Today’s guest picture is another blast of sunshine from my sister Mary’s visit to Bath.
We had some sunshine of our own today and very welcome it was. It was still chilly in the morning in spite of the sun and my cold has not given up yet so I was happy to stay in for a cup of coffee with Sandy. Later in the morning we got a visit from our old friend Dr Cat Barlow who used to mastermind the Moorland Project and was responsible for the comfortable hide at the Moorland Feeders which I often visit. She is working with golden eagles now.
In this way, the morning passed very sociably and I rounded it off by making some potato and carrot soup for lunch.
I did look out of the window from time to time.
The sparrow with white markings was back.
And I had put out some fat balls which attracted a beady eyed jackdaw.
We have had blue tits and great tits in recent days and today we added a coal tit (or possibly two).
I liked this sparrow trying to blend into the background on a bush while waiting for the feeder to be free.
On the whole though, there weren’t many birds about again. There must be plenty of food in the countryside still.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents. I thought it best not to pass on my cold to others and stayed at home and went for a gentle walk in the sun. It would have been a perfect day for a long cycle ride as it was warm, sunny, dry and almost windless but a rare outbreak of good sense kept me off the bike while my chest was not in good condition. That and Mrs Tootlepedal saying, “How many people have said, ‘Oh, I am perfectly fit’ and gone out running or cycling with a cold and dropped dead.”
My walk was a treat so I didn’t mind too much.
I walked through the town and up the Kirk Wynd….
When I got to the hill, I turned along the Quarry track which contours along the face of the hill. It offers lovely views back over the golf course and the town.
You will notice that the windmills on the hill are absolutely stationary, a very rare thing this year and as a result, I had to unbutton my jacket as I walked along as I was too hot.
I like the rolling nature of our hills and the low autumn sun picks the contours out well..
As always, I was observed.
The track is provided with benches where a man may take his ease for a while and admire the countryside….
…but the clocks have gone back and evening comes very early now so I kept going. I crossed the wall at the quarry by the excellent stile…
And followed the path down the open hillside to the woods at the Round House.
There is another bench at the Round House….
…and although I didn’t sit on it, I did stop beside it for long enough to enjoy the view over the town that I would have got if I had sat down.
I walked down to the river at Skippers Bridge and in spite of the recent wet weather, the water was low enough to let me get a good look at the bridge from the upstream side….
…although the sun had sunk far enough to leave the river in the shade by this time.
There was still a fair bit of water about.
I walked home along the Murtholm and saw a dipper on the far bank of the river. Sadly, the light was too far gone for me to be able to photograph it but it was good to see it all the same.
I did photograph some ivy and the first catkins that I have noticed this autumn.
On the bank above the river there was just enough light left to let me have a look back at the Round House, tucked in among the trees.
On my way home, I dropped in to tell Nancy some archive news and she and Bob kindly invited me in for a cup of tea and a slice of cake so between the views, the gentle exercise and the hospitality, I felt that the afternoon had gone very well.
I was welcomed home by an Icelandic poppy.
The hillsides are getting pretty bare now but I had seen two flowers on my walk…
…but these were the only two. I shall have to look out for others on my next walk.
The espalier apples are the gift that keeps giving and I had stewed apples for my tea. I am determined to eat as many of our apples as I possibly can this year.
As I write this, Mrs Tootlepedal has just arrived back from Edinburgh and that has rounded off a very good day. I even think that my cold might be a bit better.
A flying chaffinch with a gleam in its eye modestly takes its place as the flying bird of the day.