A good start to the month


Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone, who met this fine swan on one of his recent golfing adventures.


We had a beautifully sunny day today but paid for it with a drop of a few degrees on the thermometer.  It was above freezing but decidedly chilly when I cycled up to the town to see if I had left my mobile phone in the tourist office yesterday.  Greatly to my relief, I found it neatly tucked away in a draw there.  Once I had it back in my pocket, I returned home and began thinking about a cycle ride to celebrate the first day of November.

Unlike the get up and go of the past couple of days, I had to make quite an effort to get going today.  I was hoping for the temperature to rise a bit before I set off so I put in some time by cleaning my chain and then put in some more by having a cup of coffee.  In the end though, there was nothing for it but to go cycling so off I went.

There was no doubt that it was beautiful day…


…but a light north wind made me grateful for every layer of clothing that I had on.

I stopped a few times to take pictures as I went across country towards the River Annan but I only used this one.

road from Ecclefechan
This natural arch was on the road from Ecclefechan to Hoddom

Whenever I crossed a river, I tried to get a reflection.  This one in the River Annan is from Hoddom Bridge.

River Annan at Hoddom

And this is the wooded slope above the river.


If I had stopped to take a picture of every good view, I would never have got home.

I stopped on the bridge at Annan to have a snack but couldn’t find a reflection worth showing and I was heading on towards Canonbie from Kirkpatrick Fleming when a flash of colour in the verge caught my eye.  I was past it before I realised what it was and although I don’t usually turn the bike round and go back to take a picture, I did on this occasion.

A good crop of fungus
A very autumnal picture

The two blokes sitting in the cab of a lorry in a lay-by just down the road must have wondered what I was doing.

I took the same road from Canonbie to Hollows that Mrs Tootlepedal and I had walked along yesterday but I (just) resisted the temptation to take all the same shots again as I went along.  It did give a me a very good view up the Esk valley just before I dropped down to the Hollows.

Esk valley from Hollows

And it also gave me the chance to take an autumnal shot of Hollows Tower as I passed.

Hollows Tower in autumn

I had a final go at a reflection when I crossed Skippers Bridge just before getting home.

Esk at Skippers

I had covered 44 miles by the time that I got back.  My speed was very modest because if you are trying too hard, you tend to miss the best views and you also get reluctant to spoil your momentum by stopping all the time.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had a busy day getting manure and spreading it about in the garden as well as shifting a buddleia and generally continuing to tidy things up for the winter.

I filled up the feeder…


…and had a cup of tea.

We were both feeling that we had done quite a bit already during the day but it was such a lovely afternoon that we went out on our bikes for a very short run to the Kilngreen and the Castleholm and then back over the Jubilee Bridge.  It was well worth the effort.

We paused for a moment on the Kilngreen so that I could watch a goosander in the river….


…and the gulls flying past…

black headed gulls

…and then we cycled up the Lodge Walks.

Lodge walks

Mrs Tootlepedal was very interested to see the trees that had been felled for safety reasons.  The beech tree stumps were still surrounded by fungi…


…and there were all sorts of interesting things on bits of one of the hollow conifers.

fungus and mold

Having cycled up the Lodge Walks as far as the Lodge, we turned and cycled back down.

Lodge walks
It was just as pretty in either direction.

When we crossed the Jubilee Bridge, we were in the shade for a while and it began to feel very much like November.

Back in the garden, I finished picking the Charles Ross apples.  This was just in time because the birds have discovered them and two or three had been  pecked so thoroughly that I left them there for the birds to enjoy the rest.  I searched for the last few raspberries and enjoyed some of them more than others as the flavour was very variable.

We are promised a cold night tonight and we were expecting a frost but I see that the latest forecast only goes as low as 3°C so we may escape.  Just in case though, I went round the garden taking pictures of some of our floral survivors.

poppies and dahlias
The poppies and dahlias have been brilliant this year.
nasturtium and fuchsia
The nasturtiums against the house wall may well survive but the fuchsia is more delicate.

The fuchsia is going to be moved anyway but it has given us its best display ever so we can only hope that it will like its new spot next year.

Although there is some rain coming on Thursday and Friday, the forecast is showing a lot of sunshine over the next week or so and this autumn must be going to be one of the kindest that we have had for many years.

The flower of the day is a lone knapweed, flowering long after its due date….


…and the flying bird of the day is a black headed gull, shining in the afternoon sun.

black headed gull

For those interested in that sort of thing, details of my ride today can be found by clicking on the map below.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A good start to the month

  1. What a series of stunning photographs, I am very glad you were focused on reflections since I love them. The post is well worth more than one look.

  2. There is so much to enjoy here! The photo with the reflection in the R. Annan is so beautiful and I also liked the view up the Esk valley – I am full of admiration for that well-trimmed hedge down the hill next to the road. I hope you can keep a few of your flowers going for a little longer.

  3. The river and trees are beautiful, even if there isn’t a reflection.
    I like the natural arch and all the fungi. I’m seeing more mushrooms now as well.
    The pink poppy has been a show stopper all summer. I hope the frost doesn’t get it or any of the others.

  4. You have excelled yourself with such lovely autumnal colours – I especially liked the leaves on the fungus.

  5. I thought that the photos of the scenery with the fall colors that you have been posting were great, but you did even better today. You seemed to have caught every thing when the light was perfect, and that goes for the flowers as well.

    My favorites were the natural arch and the view of the Lodge Walks in both directions.

  6. Stunningly beautiful photographs to enjoy and to treasure from the autumn tunnel trees to the reflections in the water and then the flowers in your garden. Such a delight all of them- thank you.

  7. I so envy your fall colours. We mostly have stands of beach pines and alders and spruces which don’t put on any kind of autumnal show. The mushroom or toadstool with fallen leaves is perfect.

  8. Your floral survivors are looking quite perky. Still no frost yet here, and it is one of the mildest autumns I can remember on either coast.

    Glad you found your cell phone, safe and dry. Mine went through the laundry, having been left in a pocket. It doesn’t work anymore, but sure is clean.

  9. Wow, such a beautiful variety, I really love the water shot from Skippers Bridge. I’m trying to make a comeback to the blogging world after a month of absence, thought your title to this post here sounded like the starting point for me to catch back up with you. I had to laugh on your last comment about my goat climbing, I’ve been recovering from a torn meniscus and subsequent knee surgery. Your 44 miles here today have my leg aching right now…. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: