Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone and reveals that the path in yesterday’s guest picture did indeed lead to a lighthouse, though the lighthouse is rather unusual. It is opposite the port of Port Ellen next to Carraig Fhada at Kilnaughton Bay. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1832 by Walter Frederick Campbell in memory of Lady Eleanor Campbell. This is a very characteristic lighthouse with two square towers connected to each other. It is a working lighthouse.
Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a lie in today so things started slowly and it was very hard to distinguish between breakfast and morning coffee.
It was a cool day but dry and with not anything like as much wind as we have been having recently so I eventually got my bike out and set off to see how far my legs would carry me. I was feeling pretty creaky at the outset but once again the good Dr Velo provided if not a complete cure, at least some relief from creakiness and my legs took for me for an enjoyable 30 miles. I might have gone a bit further but I had no food with me and I had told Mrs Tootlepedal that I was going to do 20 miles so 30 miles seemed sensible.
The farmers have managed to get a second cut of silage in and my route was dotted with green fields where the sheep were grazing and pale fields where the grass had gone.
I kept my nose to the wheel for the most part and didn’t stop to take pictures, except for one of the river at Irvine House with just one hint of autumn among the trees.
There was a bigger hint a few hundred yards further along the road.
When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden chatting to our neighbour Liz. Liz was taking a break from hard work in her own garden but it wasn’t long before both the gardeners were back at work. I had a sandwich and then came out to do some dead heading and supervising.
We have got some late orange hawkweed to keep things looking bright.
And if you think that this dahlia looks a little crowded with insects…
…what about this dandelion?
I went in for a cup of tea and then there was a smir of rain which brought Mrs Tootlepedal in too.
The rain didn’t last long and the afternoon brightened up again so Mrs Tootlepedal went back out to the garden and I went for a short walk.
The park wall showed that moss is getting back into its stride after the dry spell in the summer.
..with some spleenwort too.
There was lichen and a flower on the wall…
…and sloes and fungus beside the path as I walked up past the Stubholm…
…where I found that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel.
Gaskell’s walk had a lot to look at as I went along.
There were rosebay willowherb seed heads in abundace.
…and a lot more fungus…
…although one patch turned out to be fallen leaves.
The small lichen garden on the fence post at the Auld Stane Brig was still flourishing
It has been there for years.
On the other side of the bridge, two cows did formation grazing.
The road back to town was colourful in places….
…and there was another hint of autumn when I looked back over the graveyard to the woods that I had just walked through on the far side of the Wauchope Water..
At Pool Corner, the slow worms, both old and young, were still above ground (but under a sheltering piece of roofing felt).
My walk was noted by interested spectators.
Between the late start, the cycling and the walking, I didn’t have much time for looking at birds but in spite of that I did recognise how lucky we are to have a good variety of bird visitors. Today we had starlings, blackbirds, blue tits, coal tits, sparrows, goldfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins, jackdaws, pigeons and collared doves.
You will have to take my word for that though as the only pictures I have is of the flying bird of the day, a chaffinch, going to join a goldfinch, sparrow and greenfinch on the feeder.
Looking at the picture, I notice that the chaffinch looks a little upset and this may have been because the perch that the chaffinch was hoping to land on has become unscrewed. I will have to look for it tomorrow.
Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge shows 6 cm of rain for the week or just about 2¼ inches, almost all of which came in one night early in the week so our weather has been better than expected.