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Posts Tagged ‘heron’

Today’s guest picture comes from Gunta and shows that although her siskins on the west coast of the USA are not quite the same as ours, they do behave in a similar manner.

pine_siskins-24

We had a very windy day here today and there was frequent rain too, so Sandy did well to find a dry moment to walk down and have coffee with us.  His luck didn’t last though and I had to drive him back home through a downpour.

While we were drinking coffee, we were entertained by the desperate efforts of a jackdaw to hang onto a walnut tree twig in the stiff wind.

jackdaw flapping

(I think it is a jackdaw, it might be a crow.)

When I came back from taking Sandy home, it was time to take down the Christmas decorations as it was Twelfth Night today.  The Christmas tree, cleared of its tinsel and lights, was put out to get used to being outside again.   It will go back into a bed when the weather is better.  It is lurking in the shelter of the wheelie bin to protect it from the wind.

christmas tree outside

I went back in and watched the birds.

A robin was checking to see whether there was anything interesting up there.

robin peering

Perhaps it was counting goldfinches.

four goldfinches

I was happy to see any birds in the wind and rain but it was a rare moment when all the perches were in use on the feeder.

two siskins two goldfinches

And with the wind rocking the boat, birds had to hold on tight down here too.

goldfinch hanging on

It was a day for doing things indoors so I made some leek and potato soup for lunch and after lunch, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  Then I practised some choir songs.  We are going to have to learn songs off by heart so an early start is essential for me as I find retaining words and music very difficult.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that there won’t be clapping too.

Mrs Tootlepedal bravely cycled off to the shops and when she returned, she reported that the rain had stopped so I put on my new coat and took it out for a walk.

There were a lot of ducks about.  This bold bunch were swimming in the Esk through the waves below the Town Bridge…

esk ducks rough

…while this squad sailed in smoother waters nearer the bank.

esk ducks smooth

I crossed the bridge and found even more ducks resting on the banks of the Ewes Water.

kilngreen duck bankers

The light had got very gloomy by this time so I tried to sneak past the ducks without disturbing them.

I was spotted though.

white duck hiding

On the far back of the river, a familiar figure stood guard.

heron

At this point, the rain started again and got steadily heavier, giving my new coat a good test which it passed with flying colours.

The rain then stopped before I got home so I was quite dry when I joined Mrs Tootlepedal and our friend Mike, whose tea radar was once again finely honed, for a refreshing cup and some shortbread.

After Mike had gone, my flute pupil Luke turned up and we had fun playing.  The persistently damp weather doesn’t do our breathing any favours and we ran out of puff from time to time, but we did our best.

Because of the lack of colour in recent posts, I thought that I should take advantage of the Christmas season to put in two cut flower pictures, the first a gift from Clare and Alistair which is lasting well…

christmas flowers

…and the second a bunch of Alstroemeria which Mrs Tootlepedal bought to brighten the house.  They have repaid the purchase price handsomely.

alstroemeria

Flying birds were at  a premium in the gloom today and this was my best effort.

flying goldfinch

It is a mark of what the day was like that it almost seemed brighter after dark when the rain and wind subsided than it had been during the day.  The forecast is for tomorrow to be even worse .

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Today’s guest picture is another of Paul’s Lake District delights.  Knowing that I like bridges, he sent me this one of a the bridge at Rosthwaite in Borrowdale.

Rosthwaite in Borrowdale used

We had a chilly day here, but as it was above freezing and dry, we weren’t complaining.  I thought that it was too cold for cycling though and I spent an idle morning indoors.  I didn’t shift myself until Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her annual embroiderers’ lunch.

I had a couple of slices of bread and marmalade for my own lunch and set out for a walk.  There was a brisk wind blowing when I got out of the shelter of the town that made my decision to avoid cycling feel sensible.

I am trying to get a bit fitter as far as walking goes so I set off down the track beside the river at a good speed and didn’t stop for a mile.

I wasn’t going to stop when I got to Skippers Bridge but a glance over the parapet revealed an old friend standing beside the river, possibly looking at the same turbulent little cascade that I like.

heron at skipeprs

I crossed the bridge and walked along the road on the other side of the river, still heading downstream, until I left the river and walked up the hill towards the bird hide.

