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Posts Tagged ‘gorse flowers’

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who visited National Maritime Museum, Greenwich to look at their new Polar gallery.

maritime museum

We kept the cold weather today but it came with a full covering of clouds so there were no glorious views to be had when I went for a morning walk.

I decided to check out a track that has been used for forestry work to see if if it was still walkable.  It turned out to be not too bad at all…

track from whitshiles

…and the woods beside the bottom part of the track hadn’t been felled.  When I came to the felled area….

felled wood at hillhad

…it was far enough away not to provide me with any problems.

I enjoyed a couple of bare trees as I climbed the hill.

bare tree above whitshiels (2)

bare tree above whitshiels

…and three of the pines which the tree fellers have left.  I admire the skill with which they clear an area leaving just a few selected trees still standing.

three pine trees

I was very surprised to see fresh molehills by the road when I got to it as the soil must be pretty thin and the it was hardened by frost as well as you can see from the icy moss nearby.

molehill and frozen moss

The tree felling brings all sorts of different views into play and I liked the wall snaking along the top of the little valley.  It has always been there of course, but with a solid background of uniform conifers, it wasn’t nearly so noticeable.

wall by felled wood

This big bridge for a little conduit has also come out of the gloom.

culvert bridge at donks quarry

The steep banks of the little valley don’t seem to have been a problem for either the original tree planters of the fellers.  I hope that the area will be replanted with deciduous trees in the weeks to come.

 

felling at hillhead

I left the road and walked across the lower slopes of Whita, passing these trees…

two bare trees

…and several flourishing gorse bushes…

three gorse bushes

…until I got to the golf course where I came upon three hardy golfers driving off the third tee.

january golfers

When I got home, I had time for a quick glance at the chaffinches…

two chaffinches

…who were out in slightly increased numbers today…

three chaffinches

…before it was time to drive off to Lockerbie and catch the train to go to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.

In a very upsetting reversal of the natural order of things, not only was the train on time but there were plenty of seats for everyone.  As the fare had gone up 25p this week, perhaps the railway company was taking customer satisfaction into account for once.

We had a very nice time playing with Matilda followed by a meal of pasta with a puttanesca sauce provided by Alistair, Matilda’s dad.

It was a calm evening so we walked back through the streets to the station and caught another punctual train home.

The light was very grey in the morning but there was just enough to catch a flying chaffinch of the day.

flying chaffinch

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Irving who found the wonderful double rainbow when he went to look at his sheep.

rainbows

We had such a sunny day here, that we were able to find a bit of a rainbow inside our house when a sunbeam glanced off a bevelled mirror edge and onto a closed shutter.

prism

Mrs Tootlepedal spotted it at exactly the right time because a minute or so later, it had disappeared as quickly as it had come.

The glorious sunshine came with freezing conditions and the temperature never got above 2°C and was as low as -4 in the evening on the road to Waterbeck for our concert.

I took advantage of the sunshine to go for a short walk in the morning in the hope of getting some snowy scenes.  It looked quite promising with a sprinkling of snow on Whita….

whita in snow

…and I walked up the hill in the hope of seeing more snow clad hills.  Sadly, the snow was thin and lacking sparkle.

trees in snow

Something about this snow covered dead branch beside the track appealed to me…

snowy twig

…but I was not tempted to sit for a while on the bench at Whita Well because the wind was exceedingly nippy.

snowy bench

I passed a gorse bush looking magnificent…

winter gorse

…but was disappointed when I got to a spot where I could look up the Ewes Valley.

Ewes in snow

For really snow capped hills, I had to peer into the distance up the Esk valley.

cows and snow

The cows did their best to console me by posing conveniently on the horizon of Castle Hill.

horizon cattle

Perhaps because I was a bit nervous about the concert in the evening and perhaps because the chilly winds had upset my asthma a bit, I was very tired by the time that I got home and did very little for the rest of the day apart from making a pot of soup and looking out of the kitchen window for a moment or two.

The light was unhelpful, being too shady or too bright but I was pleased to have a visit from a starling…

starling

…and a goldfinch fairly sparkled in the plum tree.

goldfinch

There were not as many birds as yesterday but a good number of chaffinches kept the feeders busy….

chaffinches

…and a robin made an appearance too.

robin

As usual, a greenfinch carried off the trophy for looking most disagreeable.

greenfinch

After an afternoon’s rest and a plate of Mrs Tootlepedal’s excellent fish pie, we went off to Waterbeck, taking Mike Taudevin with us for the Langholm Sings concert in the church there.

We had a varied programme of congregation carols, choir carols, sentimental songs, a selection of Abba hits, solo singers and readings so if the audience didn’t care for one thing, another thing soon came along.

There were more in the audience than in the choir, which is always a plus point, and as far as I can tell, the audience enjoyed the concert.  Apart from one piece where we weren’t quite as together as we should have been, we sang as well as we could expect so the choir enjoyed themselves too.

Now for a day of rest before our Carlisle choir concert on Sunday.

flying chaffinch

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