Today’s guest picture comes from my Manitoba correspondent Mary Jo. She is currently on holiday in England and came across this fine gate in Salisbury.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been wanting a bit a manure to get her garden off to a good start for the next growing season so she had a word with a friend yesterday and early this morning, this arrived at our front gate…
…but even with the expert assistance of our neighbour Liz, the tractor was just too big to get itself turned round enough to back the trailer into the drive.
There was no alternative.
Luckily, Alasdair who had supplied the muck , was kind enough to stay on to help and with good teamwork….
…with Al and Liz filling barrows at one end of the drive and Mrs Tootlepedal creating an artistic muck heap at the other, the situation was soon saved.
I ran the shuttle service.
It wasn’t done in a few minutes but it was done just before Dropscone arrived for coffee and we sat down to a well earned rest, although some in the party didn’t think that they were getting a fair share of the scones.
This was the moment to test whether Mary Jo’s gift of saskatoon jam was the correct additive for a Langholm scone and after eating two of his scones with the jam on, Dropscone agreed that the jam passed the test with honour. I must say that I thought that it went very well with a scone or two too.
After Liz and Dropscone left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent a happy hour trying to erase any sign of manure other than that in the neat pile at the end of the drive…
…and thanks to expert work by Mrs Tootlepedal with a teaspoon and a toothbrush, things were left looking pretty tidy. Mrs Tootlepedal is looking forward to spreading the muck about generously in the coming months.
I once gave Mrs Tootlepedal a half load of manure for a Christmas present. It was a very successful present as it sat outside our kitchen window for some time and Mrs Tootlepedal often remarked that every time that she looked at the great heap of muck, she thought of me.
The garden is still reasonably colourful for the time of year….
…and the insects keep coming.
The dahlias were very popular today.
It was pleasantly cool while we were muck shifting, which was good, but the sun came out shortly afterwards and it was a great pleasure to be out in the garden.
Special Grandma looked particularly pleased.
I made some potato and carrot soup for my lunch and then went off for a quick stroll round Gaskell’s Walk. It was quite breezy so I was not unhappy to have had too little time for a cycle ride. September has been a very poor month for cycling with bad weather at the start and too much to do at the end of the month but luckily, I am well ahead of my schedule for the year and with some good weather in October, I should still reach my target by Christmas.
I had very good weather for my stroll and enjoyed the peaceful look of Wauchope Churchyard as I passed.
In spite of the sunshine, the brown and swirling waters flowing under the Auld Stane Brig show just how much rain we have had over recent weeks.
The ground is sodden and the rain showers seem to be very heavy when they come so we may expect a bit of a flood if it rains for a long time soon. All this water came from some rain last night.
I kept my eyes open as I walked and enjoyed this large fungus….
…and I hope that someone will be able to tell me if the white rim round the edge means that it is still alive and growing.
I did see other fungus and lichen but the light was too poor or too bright so I didn’t get very good pictures.
I thought that an oak might be showing autumn colour but it turned out to be caused by the galls on the back of the leaves. Some of the oaks are covered in these galls.
Some peering about on the internet tells me that they may be spangle galls. If this is true we should be in for a plague of gall wasps as there are hundreds of these galls about.
Some of the oaks are free of them and I liked this perky acorn further along the walk.
I resisted the temptation to sit on a handy bench provided so that elderly walkers can sit and look back across the river at the Wauchope Churchyard and think dark thoughts about mortality and enjoyed the open views further on instead.
Grey clouds were looming over Meikleholm Hill.
A curious sheep looked back at me.
I didn’t dawdle too much and I just had time to check out a battered butterfly when I got home….
…before jumping into the car with Mrs Tootlepedal and driving off to Eskdalemuir to collect the Camera Club photos which had been on exhibition at The Hub there.
Thanks to the good curation of the exhibition by Sharon and the other volunteers at The Hub, our club members had sold quite a few of the pictures and I was modestly very pleased to find that three of mine were among those that had found buyers.
It had rained a little as we had driven up but we did most of the journey in sunshine and I wish that I could have had time to stop to take a few pictures. Of course, I would have had to remember to bring my camera with me and as I hadn’t, the lack of time wasn’t quite so painful.
The reason for the rush was a concert at the Buccleuch Centre in the evening. This was given by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, who are absolute masters of the art of providing a congenial evening of traditional music and amusing commentary. Their musicianship on fiddle and accordion is superb and the commentary in between the numbers can make your ribs hurt at times. Even if a lot of the tunes and stories may have made their appearance in former concerts, you greet them with all the enthusiasm you would greet a much loved old friend who has returned after some time abroad.
They have played together for forty years and have supreme and justified confidence in their own ability so they have no need to pester us with questions about whether we are having a good time or to play very loudly or to jump around and stamp to prove that they are trying. They just sit there quietly and pour out a stream of magic and we are grateful.
The flying bird of the day is sitting on the hedge prior to taking off.