As always, walls and fence posts were rich with things to look at.

moss and lichen

This wall in particular is a favourite of mine as it is covered in moss and lichen…

mossy wall

…and ferns.  The ferns were covered in sporangia.

ferns on wall

I didn’t go as far up the road as the bird hide, but turned off at Broomholmshiels to head back home.

A bare tree caught my eye, and on this occasion, I didn’t mind the power lines behind it as they would be a help to me later on.

tree and power lines

Two sheep checked on my progress.

two blackfaced sheep

Normally, if I walk back to the town from Broomholmshiels, I  take a track that runs though oak and birch woods to the Round House, but there has been a lot of recent maintenance work on the pylons in our area and a new road has been built to give access to one of them.

You can see the woods for my usual route on the left in this picture.  I followed the new road up the hill to the right.new pylon track

On the open hill, the wind was very nippy and I looked around for a hint of sunshine.  it was brighter over there behind the trees….

bare trees broomholm track

…and there was a definite spot of sunshine straight ahead…

patch of sun

…but it remained grey where I was walking.  The new road soon ran out, and I followed the line of pylons on a well trodden walking path through the bracken.

path to pylon

It was refreshing to mind and soul to be out on the hill with good views and good conditions underfoot.  I was particularly pleased not to be over there….

stormy weather

…where they might have had sun but it looked as though there was a heavy rain shower too.

I lost track of the path for a while and found myself ploughing through heather and bracken for a few hundred yards.  This was hard going so I was happy when the town came into sight and gave me an excuse to stop and take a picture.

Langholm from pylon track

I caught up with the path again when I got to the stile over the wall at the quarries.  This stile is always welcome as not only it is a good photo opportunity, but it also signals that it is all downhill to get home from here.

stile on whita wall

Although it was a grey day, my walk wasn’t entirely devoid of colour as there was a mass of haws on the hawthorns near the quarry…

 

hawthorns on Whita

…and a good set of flowers on the gorse near the golf course.

gorse near golf course

I walked down the golf course passing the fifth green where the wind was bending the flagpole and extending the flag.

fifth green flag

I had taken enough pictures by now so I concentrated on not slipping over as I walked down the steep hill back into town and kept my camera in my pocket until I got to the Kirk Bridge where the Wauhope Water joins the Esk.

A year ago, this scene would have looked very different with all the water going under the left hand arch but a recent flood altered the deposition of the gravel and now both arches enjoy a share of the flow but with a good gravel bank dividing the water once it is through the bridge.

kirk brig

I had a walk round the garden when I got back and found that the St John’s Wort in the vegetable garden still has a good crop of berries on it.  I read that the berries are fleshy and not attractive to birds until they split and reveal the seeds.

st johns wort berries

When I went into the house, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had come back from her lunch and was watching horse racing on the telly so I sat down and watched a few races with her.

I was very pleased to find when I checked that I had walked five miles, some of it over rough ground and with quite a lot of uphill work in it too.  I had taken more or less exactly two hours.  This may not sound very far or fast, but considering that I was having quite a lot of difficulty in walking at all in the early months of the year because of sore feet, this was a great improvement.  Better shoes, good insoles and a regular routine of exercises have all helped the turn around.

All the same, I was quite tired and happily spent the rest of the afternoon and evening doing nothing more adventurous than cooking corn beef hash for tea and watching the final of Strictly Come Dancing with Mrs Tootlepedal.

What with one thing and another, I was never at the right place at the right time to catch a flying bird today and there were very few birds about anyway, so this fluffy greenfinch is standing in for the flying bird of the day today.

greenfinch

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Today’s guest picture is another from Alison and Mike Tinker’s New Zealand visit.  As well as bridges, they have flowers over there too.

kowhai flower

I try to keep off politics in this blog, but I cannot hide the fact that the English results of our general election were a disappointment to me and will lead us into a cloudy future.  Our very unfair first past the post voting system meant that in the UK, the conservatives got a thumping majority in parliament with about 45% of the vote and in Scotland the SNP won nearly all the seats with roughly the same percentage of the vote.  This is ridiculous on both counts.  The result is that Boris Johnson can claim a ringing endorsement for leaving the EU with a percentage vote that was much smaller than the winning margin in the actual EU referendum and which would have seen Brexit defeated and Nicola Sturgeon can claim a ringing endorsement for a second referendum on independence with exactly the same share of the vote with which the nationalists lost that first independence referendum.   I weep.

