Learning my lesson

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone who was at the Roxburghe Golf course when he came across a reminder of the strong winds that battered us last month.

roxburghe tree snap

There was a brisk wind here today but not as brisk as the one that had knocked that tree to bits.

I had time for a quick look at the birds after breakfast….

low flying chaffinch
A chaffinch trying to sneak past the window without getting its picture taken.

…before the wind  blew me down the road to Brampton as I went off in the car for a singing lesson from the lady who conducts the Langholm Choir.  I was a bit worried in case the car gave me warning messages again but the garage had done the trick and everything went smoothly.

Mary turned out to be an excellent teacher, patient, supportive and very clear in her suggestions.  It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks as the saying goes but she managed very well and I came away with a good idea of what to work at and a bit of confidence in my ability to sing which had been lacking before.  We are going to arrange another couple of lessons when time permits.

I had a meeting arranged in Langholm at midday so I couldn’t stay around to explore the surrounding area which would have been fun and found myself back home in time for lunch.

Two friends of Mrs Tootlepedal came to visit the garden after lunch and when I went out to see them, I noticed the butterfly of the day on a dahlia.

buttefly on yellow dahlia

When they left I had a look about.

Most of the dahlias have come to the end of their useful life but one or two still look good…

last dahlia

…and others still had bees visiting.

I noticed that another clematis had sneaked a flower out behind my back…

late white clematis

…and all three buds on the Lilian Austin had lived up to their promise.

triple Lilian Austin

The Japanese anemones are still out in numbers…

bright Japanese anemone

…and the last of the hostas have a few flowers left.

dark hosta

It was far too windy to make cycling a pleasure but it was sunny enough to make being outside a good idea so I went for a walk up Meikleholm Hill.

There is an old tree stump beside the track up onto the hill that acts as a fungus collection and it was well supplied with specimens today.

fungus on Meikleholm track

A bit further up the track, I came upon another casualty of the recent strong winds.

fallen tree on Meikleholm track

I was amazed by how shallow the root system was , being no more than a foot in depth and with no roots protruding through the banking that the falling tree had lifted up.

fallen tree roots on Meikleholm track

On the other hand, it was very wide.  It is wonderful that any trees stand up at all on our very shallow soils.

There were no sheep or cattle on the hill today so I had a peaceful walk on a rich growth of grass.  There were not many wild flowers to be seen….

yarrow

…because the sheep had made a good job of eating everything interesting before they left.  However, there were a great number of these small fungi scattered all over the hillside.

mushrooms on Meiklholm Hill

And of course there were any amount of views…

Esk valley from Meikleholm Hill

…with just a hint of autumn about them…

Casdtleholm from Meikleholm Hill

…though the hint was quite marked in places.

track on Meikleholm Hill

I caught the town lying below me in a sunny moment…

view of Langholm from Meikleholm Hill

…but as I walked back down the hill, ominous clouds rolled up overhead and I abandoned a plan to extend my stroll and walked back in the company of another camera club member whom I met on the way.

Needless to say, almost as soon as I had decided to go straight home, the clouds vanished as if by magic and it was a bright day again when I got back to the garden.

When I went in, I found Mrs Tootlepedal chatting to our neighbour Liz who most unluckily broke a bone in her foot recently and is now hobbling about on crutches.  She had told me about the fallen tree on the Meikleholm track.  She had seen it on one of her last walks before her accident.

When Liz left, Mrs Tootlepedal came out to join me in the garden and I took on the role of Attila the gardener’s henchman and dug up a lot of the worst affected dahlias in one of the front beds and shredded them.  I laid their shredded remains reverently on Mrs Tootlepedal’s new bed along the fence as a green mulch.  Life goes on.

Mrs Tootlepedal edged the lawns and then we went in.  I noted some cheerful colour on my way.

red flowers october

I made  baked eggs and spinach in a cheese sauce for my evening meal and picked some of our autumn raspberries for my pudding.

We had a quiet evening in.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy in the kitchen earlier on so I went to look at the birds from an upstairs window and from there took this picture of the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch concentrating

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Learning my lesson

  1. Nice of the butterfly to pose on the dahlia.
    I’ve seen a lot of trees blown over just like yours, and it is amazing how shallow the roots are. That’s a sign of little wind and plenty of moisture as they grew. Wind and dryness make tree roots go deep.
    The views both up the hill and from it are beautiful.

    1. I agree about the moisture but we have a lot of wind so I am not so sure about that. I basically think that it is down to the very shallow topsoil we have on top of our rocky terrain.

  2. I envy your bravery to submit to singing lessons. Love the town shot. The angle of the light captured in your photos transport me entirely. I think I’m in need of an escape.

    1. The light is good round here on the days when the sun shines. It lifts the spirits a lot. The singing lessons were needed so needs must as they say.

  3. A fine day from your photos, although I read today that it’s been quite cool compared to average in your area, and the wind damage goes with that I suppose. Now I’m more surprised than ever that you still have flowers that look as good as the ones in your photos look. The views from during your walk were wonderful as well, I’m looking forward to seeing the hills when the leaves are in full color there.

  4. The heartwood in that downed tree looks like it was rotten. Twelve years ago we had a large silver maple here in the front yard that we had to have taken down, as it dropped a rather large limb behind my car, just missing it.

    The views from your hills are beautiful. A friend once described peace as a place of one’s own to listen to the wind. I gather the wind tells quite a story to passersby on those hills.

  5. My favorite of the day is the butterfly on a dahlia. You caught it perfectly framed by the flower. Always a pleasure to join you, even when I’ve fallen behind a bit. Likely will again since we’re planning another trip into the wilds… 😀

      1. We worked pretty hard on the house this past summer, so now that the swarms of tourists have settled down a bit, it seems to be our turn to play! 😀

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