Today’s picture shows a rather selective burst of autumn colour seen by my daughter.
The weather here recently has remained very reasonable, except for the strong winds. Luckily for my plans, the wind had dropped this morning and I was feeling well enough for a tentative pedal with Dropscone. We set off round the morning run and my idea was to peel off and head for home after a few miles, leaving Dropscone to go round the rest of the circle by himself. As it turned out, Dropscone set such a forgiving pace that I was able to go round the whole twenty miles with him. This cheered me up immensely. I was even able to ignore some annoying drizzle that followed us round.
This was very satisfactory indeed and I can report that I felt no ill effects later in the day so I think that I can officially say that I am cured (though it might be better to wait to see how I feel tomorrow just in case).
On our return, I discovered that Dropscone had baked such an enormous pile of drop scones that I had to ring up Arthur and get him to come round to help dispose of them all. With the aid of some good coffee and fresh raspberry jam, we managed to scoff the lot with surprisingly little difficulty.
All in all, it was an excellent start to the day. To make things better, the rain had stopped by the time that we had finished our snack.
After lunch, I had a moment to walk round the garden….
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work in the afternoon and I went off to Longtown. I needed to buy a new track pump for the bicycles as the old one has started letting more air out of the tyres than it was putting in which is not helpful. I added a mini pump which will fit onto my speedy bike frame. It has a little gauge on it which is useful when you are inflating a tube after a puncture as it is difficlut to tell how much air these mini pumps have put in.
I combined the trip to the bike shop with some photograph opportunities. It was sunny when I set out and I was hoping for some autumn colour but in spite of some changse, the trees are staying obstinately green for the most part. I stopped at Gilnockie Bridge on my way down to Longtown and looked north and south over the bridge. The sun popped behind the clouds while I was there.
I took these two using the tripod but they didn’t look much different from this one which I took hand held with a lighter lens on board.
I parked the car in Longtown after I had been to the bike shop and walked along the banks of the Esk towards the ponds. The sun was shining brightly as I started my walk and the bridge over the Esk looked very fine.
By the time that I had got to the ponds, the sun was behind the clouds again….
…and it stayed there while I walked past the ponds….
…and only came out when I was beside the river on my way back.
The last two pictures were only taken half an hour apart but it felt like a different day.
As I walked along the river, I saw a large black bird swimming. My approach alarmed it and it took off.
I am pretty sure that it was a cormorant. It flapped up the river and settled down again and then played ‘dodge the photographer’ with me for the next ten minutes before turning and flying off over my head.
I like bridges in general but I like the bridge at Longtown in particular because it shows such a different aspect of itself as you walk towards it. Although it is a busy bridge with six arches, on a main road and sitting between the an industrial estate and the town itself, it might as well be in the heart of the country when you first see it.
It looks quite different as you get nearer. The sun was shining with great vigour by the time I got closer to it and it looked gorgeous.
I took a final close up.
I noticed a fisherman making good use of the bridge for comfortable fishing.
A duck nearby was doing some fishing of its own.
The whole visit to Longtown was most enjoyable in spite of both the cormorant and the sunshine playing hide and seek.
I made a loaf of bread when I got home and had time to look out of the kitchen window while i was doing it.
The goldfinches seem to have come out on top because the next time I looked, I saw this.
I was feeling very virtuous because I had taken the feeder to pieces in the morning and given it a thorough clean.
Mrs Tootlepedal came home from work and we had tea together before she went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a film and I went off to Carlisle with Susan to play with the recorder group for the first time for what seems like ages. We remembered how to play however and enjoyed a good evening of music both ancient and modern. Sandy and I had seen an impressive shooting star on our way home from the camera club last night and as it was a very clear night tonight, Susan and I kept our eyes out for another one but saw nothing.
Among the excitements of cormorants, swans, ducks and goldfinches, a traditional chaffinch still made the position of flying bird of the day his own.