Under the circumstances, I was happy to have a busy day to keep my mind off things, starting with coffee and scones with Dropscone.  It is fair to say that he was probably more satisfied with the overall election result than I was.

When he left, I took a quick look at the feeder and was happy to see any visitors at all as a cat had earlier made a determined, but luckily unavailing, assault on our birds.  I do not subscribe to the cats’ protection league.  If there was a league for protection from cats, I would subscribe to that.

bright goldfinch

A rare sparrow turned up to try out a fat ball…

sparrow on fat ball

…and the robin posed on the hedge.

robin on hedge

It was fine but chilly at 3 degrees C so I went for a short three bridges walk, hoping that it might warm  up a bit later on.

Among the black headed gulls at the Kilngreen, I spotted this larger juvenile.  I can’t tell what sort of gull it is and would welcome advice from knowledgeable readers.

young gull

I can recognise a heron though and I found Mr Grumpy looking unusually alert.  I thought that I was going to get a flying heron of the day shot for a moment but he was just stretching his wings and soon subsided unto a characteristic pose.

heron panel

I paused on the Sawmill Bridge to look for dippers.  I didn’t see any but I was impressed that I was on the bridge at exactly the right time to be able to photograph its shadow falling on the water below (and with my shadow just showing  on the parapet.)

sawmill brig shadow

The birch trees on the Lodge Walks are almost all bare now but the hornbeams…

lodge walks near shortest day

…still have a lot of keys attached.

hornbeam

The sun picked out a pine on the Castleholm…

sunlit pine

…and I was happy to see signs of things to come as I walked back along the path to the Jubilee Bridge.

bud and catkin december

I crossed the bridge and walked along the river bank behind the school where there were berries to be seen in abundance.  These are yew…

yew berries

…and this is a very productive snowberry bush.

snow berries

Its white berries made a contrast with some pink ones further down the bank.

snowberry panel

I bought a couple of meat pies from the butcher’s van beside the Buccleuch Centre and took them home where Mrs Tootlepedal and I ate them for lunch.

Fortified by my pie, I checked the thermometer and seeing that it had crept up to 4 degrees, I wrapped up and went out for a short cycle ride.

When the sun was out, it was lovely…

cleuchfoot road

…but some clouds came up from behind me and the catching the sun became a bit of a here and there affair.  I was here and the sun was mostly over there…

distant sun on hills

…so it got a bit chilly and I settled for fifteen miles in case it started to freeze.  I was encouraged to go home when I was passed by the council gritting lorry which sprayed me liberally with grit.  I took the hint.

I saw two mushrooms on my way, one in the sky…

mushroom cliud

…and the other with some friends beside the road.

fungus by wauchope road

I didn’t dilly dally when I stopped cycling and it wasn’t long before Mrs Tootlepedal and I were heading down to Longtown to pick up our new spectacles.  When we had collected them, we headed for Gretna and purchased some warm socks and gloves for the season.

It was dark by the time that we got home.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for their traditional Friday evening visit and Mrs Tootlepedal cracked open a bottle of reasonably priced fizzy wine with which we we raised a toast to an uncertain future.

Alison and I then improved the day by playing some enjoyable music.

While I was at the Kilngreen on my walk, I tried to catch a flying bird of the day by tracking a gull with my pocket camera.  It nearly worked.

flying gull just

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Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony and the kingdom of everlasting sunshine, East Wemyss.  If you look closely, you might see a seal on the rock in the foreground and perhaps a cormorant too.

wemyss seascape

After our recent sunny spell, we went back to rather grey and gloomy today, but the silver lining in the clouds was a rise in the temperature to above zero.  It was a curious day because in spite of the higher temperature, the dampness in the air made it feel colder and rawer than the recent much colder but drier days.

And although the thermometer had only gone up to two degrees, by lunchtime the roads and paths were miraculously cleared of frost and ice.

It was still slippery in spots in the morning so Mrs Tootlepedal had to take care when she cycled off to a meeting about the community land buy out and I had to go cannily when I cycled to our ex-corner shop for milk and a cauliflower.

