Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who recently visited Banwell Castle and sent me this picture of the gatehouse. I am glad to see that they festoon potential photographic subjects with telephone wires down there as well as up here.
The best weather of the day today was in the morning when it was calm and sunny so it was unfortunate that I had agreed to act as a substitute welcomer in the Welcome to Langholm office from 10am to 12 noon.
Still, I got a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and welcomed several visitors and both supplied them with information and extracted a little money for booklets from them so it wasn’t time wasted.
When I got home, I looked out through the kitchen window to see if the goldfinches had come back to the feeder.
…and in squabbling mood.
They looked even better when the sun came out.
They were joined by sparrows…
…and chaffinches, this one wearing a bird ringer’s ring on his leg…
…and blue tits.
This is a very satisfactory start for the new feeder season.
After lunch, we went out into the garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal is not quite back to 100% yet but she was able to do some good work in the garden today. I had a look round.
The poppies are continuing to do well and to attract insects.
I didn’t see the bee creeping up on this one when I took the picture.
Recently there have been several pictures of fuchsias with a pot marigold in the background. I reversed that today.
I didn’t hang around in the garden though as I wanted to make use of a good afternoon for cycling.
After a few outings on wet roads, my fairly speedy bike needed a wash and lubrication so I was a while before I got going but I got out in plenty of time to do thirty miles or even a bit more.
In the event, perhaps because of the dust from the Sahara which Ophelia brought up with her, thirty miles was quite enough and cycling was a rather weird experience with my brain in turmoil as I tried to sort out what I was actually thinking from snippets of dreams and imagination that confused me as I pedalled along. There are days when being an asthmatic cyclist is not the best thing to be. A say with Saharan dust in the air is one of those.
Luckily, my cycling reflexes were in good order and as I went at a very modest average speed, I was able to get along quite safely although my concentration was anywhere but on the road ahead.
I must have been aware of my surroundings a bit though, as I stopped to take a few pictures as I went round.
There were various shades of autumn as I went along.
It was a good day for a pedal although it was one of those days when the wind seemed to be against for an awful lot of the journey.
Hedges have been clipped but the frequent rain showers have swept the roads clean so there were no thorny problems for me to avoid.
The roads were quiet which was perhaps lucky as I was pedalling in a bit of a dwam.
Gilnockie Tower was looking quite crisp as I passed.
And the distillery looked very cosy tucked in among the autumn leaves.
I fear that we are not going to get a really colourful show of autumn colour this year but perhaps there is still time. I think we need a few cooler mornings to set thing off.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal showed me the work that she had been doing in the garden in my absence. She has great plans for the autumn and winter so that she will be ready for a bright new gardening year. I will try to record developments as they happen.
In the evening, I went off to sing with the Langholm choir and as there were four tenors and only one bass, I jumped ship and went off to sing bass (with variable success). It was probably quite a good idea as my voice was suffering a bit from the dusty bike ride.
The flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch one while the sun was out.