Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin. He and his wife Gaye (pictured beside the train) spent 18 hours on this train from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. He tells me that route took them through the Utah Salt Desert, Nevada Desert, and then finally the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was spectacular but the accommodation and food on the train left a bit to be desired. He thinks Gaye was delighted that the journey was finally over.
I spent a very quiet day today, partly because my legs were not in the mood to be co-operative and mainly because the wind blew vigorously and relentlessly all day so it wasn’t an attractive cycling day.
The morning was given over to late rising, a crossword, coffee and a little light mowing of the greenhouse grass. I wandered about dead heading and looking at flowers. The poppies continue to surprise me with their tenacity…
…and here and there, bright colours stand out…
…though I had to hold the rose’s head up with my hand to get the picture of it.
I found a break in the wind to capture gentian, crocosmia and perennial wallflower.
And there were insects about too, although the butterflies were very scarce.
The rowan berries are getting very scarce too….
…and jackdaws decided that plums were a better bet.
I dug up a couple of leeks and made some leek and potato soup for my lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her monthly Embroiderers Guild meeting and I did a little shopping. Among the things that I acquired was a pan suitable for making tarte tatin. My first effort a couple of days ago had no been very successful and not having a suitable pan had not helped. We have got a good lot of apples about to ripen so I thought that I ought to have another go.
The new pan made things a lot easier but I still slightly overcooked the caramel sauce…
…and I need to improve my apple packing skills but once again, it didn’t taste too bad and things can only get better with experience.
While the tarte was cooking, I mowed the front lawn and edged both it and the middle lawn. A neat edge always makes a lawn look better.
When the tarte had come out of the oven, I left Mrs Tootlepedal to recover from her meeting, which had gone very well, and set off to shake a little of the cussedness out of my legs with a two mile walk. In spite of the strong wind, it was fairly warm and I didn’t need a coat or an umbrella.
I took a familiar route along the track to the Becks Burn and back by the Wauchope road and I passed plenty of fruit and seeds along the way.
The rose hips on the hedge roses have really come into their own at the moment and there were flashes of red all along my walk.
These cones and seed heads were near the end of my walk.
There were some flowers along the way too.
I kept an eye out for fungus but the only example that I saw was this good spread on top of a tree trunk. I think that these are turkey tails.
When I got to the track down to the Becks Burn itself, I was very impressed by this sea of grass, tossing in the breeze.
By the time that I had crossed the burn and walked up the slope on the far side, the sun had come out so I turned and looked back at the track that I had walked down on the far side of the little valley.
And I took a panorama of the bigger picture…
…which will expand if you click on it.
In the course of my walk, I photographed two gates, one near the beginning in dull light…
…and one near the end when the sun was out.
I ended my walk by looking to see if there were any slow worms in their favourite spot at Pool Corner.
And as my sister Susan, likes fuchsias, I took this picture of a really fine specimen just as I came back into the town.
I turned the tarte tatin out of the tatin pan when I got back and we had it as pudding after our evening meal.
Even though I hadn’t cycled myself, we were able to watch the highlights of great men cycling furiously in exciting stages of both the Vuelta and the tour of Britain to end my day. It was quite exhausting just watching their efforts.
The flying bird of the day is a composite of a jackdaw that flapped across the garden in a relaxed way.