An unexpected outing


Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone.  He is lurking in the south of England while visiting his eldest son and took the opportunity to visit Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill.


The day started badly as we woke to the sound of heavy rain but I was not deterred.  After breakfast, I put on my waterproof clothing and went up to the High Street to get some money out of the cash machine and then went back down Thomas Telford Road to spend the money at our monthly producers market.

Being a man of habit, I bought fish, meat, cheese and honey and went home in a very cheerful mood.  Sadly, thanks to the recent bad weather, I won’t be able to eat any of this as I am getting very stout through lack of exercise.

Well maybe, I will have a morsel (or two) here and there.

When I got home, I collected Mrs Tootlepedal and we drove up to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland Feeders, where a tree planting session had been organised.  In spite of the wet weather, most of the trees had already been planted by the time that we got there but after a chat with the organiser….

Laverock Hide

…Mrs Tootlepedal planted two trees and I planted one while the rain relented for a while.

We were watched closely by a female pheasant.

pheasantThese hand reared birds are so tame that it is amazing to think that people pay good money to come from miles away to shoot them but it provides local employment so it has its supporters.

It was lunch time when we got home but I had time to peer out of the window at a good supply of birds visiting our feeder.

blue tit, coal tit and great tit
A blue tit, coal tit and great tit give a nicely co-ordinated display of perching style.

On the ground, a robin and a dunnock provide a change from the endless chaffinches…

robin and dunnock

…and the jackdaws pile into the pellets.


After lunch, the light seemed to get a bit better as the clouds lifted off the hills and although it was still raining, it seemed a much more cheerful day so we put our coats on again and went off for a walk.

This turned out to be a good decision as it was warm and calm and the rain often stopped as we went round.  The light was much better than it has been in recent days and we could even see  the tops of our hills.

Just the merest hint of mist over the river with the pheasant hatchery in the foregorund.

We had to keep our eyes down a lot as we walked as it was wet and at times slippery under foot but when we stopped and looked around, there was plenty of colour still left, both on the trees…

autumn leaves…and on the ground.

fallen leavesOur paths were carpeted by leaves and provided us with a variety of tints as we walked.

Autumn walking..but this moment was my favourite.

PathheadJust round the corner, we got a view of the town…

Langholm in autumn

…slightly marred as usual by the ugly scaffolding on the Erskine Church spire.

We kept an eye out for fungi and lichen but saw very little until near the end of our walk.

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these black strips under the bark of a tree are fungus.

These look more like fungi to me…

fungus…and the one on the right was so fresh and shiny that it was positively glowing.  There was dog lichen in good condition to be seen on a wall too.

dog lichen

There had been enough rain to fill a little man made cascade with water as we came down the hill to the saw mill.

saw mill cascadeAs we crossed the Castleholm towards the Jubilee Bridge, we hit another spell of rain.


During our walk we had heard some ferocious shouting and screaming as though a small war had broken out but it turned out to be only a football match on the shiny new artificial pitch on the Scholars’ Field at the school.

FootballThis wasn’t a match involving our local team and I am sure grass pitches would have been unplayable in the wet so it was good to see this new pitch being used.

When we got home, a honeysuckle in flower in November emphasised just how odd our weather has been.

honeysuckleIt should have been all berries by now.

Considering how wet it was in the morning, we felt very lucky to have been able to enjoy such a pleasant walk with only occasional umbrella work needed.  Walking on soggy paths had been quite hard work though and we were very happy to spend the rest of the day relaxing.

The better light did let me get a reasonable flying bird of the day today.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “An unexpected outing

  1. Beautiful fall foliage pictures! Amazing how many leaves are still hanging on in the trees while there is a thick “carpet” on the ground too. I like to see these autumn pictures as our autumn here does not produce those colors.

    1. The leaves are coming off the trees in a very intermittent sort of way. I would presume this is because we haven’t had any cold nights yet.

  2. Mrs. T. knows here fungi. It’s called bootstrap fungus and is caused by honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea), which are parasitic on live wood and send out long root like structures called rhizomorphs between the wood of a tree and its bark. The black stringy bits are what’s left of the rhizomorphs.

    The paths through the woods are beautiful when they’re leaf covered like these.

    I saw a forsythia blooming here yesterday!

  3. We have also had a very wet but mild day today. 19 degrees C! The fungi and lichen you found are interesting and the carpets of leaves are very attractive. Excellent FBotD!

  4. If the wet weather continues, you’ll be growing gills soon. On the plus side, I’ve always preferred to plant things in the rain or just after, the soil is softer and easier to work. Also on the plus side, your photos of the fall colors, both fallen and on the trees are very good, the colors really stand out.

  5. Excellent leaves and paths. I hope you noted which were your trees so you can go back and monitor them in a proprietorial manner from time to to time

  6. It’s easy to see why that moment was your favourite. After a walk like that, surely you could indulge in a couple more delicious morsels of the producer’s market goods 🙂

  7. That leaf covered road is also my favorite. Always a pleasant visit to your countryside!

    I am having a good chuckle, picturing Dropscone “lurking” about the south of England. Our market vendor brought huckleberry-oatmeal scones this past Wednesday. Quite good! She has never made treacle scones, but will look them up and try a test batch.

  8. The carpet of richly coloured leaves is gorgeous. I would have enjoyed such a walk. Despite the grim weather, the your photographs still capture the beautiful surroundings. I do hope you have some good weather so you can thoroughly enjoy your food purchases without guilt. I have irregular Internet at the moment due to it being the stormy season so my comments may a bit haphazard this week.

  9. Like you, I’m in danger of becoming fat because of the bad weather. It’s hard to summon the motivation to walk when it’s wet and windy. A while ago I saw some bootstrap fungus and wondered what it was. It’s such a peculiar thing. Allen in New Hampshire helped me out though so I shall know it if I ever see it again. Hopefully it won’t be in my garden!

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