Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who is visiting the Glasgow area and found himself at the start of the West Highland way in Milngavie. He is not going to walk it though as it is 96 miles long.
I have always believed that the autumn equinox came on the 21st of September so it was rather a disappointment to find that this year, it will not arrive until Monday 23rd. Today would have been a wonderful day to mark the end of summer, as the sun shone from dawn till dusk and there was not a cloud in the sky all day.
It was quite windy though so I was more than happy when Mrs Tootlepedal suggested an outing and this gave me a good excuse to leave my bike in the garage.
After a quick look at a couple of sunny flowers in the garden…
…we set off in the Zoe to go to the ‘Hidden River Cafe’.
We had only quite recently heard about this place although it has been open for some years, so it has definitely been quite well hidden.
It is not far from Longtown but the last few miles were done at a stately pace as we got behind a tractor on a very narrow road. This was not as troublesome as it would have been if we were still in our old car. One of the benefits of the electric car is that it is a pleasure to drive at any pace.
We found the cafe and enjoyed a coffee and a delicious slice of cake while sitting in the sunshine on their outdoor terrace. We asked if we might take a walk round after we had finished and they were happy to let us explore. Basically the the site is home to six log cabins for holiday lets. They are well spread out on the bank of the River Lyne and we walked along the access road.
If you want a holiday with full time peace and quiet, this is the place to go.
The cabins are substantial and made of big logs!
One of the staff kindly showed us round a cabin and it was impressive inside.
This was the view from its patio.
The site is part of a working farm and although we were serenaded by buzzards as we went along, and passed an oak tree laden with acorns…
…there were no wild flower meadows and no birds singing, just an occasional fungus and some straggly ragwort.
The lack of flying insects all around our area is getting worrying, perhaps caused by the the lack of wild flower . This in turn may be causing a shortage of birds. I wish that I knew more about what is going on.
Still, it was a beautiful spot and we are told that the cooking at the cafe is very good so we were pleased to have finally discovered it.
We took a diversion on the way home to visit a garden centre where Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a painted lady on the merchandise and I bought some sand to treat the lawns at home.
We got home in time for lunch and then we went out into the garden to make some use of the good weather.
We had plenty of butterflies about but oddly enough, there were no peacock butterflies to be seen today when I was looking.
The sedums are the centre of attention just now as the buddleias are almost over.
The orange hawkweed is in fine fettle…
…and the mountain of sunflowers seems to be getting bigger every day.
I did some more dead heading but my chief business was getting the grass cut before the rains come next week. It was time to raise the cutters to their autumn height but looking at my records, this is easily the best the lawns have looked so late in September.
I may have mentioned before that though it has been a funny year for weather, it has undoubtedly been a very good year for grass,
I take my hat off to the makers of the moss eating lawn fertiliser too as it has worked very well.
I mowed the green house grass but it has a different mower and is cut to a rougher standard.
The I sieved a little compost from Bin D…
…and then, because it was really quite hot in the sun, I went in and had a sit down.
After a cup of tea and two iced buns, I had got enough strength back to try out my new shoes on a walk up a hill.
Once again, there was not much in the way of things to look at beside the track but I did see a pale fungus on a moss covered tree trunk and a lonely scabious.
I chose the track up Warbla for my walk as it has a gentle gradient and a good walking surface on a dry day…
…and some splendid views. This one is looking up the Esk valley towards the Gates of Eden
…and this one, from the summit, is looking over the Solway plain towards the English hills in the distance.
As Mrs Tootlepedal was busy cooking our evening meal, I didn’t hang about on the summit and after a look down over the town…
…I took the track back down the hill, turning off to cut down to the road at the Auld Stane Brig and passing this fine burst of haws on a hawthorn tree just before the gate onto the road.
It was a three mile walk and my new shoes worked very well and my feet gave me little trouble.
I met my occasional neighbour Ken as I got home. He is the same age as me and has at least as many, if not more, medical problems than I have, but all the same he tells me that he is getting near to 5000 cycling miles for the year so far, twice as many as me. I shall have to stop complaining all the time and get working. He is an example to us all.
I forgot about a flying bird of the day while I was preparing this post so there isn’t one. It has flown.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s meal was worth hurrying down the hill for.