Mary Jo from Manitoba has answered my request for guest pictures and has sent me one not from Manitoba but from London. It shows Abney Park in Stoke Newington, one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ garden cemeteries of London. It is a woodland memorial park and a local nature reserve.
It was another chilly day here with the wind coming from the north east, but at least it was dry. Our electric car allows us to plug it into the household supply so that we can get the car nice and warm before we set off on a cold day, so I was quite snug as I drove south to have a final singing lesson from Mary, the former conductor of our Langholm choir.
This was my final lesson because Mary has made great improvements in my singing but even she cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. As I will never be a solo singer, what I have to do now is try to remember all that she has taught me when I sing innthe choir rather than load my brain up with more instructions that I couldn’t follow anyway.
I am very grateful to her for her patience and skill.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepdal had just about finished her first section of hall decoration so I made some lentil soup and we had a celebration lunch.
After lunch, I had a look to see if the new feeder was still pulling in customers.
It was attracting goldfinches again…
…but it didn’t please a jackdaw who took a grumpy look and flew off.
The feeder got busier as I watched it…
..but it had quiet moments too and this goldfinch took the opportunity in one of these peaceful intervals to hone its Napoleon impression.
I did think of cycling as it was six degrees C in the afternoon but the north wind was gusting up to 20 mph and the ‘feels like’ temperature was a measly 2 degrees so I went for a walk instead.
I had my cycling camera with me once again as Pocket Camera has remained stubbornly dead and the replacement hadn’t come yet.
I pointed it at some tiny but bright lichen on a wall at the top of the golf course…
…and a few yards later, when I had got onto the open hill, I spotted a gorse flower.
Gorse seems to be able to bloom in almost every month of the year.
I turned left and strolled along this grassy path among the dead bracken…
…of different types…
…on my way to the road to Newcastleton and a grey view up the Ewes Valley.
I crossed the road and follwed a track across the hillside, past this trio of remarkable trees…
…which continue to grow in spite of only just touching the ground and not having a lot of trunk.
As I came back down the hill towards Whitshiels, I could see a river of larch running through the spruces on the far side of the valley.
…and many fungi growing in the grass at my feet.
I followed the track down through the woods and walked over a carpet of larch needles as I got near to the main road.
On the seltered bank of the Ewes Water there are still some autumn leaves.
Instead of heading straight home when I got back to the town, I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked round the new path on the Castleholm.
There were dozens and dozens of large cones on the noble firs beside the when I took this picture in August….
…but they must be very tasty because this is all that is left now.
It hasn’t snowed here yet but there was storm of snow berries beside the Esk as I walked along the river on my way home.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal told me that the replacement camera had arrived. I used it to take a picture of Mrs Tootlepedal contemplating a repair job its predecessor.
….whihc, after contemplation, was left for another day as we couldn’t find a good online guide to the job.
I nipped out in the fading loight to show that while almost every other flower in the garden has given up, Rosy Cheeks is still smiling (after a fashion).
I hope for some good weather to use the new camera tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a traditional chaffinch.