At last, a little action

Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent who met these fearsome beasts on a trip to Wallington, a National Trust property near Morpeth.

WallingtonI didn’t take the opportunity to go for a morning pedal with Dropscone today and I am very happy about this as he tells me that he had a ride that can best be described as interesting.  He went round his preferred route for a morning run.  He had to get off and carry his bike over fallen branches, get off his bike and hide in a hedge as a log lorry came past on a single track road, do the same thing again for a milk tanker on the same road, clamp on his brakes in hurry when he met an unexpected car and dodge half a mile of hedge clippings.  It is hard for me to say why he prefers that route.

I took a different line and had a lie in, a late breakfast and a gentle run up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back three times.  This gave me the same distance as Dropscone but a lot less harassment.  It suits me on a windy day as there is little climb, a good deal of shelter and plenty of room for me and any passing traffic. Chacun à son goût as they say.

Although it rained for some of the time that I was out, it was reasonably warm and I was dressed for inclement weather so I didn’t mind.  It stopped about halfway through my trip and I was dry by the time that I got home.

I did have to apply my brakes once when I was getting close to the auld stane brig while homeward bound  on my second lap.  I was delighted to see a deer leap the fence and cross the road a few yards in front of me but surprised when it was followed by another.  I slowed down just in case there was a third and saw two young deer waiting to jump.  Seeing me, they held back and were still munching away beside the fence when I came back on my third lap.  They had disappeared by the time I came past again.  I have occasionally seen a single deer at this point on the road as I think they may cross the road to drink from the river but I have never seen a family before.

The garden was inviting when I got home.

While Crown Princess Margarita was  able to withstand the wind and rain, the late flowering delphinium had been snapped off and lay on the bare soil in a depressed way.

rose and delphiniumWe are getting ever nearer the last poppy but the nasturtiums don’t mind the weather.

poppy and nasturtiumSpecial Grandma positively loves these conditions and is putting out more flowers every day.  In a more modest way, a blue clematis is also thriving.

special grandma clematisThe light was not at all bad by the time that Mrs Tootlepedal and I had had a cup of coffee so after my shower, I went back up the Wauchope road in the car with my cameras.  I had seen some autumn colour when I was biking but I hadn’t taken a camera with me because of the rain.

BlochburnfootThere was a mixture of trees, some already bare, some still green and some turning yellow.

autumn colour up Wauchope
…and coniferous trees as a backdrop
I won a prize with a picture of this bull at a summer show so I went to congratulate him today.  He was very happy.
A feeble  sun came out just in time to highlight this river of bracken flowing down the hillside.
My favourite ruined cottage is getting ever more dilapidated.
bramble leaf
A bramble leaf offering the most vivid touch of colour that I saw all day.
autumn colour up wauchope
Nearly home.

In between these excursions, I started off a sourdough loaf with my friend Sue’s excellent starter and as that takes some time to appear, I made a fruity malt loaf in the bread machine as well.  While half a loaf is better than no bread, two loaves are definitely better still.

As the weather was holding up well, Mrs Tootlepedal and I took the car a mile or so out of town and went for a short circular walk via Jenny Noble’s Gill and Broomholmshiels.  I snapped away as we went round.

Oak tree
One of the old oak trees in the wood we walked through.
The bracken is over for the year
Looking back at the wood when we had left it.
We kept an eye out for fungus but these were the only ones we saw.
We saw a late thistle and the groundwork being laid for next year's crop beside it/
We saw a very late thistle and the groundwork being laid for next year’s crop beside it.
This magnificent tup gave us a hard stare as we passed.  Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that it might be a Texel and I agree.
cow parsley
We noticed more late flowers, cow parsley in this case,  as we came back down the road.
fern and moss
And my favourite wall was as full of life as ever.

With impeccable timing we arrived home bang on four o’clock. just in time for a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.

I had time to look out of the window from time to time during the day.  The feeders were busy and offered a constantly changing cast of characters.

I very much like the greenfinch auditioning for the part of Homer Simpson in the left hand frame.

A chaffinch and a greenfinch bring a very different attitude to posing.

chaffinch and greenfinchWe are promised strong winds tomorrow as part of the second hand hurricane Gonzalo which the Americans have kindly posted on to us so it was extra pleasing to have got a good day today.   That accounts for the above ration numbers of pictures today for which I apologise. I know that readers are busy people.

I had a visit from my flute pupil Luke in the evening and we are still battling to install that mental metronome in his head while he plays.  He has started practising some grade three pieces which will be well within his capability.

To round off a good day, the sourdough loaf, made using a banneton, came out of the oven almost perfectly.

Once again, a chaffinch has pipped all others to the coveted title of flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “At last, a little action

  1. The landscapes are beautiful. I love the shot of the oak tree.
    I’m glad you found a fern with sori showing. A lot of ferns produce spores at this time of year and sometimes the sori look like tiny baskets full of flowers, but you need magnification to see them.

  2. Once again, a beautiful inspiring bunch of photos. I love Mr Bull. He looks like he’d just rubbed his head and neck against a tree or post. The tree shots you take are so inspiring and picturesque. I aspire to take a decent photo one day.

  3. We Americans had nothing to do with that hurricane, the people of Bermuda have sent it towards you, and I believe that they are, or at least were, affiliated with the Evil Empire. 😉

    But, since you’ve posted beautiful photos of the countryside, flowers, critters and birds, we’ll let you slide on the hurricane deal.

  4. Once again your landscapes make me want to walk into the photo and follow the path. Also enjoyed the shot of the bull – his head looks as though it’s carved out of mud!

  5. Such beautiful fall landscapes and I know I keep saying it, but I’m so impressed with your roses this time of year. Most everyone I know here who has roses has already seen the last of their blooms.

  6. It sounds like you had a near miss with your morning cycle ride but you chose the best route, especially with the deer. That greenfinch is the fattest bird I have ever seen. I’m sure he’ll have slimmed down by spring though.

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