Today’s very appropriate guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He not only photographed this Halloween lantern but also carved it himself and grew the plant too. A man of many talents.
We had another in our run of frosty mornings but dry days today and after coffee, I went out for a walk with my bird watching camera to see if there were any obliging gulls at the Kilngreen.
Before I left, I had a quick round up of some surviving flowers in the garden. The phlox is very amazing.
I also checked the birds and found a dunnock considering the seed feeder and a blackbird nibbling on an apple.
When I got to the Kilngreen, the first black headed gull that I met was standing on a rock.
And then I noticed that a lot more were standing around nearby.
Some gulls kindly took to the air and flew slowly past me…
They were joined by a black backed gull.
While I was walking up the river bank, I came to this brand new bench. It has been put in place to remember a local farrier who was a great supporter of the Common Riding where his skills were often in demand.
Below the bench, two mallards cruised past…
…and further upstream, a dog did what a dog does when it has been chasing a ball into the cold waters of the Ewes.
Having spent some time, hanging with the gulls, I moved onto the Castleholm…
…and walked round the new path, looking up at the pine trees as I passed under them.
I crossed the Jubilee Bridge and thought that I ought to try to take a picture of it. I scrambled down the banking and took this view from the water’s edge.
And I looked across the Esk while I was down there.
On my way round the Scholars’ Field path, I once again stopped to admire the staying power of the corydalis which is growing out of a crack in the wall.
Some gardeners go to great lengths to prepare soil and nurture their plants. The Scholars’ Field wall makes you wonder if all that work is needed.
It doesn’t just have corydalis, there is a small world of plant life in and on it.
When I got home, I was welcomed by a smiling viola.
As it was Thursday, we were set to go to Edinburgh to visit Matilda after lunch but we wisely checked on the trains before we set off for Lockerbie. Our train was thirty minutes late when it left Manchester so we waited until we were sure that it was well on its way before we set off.
Even so we were too early as it was even later by the time that it got to Lockerbie. It had also changed from the usual four coach electric train to a three coach diesel set. We were naturally worried about whether there would be enough seats for everyone.
When I left the waiting room to go on to the platform. I thought at first sight that one of the planes passing over the town had pulled a hand brake turn…
…until a second glance showed me that it was two planes going in opposite directions.
There were seats on the train when it eventually arrived and the diesel chugged away and got us safely to Edinburgh where we had an enjoyable visit. I won’t say who won the three games of Carcassonne that we played but regular readers may well be able to guess who lost them all.
After our evening meal, Matilda went out guising…
…and her mother and father and I escorted her round some very friendly neighbours who had marked their willingness to dispense sweets and nuts to passing witches by placing a Halloween lantern outside their front doors. I thought that this was a very good idea and as they all laughed heartily at Matilda’s joke of the day*, it was a very satisfactory outing.
Our train home was a little late too, and it was raining by the time we came to drive home which was a disappointment after our recent good spell of weather.
I was spoiled for choice for a flying bird of the day today, but in the end I settled on this black headed gull from my morning walk.
* Knock Knock….Who’s there?…..Boo…..Boo who?…..Don’t be sad.