Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. Her cat brought in a most unexpected visitor not long ago. Luckily it wasn’t an adder but a harmless grass snake and it survived.
We were promised some rough and windy weather from Storm Ali and we got some rough and windy weather with gusts between 50 and 60 mph in the middle of the day. Luckily the rain stayed away for the most part and we got off lightly. 30 miles to our west, Dumfries declared a major emergency such was the strength of the wind there and 100 miles to the north, winds of over 100 mph were recorded so on the whole, we can’t complain.
We were distracted from the weather by the arrival of an old university friend for coffee and lunch and catching up with his news gave us plenty to do while we ignored the roaring sounds outside.
We walked along to the Buccleuch Centre to lunch in a comparatively calm moment and then watched as twigs, leaves and small branches whistled past the windows propelled by a savage gust.
The strongest gusts had gone by the time that Murray left to go back to Carlisle so Mrs Tootlepedal and I walked round the garden and shook our heads at fallen plants but also picked up a great number of walnuts which had descended from above.
I filled the bird feeder and wondered whether the birds had enough strength to battle the winds.
They had, though they could only approach the feeder into the wind at the start and had to fly round the feeder to get the correct landing path.
As the winds continued to gradually ease off, the birds filled up the perches….
…though the ones waiting higher up in the plum tree still had to hold on tight and keep their heads into the wind.
It started to rain again so we went inside but after a while, it stopped and I took the opportunity to stretch my legs with a walk down one side of the river to the Skippers Bridge with a return up the other bank.
There had been a good deal of wind assisted leaf fall…
…and acorns littered the paths and tracks.
There are definite signs that the equinox is nearly upon us.
I stopped to admire the Skippers Bridge, looking at it from below….
…before walking along the newly repaired leaf and twig strewn pavement back towards the town.
I had to brush this branch aside as I went along the riverside path…
…and was also stopped in my tracks by this lovely show of clematis in the hedge.
I would like to see this in our garden but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is ‘rampageous’ and more trouble than it would be worth.
When I got to the suspension bridge, I noticed that the regular gull was standing in its regular spot on the edge of the river.
It seems as if it is waiting for a friend and I imagine it humming the gull equivalent of “I’m leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street until a certain little lady comes by.”
There was evidence of the brisk breeze under the town bridge.
There was a very short shower when I was at the far end of my walk but having had their little joke, the weather gods relented and turned off the rain again. Gradually the clouds lifted, the wind died down and it morphed into a fairly calm and pleasant day by the evening.
The forecast is for improving weather over the next few days so I am hoping that my bicycle may see the light of day again.
I had a look round the garden when I came back and picked up more walnuts and took a couple of pictures.
In the evening, I went off to sing with the Langholm Community Choir but had to come home without singing. The session had been cancelled as our conductor had been warned that too many fallen trees on her route had made the journey unsafe.
Ah well, you can’t have everything and it was a small price to pay for escaping the worst of the storm.
Today’s flying bird is a diagonal chaffinch, sneaking up under the wind.