Mist out

stourhead-oct-2016-041

If you want autumn colour in England, then Stourhead in Wiltshire is the place to be as today’s guest picture from my sister Mary shows.  (She went with her friend Venetia and you can see more pictures of the garden if you want on Venetia’s blog.)

stourhead-oct-2016-041

We can’t quite match a Greek temple in our garden but the azaleas and spirea are doing their best to come up with some colourful foliage to see the gardening year out.

azaleas and spirea leaves

They brightened up a moist and misty morning where there was so much humidity that it was sometimes hard to tell whether it was actually raining or not.

There were paler colours to be seen as well.

philadelphus and hydrangea

Mrs Tootlepedal was intent on reducing the amount of colour in one part of the garden at least and spent time digging up the dahlias in one of the front beds.  I helped out by putting them through the shredder and also sieved some compost that could be put on the bed when the dahlias had gone.

tulips

Mrs Tootlepedal distributed some tulips on top of the compost then dug the compost in, planted the bulbs in their places and finally raked the whole bed over neatly.

Now we wait.

Meanwhile, I watched the birds.  Goldfinches were lurking and looming around the feeder.

goldfinches

Then there was a moment of calm….

goldfinch, sparrow and greenfinch

…before the greenfinches took over the looming and lurking duties.

greenfinches

There was a bit of argy bargy as to whose perch it was.

goldfinch and sparrow

It was still  rather grey after lunch but there seemed for a while that there might be a possibility that the clouds could lift so Mrs Tootlepedal suggested driving up to the White Yett and walking up the track to the monument.

We got to the monument….

monument in mist

…and Mrs Tootlepedal sat and enjoyed the view.

Mist at the monument

This was a little too exciting for me so I looked at the wall behind the monument…..

monument wall lichen and moss

…and at the base of the monument itself.

lichen on monument

As good as any view.

The walk up and down the three quarter mile track was more enjoyable than you might think.  It was comfortably warm for the time of year and the wind was caressing rather than buffeting and there is something very peaceful and other worldly about walking with a fifty metre field of vision.

There were plenty of things to see beside the track.

mosses and grasses

fungus on Whita

When we got back down to the road, I was just looking at the very strong colour of the tussocky grass that covers a lot of the moor at the moment…

tussocky grass

…when we were passed by a car which stopped at the top of the hill in front of us.  People got out and looked about and then to our surprise, several hounds ran across the road….

hound trail

…and disappeared down the hill towards the Little Tarras valley.  It was a hound trail in action and we thought the hounds were doing very well to follow the trail in such damp and misty conditions.

I took the chance to take a picture of one of my favourite little gates…

Whita gate

…and then we too headed back down the hill to the town.

I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal to let me make a diversion to Skippers Bridge before we went home because any day now may see the last of the autumn colour.

It hasn’t gone yet though.

Skippers Bridge

I parked beside the bridge and walked onto it, looking north….

Distillery from Skippers Bridge

…and south.

Esk  from Skippers Bridge

And then we went home for a slice of Melanie’s apple cake and a cup of tea.  I sieved another bit of compost while the tea was brewing.   Mrs Tootlepedal has more bulb planting in mind.

After I had drunk my tea, I went back out and picked some raspberries and found that I had enough to make a pot and a half of jam.   There may be some chilly weather coming at the end of next week so I need to get the most out of the garden both as far as fruit and photographs go over the next few days.

The flower of the day is the fuchsia which seems to have more flowers on it every day…

Fuschia

…and the flying bird is a tiny coal tit sneaking surreptitiously between the greenfinches and the goldfinches.

coal tit

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Mist out

  1. Mist can add a bit of mystery to a familiar view. On the other hand, perhaps the mist itself is entirely to familiar to you. Your hilltop lichen photos reminded me of an article I read this week about the discovery that a third symbiotic partner has been hiding in the crust of many lichens, undiscovered by researchers for 150 years.

    Your flying bird of the day looks like a swimmer doing a cannonball jump into a pool.

  2. We had a day with similar weather which was welcome after such a hot summer I spent some time looking at mosses and lichens but I didn’t see anything as good as those you found.
    The views of and from the bridge are excellent and remind me of what we just saw here.
    I’ll be looking forward to seeing Mrs. T.s choice in tulips. Her choice of dahlias was certainly stunning.

  3. Great series of photographs. Gray days give less contrast and separate colors better without shadows. 🙂

  4. Beautiful views of your autumn, especially the river scenes.

    I wish I could naturalize tulips here without them becoming gopher snacks.

    Fog and mists are two entities I know well here in Oregon. Always enjoyed their company. They crawl down out of the hills into the low areas, obliterating the view of the hills until just the jagged tops of conifers are visible. We get something here I call a “mist roller”, where the afternoon on my back sun is warm and shining, and suddenly I feel a cold breath on my neck. I turn around to see the mists rolling down and engulfing the farm. The sun disappears, and the air turns cold.

    1. I have often seen mist rollers in the highlands and we occasionally get something like that here. We were hoping to be able to get above the mist and look down on it but that didn’t work out.

  5. Glad you enjoyed your misty climb, and it was well worth the diversion to Skippers Bridge on your return.

  6. You were at Skippers Bridge and didn’t shoot a picture of the bridge?

    I loved the misty views from the bridge as well as from the monument. Also, the foliage from the garden, almost as colorful as the flowers have been this summer.

    By the way, hounds can follow a scent better in damp weather than dry, the moisture is what holds the scent, as long as there isn’t much wind to disperse it.

    1. There wasn’t much wind but the conditions were a bit discouraging at the top of the hill.

      I was at Skippers Bridge and I did take several pictures of the bridge but none of them captured the colours all around so I didn’t use them.

  7. Thank you for the link to a new blog. Your Skippers Bridge, azalea and spirea autumn photos are as beautiful as any I’ve seen this year. Quotes by Keats would be most appropriate for your visit to White Yett and the antics of those greenfinches still make me smile.

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