Deflated

Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal who was visiting the world’s greatest baby in Edinburgh.  Matilda is puzzling out the convoluted constitutional matters that have arisen since the referendum.

DSC01558It was a breezy morning so I suggested to Dropscone, when he arrived after breakfast, that we should go round the more sheltered traditional morning run rather than expose ourselves to the wind on the top of Callister.  He prefers the traditional circuit anyway so he readily agreed and off we went.   The sheltered route was proving very satisfactory but our hopes of a good time were severely deflated when Dropscone got a puncture just at the point when we were farthest from home.

The downside of the sheltering hedges is of course the possibility of thorns on the road when the hedges are trimmed in the autumn and a thorn was the suspect here.  Dropscone doesn’t carry a spare tube and he didn’t fancy trying my aerosol puncture repair gizmo. On top of that, the MTRS was unavailable as she was on her way to Carlisle to catch a train so we were a bit at a loss.  Fortunately, a helpful man in a van was delivering feed to nearby farms and he also delivered Dropscone and his bike to the main road where Dropscone hitched a lift back to Langholm from the second car that came along.

All’s well that end’s well and we were able to enjoy coffee and treacle scones only half an hour later than scheduled after Dropscone had retrieved his bicycle..  He is now buying some even stronger tyres.

While we were sipping our coffee, I noticed an unusual bird at the peanut feeder.

tree sparrowIt was a tree sparrow, a very infrequent visitor to the garden.  A moment later, I noticed another one perched on top of the feeder pole.

tree sparrowI have no idea if this was a male and female pair or a parent and child or perhaps just two sparrow friends on an outing.  They didn’t stay long and left just before Dropscone.

The sparrow was joined by a robin….

robin…and they made a change from the usual diet of chaffinches.

I took a walk round the garden where the sun was out which was nice but the brisk wind made photographing flowers rather tricky.  I had to look in sheltered places.

wren and ginger syllabub
The Wren has come out to join the Ginger Syllabub in a late flowering.
grass
Mrs Tootlepedal’s ornamental grass taking its cue from me and going to seed.
delphinium
A very late delphinium

I had the macro lens with me and the difficulties of using it when things are swaying about is shown by this double take of an insect on a flower.  In the first I got the flower but not the insect and in the second, I got the insect but not the flower.

insect on flowerI love the macro lens.  Who knew that there were so many fascinating creatures in the garden?

I gazed longingly at a fine looking plum, the last of the season which was tantalisingly out of reach on the top of the tree.

plumIn the afternoon, I went to the Tourist Information Point for the final time of the season.  I wasn’t expecting any visitors but I had two.  The first was Sandy who was on his way to do some shopping and which was a pleasure but didn’t really count but the second was a genuine tourist, a fisherman and bird watcher who was happy to help me pass the time by chatting about birds he had seen.

I took the opportunity to pop down to the river and do a little gull watching…

gull…but there was no sign of Mr Grumpy.

It was such a lovely afternoon that when I had locked up, I went for a little cycle ride up to Mrs Tootlepedal’s manure mine.  On the way, I parked the bike and scrambled down the bank to have a look at my favourite cascade on the Wauchope.  This was what it was like when I looked at it in January.

Cascade on WauchopeThis was what it was like today.

Wauchope cascadeYou can see that it has been a very dry spell.  The low water gave me the chance to look at some very folded rock just below the cascade.

folded rockI like these sort of formations as they give me a view of the great forces which have shaped the land that looks so peaceful as I cycle through it.

peaceful scene
A few hundred yards further upstream

I stopped at the manure mine, parked the bike again and went for a short walk.  There was some dull fungus to be seen both in the wood and in the field….

fungus at manure mine…and it has been a good year for fruit of all sorts…

fir cones…but the best thing was the wood itself which was very pretty in the evening sunshine.

wood at manure mineEven leaving the wood was a visual treat.

manure mine gateOn my way home, I stopped to take a close up of a striking green lichen which appears on just one section of wall.

lichen
Taken with Pocketcam

When I got home, there was just enough light left to take the obligatory bee of the day picture…

bee…on the irresistible sedum before it was time to make tea, sort my pictures out for tomorrow’s show and make some semolina to welcome Mrs Tootlepedal home after her day of Matilda visiting.  In fact, she was rather late as her train was held up but the semolina was all the more welcome because of that.

As this was the last tourist information day of the season, I am hoping that I will be able to visit Matilda next week.

One of the Kilngreen black headed gulls is flying bird of the day.  It is not a very sharp picture but I thought it showed very well what a beautiful day it was this afternoon.

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Deflated

  1. Good grief! I had no idea how complicated this bird name business could be. Your Tree Sparrow does not look like a New World Tree Sparrow but is similar to what we call the House or English Sparrow. Sorted out, there is an American Tree Sparrow, Spizella arborea, which is not related to the other two. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, that you are showing and the English or House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, look pretty similar. I am learning so much! Ginger syllabub is great name and gorgeous color.

  2. The lichen looks like a map lichen, possibly Rhizocarpon geographicum. By watching how much growth it shows in a year and then measuring its diameter, scientists can determine the age of the rocks that it grows on. These lichens can live for thousands of years and some believe that they never die.

  3. It’s nice to see a few new visitors to the garden, although I never tire of the regulars. Speaking of tires, I hope that Dropscone is able to solve his puncture problems.

    And, speaking of problems, I’ve had the same problem with the wind while trying to shoot macros. I’ve tried holding the flowers in place, but that usually spooks the bugs away, or, I can’t hold the camera steady enough with just one hand.

  4. Glad that Matilda is taking life seriously, you cannot start too early. Gad you got someone interesting to talk with at Kilngreen. Hope you win some prizes at the show.

  5. Lovely picture of Matilda sorting out life’s problems.
    Sympathies to Dropscone on his puncture – glad he managed to get a lift home.l

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