Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary and it features another Dale Chihuly glass artwork which she saw on her recent visit to Kew Gardens.
We had some very heavy rain showers today but when they stopped, it was a pleasantly warm if rather muggy day. It was too wet to do any gardening and too unreliable to plan for a bike ride, so I was very happy to welcome Sandy for a cup of coffee in the morning.
We had other visitors too as Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a thrush on the lawn and I saw another one on the top of our new electricity pole.
There are a lot of blackbirds about at the moment and some of them have been rather badly painted.
I didn’t go out into the garden much as it was soggy underfoot, but whenever I did go out, there were sparrows on every available perch…
…and at one time we counted eighteen of them pecking away on the lawn.
One blackbird sat in the rowan tree looking rather dishevelled,
The only garden flower picture that I took all day was this crocosmia.
I am eager to take a bit of exercise before I go and see the physio next week to make sure that I have got a good idea of what is working and what is not, so I suggested to Mrs Tootlepedal that we should go for a walk after lunch. There seemed to be a gap in the rain showers.
She agreed on condition that we drove a little out of town first to find a fresh walking route. This seemed like a good idea, so we drove a few miles up the road towards Bentpath and walked up the track beside the Boyken Burn.
There were plenty of hazel nuts on the trees beside the track…
…and plenty of water coming down the burn after the heavy rain showers over night and in the morning.
The track winds gently uphill and we could soon look back to get some fine views.
The side streams coming off the hill to join the Boyken Burn were naturally full of water too and I was glad that we didn’t have to cross this one on the old bridge.
There was a lot of stone walling to be seen round the lower fields on the hill sides and we wondered what had driven the dry stane dykers of old to add this little kink to their wall building.
Tucked away beside the river, an old barn was collapsing under the weight of time.
The weather brightened up as we made our way along the track…
…and some weak sunshine picked out the lichen on an old telephone pole…
…and lit up the house at Calkin. We stopped to chat to the farmer on the road and he told us that this house is now in such a state of disrepair that it it is going to be demolished.
We thought that this little stream rushing down the hill to join the Boyken Burn near Calkin was picture perfect…
…and the lichen on the rocks beside the track looked like works of art too.
There were plenty of little cascades to enjoy as we climbed further up the valley….
…but the best of them always seemed to be hidden behind trees.
We followed the track until we came to a point where the forest took over from open hill…
…and as the clouds had come in and a light drizzle threatened, we took the hint and turned for home.
We watched buzzards circling over our heads and listened to their plaintive calls as we walked along.
There was plenty to look as well as the birds and the views, with quite a lot of fungus…
…a very old and twisted tree…
…and lots of wild flowers. There was yarrow, harebells, hawkweed and tormentil and Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a cluster of insects on some knapweed…
…and she also noted this tiny white flower ( I would be grateful if anyone can suggest what it is) while I couldn’t miss a large thistle.
We got back to the car just in time because as we shut the door to drive home, the light drizzle turned into some pretty heavy rain, and this continued on and off for the rest of the day.
When we looked at the map, we found that we had walked about 5 km or 3 miles and as I haven’t done much walking at all recently, I was pleased that we had turned back when we did. It was a lovely walk though, and I hope that we will go back again and be able to walk further up the track to the head of the valley next time.
We were both quite happy to sit down and rest our feet when we got home.
The flying bird of the day was having a pause, refuelling and resting its wings, when I caught up with it.