Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who was walking along the Thames last week when she came to Tower Bridge at low tide.
We had another day of sunshine and showers here today but in an improvement on yesterday, there was more sunshine and less rain and when the rain came, it came less ferociously.
The day started early as I picked up Sandy and we took our photograph down to Canonbie to put them on the boards in the village hall, ready to be judged at the Canonbie Flower Show.
On our way home, it rained heavily and we feared for the worst as the flower show has many outdoor activities on the playing field beside the hall. In the end though, that was the worst rain of the day and things went ahead as planned.
I had a late breakfast when I got home and and after a leisurely time sitting and doing not much, I finally went out for a short walk before lunch.
The sun was shining when I started….
…but it was too good to last and I had to put up with occasional drizzle as I went round.
Still, there was a lot to look at. There were sparrows, headless ducks and a sitting bird as I went along the Kilngreen.
I wonder if Mr Grumpy is feeling his age a bit. He seems to have created quite a worn patch on the bank where he has been sitting the last two times that I have seen him.
On the wall beside the Sawmill Brig, I saw spleenwort and turned a frond over to look at the back.
On the Lodge Walks I saw fungus.
The patches of fungus by the felled tree stumps are getting bigger and bigger .
As I walked back along the path by the river, I saw oak leafs with galls and on another oak nearby, a pristine acorn.
I met a very handsome husky taking its owner for a walk.
Other things appealed to me.
Although it looked as though the heavens might open, the clouds passed by with the merest sprinkling of rain, and I got home quite dry.
After lunch, I joined Mrs Tootlepedal in a walk round the garden.
The honeysuckle is going over but Lilian Austin is producing a few late flowers.
Two butterflies were defying the rain showers and a stiff breeze.
The perennial nasturtium which lives among a yew tree has spread across a flower bed and appeared in the hedge behind the yew as well…
…and rather cleverly, it has found a bamboo stick in the middle of the bed and grown up that too. You can see it in the centre of the picture above.
After a while, I drove back down to Canonbie to see how the flower show was going on.
On the playing field, a chainsaw carver was demonstrating his art….
…while a patient static engine whirred endlessly nearby.
Equally patient donkeys were doing good business offering rides.
Around the field, vintage tractors and old cars were drawn up for inspection.
You know that you are old when you realise that you drove the classic cars which you see at a show when they were first brand new. That Triumph Herald is very familiar.
I left a demonstration of dog agility and obedience to look after itself in some light rain and went in to see whether my pictures had attracted the attention of the judges. I was delighted to find that a Lake District view and a garden blackbird had won their classes and one of our garden poppies had got a third. I did get another first and a second place too in another class but as mine were the only pictures in that class, this was a not entirely unexpected.
The photos at the Canonbie show are always given plenty of room among the flowers…
…so it a pleasure to exhibit there.
There was splendid fruit and veg to admire and many beautiful flowers too and I had an enjoyable time looking round. When I had had a good look, I went back to the field and had a cup of tea and a fancy cake with Sandy, who was at the show with a friend and his wife and then I went off for a walk along the river before it was time to collect the pictures and go home.
I was lucky with my walk and dodged the rain completely. I walked down towards the river bank at the bridge and came across a large clump of these tall yellow flowers.
They were hard to photograph because they were waving about in the brisk wind but they are handsome plants. I have no idea what they are.
Once I had got the water’s edge, I looked up at the Canonbie Bridge itself.
I drove over that bridge to work for thirteen years. The bridge is narrow and the overhanging footpath is a fairly recent addition to allow schoolchildren to get back to the village in greater safety.
I crossed the bridge, passed the church and made my way down to the other bank of the river.
The Esk runs past some red sandstone cliffs at the village…
…but it soon opens out into a broad stretch that will take it down to Longtown and the Solway Firth.
The church was looking at its best, picked out by the sun against the rain clouds behind it.
I watched a patient fisherman casting on one bank of the river while goosanders, great fishers themselves, snoozed on the opposite bank while they waited for their chance.
After glance at a sign of autumn…
…I returned to the hall, enthusiastically applauded the many trophy winners (not me), collected the pictures for myself and Sandy and drove home.
The final business of the day was a quick shopping trip with Mrs Tootlepedal and then I was happy cook my evening meal and to sit down and eat it.
It had seemed like a long day.
The flying bird of the day was still waiting to take off when I saw it in the morning after breakfast.