Today’s guest picture was sent to my by my friend and ex-colleague Marjorie who is on holiday in Yorkshire. It shows a memorial on Lissett Airfield to the dead of 581 squadron who were based at the airfield there. You can see the names of the dead inscribed on the sculpture. I was bowled over by this work.
I read in the papers that this October is likely to be one of the driest on record and I can quite believe it. We had another dry day today and although it was not a very sunny day, the light winds made it pleasant to be out.
I was feeling a bit better today than yesterday but I still took things easily and spent a very quiet morning doing nothing more energetic than cycling up into the town to order more supplies of coffee and visit Sandy who was manning the information hub in the Market Place.
And I watched the birds.
Since I have added some sunflower hearts to the feeder, we have had an increased number of bird visitors and today the feeders were kept busy.
The number of tits visiting is very heartening as there were hardly any to be seen earlier in the year and there were fears that the bad spring might have caused a big drop in numbers.
The goldfinches seem to have been moulting as they are looking rather scruffy.
They are also just as ready to bicker among themselves as the sparrows are.
But they will share the feeder.
After lunch (sardine pate – but the fish diet doesn’t seem to be improving my brain at all), Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and I got the fairly speedy bike out and went for a very slow pedal.
I was pleased to see that the business of connecting the Ewe Hill wind farm to the grid is getting near completion…
…as the turbines have been turning for some weeks without doing anything useful so far.
There was plenty of colour on my route as the hedges are beginning to turn and there was a gorse bush in full bloom near Gair.
Thanks to my slow progress, I was feeling quite cheerful and added a mile or two to my customary twenty. I rode down to Gretna and crossed the border into England over this mighty bridge.
…and then almost immediately turned left and headed back towards Scotland. I had picked on this route in the hope of seeing some of the barnacle geese that come to our part of the world in the winter months.
As I pedalled up the road back to Scotland, I could hear faint honking that sounded as though it might be geese but I couldn’t see anything. Finally the honking became loud enough to make me stop and look around and I could just see what might be geese settled in a distant field. I was disappointed as I had hoped for a better view and was about to pedal on when it became apparent that the honking was now in stereo.
I turned round and saw a large skein of geese flying from the west….
… and as they got closer, the geese in the field flew up to join them with shouts of welcome…
…and then the whole lot settled back down in the field.
I wished that I had been able to get nearer to them but as I stood and watched, two more skeins flew over…
…so I had no shortage of geese to watch.
Pleased with my route choice, I cycled the rest of the way home in a very good mood.
There was more colour on the way….
…and although my ride had been mostly cloudy, Whita was bathed in sunshine against a grey sky behind as I got near the town.
I managed 33 miles but what with stopping to take pictures of hedges and watching the geese for some time, the ride took me most of the afternoon and there was little time for anything else before I had to make my tea and get ready to go our with Susan to play with our recorder group in Carlisle.
There were four of us this week and Roy produced an excellent variety of music and we finished with a trio sonata by Telemann for treble and tenor recorder with a bass recorder and (electronic) harpsichord accompaniment. This was a very good way to round the evening off.
My flower of the day is a composite of late October garden colour….
…and the flying bird is a shy goldfinch, hiding behind the feeder.