The first day of autumn

Today’s guest picture is another view from a walk on the veldt which was kindly sent to me by Tom from South Africa.  He was excited by the fact the the valley bottom is covered in vineyards.

vineyardsMrs Tootlepedal got up early and disappeared in an Edinburgh direction. She was lending a hand with the world’s greatest baby as our daughter-in-law Clare’s back is still not quite cured.   As Dropscone and the minister had other business and young Sandy had returned to work as the term has started at his college, I was left to amuse myself this morning.

A weather forecaster had pointed out that it was officially the first day of autumn but added that we should be getting some late summer weather.  However, wherever the sun was shining, it wasn’t in Langholm and we had a grey morning with a chilly wind. In these circumstances, I decided that the best thing would be to do nothing much and I succeeded in accomplishing that quite well.

I did walk round the garden and found that it was pretty in pink today.  Well, pink with variations anyway.

The start of autumn was marked by the arrival of nerines.  It had rained over night.
Shirley poppy (2)
A delicate pinkish fringe for the petals of this Shirley poppy which had an inevitable insect with it.
Shirley poppy
This one was pink through and through. I waited till its insect had flown off.
Lilian Austin rose
The Lilian Austin rose is having a second flush of flowers.
As is one of the astrantias
My favourite Fuchsia is producing a good set of blooms.

The other colour which is prominent is the yellow of the sunflower, rudbeckia and marigold.  I like the colours that this marigold produces as it fades.

marigoldI didn’t have much luck watching birds at the feeder today.  One reason was a particularly aggressive siskin which was trying to blast every other visitor off the perches…

frightened chaffinch…and succeeding.

There are a pair of rather badly painted blackbirds about, wandering aimlessly about the lawn pecking at any fallen plums that they can find.

On the alert with tail feathers raised.

After lunch, I got a bit more active and is was cleaning my speedy bike’s chain when Sandy appeared, having had a short first day at college.  We agreed on a cycle ride and while he went off to have some lunch, I finished cleaning the chain and mowed the drying green.   I would have got a little more mowing done but the minister appeared with his Bianchi, now fitted with two fully working inner tubes.  He was  taking it home rather than going for a ride and had stopped by for a chat. 

By the time he left, I just had time to finish the drying green before Sandy rang to say that he was ready to go.  I got changed and took the speedy bike up to meet him and we cycled up the Eskdalemuir road as far as the Enzieholm bridge and back.  In spite of some valiant efforts by the pothole menders, the surface of the road up to Bentpath is appalling and we bumped and bobbled along as best we could. 

Every time I go up this section of road, I promise myself not to do it again until it is fixed but times passes and I think that it can’t be as bad as I remembered and off I go again.  It was just as bad. 

At Bentpath, we crossed the river and took the back road up to Enzieholm.  The trees at the bridge are bearing a fine crop of berries.

berriesWe stopped on the bridge at Enzieholm and looking down the river, there seemed to be a hint of autumn about the trees that line the Esk.

Esk at EnzieholmAlthough the sun refused to come out, the wind helped us on our way back and the ride was as enjoyable as a ride on a bumpy road can be.

In the early evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we explored the world of trills.  It is good to have a pupil who instinctively realises the added value that trills give to the sort of music that we are playing and insists on trying to play them.  We are making good progress with them.

I made a potato and tomato bake for tea and it came out of the oven just in time to greet Mrs Tootlepedal on her return from Edinburgh. 

I am hoping for a more active day (with sun) tomorrow.

I didn’t really catch a flying bird of the day today and this landing bird was the best that I could do.

flying chaffinch (4)



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “The first day of autumn

  1. Trills always defeated me; inevitably they ended up sounding more like someone attempting to execute the Charleston in gumboots. But there was just ONE time that the planets aligned, my fingers twitched and….Oh the glory of that trill! That one time Petronella and Pearce really did dance 🙂

  2. The siskin must be aggressive, since it managed to drive its beak through the wall of the feeder. 😉

    As beautiful as the poppies and marigold have been, the astrantia is my favorite from today.

  3. Beautiful poppies, and the Lilian Austin rose is lovely.
    Glad you managed a ride in spite of the potholey road.

  4. What wonderful mountains in the guest picture – I hope we’ll see more of that wonderful looking place. It would be interesting if Tom might let us know how they are. Some very nice pictures of yours too – the autumnal Esk view is especially good.

  5. There is a still a lot of colour in your garden, mine is fading fast. I think I need Mrs T to plan it for me. Some of our roads are so potholey they almost shake your teeth out driving on them.

  6. Your autumn begins earlier than ours, we don’t officially turn to “fall” until September 23. Of course, the first day of school (which was Sept. 2 here) is always the unofficially start of autumn. We saw some fall colors in the northwoods already.

    So much lovely color in your garden still. Your marigolds are much different from what we have here, and much prettier. I like them a lot more than what passes for a marigold here in the states.

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