I got back safely though and was able to welcome a determined goldfinch to the feeder.

goldfinch december

It stood its ground while chaffinches circled around.

busy feeder

We seem to have a pair of dunnocks in the garden at the moment, this one…

one of dunnock pair

…and this one.

other of dunnock pair

I think they must be a pair becuase I read that they are quite fractious birds and if it was two males, then they would be trying to chase each other away.

I couldn’t find any reliable guide to tell me how to distinguish a male from a female.

A blackbird made a face at me when I asked it to pose prettily.

blackbird making facw

I have had a sore back and have not been sleeping quite as well as I would wish so I had a very quiet morning, doing nothing more active than my visit to the shop and making some dull soup for lunch.  A toasted tea cake with my coffee kept me cheerful though.
(If you like tea cakes, I can thoroughly recommend Dan Lepard’s Top Tea Cake recipe from his book ‘Short and Sweet’.  His kneading method is brilliant for people with arthritic hands)

After a bowl of the dull soup (which was enhanced by some onion gravy granules to good effect), I went off for a walk.  Although I enjoy walking up hills, coming down them again doesn’t suit my feet at the moment so I stuck to the flat today, and did an extended three bridges.

I had it in mind to take a portrait of the handsome white duck that hangs about with the mallards at the Kilngreen if it was there.

It was there but it wasn’t co-operating.

diving white duck

However, after some preparatory preening…

preening white duck

…it finally posed for a portrait.

posing white duck

Mr Grumpy was not amused to find that he wasn’t the star of the show today.

grumpy heron

Then I focussed on trees.

This one looks green enough but the green is entirely moss and lichen with not a leaf in sight…

castleholm mossy tree

…whereas this one still had a great many leaves hanging on.

castleholm leafy tree

My final one, standing between the pheasant rearing houses, had neither moss nor leaves.

pheasant pen tree

Although there was no ice or white frost left on the track that I was walking along, there was still plenty to be seen on the branches of trees that had not seen the sun lately…

frosty branches

…and this little tree trunk looked as though it had been iced by a pâtissier

iced gtree trunk

…and a fungus beside the path was fully iced too.  Very curious.

iced fungus

I had thought that going along this track might put me in danger of slipping and falling but as it was, I could stride out with some confidence.  This was lucky because it was remarkably raw and I didn’t stop a lot for pictures, although hair ice is always a temptation.

haor ice Lodge

As I got near home, I could see that Whita had retained its own little cloud for the afternoon…

Whita in low cloud

…with the monument peeping shyly through.

monument in low cloud

On my way past his house, I called in at Mike Tinker’s to collect some photographs which he had been given to pass on to the Archive Group, and he returned the compliment an hour later when he joined Mrs Tootlepedal and me for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake. (Tea cakes have a habit of mysteriously disappearing.  I made twelve on Saturday and the last one is going to a good home as I write this.)

Then Luke came round and we played a sonata by Hadyn and worked at a little Bach partita.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a screening from the Old Vic of a performance by the National Theatre of Present Laughter by Noel Coward .  She enjoyed it thoroughly and I must say that this new idea of screening these London plays nationally is a very good one.

I found several moments during the day to practise choir songs but was left with a strong feeling that more practice is still needed.

The temperature is due to rise a little more tomorrow, so the prospect of a bicycle ride may not be too far off.

A chaffinch is the flying bird of the day again.

flying chaffinch

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from Tony on a walk in East Wemyss, the land of eternal sunshine.

east wemyss sunset

Our weather got warmer today but there was not a hint of sunshine here as Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled to church to hear our potential new minister preach a sermon before the congregation voted on whether to accept his nomination for the position.

There was a good turnout and the choir was in the middle of singing an anthem when the lights suddenly went out.  We battled on gamely, peering at the music in the ecclesiastical gloom but it was all in vain because a few seconds later the organ gave up as its wind ran out with a sigh.

With great presence of mind, our organist zipped downstairs from the gallery and accompanied the last hymn of the service from a handy upright piano near the lectern.

Was it an omen?  We don’t know because the queue of church members to vote was so long that we had to leave long before the result was announced.

We got home in time for a cup of coffee before taking my stepmother Patricia for a final walk before she caught the train home.

