Big news

Today’s picture shows the walnut tree bereft of leaves.  It is always the last to come into leaf and this year it has been the first to lose them too.

bare walnut

After the excitement of fetching granny yesterday, there was a general lie in today.  We didn’t miss much, as it was another drizzly morning.  The winter competition has started at the golf club but I had no enthusiasm for paddling around in a bog so I didn’t play.  The only bright spot was this robin perched on a cane.

robin (2)

I spent the morning doing occasional useful tasks like making coffee and soup but the main labour was putting  a week of the E&L into the database.  In a complete break with the journalistic traditions of Langholm, this edition of the paper (2nd March 1881) was absolutely chock full of news and it took me ages to type all the entries in.

By the time we sat down to a late lunch, I had completed the task and the lentil soup and croutons went down very well.  It was still drizzling outside.

bluetit and rain
A bluetit contemplates the weather

The sparrows were taking a lunch break somewhere else which allowed a chaffinch to join the blue tit for a nibble.

chaffinch and bluetit
I like the concentrated work the blue tit is putting in.

It was pleasantly warm and the drizzle seemed to be getting lighter so I got out the slow bike, wrapped myself up well and set out up the Wauchope road.  The ladies went off to the reasonably priced retail outlets at Gretna Gateway to see if there was anything to buy there.

As I looked back from above Wauchope Schoolhouse, this shot summed up the day so far.

looking back

Within half a mile though, the weather took a turn for the better and a watery sun even came out for a while.  There was a stiff breeze as usual and pushing into it was hard work on the slow bike.  It gave me time to look around and I admired the fortitude of this tree, hanging on to a steep hill near Crawthat.

Crawthat tree

I was heading for Grange Quarry which is at the ten mile point.  They have certainly carved away the hill here. I liked their mini stonehenge at the gate.

Grange Quarry

In my leisurely mood, it took me almost exactly an hour to cycle the outward ten miles and I was pleased to turn for home with the wind behind. I hadn’t realised how strong it was until I found myself flying along the road home with little effort required.  It took me 38 minutes of cycling to get home.

The low cloud had completely lifted off the hills by now.

Looking towards Kirtlehead
Looking towards Kirtlehead

The usual slog up the back of Callister was a doddle with the wind behind and I paused on the way down the other side to show this contrast to the weather on the way out.  For some reason, everything was really clear and the light was very striking for such a cloudy day.  I wished that I had brought my good camera with me.

View from Callister

I stopped at Bessie Bell’s to get a flavour of the water going down the streams today.

Wauchope at Bessie Bell's

Although the ground is now very soggy after the wet weather, the rivers and streams have not filled up as much as I would have expected.  I suppose the rain has not been absolutely continuous which has let the rivers drain but there has been very little sunny, warm weather to dry the ground out.  When I got back it was still warm and dry so I spiked and dressed the third quarter of the front lawn.  The intermittent rain has been very good at washing the sand into the spike holes.

Mrs Tootlepedal and Granny returned from Gretna without having found the killer purchase.  Added to that, the weather in Gretna had been persistently rainy while they were there so they were not as totally cheerful as they might have been. I was though, as it was plain that I had been very lucky with my weather only a few miles away from where they were.

We got a second excellent meal from the chicken of last night so an unpromising day turned out really well in the end.

The coal tits who visit us are the smallest birds in the garden.  They are tiny and very nippy. I have been trying to get a picture of one in flight and I stood and watched this one in the plum tree for some time, camera at the ready…

coal tit in plum tree

…but it was too quick for me when it flew off and I missed it. Dash.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

4 thoughts on “Big news

  1. Great to see coal tits in your garden, I used to see them often when I was a boy, and occasionally I’ve seen them here in our back garden, but not for the last couple of years. When I think of all the variety I used to see when I was a lad it depresses me, whitethroats, blackcaps, bullfinches, green finches…. the list goes on and on. It is very sad that we seem to have lost so many.

    1. We have a good supply of birds but not as many different species as I would like. Friends who live on the edge of the town get a fuller selection though. Thank you for commenting.

    1. For some reason the visibility seems to have got much clearer than it has been all summer. It is just the way of things that this should have happened as the light is getting worse. I love the autumn shades too.

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