Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew. As well as the moon, Derby has been visited by the sombre ‘Knife Angel’, an artwork designed to highlight the problem of knife crime in Britain.
Autumn gave us a sharp reminder that it is here with a chilly start to the day, not far above freezing. But having nudged us in the ribs, it then provided us with a beautifully sunny day to cheer us up again.
All the same, it was too chilly to spend much time outside early on as my cold has not given up altogether. I did pop out into the garden from time to time to enjoy the sunshine and watch birds…
…and check that the flowers hadn’t been knocked out by the cold morning. In general, the flowers had survived very well…
…and as the day warmed up…
…insects came out to enjoy the flowers too
There were not many butterflies about but seeing any was a bonus. I didn’t see any in October at all last year and 10th Oct was the last that I saw any in 2017 so we are right at the end of the butterfly season.
This red admiral looked to be in excellent condition.
Rather annoyingly, the transplanted fuchsia finally showed a flower at the very last moment, much too late to be sensible, and…
…Mrs Tootlepedal, worried about another cold night coming, picked a spray and took them indoors.
Finally I spotted a butterfly on the sedum.
I made a leek, onion and potato soup for lunch, all from the garden, though I did add a little shop bought carrot for colour.
It had warmed up quite a bit by the time that lunch was over, so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some business, I got my bike out and tested my chest with a gentle twenty miles round my customary Canonbie circuit.
I wrapped up very well and in the sunshine, it was really a good day for cycling for semi invalids.
I was a bit alarmed to see that my favourite tree has already lost all its leaves…
..but other trees are hanging on.
It was another clear day and i could see the Lake District hills clearly on the far side of the gleaming Solway.
Canonbie Church was looking at its best…
…and when I looked around, the trees at Canonbie seem undecided about changing colour yet.
I stopped at Hollows Bridge for a rest and looking down at the rocks in the river, I could just make out…
…Mr Grumpy’s Canonbie cousin.
Some of the route back from Canonbie is on the old A7, now bypassed by a wide new road, and it is hard to believe that this was once a busy main road. It makes for a quiet ride now, although cyclists have to join the traffic on the main road for the last couple of miles back into Langholm.
When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden. Among other things, she is trying to pinpoint an annoying leak in our pond. This may be an insoluble problem but Mrs Tootlepedal is not giving up yet.
I recorded a visit from a small tortoiseshell butterfly…
…and went off to sieve the last of the compost in Bin D. When I had finished, I took the cover off the compost in Bin C and started to shift it into Bin D. However, for one reason or another, the compost turned out to be in excellent condition, and I may be able to use it straight away without more shifting.
I have never managed to make such good compost so quickly before and I would like to know how I’ve done it.
It might be the steady warm weather we have had this summer, or possibly some careful layering of green and woody materials when it was put into Bin A, or perhaps just the right amount of moisture in the pile, or a combination of all of these things…or possibly pure chance. Whatever the reason was, it will save a lot of sieving.
In the evening, I went off to the first meeting of the season of the Langholm community choir, ‘Langholm Sings’. We have a new conductor and a new accompanist but because two concerts have been arranged in early December and we are going to be pushed for time, we are still singing some old and familiar songs. As a result, the meeting was not quite as exciting as I had hoped. Still, as hitting any low notes made me cough a bit, some undemanding work was probably a good thing.
As my cold is getting better, Mrs Tootlepedal’s cold has returned. I hope that this sort of thing is going to stop soon.
The flying bird of the day was being checked out for style by an interested spectator.