Out cold

Ely cathedral

Today’s guest picture shows Ely Cathedral.  My brother was obviously keen on visiting cathedrals in October.

Ely cathedral

We woke to lovely sunshine which was very welcome after the recent rain but the weather gods hadn’t done anything about the temperature which was only just above freezing.

I shouldn’t complain about the weather as the statistics published today show that we had considerably less than half our usual rainfall in October.

I had to sample both the sunshine and the chill when I walked up to the Market Place to get some eye drops as I am slightly troubled by an eye infection.  The bottle says it should be cured in a couple of days.

The bright sunshine doesn’t help at all when it comes to taking bird pictures at the feeder in the winter months.  The feeder is in deep shade for most of the morning and  because the camera finds it hard to deal with strong contrasts between the deep shade and the bright colours in the background, pictures are hard to come by.

I can always look at the plum tree for more distant perching birds…

chaffinch and blue tit

…but even there, the light is tricky.

Birds at the feeder…..

blue tit

…always look very chilly and need work in the photo editor to bring them out at all.

I have to wait until the sun gets far enough round…


…for me to catch dunnocks on the ground…


…and a robin too (though it wouldn’t stand in the sunny patch).

Finally the sun hit the feeders…


…and most of the birds promptly disappeared.  There weren’t many in the garden in the first place.

I took a walk round the garden to see what was still there.

ends of flowers
Odds and ends
Icelandic and field poppy
The last of the poppies

Not much left.

I had an early lunch and then I went out for a pedal.  At 5°C it was still decidedly nippy but there was a little warmth in the sun and the wind was fairly light in the shelter of the Wauchope valley so cycling was tolerable.    When I emerged from the valley at Wauchope schoolhouse, the wind was quite a bit fresher so I was pleased that I had decided to use the three and a bit mile stretch of road as my outdoor gym and I quietly pedalled up and down it three times to get to my twenty miles for the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden planting more tulips when I got back and strangely enough didn’t require any help from me.  I thought that I ought to make use of the good day and went off for a walk before the light faded away.

The light was golden while it lasted.

Meikleholm gate

I have been walking with my head down a bit on recent walks so today I lifted my eyes to the hills.

Castle Hill

There was a large flock of chaffinches in the hawthorn trees beside the path up Meikleholm Hill…


…and there were still some berries on the trees.  Perhaps when they are finished, I will see more traffic in the garden.

Although the sun was threatening to sink behind the hills to the west, there was enough light to provide me with some nice views.


Langholm in November

And there are still leaves left on many trees.

Ashley Bank

We are promised a hard frost tonight and the possibility of snow tomorrow evening so this may have been my last chance to enjoy  a day like this.

I didn’t stay long on the hill and walked down across the field to the bridge across the Becks Burn….

Becks Burn

…which I had cycled across six times earlier in the afternoon.

I went up the road to the Auld Stane Brig…

auld stane brig
Always a good place to look for interesting things

..and strolled home along Gaskell’s Walk.

As it was completely sheltered from the wind, it was a pleasure to go along the track even though the sun was now only catching the hill tops…

View from Gaskells

…and I was walking in the valley of shadows.

Mother Nature must have been in her rococo period when she designed this seed head.

seed head

I found some new fungus and some old friends as I went along….


…and there is one spot beside the river where there is so much fungus that it it hard to move without stepping on some.

At the park, I met Mike, the cello player who was also out for a walk.  We should have been playing music tonight but for one reason or another it wasn’t possible so it was good to have a chat with him anyway.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a good practice.  It will not be long before he will be able to play better than me.

As I have still got three hundred cycling miles to go before I meet my target for the year, I hope that the forecast weather doesn’t come to much.  It is bad enough having to wrap up well for cycling at 5°C but snow and ice make cycling impossible for me as I haven’t got a winter bike with winter tyres.  Still, a little ice and snow might make for interesting pictures so I shall endeavour to look on the bright side.

The flower of the day is a rather washed out Special Grandma….

special grandma

…and the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch in the morning shadows.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Out cold

  1. I like the sunshine on the gate too, and the larch (?) covered hillside is beautiful.
    The other landscapes are just as nice. The trees on the hillside over the house look huge compared to it.
    The robin is looking very cheerful lately.

  2. Love the fence capture with the golden light, and that robin sure is proud looking. Again, your fungi shots are excellent! Are any of these edible in your country? We go crazy for mushrooms here in the U.S., but only what we purchase at the market. I have no idea on wild ones.

  3. Wow, you timed your walk perfectly to catch the sun and shadows playing on the hills!

    The flowers are looking worn out and tired, I suppose that after the joy that they have given us this summer that they have the right to sleep for a while, but I shall miss them.

  4. Remarkable amount of leaves still on the trees.
    I liked the view of the sun catching the tops of the hills.

  5. Your commentary always makes me smile and adds to the pleasure of viewing your beautiful photos. Love the autumn colours around the perfectly placed gate! Hope the cold snap forecasted doesn’t deter your cycling and as you say ice covered foliage is always a bonus to photograph and chat about.

  6. I know what you mean about photographing birds this time of year in the what is often piercing sunlight or deep shade. Nice gate picture! Brings back fond memories of a recent Ireland hiking trip.

    1. I shouldn’t complain about the sunshine because it is very welcome when it comes. I got to the gate at just the right time of day for once.

  7. That was a very nice day there, with so many beautiful views. So a hard frost is coming your way? It was 75 here today at the high point, after a 40 degree start.

    1. We didn’t get a very hard frost in the end. The forecasters tend to be over gloomy these days in case people blame them for missing things. Your 75 degrees sounds a bit unseasonable.

  8. The fence shot is my favourite. The composition, colours and lighting are perfect. The hill landscapes are also very pleasing and I always enjoy your fungi samples. I’m surprised you still have some colourful flowers left in the garden. I hope you meet your cycling target for the year but the conditions do sound rather challenging so I hope you remain safe. Icy roads and windy weather are nasty.

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