  Then I stopped to appreciate a tree at Wauchope Kirkyard…

graveyard tree

…and an ash twig on the road down to Pool Corner…

ash twig…and some alder catkins beside the caul.

alder catkins pool corner

The daffodils along the road sides are just beginning to come out, although it will be a week or two at least before they are out in full force.

daffodils moodla point

I got back home to find Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden, making metaphorical hay while the sun shone..  I looked around and was happy to see the first chionodoxa of the year.

chionodoxa

We went in for lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her monthly Embroiderers’ Guild meeting and I settled down to watch Scotland getting beaten by Wales in the Six Nations rugby tournament.  I was so certain that we were going to get beaten that I ended up  mildly pleased when we give the Welsh a good fright before going down.  Even a blatant but unpenalised forward pass in the run up to the first Welsh try failed to significantly dent my equilibrium.

After Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her meeting, another spell of sunny weather tempted me out for a second short walk, this time over three bridges.

Once again, the sunny weather made for a cheerful scene but the  sharp eyed…

Castle Hill and gritter

…will notice a bright yellow gritting vehicle parked on the Kilngreen.  The driver told me that he had been out gritting the country roads to the west and north of the town as frost and snow to quite low levels are expected tomorrow.

Mr Grumpy was out enjoying the evening sunshine while he could and as I passed…

heron one leg

…he raised a languid foot in greeting.

heron two legs

On the Castleholm, I stopped for a chat with a camera club member, retired postman Stan, and by the time that we had finished talking, the sun was dropping behind the hills. It was getting quite chilly so once again, I put more effort into walking than snapping and only stopped to salute some willows at the Jubilee Bridge…

willow

…before hurrying along to get to home and some welcome warmth.

It started to rain again not long after I had got in.

Quite apart form the forecast of sleet or snow for tomorrow, it looks as though the unsettled weather is going to continue for at least a week so my cycling mileage for the month (zero miles so far) is likely to be very poor.  I don’t much mind cold conditions and I can cope with wind if it is dry and I can live with some rain if it is not too windy but I have passed the age when cycling in cold, wind and rain at the same time has any appeal at all.  I will try to sneak in as many walks as I can between showers.

The flying bid of the day is one of the large flock of chaffinches.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s recent holiday trip to Mablethorpe.  He was gratified to find that they had erected a fine carving of him in honour of his arrival.  (He doesn’t usually wear the crown when he comes for coffee.)

mablethorpe

The forecast had been for snow, rain and strong winds so we were pleased (but not totally surprised) to find the sun shining brightly when we got up.  Even with just a light breeze, it was pretty cold though.

The weather made a drive to Carlisle pleasant enough except that it was for the purpose of putting Mrs Tootlepedal on a train to London.  She is going to visit her mother for a while and she will be sorely missed here.

I combined  my taxi work with a little shopping and got back to Langholm in time for lunch.

Then I combined making a cheese toastie with looking out of the window.

It was a mainly chaffinch day today…

chaffinch

…though a goldfinch turned up and tested out the fat balls which I have recently added to the bird feeding supplies.

goldfinch

It didn’t stop.

There was plenty of chaffinch action….

chaffinches

…though the little blighters would persist in being just off the edge of the frame.

_DSC2693

Every now and again, one did hit the centre of the viewfinder…

_DSC2691

….and possibly another chaffinch half a second later.

After lunch, I cast a speculative eye on the weather and thought that I might risk the 40% chance of rain offered by the forecast and do a brief five miles up and five miles back along the Wauchope road.

It started to drizzle almost as soon as I had set out but I persevered in the hope that it would stop.  Then it started to rain quite hard but once again I persevered in the hope that it would stop.  After I had done three soggy miles, it did stop. The sun came out.

I looked behind me….

rain cloud over Wauchope

…and decided not to go back the way that I had come but to take a wide circle round to the right under that blue sky in the hope of dodging the black cloud.

This turned out to be a very wise decision and I enjoyed a rain free ten miles back to Langholm.

There were quite a few threatening clouds about so I pressed on but after they all passed me to the north, I felt confident enough to stop for a photo opportunity at Irvine House…

Irvine House bridge

…just to show what a nice day it was.

I looked at the wall beside the road.

lichen

Half a mile further on, I looked back across the Esk valley…

view of Eskdale

I made one last stop when I found a small bunch of coltsfoot beside the main road.

coltsfoot

My timing was good because not long after I had got home, another heavy shower drove me out of the garden.

Before the rain came, I had had time to notice the first chionodoxa of spring….

chionodoxa

…and then the second, third and fourth ones too.

P1080538

I checked on the frog spawn in the pond and in spite of some frosty mornings, it looks as though there is a strong possibility of tadpoles surviving.

tadpoles

Time will tell.

A moment of sunshine tempted an unwelcome visitor to take a nap on a flower bed.

cat

I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t keep trying to catch the birds at the feeder.

Between cats and sparrowhawks in the garden and pesticides in the fields, little birds have a hard time.

I started work on getting the new raised beds into place and in between showers  this afternoon, I made some progress.

Having received some excellent pizza making tuition from my son, I made one of my own for my tea.

pizza

It was not quite up to his standard but it was quite tasty.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played some music while Mike sipped an exotic beer and watched Gardener’s World on the telly.  This was their first visit for some weeks as they have been in New Zealand visiting family and it was good to get back to playing again even though I was rather rusty.

The flying bird of the day is one of the many chaffinches.  There was no other choice today.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my sister Mary, who was on the Unite for Europe March yesterday (as was my sister Susan).  It was rather mentally dislocating to see this peaceful and sunny picture after the recent events nearby.

Unite for Europe March 25.03.17 003

We had our third consecutive day of beautiful weather here and we are having to try very hard not to get too used to this sort of thing as it can’t possibly last.

It was such a good morning that I didn’t spend any time making a meal for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir but got out on my bike instead.  Once again, I had to wait until the morning had warmed up a bit but considering that the clocks had jumped forward an hour during the night, I was quite pleased to get out as early as I did.

My route was extremely dull, being straight down the main road for 15 miles and then straight back again so I didn’t take my camera but I did use my phone to catch a tree at my turning point.

tree near smithfield

The Sunday morning ride is usually very peaceful but for some reason there was a steady stream of traffic going south today and this made the trip less enjoyable that normal so I was happy to get home.  I had hoped to do the 30 mile trip in under two hours but  a freshening crosswind on my way back meant that I missed my target by three minutes.  On the plus side, the thirty miles took me over 1000 miles for the year which is a notable landmark.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I arrived and I got out my camera and had a walk round.

The crocuses have enjoyed the three warm days and were putting on a good show…

crocuses

…after looking as though they were completely over  earlier in the week.

In the pond, the warmth has caused the weed to grow a lot…

frog

…but there was enough space for a mass of wriggling tadpoles…

tadpoles

…who seemed to be blowing bubbles under the surface.  I have never seen foam like this before and can’t decide whether it is a good or a bad sign of tadpole health.

The grape hyacinths are making a little progress…

grape hyacinth

…although the planned river of blue is still the merest trickle.

The euphorbias are growing bigger every day.

euphorbia

…but so is the moss on the lawn.  I did mow a bit more of the middle lawn but there are spots when a blade of grass is hard to find.

I went in and looked out.

chaffinch

A chaffinch, perhaps wondering sadly if it always has to be the same seed for lunch.

flying chaffinch

And another putting a spell on a bird below in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We had a light lunch and then, after a quick run through one of the songs for out Carlisle choir, we set off for a bit of shopping and the weekly choir practice.

The practice was fun but hard work, as we are going through a couple of songs where if you are singing an A, there is bound to be someone else singing a B in your ear.  Still, we did get praise from our conductor for having obviously done home practice so that was very satisfactory.  More is required though.

