Autumn creeping in

Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary and shows some regal pelicans in a royal park in London.  I’m glad that I don’t have to feed them.  The queen can probably afford it.


Mrs Tootlepedal had another really early start to make breakfast for our guests but I wasn’t able to have a long lie in as I had to get up and go to get a routine blood test straight after breakfast.  It was drizzling gently as I walked through to the Health Centre so I was quite happy to miss my morning ride.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Hawick to get her embroidery trophy engraved and she combined that with a little shopping.   I stayed at home and put a week of the newspaper index into the database.  This was not before time as I am well behind again after a week or two when I did little or nothing.

I didn’t look out of the window until lunchtime but at least it had brightened up a bit by then.

blue tit
A blue tit enjoying the drier spell.

Sandy rang and suggested an outing as Wednesdays are his day off and we agreed to meet in the early afternoon.  The recent damp weather has been quite warm and the grass is still growing so while i was waiting for him,  I dragged the mower out and gave the middle lawn a cut.  I left a lot of muddy spots but I don’t like to let the grass get too long even at this time of year.

While I was out, I took the camera for a quick walk round the garden.

colour in October
Some things are still pretty bright.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Hawick and Sandy and I went off to see if there were any birds at the Moorland Feeders.  We stopped on the way to admire some autumn colour at Broomholm.



There is not much red or orange to be seen but there is plenty of golden yellowy green.  The leaves are changing more each day.

The bird feeders were rather disappointing.  There were quite a few birds feeding when we arrived but something, most probably a hawk of some kind, disturbed them when we sitting down and we waited for quite some time but only saw one or two birds…


…one of which was a woodpecker which clung motionless to a tree trunk for many minutes.   There was a brisk and chilly wind blowing and sitting there not watching birds soon lost its appeal and after a look at the impressive cloudscape over Tinnis …


…we moved on.

We were expecting to have to dodge showers but the day stayed dry and the sun came out from time to time.  We tried to be at a suitable spot for a shot when it came out but we weren’t always successful.  We made a short circular tour down to Hollows Bridge and back by Irvine House and the old A7.   We had gone out to take pictures and here are a few of the results.

Hollows Bridge
A lone blazing tree at the Hollows
Hollows Bridge
Looking the other way from the bridge
Irving house
Irvine House

For those interested in these things, I took three shots of Irvine House at different exposures and combined them into a single image using an HDR add on to my photo editor.   This meant that the foreground trees, the house itself and the hill behind it are all reasonably well exposed which would have been impossible otherwise.  Considering that I was shooting with the camera in my hand and not on a tripod, I was very pleased with the result.

We drove on the the part of the old road which is now a cycle route.

cycle route
I always expect to see Evel Knievel leaping over parked cars when I see that sign.

This is part of the morning run which Dropscone and I cycle round on many occasions.

Cycle route
The old road meets the new road. Cyclists squeeze through a narrow gap at the end.

The views at that part of the river were very fine.

River esk
Looking downstream
River esk
Looking across the water
River esk
Looking up river from the bottom of some fishermen’s steps.

We  arrived home just in nice time for a cup of tea.

Sandy has posted his pictures from the jaunt on his blog and if you want to see a real photographer at work, click here.

The trouble with taking a lot of pictures is that you have to spend a lot of time looking through them and throwing the duds away.  Then you have to spend more time wondering which of three similar shots you should use and then when you find that you still have far too many, you have to throw a lot more away.  All this takes time so I didn’t have much time to stare out of the window in the evening sunshine as the light is going earlier all the time.  I did take one chaffinch shot.  I liked the shape the bird had made as it landed but it was rather gloomy so I messed it around with a filter on the editor.

filtered chaffinch

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to our choir where we are working hard on some quite difficult Christmas music for two concerts we are going to give in December.  December seems quite a long way off at the moment but when you count the number of practices left, it suddenly seems ominously close.  Still, we get better every week so we haven’t lost hope yet.

The flying bird of the day was a chaffinch caught in the middle of some morning rain.

flying chaffinch








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Autumn creeping in

  1. E The HDR photo is great! I wanted to learn to do that, but don’t think it possible with my camera. Is your HDR add on in the camera, or elsewhere?

    BTW, I don’t think I have ever remembered to ask: are your tits and our chickadees cousins?

    1. They certainly look very similar. As far as the HDR goes, you have to take three shots of the same thing with different exposures and then the photo editor on the computer melds them together. I should think you could do that with your camera if you can alter the exposure manually.

  2. Lovely pictures from your expedition with Sandy – a fine variety of yellows and greens and very clever to combine 3 in 1 of Irvine House.

  3. Lovely colourful trees there. I’m hoping to get a few shots of ours in the park today. The new iPhone update has an HDR facility and I’m slowly getting used to it. It saves both the HDR photo and the normal one, sometimes the HDR is better, sometimes not but it certainly works wonders in cloudy skies.

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