Today’s guest picture comes from our friend and horticultural adviser Liz. She went for a paddle on the Union Canal, and knowing that I like bridges, she sent me this.
After two sunny day, we reverted to a grey and drizzly day again today. It was an ideal morning for staying indoors so I did just that…
…though I did poke my nose outside in a less drizzly moment to see what was going on.
A bee was trying on a dashing pink hat…
…and in spite of the gloomy weather, there were quite a few red admiral butterflies around. I caught one on the buddleia and another one flat out on the sedum, having a snooze.
I checked to see if there were any blackbirds in the rowan tree. You might think that it would be easier to stand on a twig and peck upwards, but the general trend seems to be to balance carefully and peck downwards.
I did actually see a blackbird fall off its twig trying this method. It steadied itself though and chose a safer spot.
After lunch, the drizzle cleared up and the forecast offered some hours of dryish weather in spite of still having quite a lot of rain on its weather map. I got my bike out and set off to see how far I could get before it started to rain again.
Farmers have been making good use of the recent sunny days and the number of bales of silage in this field shows just how well the grass has been growing this summer.
I looked down at the wall which you can see at the bottom of the picture above and saw a veritable feast of lichens.
All these were within a few feet of each other.
I took a little diversion up to Cleuchfoot, and stopped to admire the autumn fruits, sloes and brambles, beside the road. It looks like being a fruitful season.
I got to the top of Callister and as it began to rain lightly, I turned for home. There was almost no wind today, a very rare thing these days, and it was warm so in spite of the light rain, it was enjoyable to be out and about.
By the time that I had got back to Langholm after 14 miles, the rain had stopped so I didn’t. I went through the town and out of the other side. I had to wait at the junction at the bridge to let a small convoy of MGBs through. They were obviously on a tour and perhaps a reader, looking at the number plate, can tell me where they come from.
When I had crossed the bridge, I had to stop again on the Kilngreen, because not only could I see Mr Grumpy crouching beside the river…
…but there was a cormorant perched on a rock at the Meeting of the Waters.
Local fishermen will not be happy.
I pedalled on up the main road for three miles, stopped to admire the view…
…and pedalled back home again, pleased to have got 21 miles in on a day that had started so miserably.
After a cup of tea (and a biscuit) with Mrs Tootlepedal and our friend Mike who had dropped in, I was sufficiently revived to go out into the garden and mow the front lawn. The grass is growing well in our garden too and the lawns are needing to be mowed every two or three days.
While I was out, I had a look round and was delighted to see a robin. I hadn’t seen one for some time.
While I was tracking the robin, I nearly trod on this blackbird. It was very reluctant to move from a spot where it had obviously found something interesting to eat.
When I looked up at the rowan tree, more blackbirds were finding things to eat.
After a good look round, this one….
…took the plunge, grabbed a berry and swallowed it whole.
Berries were going down well…
…though some were harder to grasp than others.
The berries will not last long if the blackbirds keep going at this rate.
I left the blackbirds to it, and walked around looking for flowers. The honeysuckle on the fence is flowering well and still has plenty to come…
…and Crown Princess Margareta is making a plucky effort to have a late show.
Then my flute pupil Luke came and showed evidence of practice. This can only be a good thing. Both he and I are working on improving our breathing skills and are trying hard to avoid heaving up our shoulders when breathing in, a very bad habit. Getting rid of bad habits is a lot harder than acquiring good habits so we have some way to go.
I made some cauliflower cheese for our evening meal and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I settled down to the double delight of watching the highlights of both the Vuelta and the Tour of Britain.
I didn’t quite catch a flying bird of the day, but this blackbird had to use its wings a lot to steady itself so it gets the title today, whether it was actually flying or not.