Steady progress

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who met an unexpected animal at St Pancras.  She thinks that there may be more roaming the streets of London.


I had a day of steady but gentle activity today.  It was rather grey in the morning so I was happy to look at the hymns for next Sunday’s service and then entertain Sandy for a cup of coffee.  We arranged to go for a walk in the afternoon.

When he left, I went out into the garden to see what was going on and enjoyed a dahlia…

dahlia (2)

…and the promise of many more fuchsia flowers to come if the frost keeps away.

fuchsia buds

We are still getting a steady stream of butterflies…

red admiral butterfly

…and Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she saw no less than seven at the same time on this buddleia in the afternoon.

I kept an eye on the bird feeder…

busy feeder

…but there was nothing unusual to see.

goldfinch and chaffinch

I get the feeling that the quality and sharpness has gone out of my flying bird pictures lately so it might be a good idea to take my bird watching camera to get a service to see if I can blame it for the problem.  It may well be me though.

Mrs Tootlepedal had to go off to visit the RBS mobile bank (which only comes once a week) and then we drove down to Longtown to collect her new glasses to go with her new improved eyesight.

Since we were close at hand, we went off for lunch at a garden centre before coming home again.

I didn’t have to long to sit down before Sandy arrived for our walk and we headed south for a couple of short strolls along the river using the old main road, now by-passed and just the place for a quiet stroll.

We are a bit worried that if they persist, the brisk winds will dry out the trees’ leaves and everything will turn brown rather than giving us good autumn colour so we took in all the colour we could see meanwhile.

A7 layby

river at Broomholm

river at seven sisters

hollows bridge downstream

hollows bridge upstream

Esk from Byreburnfoot brodge

It was very enjoyable having a leisurely walk, well sheltered from the breeze, along the river in good company.

We looked about as we went and Sandy spotted a snail on a dandelion…

dandelion with snail and fly

…which turned out to have a fly as a friend.

We disturbed a small flock of mallards on one of our visits to the river bank but they flew off before we could get a good shot.

flying ducks

There are fungi everywhere this year…


…and quite a lot of them are providing food for wild life.

fungus 2

We could have done with some sunshine to bring a bit of sparkle to the leaves…

byreburn road

…but of course it waited until we got into the car to go home before the sun came out.

Mike Tinker joined us for a cup of tea and remarked that his house seemed very quiet and empty now his visitors had left.

In the evening, we went off to the Buccleuch Centre to hear a concert given by Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, two of our favourite musicians.  They have visited Langholm regularly over the past years and we go to see them whenever we can, as they provide all the ingredients for a thoroughly enjoyable night out.

For those of you who don’t know them, they are a pair of comfortably built, affable and experienced traditional musicians of the highest quality, playing fiddle (Aly Bain) and accordion (Phil Cunningham).  They are happy to let their music speak for itself so it is played without affectation or over amplification.  The music itself always has the most gorgeous line and does not have an ounce of surplus fat on it.

The music is not the only thing that speaks as Aly and Phil keep up a running commentary between numbers and this is almost as good as the music and contains many jokes and anecdotes that are now old friends and all the more welcome for that.  All in all, it was another evening of great warmth and good cheer.

The flying bird of the day is well up to my current standard, i.e. not very good….and it is only just qualifying as a flying bird at all.

chaffinch landing



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Steady progress

  1. I’ve thought that a number of your recent flying bird photos were some of your best ever, but I don’t know how many you shoot to get the ones that you post here. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the camera that you used to shoot the dahlia, stunning!

    I see that your trees have a bit more color to the leaves than the trees here, in some ways I’m looking forward to seeing more of them, on the other hand,, that means winter is getting closer.

  2. I still like your flying birds. But the snail and the fungi really caught my attention. … I wonder if the sculpture is a tribute to the last white rhino.

  3. Even from the side that’s a beautiful dahlia.
    The views of the colors along the river are excellent. You’re a little ahead of us I think.
    I like the shot of the flying mallards too. That’s not an easy shot, in my opinion.

  4. Wonderful shot of the snail and the fly. I was a little puzzled by the “RBS mobile bank, which only comes once a week.” Does that mean your town dosn’t have a bank?

    1. We have a local building society which more or less acts like a bank, a branch of a national bank which opens now and then, and the mobile van from another national bank which recently closed its office in the town. We are not badly off but if you were a customer of the closed bank, it is annoying.

  5. Our hummingbirds would certainly love those fuchsia flowers. It’s been so dry here that there’s hardly anything blooming. I finally took pity on them and put up a feeder with sugar water -their treat of choice unless I were to go out and catch insects. The fuchsia cutting I took from a bush by the side of the road seems to be perking up a bit. We had a whole 0.3 inches of rain yesterday. The first bit of moisture since last spring.

      1. Our newspaper just reported that we’d had the driest summer for 60 years!

        We have too many conifers and rather boring alders to get the autumn color that you do. I hope the wind doesn’t cheat you (and us) out of yours.

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