Nothing but blue skies

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my neighbour Gavin and shows the harbour at Crail on the east coast where he is on holiday.  We have booked a holiday cottage nearby for next April and I can guarantee that the weather won’t be this nice then.

CrailIt was a day of perfect autumn weather, crisp in the morning, pleasantly warm in the afternoon and cooling down as the evening wore on. There was not a cloud in the sky all day and the conditions above the town were such that  passing aircraft were not leaving vapour trails to spoil the blueness.

After putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, I spent the morning entertaining first Sandy to a cup of coffee when he had finished filling  the Moorland bird feeders and then Dropscone, when he had finished a few holes of a golf with a friend.

In between times, I walked round the garden enjoying the colour in the sunshine.

poppies and marigoldpoppy and dahliaThe colour didn’t just come from the flowers.

peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly
red admiral butterfly
A red admiral

The were several peacocks and red admirals about, the first time that there have been a lot of butterflies in the garden this year.

red admiral butterfly
Sometimes they were side by side.

The Michaelmas daisies and the sedum were the two favourite attractions but almost anything that was out had a visitor or two.

sedum and astrantiaThe bumble bees preferred the sedum and in the afternoon I counted over 150 bees on the plants beside our bird feeder.  It was quite an amazing sight.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with the driving for the disabled and I watched the birds for a while.

great tit and coal tit
Great tit and coal tit

I have put some tasty morsels into the new covered feeder and they are being eaten but never when I am watching so I was pleased to see these two at the other feeder.

A dunnock crept around under the feeder…

dunnock…and a chaffinch pretended to be a flower.

chaffinchThen I took a walk up Warbla to enjoy the day.

Things are definitely running to seed on all sides…

seedy…but the views remained very satisfying.  I looked across to Meikleholm hill where I had seen the scabious plants.

MeikleholmI walked up the track to the top of the hill and looked around.  The phone panorama function looked around too.

Warbla panoramaI had Pocketcam (Nikon J1) with me and it has an ingenious mount so that I can attach my DSLR lenses to it and get a vastly increased zoom. The fine weather gave me a chance to try this out.  I put my 70-300mm lens on the mount and looked down towards the town….

Langholm…and the river.

Langholm BridgeThe bridge is a mile (1.6km) away from where I was standing.

I was quite impressed.  I would need a tripod and delayed shutter release to get the best out of it but it obviously has great possibilities.  I looked east and west.

Monument and Craig windmillsThe monument is just under 2km away and the windmills are 3½km off.  It amuses me that some people can regard the monument to a colonial administrator in India with equanimity while being appalled by some elegant renewable energy devices.  (They weren’t generating any electricity today though.)

Although the sky was cloudless, the views were a bit hazy but I did my best.  I used the zoom again, out…

View from warbla…and in…

Langholm…and my phone again for a wider picture….

LangholmIt was good to be alive on a day like this, with a gentle breeze keeping me cool on the top of the hill.

I walked back down and took a shot on my way with Pocketcam with its own 10-30 lens on.

Whita from warbla I was just thinking that whatever the charms of the walk were, a lot of wild flowers were not among them when  a splash of colour caught my eye.  It turned out not to be a wild flower though but my friend Tom, taking a little fresh air after a morning conducting mock interviews with fourth year school pupils.

Tom on warblaI exchanged greetings with him and made my way home via Gaskell’s Walk.  Tucked away in a little valley with no cooling breeze, the heat was considerable and I was glad to get back into the cool of the house.

I went up to the town to do a little business and when I got back Tom appeared with some coffee beans.  He had inadvertently picked them up while shopping, not realising that they were beans so I ground them up for him and recommended buying a grinder of his own so that he could always have freshly ground coffee at home.

Mike Tinker dropped in and was impressed by the great bumble bee collection on the sedum.  We keep on being told that our bees are declining in numbers so perhaps they have all come to our garden this week.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her pony driving and claimed to have seen a cloud in the south as she drove home.  We didn’t believe her.

In the evening, I went off with Sandy to do some work at the Archive Centre and with the internet connection working well, we got quite a lot done.

The forecast says that our spell of good weather may be coming to an end in a day or two but it has been great while it has lasted and I apologise for the flood of pictures it has unleashed on you long suffering blog readers.  Things should calm down soon.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

44 thoughts on “Nothing but blue skies

  1. The bird sitting in the flower might be just cute enough to win a ribbon at a show.
    I’m still wondering why not a single sedum in a large group of plants at a local park didn’t have a single insect of any kind on them. Maybe they were all at your house.
    That’s a neat trick for pocket cam. It did a great job!

    1. We have another sedum in a sheltered spot that doesn’t bring in the bees so maybe it’s a question of warmth (although there were a surprising number of bees on the plant this morning at 4 degrees C).

  2. I always enjoy the views of your town taken from the hillsides above – it looks very snug. In such large numbers, were the bees audible?

  3. I really like your butterfly shots! The Peacock Butterfly is stunning. I don’t think I’ve even seen one “live”. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Don’t worry that you are sending your admirers too many pictures! They are wonderful and I’m enjoying them ever so much.

  5. I’m very envious of your excellent peacock butterfly picture. What a beautiful specimen! I have to agree with your amusement about the negative opinion of those elegant looking windmills. I am quite embarrassed by comments from some Australian polticians about them. It seems they find them a blight on the landscape but are happy to endorse more ugly and polluting coal mining activities! We really should be leading the world in solar production as well but sadly our government has been very short-sighted about that too. Such is life, I suppose. The major “players” have too much influence at the moment. Thank you for another excellent batch of shots, Tom.

    1. I have often thought that Australia should be making a good deal of solar energy but of course you can’t export that like you can minerals.

  6. Excellent butterfly photos! I haven’t seen many butterflies recently except the ubiquitous cabbage whites. We had a very windy day yesterday with a number of clouds but still fine notwithstanding.

  7. That’s something that I’ve heard about, attaching DSLR lenses to compact digital cameras, but I’ve never seen any photos shot with one of those set ups. It looks like it does an excellent job, but the country there is so photogenic that I believe that it makes the camera look good.

    Other than the wonderful landscapes, this was a very colorful post with the brightly colored flowers and butterflies, never too many photos of them.

    1. I thought that I would use it more than I have but the problem is keeping the camera steady with such a big zoom and having to frame the picture using the screen not a viewfinder. I find both of these tricky.

  8. Looks like a beautiful day there. The gardens and butterflies are gorgeous. Rcik and I have enjoyed the warmers evenings on the porch watching the evening moths come in to sip from the butterfly bush by our table..

  9. The whole monument/wind turbine issue makes me smile as well, but on days like this it’s difficult to find something that doesn’t. What a gorgeous blue sky!

  10. Love the chaffinch in the flowers and the charming roofs of your town. I always welcome a wealth of photos in your posts.

    Allan was looking at Google Earth street view based on one of your posts and they may have a scene of Mrs. T. working in her lovely garden.

    Impressive zooming, and nice to meet a friend while out walking.

  11. Perfect walking weather I should think, apart from the heat. I’m very impressed with the zoom on your camera, you got some great shots both close up and far away.

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