Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. It shows a member of his walking group wondering if there is a possible chance of a lift home.
We had another chilly, grey morning here, with the temperature at three degrees when I got up for breakfast. Once again we were in no hurry to get out, though Mrs Tootlepedal and I both made short shopping excursions. We waited until after we had had coffee with our neighbour Margaret before venturing into the garden.
I was in optimistic mood and when I saw one or two surviving dahlias . . .
I hoped for the best. Mrs Tootlepedal is more realistic though, and she saw all the dead and dying dahlias, and very soon a lot of them were in the wheelbarrow.
It was very sad to see the dahlias and other flowers going over after they have given us such good value, but even I realise that there comes a time when things are definitely over..
Still, there are other flowers that have survived the cold . . .
. . . and when I looked carefully, I could find quite a few more.
It was hard to miss the big Michaelmas daisies . . .
. . . and the Lemon Queen . . .
. . . and as the weather is set to warm up a bit, they should be with us for a bit yet. In fact, our cold spell only lasted for two days, and as I write this in the evening, it is warmer now than it has been at any time today.
When we went back in, I had another go at making a tarte tatin.
While the tarte tatin was cooking, I spent a moment looking at the birds. I noticed there was a tendency for the birds to stand up straighter as time went on.
A goldfinch was looking so severe that a chaffinch was in two minds as to whether to venture any closer to the feeder.
Then I got the tarte out of the oven. I left Mrs Tootlepedal to get it out of the tatin pan when it had cooled, while I went out for a cycle ride down to Canonbie and back. It was still pretty cool, so I had to wrap up well.
It was calm, but it was very gloomy, so I pedalled along without stopping to take any pictures until I got to my half way point approaching the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass.
I had hoped that the two cold nights might have brought about a change in colour in the trees, but in truth, it was not much different from the last time I was out on my bike.
I did see one or two hints on my way back up to Langholm from Canonbie . . .
. . . but they were only hints.
When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal in full Attila the Gardener mode, and where there had been dazzling dahlias, there were now only bare beds.
I shed a tear.
The dahlias may have gone but the slime mold is popping up all over the vegetable garden.
I took pictures of two more floral survivors. . .
. . . and went in to see how the tarte tatin had turned out.
It turned out that Mrs Tootlepedal had turned it out very neatly.
It went down well with some cream for afters at our evening meal.
According to the forecast, we are in for a few days of warmer wetter weather, so I may get to try out some new gaiters which I bought after getting very wet socks on the guided Tour of the Moor last weekend.
The flying bird of the gloomy day is a blue tit.