Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce’s recent trip to the central belt of Scotland. He found a bit of a wall there that wasn’t built by Hadrian.
There was torrential rain to the south of us today, leading to serious flooding in England but it was warm and dry here when I got up. There was no sign of any sun though as I walked down the riverside path towards the bottom of the town.
Sue, a very thoughtful blog reader, had realised that I was likely to be starved of both scones and coffee-time conversation in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal, Dropscone and Sandy, so she had invited me to visit for coffee with the added inducement of a probable nuthatch sighting at her bird feeder.
My route took me past the tall hedge that has been grown to disguise the fact that the sewage works for the town lurks behind it. It is a hedge chock full of interest.
And the river bank itself was quite colourful too.
When I got to Sue’s, I was enthusiastically welcomed by her three dogs and after they had calmed down, she took me for a tour of her garden.
She keeps hens and ducks as well as dogs (and cats).
Her garden is mostly built on a broad shelf in the hillside which used to carry the railway line to Langholm. Now it is a woodland glade with a waterfall….
…views through the trees of more trees across the river…
…with fruits and fungi on every side…
…and more hens…
…and a very peaceful air about it.
It is a garden that will have interest in all four seasons.
After the garden tour, we went in to a busy house where joiners and a plasterer were hard at work on improvements.
Sue provided us all with coffee and instead of scones, I was offered two very tasty Bakewell slices. These were a very acceptable accompaniment to a good cup of coffee.
Sue has a very well stocked bird table outside her window, with ordinary bird seeds, nyger seed, fat balls and peanuts. In spite of a good deal of bustle from the work force, the birds were not slow to come to the feeder.
Sparrows were the most frequent visitors…
…and a lone jackdaw dropped in…
…but it wasn’t long before the promised nuthatch appeared and adopted a characteristic nuthatch pose…
…before getting down to the serious business of eating peanuts.
A blue tit looked on from a neighbouring tree.
As we chatted, another nuthatch, or perhaps the same one again, appeared and tried a different set of nuts.
I was thoroughly entertained by both Sue and the birds but in the end, I left to get home before the rain reached Langholm.
On my way back along the river bank, I came upon these two men with a drilling rig.
They are not drilling for oil. They told me that they were going 10 metres down into the rock as part of the background work for a new flood prevention scheme for the town.
As I walked further along the river, I came across two goosanders. They sometimes looked one way and sometimes, the other…
…but mostly they looked under the surface of the water. There must have been good feeding down there because they were both very busy and quite often all I saw of them was a splash as they disappeared.
When I got back home, I had time for a quick look round the garden…
…where I was surprised to find quite a few butterflies and other insects about, in spite of the increasingly grey weather.
I had my lunch and then the promised rains arrived. It is still raining as I write this some hours later. I decided to ignore the outside world for the afternoon and put in time entering the newspaper data into the Archive group database, and practising some flute pieces and singing.
When I did look out of the window, the outside world ignored me.
In the evening, I had another go at making a tarte tatin. This was not so successful as the last effort with Mrs Tootlepedal’s help but it turned out to be still quite eatable so I ate some of it.
One forecast says that it might stop raining overnight, but that it will start raining again tomorrow. Another says that it will stop raining overnight and won’t start again tomorrow. We shall see. I know which forecast I prefer.
The flying bird of the day is one of the goosanders. It got fed up with swimming and took to the air.