Today’s picture comes from Carcassonne and was sent to me by my son Alistair and his wife Clare. They are visiting the area and were very excited to find that the actuality matched the picture on the box of a board game which they often play.
No cycling today on account of very tired legs after doing 100 miles in three days but I was consoled by the arrival of Dropscone complete with scones to go with the morning coffee. He had been round Waterbeck without me again and I must say that I am a bit of a failure as a cycling partner at the moment.
After he left with golf on his mind, I wandered out into the sunlit garden which by now was quite warm after a very chilly start to the day.
This small tortoiseshell butterfly found it pleasant enough to do a bit of basking. The other clump of Michaelmas daisies were positively glowing.
I heard a voice from the street asking if I was taking pictures for the blog and there, looking over the hedge, was occasional reader, Eric also enjoying the weather.
A blue tit came and sat quietly on the feeder pole while I was nearby.
Although I was not cycling, I didn’t want to waste the day so I turned a little more compost and then drove up to the moorland feeder station to see what birds were about there. I didn’t have to wait long before a woodpecker appeared.
Sadly, the positioning of the hide and the feeders means that even with the bright sun, I was shooting from sunlight into shadows and it was hard to get good pictures.
I enjoyed a house full of greenfinches…
…and a nicely varied seed feeder near the hide….
…but the most common birds about were chaffinches….
…which I can see just as well at home.
If not better.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some serious gardening and I turned a bit more of the compost (nearly finished) and started making holes with a fork in the lawn and filling them with sand. This is another tedious task but it pays off in aerating the grass roots and improving drainage.
Mrs Tootlepedal was surprised to find a new flower springing up in the vegetable garden.
There are still some sweet peas hanging on too.
It was such a nice day that Mrs Tootlepedal proposed an outing so I packed up the camera and we drove over the shoulder of Whita Hill and down into the Tarras valley. The upper stretches of the Tarras are really delightful and we followed it upstream from the bridge on the Copshaw road.
We stopped on a flat to admire the river and the view.
The cottage is reachable by a ford.
We drove on a little further and walked up the forest track through the now completely felled wood there. It gave us fine views on all sides.
Once again, it was a nearly windless day and it was very peaceful up in the hills and all this pleasure was gained at a cost of a six mile drive and a half mile walk. Good value. The drive back was into the low sun and was quite hard work.
I always like the sturdily built sheep folds on the hills round Langholm.
We made our way home in time for tea and then Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the choir and I went to Carlisle with Susan, who once again kindly did the driving, where we had an outstanding evening’s enjoyment with all the group present and playing well. Eeeh, we played some stuff.
We have been promised a sighting of the Aurora Borealis over night but I don’t expect to be awake at the right time even if it is visible over the top of our surrounding hills.
A home grown chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.