Gulled

Golf ball

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone.  He found himself with tokens which he had earned from his bank and spent them on a new camera which he took up to the golf course.  A tricky lie.

Golf ballIt was a beautiful morning but when offered the choice of a morning cycle ride or a cup of coffee and a scone, I opted for the coffee and scone, confident that the fine weather would last all day.

As an insurance, I nipped out while I was waiting for the official scone bearer to arrive and took a couple of sunny pictures just in case.

The meeting of the watersAs I took this picture of the Meeting of the Waters, where the Esk and the Ewes join, I noticed a good supply of gulls lurking on the Kilngreen.  I wondered if they would still be there later in the day.

I went down to the suspension bridge and couldn’t resist the allure of the church, snugly wrapped in the contrasting foliage around it.

Parish church in AutumnI got home in time to receive the scones and make coffee for the scone bearer.

We had just sat down when we received a summons from Mrs Tootlepedal, who was in the garden, to see something a bit out of the ordinary.  We leapt up, rushed out and saw this.

Balloon
Not something we see every day.

We hope it landed safely as it was being blown towards the hills at a brisk pace.

After Dropscone left on his way to a golf lesson, I got the slow bike out and pedalled off to the Kilngreen to see if the gulls were still hanging about.

They were hanging about quite literally.

gullJim, an old friend and his wife were entertaining a grandchild by feeding the ducks and this had caused the gulls great excitement and they were flying all over the place.  When I put my camera up to try to catch the scene, Jim was amazed that I should be photographing something so ordinary as a gull.  I showed him some of the shots on the rear screen of the camera and he had to admit that perhaps there was more to a gull than he had thought.

gull
The wingspan was bigger than he realised (and too big for my frame).

I love the gulls here.  Their flight is most elegant and from my point of view, the lack of flapping when they are flying is a very good thing.

gullThey gave the ducks a good chasing when they took any bread into the river….

chasing a duck…but mostly they just flew around in circles hoping for scraps.

gullSometimes they flew in formation.

gullsI took far too many gull pictures but in the end, after a glance back towards the Town Bridge…

Town Bridge in Autumn….I pedalled on, crossing the Sawmill Bridge and coming onto the Lodge Walks.

Lodge walksI pedalled onto the Castleholm and looked around.

Larches on Timpen
The larches are beginning to turn

trees on the castleholm…before cycling home for lunch (the last of the batch of lentil soup).

My confidence that the day would stay fine was well founded and I set out after lunch to do twenty four miles in two twelve mile laps while Mrs Tootlepedal addressed urgent business in the garden.

The wind was quite noticeable but since it was behind me on the way out to the top of Callister, cycling was an unmitigated pleasure.  The sun disappeared behind some inconvenient clouds just as I turned for home and cycling back downhill into the wind was a great deal chillier than the outward journey.

I stopped when I got home to check on Mrs Tootlepedal’s work in the garden and she told me that she had planted over 60 bulbs while I was pootling about.  That makes over 100 bulbs planted so far but there are still another 100 to go over the next few days. There should be a good show in springtime.

I left her to it and went off to do my second lap.  I arrived at the top of the hill about half a minute earlier than the first lap but this reflected a slight increase in helpful wind speed more than anything else and I had to pedal like the clappers to get back down at the same speed as the before.  I just managed this which pleased me a lot.  I have been accused by a reader of being a bit obsessive about time and speed but when you frequently cycle over the same roads, it is these little differences which make life more interesting (or depressing, if things don’t go well).

I was concentrating so hard on the pedalling that I didn’t stop to take any pictures.  This will be a relief to busy readers.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we enjoyed playing a variety of duets.  He is continuing to improve steadily all the time and puts up with my nagging with great hood humour.

The other two members of our usual Monday night trio are away so I enjoyed a quiet night in.

The flying bird of the day is one of those gulls.

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Gulled

  1. Wow! You’ve been extra inspired today with your camera, great photos!…must be the scones! 🙂

  2. Pootling about! Much more tasteful than piddlefarting about, which someone told mr was her mum’s favourite term. You outdo us in foliage color as well as in bridges and old buildings….

  3. What a fabulous array of photos: your lovely church, pretty fall colours, and (drum roll please) those amazing gulls! Such clean lines are very elegant. I never thought I’d be enthusing about gulls, but they really are quite lovely.

  4. You surpassed even yourself today with wonderful pictures of autumn foliage, gulls and of clever cycling. I went right through your post twice so as not to miss anything.

  5. Gulls are one of my favourite birds and your shots of them are excellent. What beautiful autumn landscapes, Tom. The one with the church looks like a painting. Wonderful!

  6. Favourites today are the church and the gull close up (but it was a hard decision – the hot air balloon, the meeting of the waters…all wonderful) but I particularly loved the mental image of you pedalling like the clappers; supersonic Tootlepedal!

  7. Fall colours are beautiful. I always thought our reds in Canada gave a great pop but the church setting was so so serene. Have to say the ‘Ludge’ Walks was my favourite though. Loved the new perspective on the gulls. Seems like anything you photograph becomes beautiful. Great eye!

    1. The yellows and greens have been very satisfying this year but I wouldn’t mind a bit of startling red too. Thank you for your very kind comments.

  8. A great day, each and every photo is a treat for the eyes!

    It’s funny how most people look down their noses at the lowly gulls, since they’re scavengers for the most part, and very common. If they were uncommon and/or not scavengers, they’d be considered some of the most beautiful birds. I’m with you, they’re certainly fun to photograph, and worthy of our efforts to capture good photos of them, which you have.

    1. Thank you Jerry. They are a bit of a pest when you are having your sandwich ripped from your hand by a herring gull at the seaside but these black headed gulls are much better behaved.

    1. It is far from a lane. It is the drive to the summer sporting residence of the Duke of Buccleuch. It’s slightly lane-ish appearance may come from the fact the the big house was demolished fifty years ago.

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