It was an absolutely gorgeous day but very cold. There was no morning cycling because the temperature didn’t get above 3º until after eleven o’clock. This gave me the chance to nip downstairs and get the camera and take a few shots of the flock. Through the magic of the photo editor, you can see an individual waxwing below. They are too far away on the top of the walnut tree for me to get a really good shot but the picture does give you an idea of what they are like. They didn’t stay long.
Arthur and Dropscone came round for morning coffee and Dropscone had baked some of his excellent drop scones instead of cycling. Mrs Tootlepedal returned after having her hair cut and joined us so it was a merry company that enjoyed a cup of High Mountain coffee which had been purchased yesterday in Carlisle. During the conversation, Arthur and Mrs Tootlepedal arranged to swap azaleas from the golf course to our garden and vice versa as the size and colour would apparently be more suitable in their new positions than the old.
When our visitors had left, I set about making minestrone soup. This is a laborious business and I didn’t have my lunch until 1.30. While I was having lunch, a neighbour rang up to ask if I had seen the flock of waxwings on the walnut tree. They had obviously come back again but by the time I looked out of the window, they had disappeared again. Shortly after lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal set out for a walk round the Kernigal and I got the bike out for a trip up the Wauchope Road to the Grange Quarry and back. This is a twenty mile round trip and I chose it because the wind would be behind me coming back, which it was.
It was very sunny when I set off but at the turning point, a miserable cloud came up. It was lying exactly above the road. To each side, as well as behind and in front, I could see the sun but I was cycling in a chilly gloom.
Coming up to Callister, I could see snow on Skiddaw to my right, and the sun glinting on a glimpse of Solway behind me between the dark cloud and the deep shadow.
When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and we were just having a warming cup of tea when a few waxwings reappeared. I rushed out into the road to try to get closer to them and they obligingly stayed put for a while.
The waxwings were not the only birds in the garden and because the light was so good, I could get a fair shot of a blackbird and I tried to get some action shots of sparrows as well.
When I had finished this bout of photography, we went to see how the worms were doing in the cold. They seem to be surviving and they certainly have produced a vast amount of worm pee which we drew off into a bucket and which will act as an excellent fertiliser when the time comes. It has to be heavily diluted, it is so powerful.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to her pantomime rehearsal and I spent some time writing this blog. I leave you with one of the last leaves of Autumn on the plum tree, swaying gently in the sun this morning.