Although it hasn’t rained a lot lately, the lack of sun has meant that things are generally rather damp and we had to mind our heads when walking under dangling conifer branches.

dripping conifet

We walked up the river to the Duchess Bridge…

duchess bridge through mossy tree

…where Patricia and Mrs Tootlepedal paused to check on the river below.

pat and Mrs t on duchess bridge

We crossed the bridge and I noted a very pale fungus beside the Lodge Walks…

white fungus

…down which we walked  towards the Sawmill Brig…

walkers on lodge walks

…noting a late leafy tree…

late autumn leaves lodge walks

…and a profusion of bright red berries at the gate…

red berries lodge walks

…before we got to the bridge and leaned over it in the hope of seeing a dipper or two.

There were no dippers to be seen today so I took a picture, staring straight down at the water below, of a sapling growing out of the cutwater of the bridge.

tree on butress sawmill brig

We introduced Patricia to Mr Grumpy who was standing on one leg today…

heron

…and noted a rook who was taking advantage of the free parking provided by our local authority on the Kilngreen.

rook parking

Looking down the High Street as we got to the Town Bridge, we could see the fine Christmas tree, freshly installed in front of the Town Hall.

town christmas tree 2019

As you can see from the Town hall clock, it was nearly one o’clock and we had time for a bowl of Mrs Tootlepedal’s leek and potato soup before driving off to Carlisle where we put Patricia on to the London train and then, having waved her goodbye, we went on to a practice with the Carlisle Community choir.

We worked hard at the practice as we have a concert in two weeks and by the time that we got home, we were ready for a sit down.  It has been a couple of busy weeks.

I didn’t have a chance to catch a flying bird at the feeder today so a rook making use of a bench on the Kilngreen is standing in for the flying bird of the day.

rook on becnh

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Today’s guest picture shows a very unusual public library.  Mary Jo took the picture and it show her library.  Standing at her gate end, it does a surprising amount of lending.

Mary Jo's Library

Although the temperature here was above freezing all day today, it wasn’t much above freezing.  As a result, after preparing a beef stew for the slow cooker, I put in half an hour on Mrs Tootlepedal’s exercise bike to get my legs turning over.  I have had a period of cycling inaction recently due to cold weather and trips to various cities.

Unfortunately, the bike doesn’t suit my build or my pedalling  style so I will have to go back to pedalling on my old road bike in the  cold and gloom of the garage if the weather stays cold.  It was good pedalling in the warmth and watching the telly but as any cyclist will know, pedalling with the wrong set up can lead to serious damage to joints so out in the cold it will have to be.

After I had cycled, I checked on the birds.  The rise in temperature had brought them back to the feeder…

chaffinch and goldfinch

…and there were plenty of birds flying in…

chaffinch arriving

…and flying out again as the perches got crowded.

goldfinches leaving

A couple of goldfinches looked disapprovingly at an incoming chaffinch…

chaffinch and suspicous goldfinches

…but the arrival of a greenfinch drove one goldfinch mad…

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 1

…and for a while, it attacked the greenfinch from all sides.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 2

Greenfinches are pretty imperturbable though, and this one saw off the flurry of attacks with great aplomb.

greenfinch annoying a goldfinch 3

Then I made a tarte tatin and some bread in the bread machine and while I was waiting for them to mature, I went out for a quick walk.

It was cold and grey but once again, the wind was light so it wasn’t too bad a day for a stroll.  I was pushed for time so I didn’t hang about too much taking pictures.

A couple of gulls at the meeting of the waters caught my eye…

two blacxk headed gulls

…and looking up I could their friends sitting on the fence posts on the Castleholm.

gulls on posts

I said good afternoon to Mr Grumpy…

heron

..and walked over the sawmill Brig.  The leaves are gone from almost all the trees now…

bare trees on bank

…although the hornbeams on the Lodge walks still have a little colour left.

hornbeam

With the leaves gone, it is moss that is adding colour to many of the trees…

mossy tree branch

…and a spread of fungus was to be seen on the end of a felled tree beside the path.

fungus on tree end

A visit from my stepmother Patricia was the reason for all the cooking and for the slight rush on my walk.  When I got back from my outing, we went off to Carlisle to collect her from the train.  We managed to fit in a visit to a recycling point and a supermarket before we met her at the station so it was a well planned occasion.

