Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin who is on holiday in the west of the region. He rightly thought this old church in the middle of a field near Isle of Whithorn might interest me. It was established in the early 12th century by Fergus, Lord of Galloway. It is Cruggleton Church and you can just see it, if you look really closely through the trees.
It was grey and and not particularly warm when we got up, but if you could keep out of the wind, it was warm enough to have our coffee in the garden. Looking at the forecasts to come, this may well have been the last warmish day of the summer and it is downhill from here on.
It was a pity that some twinges in my back kept me from making the most of the day, and I had to move carefully as I wandered round the garden taking pictures for want of anything more active to do.
If this really was the last day of summer, the garden still had plenty to show, both in clusters…
…and in singles…
…and ever hopeful roses.
Apart from flowers, I saw one of the five a day for tonight’s meal…
…and a welcome sight at any time of the year.
There were no butterflies to be seen all day but there were still bees about.
Reading the papers, doing the crossword, drinking coffee, and pottering about the garden took me safely up to lunchtime.
After lunch we enjoyed a cheerful Zoom chat with our younger son Alistair, his wife Clare and their daughter Matilda. Matilda has restarted her ballet classes after school and gave us a delightful display of dancing with a ribbon.
The sun had shone while we were chatting, so after the meeting, while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to combine some shopping and business, I went for a gentle and mostly flat walk. There was the occasional moment when the sun tried to break through the clouds but the promise of a sunny walk came to very little. All the same, there was plenty to see including a pied wagtail at the riverside.
I did think of going straight along the Lodge Walks…
…but decided that I could cope with a short uphill effort which would let me walk along the path above the Lodge Walks wood.
I passed more red campion and some flourishing peltigera lichen on my way up the hill.
The track along the top was still very green…
…and occasional outbreaks of sunshine made for a pleasant walk. Under the trees there were ferns, grasses and flowers….
…signs of the turning of the year…
….and always the hint of something even more interesting round the next corner or over the next rise….
…which in this case was a fallen tree providing an obstacle to my progress.
I placed my hand on the trunk and vaulted easily over the obstruction, or possibly bent low and crawled awkwardly under it, but either way, after dusting my knees off, I was able to get to the end of the track and enjoy the view up the valley.
I turned back towards the town and headed home.
A lone snowberry and a late foxglove caught my eye….
…and some ivy leafed toadflax adorned a gatepost while the large leaves of the Pyrenean Valerian against a nearby wall showed why it does so well when it is established. Nothing much can grow under those all covering leaves.
I walked round the pheasant hatchery and down to the Jubilee Bridge, enjoying the views as I went.
Once across the bridge, I passed under this fine tree on the river bank…
…and was soon back at home, enjoying a cup of tea and some bread and honey. Ray’s gift of honey is going down very well.
A visit to the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal gave me a chance to photograph this lovely rose…
…before I went in to have a look at the birds and get ready for the evening Zoom with my siblings.
The birds were conspicuous by their absence, perhaps as a result of a fly through by the sparrow hawk.
The evening Zoom meeting was most entertaining, with a fine selection of pictures from his walk today shared by my brother, and tales of going to a concert from my elder sisters. One had attended the concert in person and the other online.
I had another look for the birds after the Zoom but the light was fading. The small birds were in a thoughtful mood, perhaps wondering where the sparrowhawk was….
…and indeed it had another fly through as I watched but fortunately the alert birds were quick enough to avoid disaster.
The turnips from the veg garden appeared as a side dish to some delicious liver in an onion gravy for our evening meal and that rounded the day off.
A rather vague siskin is the late flying bird of the day.