Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who was bowled over by this burst of colour as he walked through the Nottingham Arboretum today.
I had a good day today. The weather was kind when I needed it to be kind and it only rained when I was safely back indoors watching rugby. Even the rugby was kind when after a rather nerve racking first half, Scotland ran away with the game against Fiji.
In addition, I seem to be completely recovered from the minor ailment in the middle of the week and my leg is steadily improving, though it has to be said that it is steadily but slowly improving.
Still, it was well enough for me to set my old fairly speedy bike up on a turbo trainer in the garage and have a couple of careful five minutes of pedalling to nowhere during the day. Alert readers may recall that the fairly speedy bike has a crack in its frame and worry about my safety but with no potholes to go over and no log lorries to fall off in front of, I am confident that the frame can stand a little light stationary pedalling. Time will tell though and if you hear a strangled cry, you will know that I was wrong.
I had had quite an energetic day yesterday so I took the morning quietly and spent time watching the birds.
After a bright chaffinch start….
…things turned gloomier for a while….
…and I was treated to a spectacular last minute handbrake turn…
Then the chaffinches were superseded by a small flock of goldfinches who showed a regrettable lack of courtesy towards greenfinches…
…and towards other goldfinches.
I took yet another coal tit picture, partly because I like these little birds…
…and partly to record the fact that we seem to have two pairs of regulars in and around the garden at the moment. I hope that they stay for the winter.
As the forecast was for rain later, I went for a walk in the early afternoon before having a late lunch.
I included a short hill in my walk for the first time since pulling my muscle and was pleased to get to the top without making things worse. From there I had a gentle stroll along the Stubholm track.
I had chosen a good moment for a November walk…
…and I got an early hint of Christmas from some cheerful holly berries beside the track.
I could look down and see the Community Centre where Mrs Tootlepedal would spend the afternoon with her Embroiderers’ Guild group and beyond it, the suspension bridge, the Langholm bridge and the Sawmill Bridge over the far two of which I had taken my flat walk on Friday.
For the most part, leaves are now on the ground rather than on the trees…
…though as I looked across the Murtholm fields towards the Round House, a few patches of colour were stubbornly hanging on.
There has been enough rain lately to get the little streams flowing freely off the hill and into the Esk.
I walked back home across the Beechy Plains beside the river…
…were every other tree seemed to have a mysterious message for me written in script lichen.
Other lichens were available. This one was on the cut end of a felled tree trunk above the path.
I was happy to see that keen volunteers have been renewing the route signs on the Langholm Walks posts. This one is in the park.
It makes the walks look more inviting when the waymarkers are bright and new.
I got back to the house just in time to wave Mrs Tootlepedal goodbye as she went off to embroider.
There are still a few select blooms about in the garden.
But very few.
Once home, I had scrambled eggs on toast for my lunch and settled down to watch the rugby. It is a tribute to the capacity of the Scotland rugby XV to make terrible mistakes that even with a lead of thirty points and only a few minutes to go, I was still feeling slightly nervous that something bad would happen.
It didn’t though and Mrs Tootlepedal came home so all was well with the world (as long as I didn’t watch the news).
I rounded off the day by cooking myself an evening meal of pan fried lamb’s kidneys in a spicy red wine sauce on a bed of rice. Happy days indeed.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch.
As a footnote I add the information that Mrs Tootlepedal is worried about the dam that runs behind our house. There has been a report that there are plans afoot to fill it in. When it looks as gentle and inviting as it did when I went on my walk today…
…you can see why she would like to stay as it is.