It was such a lovely day, that we took a  roundabout route home.  We passed a pub in Rockcliffe and called in to see if we could get a meal as there wasn’t one ready in the slow cooker at home.  We had forgotten that it was Mothering Sunday though and the pub told us that they were on their third session of people taking mum out for a meal already and if we hadn’t booked, we were too late.

 We consoled ourselves by walking past the village church…

Rockcliffe Church

…and down onto the water meadow beside the River Eden.  It is a beautiful spot on a sunny evening.

River Eden

River Eden

River Eden

The River Eden floods so the church is placed on a handy hill…

rockliffe church

…and the bank below it was covered in pretty primroses.

rockliffe church

Mrs Tootlepedal was much struck by the roots of a tree fixed into the rocks beside the track to the church.

rockliffe church

There must be the makings of a ghoulish fairy story in the manner of the Grimm Brothers there.

We drove home and enjoyed a fry up for our tea.  Not quite as good as a meal out but quite tasty all the same.

The flower of the day is a chionodoxa, smiling back at the sun…

chionodoxa

…and the flying bird is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is the last from my sister Mary’s visit to Regents Park.  It has been good to have such sunny pictures while we have been rather gloomy up here.

Regents park 15.03.17 007

Being Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir after breakfast and I set about making a lamb stew for the slow cooker.  I ideally like to go for a pedal on a Sunday if I can because the main roads are free from heavy goods vehicles and it gives me a chance to try different routes.  However I wasn’t sad to be cooking instead of cycling today as it was raining steadily again outside.

soggy chaffinch

I interspersed the cooking with staring and was pleased to see a brambling…

brambling

…although it only paid the feeder one visit before flying off again.

Everything looked rather subdued in the rain…

dunnock

…except some of the chaffinches who were in fine flying form, whether in the form of a direct approach…

flying chaffinches

…or creeping up from behind.

flying chaffinch

Almost exactly at midday, the sun came out much to my surprise so I had a walk round the garden. Although everything was still wet, the sun made the heart sing.

daffodils

We are entering peak daffodil period

chionodoxa and hyacinth

Chionodoxa and grape hyacinth

The one thing you learn about flowers when you have a camera is that the closer you look, the hairier everything is.

pulmonaria

Pulmonaria

After another quick glance at the birds…

singing chaffinch

Obviously the chaffinches have a choir practice on a Sunday too

chaffinch

This one was late

…I went for a stroll down to the river.  In the sunshine, it was just like spring outside although the river was pretty full after several days of gentle rain.

It might have been fine weather for ducks, as they say, but one duck was trying to block the day out completely.

duck

This looked liked a better plan that swimming in the river.

Langholm Parish Church

I walked over the bridge that you can see in the picture above and went past the front door of the church.  It is quite impressive…

Langholm Parish Church

…but the building constitutes a heavy responsibility for its congregation in terms of upkeep.

I went past the church and on into the park where I couldn’t resist an admiring look at the wall beside the river….

Park wall

…which is a flourishing garden in its own right.

Then I walked over the Park Brig,….

Park Brig

…a modern replacement for what was originally a wooden bridge, and made my way home.

In spite of the sunshine, it still looked as though it might rain at any minute so I didn’t dilly-dally but I found a moment to take a photo of the fine flowering currant in our neighbour’s garden…

Currant

..and some new leaves on our elder as I went past.

elder

Mrs Tootlepedal was worried that the orange trumpets on her Jetfire daffodils were rather pale this season but they have brightened up considerably in the last couple of days…

jetfire daffoidils

…and she is quite pleased with them now.

After lunch, we got prepared and set off for our choir practice in Carlisle.  We had our substitute conductor again and she put us through our paces while we made progress on a new song.  It is a setting of a poem by Yeats and it needs very good diction and sensitive singing to bring out the best of it so since neither of these are things that we excel at, we will have to work hard to make it succeed.  Good fun.

For the second week running, the humorous weather gods provided me with a fine sunset just to point out the fine cycling weather that I had been missing while we were singing. How I laughed.

