Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He visited Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire and admired the castle there. It reminded him of our prime ministe. Like her, it is rather battered but still standing.
In a complete reversal of the normal order of things, Dropscone arrived for coffee this morning but didn’t bring treacle scones with him even though it was Friday. He had been at a golf meeting up in the borders yesterday and had visited a supermarket on his way home. Once inside, he had been tempted by a seedy malt loaf which was on display at such a reduced price that it was irresistible and he brought that to coffee today instead of scones, It was very tasty.
When he left, I admired a greenfinch taking in the rays on the plum tree…
…and then Mrs Tootlepedal led me out on a cycling expedition round the New Town. We were tracking the dam from source to outflow. I recorded our journey.
- The dam starts at the sluice at Pool Corner, squeezes under the new flood wall just below the sluice and heads off beside the old dump (now covered over and a recreation area).
2. We followed its course and looked back towards Pool Corner and then turned 90 degrees to watch it as it flowed past the edge of Latimer’s shed and burrowed under Caroline Street.
3. It creeps along the road under the pavement here until it takes a sharp left turn at the green hedge which you can see and emerges to go through a patch of wild country between Caroline Street and Wauchope Place. It creeps under the street there by a very plain bridge.
4. Once across Wauchope Place, it enjoys a moment of freedom as it heads between manicured banks towards the spanking new bridge at Wauchope Street and then, after passing our house, it once more heads underground, this time beneath Walter Street and across Henry Street.
5. Once across Henry Street, it visits the Skinyards and then appears for a brief moment at a sluice in Reid and Taylor’s yard before sinking underground again and passing under Elizabeth Street, where it emerges from a tunnel on the banks of the Esk…
…joins the river and ends up in the sea in the Solway Firth.
The reason for this adventure was to record the dam in its present state as there has been talk of decommissioning the dam when the Reid and Taylor’s site is redeveloped. Those who live along it would be very sorry to see it go.
While I was at the river side, I took a shot of the willows below the suspension bridge. They have been adding some late colour to the riverside scene but they are fading away now like the year.
The gentle flat cycle outing probably did my sore leg some good and I let that be my exercise for the day.
I watched the birds when I got home and once again, it was very quiet for most of the time at the feeder. We had some busy days when the temperature dropped but it hit 13°C today and most of the birds must be happy to forage for food in the countryside at the moment.
The small flock of goldfinches returned over lunchtime, led by this handsome but slightly ruffled bird.
At times, there was a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing and flapping of wings….
…and some smart one legged landing.
On other occasions the landing had to be one legged as the other leg was being used to kick away the unfortunate occupier of the perch.
A lone chaffinch appeared.
We took a walk round the garden and I was impressed by the staying power of the sweet rocket which would be long over by now in a normal year.
Mrs Tootlepedal liked the strong impression made by these primroses.
The hips on the Goldfinch rose are flourishing thanks to the warm summer.
And a few of the calendulas have suddenly taken a new lease of life and are looking as good as new.
Not all growth is good. Mrs Tootlepedal is a bit worried to see spring bulbs showing above ground at this time of year. These tulips shouldn’t be visible now.
I spent the afternoon doing useful things on my computer and in the evening, Mike and Alison came round as usual on a Friday and Alison and I rounded off the day with some enjoyable duets.
The forecast is good for tomorrow so I might try another short, flat cycle ride to keep my leg exercised as today’s effort seems to have done no harm.
One of the goldfinches is the flying bird of the day today.