Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He likes to find interesting places to walk and this shows the Manifold River valley with a secluded magnate’s estate, seen from Ecton Hill in the Staffordshire Peak District.
We had a much brighter morning than yesterday and I got out into the garden to sieve some compost and dead head some flowers. With no frost forecast for the next few days, we are hoping to have quite a bit of garden colour still showing in November which will be a treat.
I was spoiled for choice when I fetched the camera out.
I looked at the birds when I came in.
I didn’t go out on my bicycle because we had visitors, Melanie and Bill, who came for coffee and lunch. Melanie sits beside Mrs Tootlepedal among the sopranos in our Carlisle choir and her husband Bill is intending to cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats next year with Melanie driving their camper van as the support team. As we did the same trip a few years ago, they came out to us to look at the route which we took and to see if we had any observations which might be helpful.
We had coffee while we talked over the route and the roads and then we sat down to a good lunch and put the world to rights. The lunch was rounded off by an excellent apple cake which Melanie provided and we very much enjoyed the visit. Bill is a keen cyclist and is expecting to do the journey in a week less than we took.
After they had left, I took a moment to have another look at the birds out of the kitchen window. They were in a sideways sort of mood.
Then we decided to make good use of a calm, dry afternoon by going for a short walk. The days are drawing in now and the light was already beginning to fade but I took a camera or two with me in the hope of seeing something interesting on our way.
We drove up to Whitshiels and walked up the track through the woods and fields, went across the moor and then came back down the road.
I did see things which I thought were interesting…
…and with the sharp eyes of Mrs Tootlepedal beside me, there was plenty to look at.
Although it was quite gloomy by this time, it was still a pleasure to look back as we climbed up the track.
As we looked at the hill on the far right in the background, we noticed something strange about the four windmills of the Craig wind farm….
…and when we counted, it was because there are now five and a half turbines and a crane, presumably waiting to put the blades on to the sixth tower.
Wind farm development is proceeding on several hills round us at the moment and it has to be said that there is plenty of wind to go around.
As we got to the sheep fold at the top of the track, Mrs Tootlepedal noticed a pheasant talking to a passing twig.
The track across the rough pasture was pretty firm after the recent dry spell but there was some colourful sphagnum moss beside it.
I had to use a flash for that shot which made the moss look paler than it really is so I had another go with the Lumix to try get truer colours.
We had a last look back….
…before we went round the top of the wood and took the road back down to the car.
I really like the mixed colours which arrive in the planted woods when the larches turn and the spruces stay green, especially if there is some deciduous colour as well. Even though the light was pretty poor as we walked up the hill and came back down the road, the views were still a joy to the eye.
We had time to note a very large set of polypore fungi and and a vibrant bramble stem…
…before we drove home.
There is only one more day to go before the clocks go back and walking in the afternoons will be severely curtailed so I was very happy to have had the friendly weather for such a pleasant stroll in such good company.
I looked at the Met Office website this evening and saw that the humidity for today was well over 90% (it is going to be 95% tomorrow) so it is no surprise that the flower of the day, a delicate pink tinged poppy, is slightly soggy even though it didn’t rain today.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch rising above it.