Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She took a train for a short distance this morning and then walked back along the canal.
We had a dry and calm day today. It wasn’t warm but it wasn’t cold either, so we were able to have our morning coffee meeting on the lawn in comfort.
I had looked around the garden earlier on and found a lot of flowers still looking very healthy. Some of the larger cosmos have been knocked over by the wind and rain but the smaller white ones are well.
As are the pale poppies which are stronger than they might appear.
I had quite a choice of elegant and colourful flowers to look at….
…so in spite of the change in the weather making it feel as though autumn is just round the corner, there may be a bit of summer left to enjoy in the garden.
The lupins have finally given up though. This is the very last shoot.
Evie thoroughly enjoyed meeting Margaret and Liz again at coffee time and was intrigued to meet Liz’s companion Riley, the first dog that she has encountered.
I had time to watch the birds while lunch was being prepared. I found a couple of starlings on the feeder when I looked. The individual beauty of these birds is sometimes overlooked because they are often seen in large flocks.
There was a very busy stream of visitors to the feeder today and the seed went down at a brisk pace.
A siskin, clinging on to the perch as tightly as it could, made itself look as fierce as possible to repel intruders.
One greenfinch kept a weather eye out for possible invaders….
…while another rose like a phoenix from a fern.
Birds come and go at terrific speed in real life and it takes the camera to slow things down enough to see the care that birds take as they approach a perch.
After lunch, the ladies of the household drove down to Canonbie to enjoy a popular circular walk from Hollows to the village and back again. They were very impressed by the scale of the new sewage works in the village.
I took the opportunity to sneak in 21 miles on the bike round the Solwaybank Windfarm, and more by luck than design, we all arrived back at the house at the same time.
I recorded several dahlias before I left.
On my way round I found a great lack of activity both in the existing windfarms and the new one. There was virtually no wind today, so turbines were not turning on the working sites but conversely, the recent high winds have meant that no further progress has been made on erecting new ones and there are still only three and half turbines to be seen.
I didn’t take many pictures on my way round but I was struck but how much a convolvulus in a hedge had been nibbled….
…and I slowed right down when I came to this cattle grid to avoid getting severely bumped as I went over it.
Cattle grids are one of the perils of our quiet back roads and have to be treated with respect.
I found another delightful bridge over a small burn…
…and another very impressive tree to lean my bike against while I took the bridge picture.
Wild flowers in the verges are scarce now but there are still quite a few of these yellow ones here and there.
They are probably hawkbits of some kind but I don’t know which.
I had another walk round the garden when I got back before going in for a cup of tea and a shower. There are still plenty of flowers on the various potentillas around the flower beds….
…and the white flowering hostas are putting on an excellent display….
…but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that the courgette production line has slowed down a lot in the cooler temperatures.
Evie chatted to her great aunts and uncle in our regular Zoom meeting and I caught up with their various adventures. These seem to include a great deal of croissant consumption.
Mrs Tootlepedal appeared on the TV tonight as BBC Scotland broadcast an item on developments in land ownership in the south of Scotland. This included a very brief clip of the conversation that was held in the pouring rain on the moor yesterday. We were proud to be associated with her.
With time, you forget just how demanding it is to look after a one year who has just learned to walk (and is is trying to run before she can walk properly). My admiration for the patience and care with which our daughter Annie addresses this task is unbounded.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.