Patricia’s train arrived bang on time and we carried her safely back home with us where she enjoyed the beef stew for her evening meal.

After the meal, I sneaked out for a practice with the Langholm choir as our concert is coming up quite soon and then we had the tarte tatin for our supper when I got back.

The temperature is due to keep rising over the next two days and the sun may even shine, so I hope that we will be able to show Patricia some of our surrounding countryside while she is here.

The flying bird of the day is a questing chaffinch, wondering whether the seed round the other side of the feeder is any better than the stuff on this side.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is another from Mary Jo.  This one is from Manitoba and shows a tree that took to autumn in stages.

Mary Jo's tree

We were greeted by frosty weather when we got up today, but once again it was dry so we weren’t complaining too much.  It was too cold for cycling and I was very happy to welcome Dropscone for coffee and scones.  He had been away for a golfing weekend having received a bargain offer from a hotel chain that was too good to resist.

When he left, I spent a little time watching the birds.  Once again,there were plenty to watch, especially goldfinches.

busy feeder goldfinches

In fact the number of goldfinches led to some slight altercations.

goldfinches action

I managed to while away the rest of the morning until midday without doing anything of note but then I thought that in spite of still being pretty chilly, it might be the time to take my new camera out for a walk.  It was rather grey but the camera was able to recognise one old friend on the near side of the river…

gull with new camera

…though the gloomy conditions were almost too much for it when it came to a goosander on the far side of the Esk.

goosander out of range

It had no trouble at all with another old friend once I had crossed the river by the Town Bridge.

heron

I crossed the Sawmill Brig and took the upper track to the North Lodge.

The leaves are in three minds about autumn.  These ones on a beech hedge are only just turning…

leaf turning

…while a hundred yards or so further along my walk, there were only a few left on the trees.

Pathhead tarck

I interrupted a sheep having its lunch while I was on this section of track.

sheep having lunch

I noticed that the light seemed to be getting better and as I walked on, the sun came out. The effect was quite magical.

Holmhead wood

It wasn’t just the leaves that were affected by the sun.  When I got to the North Lodge, where  had intended to turn and head for home, the splendid view up the valley and a bit of warmth on my back persuaded me to give my feet a good test and I continued up the Longfauld track.

voew from north lodge

Not long ago, this track was lined with tall conifers on both sides and there were no views.  Now the felling of the woods has transformed the walk and there are fine views to be had…

golf and bauchle hill

…and the track is light and airy.

longfauld tarck

The track follows the east bank of the Esk and I could look across the river and see the road that I would take on my way home on the other side.

 

 

 

At the end of the track, kindly people, foreseeing the needs of elderly walkers, have placed a handy bench upon which I paused for a while…

seat above potholm

…before following the road downhill…

track down to potholm

…to the river which I crossed by Potholm Bridge.

potholm brodge

There was very little wind and it felt pleasantly warm in the sunshine as I ambled along the road, admiring trees as I went.

The trees came in small and neat…

tree above milnholm road

…and bigger and untidy.

tree at breconwrae

I liked both.

By the time that I had got to the end of the road, the sun had sunk behind the hill even though it was still early afternoon, so I kept my camera in my pocket for the most part of the last mile of my walk.

I did take it out for the door in a wall.  Time has passed this door by…

gate at breckonwrae

…and so did I.

There is now a convenient gap in the wall a few yards further on and I used this to gain access to the woodland path that took me back to Langholm.

My last picture is of one of the many little culverts which help to keep the paths round here in good condition for walkers.

culvert near duchess bridge

I got home in a very contented frame of mind.  Both the camera and my feet had behaved well.  I had walked about five and a half miles, my longest distance for some months.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day with a business meeting over lunch followed by a visit to the hairdresser.  She got home again in time to welcome our friends Mike and Alison for a cup to tea to celebrate their return from several weeks visiting family in New Zealand.

They were still recovering from jet lag but we had a good conversation about their travels.

I hope to be able to recommence playing Friday evening sonatas with Alison soon.

In the evening, I went off to sing with the Langholm choir.  I enjoyed that too so all in all, it has been  a very good day.

The flying bird of the day is a horizontal goldfinch emerging from behind a plant.

flying goldfinch

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