Today’s guest picture comes from ex-archive group member Ken, who now lives in the north east. He spotted a mother gull teaching her children where food comes from if people are careless enough to overfill their bins.
We had a dry, often sunny but breezy day today and I might have gone for a pedal if I hadn’t had a hospital appointment in Dumfries to look into my hoarse voice.
There was time before we left, for Mrs Tootlepedal to start work in the garden clearing the flower beds beside the front lawn. The combination of the passing of time and the strong winds and rain had left the mixture cosmos, cornflowers and poppies looking past their sell-by date…
…even though some of the tallest cosmos haven’t even started to flower.
We left for Dumfries with enough time in hand to visit a garden centre near the hospital for lunch and for Mrs Tootlepedal to buy two plants for for next year’s garden.
The hospital appointment was very satisfactory, being bang on time and very short. The consultant poked a tube up my nose and by some magic declared that my throat was free from any damage, other than, he said looking me in the eye, that caused by the ageing process. Still, he is referring me to a speech therapist which was what I wanted to happen three months ago so I am very happy.
To make the most of the day out, we visited a farm shop near the hospital on our way out and made some judicious purchases. Then we took a round about route home, starting with the road along the Nith estuary.
We parked the car and went down to the river’s edge…
…or at least to where the river’s edge would have been if the tide had been in.
The breeze was ruffling the reeds nearby.
We drove down to the very corner of the estuary and walked through the Caerlaverock nature reserve.
We could hear the cry of a curlew but couldn’t pick it out against the marsh so I looked for fungus instead as we went along. There was a good selection.
We mostly walked through an old wood but occasionally we could look across the marsh and the Solway Firth to the English side
We ate a few blackberries as as we went along but weren’t tempted to try any of this rich bunch of elderberries.
It is a place of big skies.
I enjoyed this notice beside the path as it was living up to its words and providing a temporary haven for a butterfly.
The clouds scudded past overhead and the when the sun came out, the wood looked at its best.
We went back to car and drove a mile or so onward until we came to Caerlaverock Castle, where….
…Mrs Tootlepedal sat in the cafe and enjoyed a cup of tea, while I took a brief tour round the premises.
The battery gave out on my phone as I approached the front door but luckily I had my phone in my pocket.
I love this castle and enjoyed my short tour of the inside…
…and then a walk round the moat on the outside.
I like the way that a late owner of the castle built a rather smart town house in the middle of the fortifications.
We left the castle and drove home in an unhurried manner and this enabled us to miss a sharp shower over the town, judging from the sodden state of the roads for the last few miles of the trip.
The sun was shining when we got out of the car and after a cup of tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to finish clearing the flower beds along the lawn.
I had done a lot of shredding by the time she had finished.
I looked around in the evening sunshine. There are still plenty of flowers left.
..but the stars tonight were two lots of ‘pretty in pink’.
We had driven about eighty miles for a ten minute hospital appointment, but as we had fitted in a garden centre, a farm shop, a nature reserve and a castle, we felt that the day had been a genuine outing and very worthwhile.
I got out my bird watching camera when we went in but after a short spell of bird watching, the odds of seeing many more birds were greatly shortened by the arrival of a sparrow hawk…
…who reduced our resident population by one while it was there.
I cooked some of the purchases from the farm shop for tea and that rounded off the day very nicely.
The light was a not quite right for flying birds but quite a few tried to get into the picture before the sparrow hawk came so I have included them all.