The flying bird of the day is a sunshine chaffinch.

chaffinch

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows Dropscone’s grandson Leo on the starting line for the Langholm Grand Prix.

leo

The promised rain is still holding off and it was another calm, grey day, ideal for cycling today.  Sadly, I had arranged to take my bikes down to the bike shop in Longtown for their annual service so cycling was not on the menu.

As a substitute, I took the camera and a tripod out into the garden to try to take some better plant pictures.  I took too many so some will appear in pairs.  Small blue things were in vogue.

chinodoxa and scilla

A scilla had come out to join the chinodoxa

Mrs Tootlepedal has been staining the back fence and it made a striking background for a daffodil.

daffodil

There is potential about.

currant and euphorbia

And of course there are frogs.

frog

This one looks as though it might have injured an eye.

Sandy came round for coffee.  He told me that he had knocked a hard drive off a table at home and injured it so he is hoping that skilled men will be able to recover the files for him.  I am hoping so too as there is a lot of his work for the Archive Group on the disk.

When he went, I watched the birds for a while.

chaffinch

A sharp portrait of a chaffinch landing

chaffinches

It looks as though words might have been spoken between these two.

After lunch I went out for a walk.  Sandy is far from well walking wise at the moment and Mrs Tootlepedal was at a meeting so I went by myself.

I had two aims, first to take a picture or two and second to test out my hip after a few days of exercises.

I chose a mixed, track, path and road route of just under five and a half miles and was very pleased with my hip, which got round without complaining at all.

The pictures were a bit mixed as it was a very grey day and spring is on hold so there was not much new to see.

I saw pulmonaria in a garden near the start and some fine lichen and a sturdy snowdrop in the middle.

plants

I saw cool catkins and catkins in love on my way round.

catkins

I didn’t see a bullfinch and I didn’t see much in the way of green leaves but I did see other things. ..

chaffinch and ash

…so it wasn’t a dull walk.

In rather church-like moment, I could see hills when I lifted mine eyes and lambs safely grazing below.

sheep and warbla

The river is low but there is a bit of water running through the bridge at Skippers…

Esk at Skippers

…but I don’t think that you will see the pool below the bridge much calmer than it was today.

Esk at Skippers

I walked up the hill to the Round House…

Round house

…and was just thinking that it had not been a very colourful outing when I came across this fine specimen in a garden just as I got back to the town.

blossom

That cheered me up a lot.

I went down to fetch my bikes before the shop closed but came back with only one.  This was the fairly speedy one and even it wasn’t fully serviced.  I will have to take it back for a new chain and set of rear gear rings in a few days time.  The mechanic had had a very busy day so I don’t blame him.  People will keep coming in and demanding that their bike be fixed at once.  Mine will be quite usable meanwhile and the appalling creak in the saddle area has been fixed.  This will make cycling a lot more peaceful than it has been recently.

I got a bit of a shock in the evening when Sandy rang up to ask if I could give him a lift to Carlisle tomorrow as his doctor has sent him for some  checks in the hospital there.    I hope that he won’t have to stay long.

I had several attempts during the day to get a left to right flying bird…

chaffinch

…but a right to lefter was still the best effort and so it is the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is a swan posing for my sister Mary by the Serpentine.

Swans by the SerpentineIt was a bright and sunny day at breakfast time but cold enough at 3 degrees C to make me grateful that Mrs Tootlepedal had to go out to help record  the newspaper for the blind while I had to stay in in case a delivery came.

This gave me time to take a couple of end wall pictures.

End wall

The scaffolding and the skip have both now gone and the road is completely clear. Hooray.

end wall upstairs

Inside the wall upstairs has been plastered and is drying satisfactorily.

By the time that Mrs Tootlepedal returned, the clouds had come up and the temperature had gone up to a reasonable 8 degrees so I set off for a pedal on the fairly speedy bike.  Everyone agrees that although the temperatures should make things comfortably warm, the moving air that we meet when out and about at present makes things feel decidedly chilly.   It was the same today, exacerbated by the briskness of the wind and I was thinking of quite a short ride when I set out.

