Today’s guest picture comes from my friend and former colleague, Marjorie. She came upon these stunning fungi on a walk a few days ago.
It was a dry but grey morning and the forecast was not too bad for the rest of the day so my mind turned to cycling.
Before I set off, I had coffee and a slice of toast to think about and the birds to to watch as well.
They must have been reading the blog because after yesterday’s complaint about not enough birds, they came in better numbers today and the feeder was soon filled with goldfinches…
…with more anxious to join in.
This made for photo opportunities…
…and bad tempered exchanges…
…and curious chaffinches.
The goldfinches in possession of a perch tried to ignore outside distractions and kept their heads well down while they could for the most part.
In the end, I put down the bird watching camera and packed my cycling camera into the pocket of a stout waterproof bright yellow jacket and got out my bicycle, noting two particoloured jackdaws at the apples as I set off.
There was a brisk north easterly wind blowing and it pushed me over Callister and along the newly surfaced road past the quarry to Paddockhole. I stopped there for half a banana and a look at the bridge.
The bridge has a bright red metal plate screwed to the parapet and when I looked at the parapet, I could see that turning lorries may have been knocking into it a bit, hence the need for the warning and protective plate…
…but the parapet was sound enough to be home to a nice pixie cup lichen among the moss and a fallen beech nut.
The reason for the lorry traffic over the bridge is a new windfarm in the area so the narrow road after the bridge is being widened and lay-bys are being put in to cope with the construction vehicles.
Luckily there was very little traffic on the road as I battled up the hill alongside the Water of Milk straight into the brisk wind. I was heading for the watershed between the Water of Milk and the River Esk and it took me some time.
It was lucky that I had my stout rainproof jacket on as it was drizzling at this point. It was a bit annoying to look to my right and see the Ewe Hill wind farm bathed in sunshine.
I pressed on, crossing little bridges over little streams…
…until I got to the sunlit uplands on the top of the hill. I love this section of road.
To my right I could see more wind turbines making good use of the enthusiastic breeze…
…and once I had got over the hill, I could see the Esk valley stretching in front of me. The road follows that line of trees along the right side of the valley.
The rain had blown over by now and I enjoyed a sunny trip back down the river into Langholm. Larches stood out in the sunshine.
With seven miles to go, I stopped for the other half of my banana and a drink at the Enzieholm bridge. Naturally, I had a look at the parapet while I was there.
There was some good autumn colour on a hedge at Bentpath village…
…and I stopped to take a close up of a larch beside the road further on just to show that they really are golden at this time of year.
I had a look back at the Douglen Cleuch…
..before climbing the last hill of the day and swooping down into the town. It was only a 26 miles ride but because of the wind and several hills to climb, it had seemed like more and I was very satisfied as it had felt like a proper outing.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy painting the hall while I was away. It is looking very exciting already.
I had a look round the garden when I got home and was impressed by the staying power of the Rosy Cheeks rose and the very late phlox but the most arresting thing was the sudden appearance of a cowslip among the expected clematis, potentilla and wallflower.
I had a shower and than went for a walk. I am supposed to keep exercising my feet and there was a little sunshine left so I headed off to see if I could find the fungi that Marjorie had photographed.
My usual friend was standing on the usual rock in the Esk…
…and two goosanders were swimming up the river nearby.
I should have been quicker to go walking as the sun was already sinking behind the hill and this was the last sunny view I got…
…before crossing the Sawmill Brig and walking round the pheasant pens. I didn’t find Marjorie’s fungi but I saw other varieties…
… before I crossed the Duchess Bridge and made my way home.
As you can see, the bridge is in need of some TLC.
The slow cooked venison stew made a third and final appearance for our evening meal and it was followed by some tarte tatin which I had made when I got back from my walk. I may need therapeutic help as I think that I have become addicted to tarte tatin.
When I checked, I discovered that the forecast for the next week is for some inclement and wintery weather with a maximum temperature of 7 degrees and plenty of rain so that made today’s ride and stroll even more pleasant in retrospect.
I apologise for an excessive number of pictures but it was an interesting day and here is a FBotD to round it off.