As so often happens though, once I got going, I felt a lot more purposeful and cycled twelve miles up the Lockerbie road before turning for home.  I took it very easily into the wind and enjoyed myself in a faintly masochistic way.  Some kind person had cleared the bank of scrub at the Paddockhole Bridge so I was able to stop and add a clear picture of it to my collection of local bridges.

PaddockholeI pedalled on past the bridge until I got to a spot where an owner seems to be digging a large pond beside his house.

PondI don’t know whether this is part of a grander scheme as there seem to be ground works going on all round the house.

MinscaThe Minsca windmills in the background gave me the heartening message that the wind would be straight behind me on the way home.   I was grateful and enjoyed the trip back a lot, especially the last five and a half miles, which I accomplished at an average of 22 mph.  It’s amazing how well your knee feels when pedalling downhill with a brisk wind behind.

After a light lunch and a shower, I set off back up the same road.  This time I was in the car with Mrs Tootlepedal and we were paying the first visit the year to the manure mine.   While she filled a bucket or two, I wandered across to some larch trees.

Larch treesLarch treesSince I had taken a bridge picture earlier, I thought I ought to add a gate picture to keep gate fanciers happy too.

gate at manure mineWhen Mrs Tootlepedal had filled her buckets, we took the time for a stroll along the banks of the Wauchope.

hail

In shady parts there were still little patches of the hail from three days ago.

There was not much water in the river but it chattered away over its many small cascades.

Wauchope riverWauchope riverThe underlying sandstone is often coloured by minerals and the stones on the beaches can be very pretty.

Wauchope riverAbove our heads, a pair of buzzards circled in the sky, giving off their mournful cries.  They were too high for a picture.

We left the banks of the river and found a gate…

wauchope gate…to walk through into the field and back to the car.  The wall beside the gate was home to some very bright green lichen.

green lichenDuring the day, a friend had been cutting trees and shrubs down against the fence of the garden next door and he was kind enough to throw the cherry tree over the fence and into our garden.  He even sliced it up first.

cherry treeThere is a good deal of chopping in that pile,  We made a little start on the task.  This will be fuel for our new stove in a year’s time.

I shall miss the cherry blossom.

I looked round the garden but old faithfuls were the only colour available.  I took pictures of two of them.

chionodoxa and primulaAfter the cycle and the walk, I sat down to listen to the radio but owing to outbreaks of spontaneous somnolence, I couldn’t tell you what I was listening to.

I roused myself enough to make some tea and then we went off to the Buccleuch Centre to attend a production of Anything Goes by our local amateur operatic and dramatic society.  The hall was well filled, and the audience appreciated a very good performance.

I personally enjoyed Cole Porter’s lyrics more than anything else but the tunes are catchy and the singers put them over well.  The musical director rattled things along at brisk tempi throughout and nothing dragged. The show had two excellent young ladies to sing the leading parts and everyone else joined in with competence and pep.  There was a sad lack of tap dancing but you can’t have everything.  The mark of a good amateur performance is when the audience feels comfortable with the production and confident with the performers and the show tonight passed easily on both counts.

Bird visitors were scarce again.  The tree felling next door probably didn’t help.  I did manage to catch a flying chaffinch though.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture shows what can only be described as a host of golden daffodils.  They were spotted by my sister Mary on a walk through St James’ Park.

St James's ParkWe enjoyed some perfect weather for the first day of spring here today and on a day when I really should have been cycling all over the place, I went walking instead.

My first walk was round the garden of course.  There were new flowers.

hellebore

A handsome hellebore, a gift from our neighbour Liz, last year.

chionodoxa

A charming chionodoxa

The pond is now so full of frog spawn that there is hardly any room for the frogs.

frogWe are promised some very chilly nights soon so I hope all the work has not been in vain.

Later in the morning, I gave my new knee and dodgy ankle a test by ascending on foot to the summit of Warbla.   This is not quite mountaineering as it only involves a gentle one and a half mile stroll up a very good track….

Warbla….to the dizzy heights of 900 feet.

Still, it was the longest and highest climb that my new knee has tried and I was very pleased to find that it didn’t mind at all and worked perfectly both on the way up and coming down.  I have been doing calf stretches on the advice of my physio and these seem to have been very helpful for my ankle which had no complaints either.

Thanks to the high pressure and the winds from the east which have been keeping our weather fine and dry, there is quite a lot of air pollution about and in spite of the fine weather, the views were distinctly hazy but I snapped away regardless.

warbla sheep

One of the thousands of reasons that our hills are generally treeless.

The view from the summit is generous.

Langholm from Warbla

Pocketcam’s view of the town

Langholm from Warbla

The big camera’s version of the view

Holmwood from Whita

Looking over Holmwood, the most modern part of the town.

There is a TV mast and various telephone dishes at the summit of Warbla which account for the good track.  There was a new device which I hadn’t seen before on this visit and it is shown alongside the oldest piece of technology up there, an Ordnance Survey trig point, now no longer in use..

WarblaI came down by a slightly different route which allowed me to admire some lichen…

lichen…and watch as John and Jean mastered the art of walking on water.

John and JeanIt would take a lot of persuasion to get me walking along the top of the caul with such nonchalance but they and their dogs do it regularly.

I could have shown you a lot more very interesting views of hills if Sandy hadn’t rung up and suggested an afternoon walk.

We left Mrs Tootlepedal knocking up a pair of net curtains and went down by car to Hagg-on-Esk where we took a stroll along the banks of the river up to Irvine House and back.

I took many shots of the river but this one will have to represent them all.

The Esk near Irvine HouseIt was a delightfully tranquil walk and we were rewarded with sightings of dippers, oyster catchers, grey wagtails, pied wagtails, mallards, goosanders, blue, great and long tailed tits and a pair of buzzards.

The light was playing tricks and was often too bright at crucial moments so the photographs don’t match the pleasure of the walk.  I put them in for the record.

goosanders and oyster catchers

Sometimes the goosanders and oyster catchers sat still….

oyster catchers

…but mostly they flew away as soon as we got near….

goosanders

…in every direction.

The dippers were even more difficult to catch.

dippersIt is hard to put into words the pleasure of sitting on the banks of the river watching dippers, goosanders, oyster catchers and wagtails flitting up and down past us.  It was very soothing to the soul.

There were other things to divert us too.  We wondered if a tree has ever had more catkins to the inch than this one.

catkinsAlthough our walk was only just over a mile and a half, there and back, it took us the best part of one and a half hours which shows how much there was to stop and watch along the way.  I hope that Sandy will post some pictures from the day in his blog in the course of time, as it will be interesting to see what he made of it.

We had a cup of tea when we got home.  The builders have finished wet dashing the new wall.

wet dash wallIt will look better when it has dried.  The scaffolding will go away shortly and we will be able to see the new wall in all its beauty then.

After our cup of tea, Sandy suggested a drive up onto the Langholm Moor to see what we could see.

He went first in his own car and I followed on in ours with Mrs Tootlepedal, who had finished her curtain making.  When we joined him, he said he had been watching a short eared owl and sure enough a minute or two later, we had a splendid view of one as it flew along the hillside.  I was in bird watching mode and had my binoculars out but I dived back into the car for my camera and tried to get a shot before it disappeared over the hill.

Mrs Tootlepedal caught a glimpse of a hen harrier as we drove home but I had to keep my eye on the road.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better day than this one to celebrate the vernal equinox.  The only downside was finding about 200  images on my camera cards when I put them in the computer in the evening.  It has hurt my head getting them down to my regulation maximum but as the photography was not in the same class as the actual walks, the discarded 180 are no great loss.

The flying bird of the day is a grainy shot of the short eared owl taken as the light faded.

short eared owl

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