Two contrasting walks

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who visited the famous gardens at Kew and was very impressed by this statue. It leaves Mr Grumpy looking like a little ray of sunshine.

We had a close run thing here with the temperature dropping to a single degree above freezing in the early morning. Fortunately it didn’t linger in the depths and rose fairly rapidly after it had hit its low point, and the flowers in the garden were able to pretend that nothing had happened.

This was a relief, especially as they are looking pretty good for the time of year with more still to come.

After breakfast, we had gone up to the High Street to stand respectfully as the funeral cortege of the widow of an old friend passed along. It is not much, but it is all that we can do at this time.

It was too cold for coffee in the garden and there was a threat of rain later on, so when we got back, I put on a warm coat and went for a walk while the going was good.

The sun obligingly came out as I set off beside the park wall…

…stayed with me as I went along the Stubholm track…

…provided sporadic illumination as I walked up through the Kernigal wood…

…before retreating behind the clouds as I went down the track on the far side.

Apart from a sprinkling of fallen leaves, the country is still looking very lush but I was glad that I had my winter coat on all the same.

There were ominous clouds on the horizon.

With a view to being home before the clouds could deliver any rain, I didn’t hang about twitching my shutter finger too much but I did see some fungus on my way…

…and I kept an eye for brambles to see if it was worth returning to pick some when the weather was better. Unfortunately someone else had been keeping their eye out too and most of the promising bushes had been well picked already.

I noted the bicycle/flower pot at Skippers Bridge. It is almost entirely covered with flowers.

I did find time to drop down to the waterside to take a couple of pictures of the river and the bridge itself….

…and then I clambered back up to the track and looked twice when I saw some remarkably grey sheep in the Murtholm field.

There are quite a lot of acorns about this year which is always good to see…

…and the hazels are covered with catkins.

It was getting greyer all the time so I limited myself to a picture of a crow on a fence…

…and some script lichen on a tree…

…and scurried home.

Where I was very surprised to find an active bumble bee on a dahlia.

I made some carrot and lentil soup for lunch, and not long after it had found a good home, the rain started outside.

It was intermittent though and I spent some time looking out of the window at birds. A sparrowhawk had flown through earlier without nabbing a victim, but it didn’t take long for goldfinches to return to the feeder…

…and for other birds to join them.

Soon it was quite busy

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been working on the computer while it had been raining, looked up, saw that it had stopped, and decided to go for a walk.

I went with her as I felt that the lull might only be temporary and a man with an umbrella could be a useful adjunct to her stroll.

This was a wise move. It started to rain shortly after we set out to walk down the track to Skippers Bridge, and it rained all the way down and all the way back on the other side of the river until we got to the suspension bridge.

Unlike the morning walk, I kept my camera firmly in my pocket until a colourful window box at the Douglas Hotel coaxed it out again.

Look carefully and you will see that all the colour comes from chillis. Langholm is the chilli capital of Scotland and the Douglas Hotel is at its heart.

When we got to the suspension bridge, we were surprised to see a small flock of swallows still flitting about over the surface of the river. We had thought that they had all headed for home by now. Among the flighty swallows, a dipper stood on a rock.

We had been warmly dressed and the umbrella had done its work so we were reasonable dry when we got home, ready for a cup of tea.

It was still raining when we went down to the Co-op later on to do a little recycling at their recycling bins and a little shopping in the shop.

That concluded the business for a day which had got warmer but gloomier as it went on. A couple more cold nights are forecast, so we cross our fingers again with regard to the survival of the flowers.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Two contrasting walks

  1. Nice view of the river through Skippers bridge.
    Surprised you still have swallows around,ours which annually nest in the many stables around us,left a week ago.
    Hope yours don’t leave it to late to make the long journey to Africa.
    Like the bicycle planter.
    My abscess is apparently a cyst according to my GP after a recent video consultation which did have its funny side.
    He’s made me an appointment to see a urologist,but not until December 3rd ?
    Fortunately it has started to reduce in size considerably,so much so I’m waiting on a fine day to try a short bike ride..can’t wait.
    Always nice to see winter feed for squirrels in the shape of acorns,do birds eat them too?

    1. That’s a long time to wait to see the specialist. I hope you can a ride in soon as you must be very fed up.
      We were very surprised to see swallows still here.

  2. Jackie read out so much of this that I could skim the text 🙂 In particular we empathised with the cold. I liked your griffin/Mr Grumpy joke. We were struck by the fact that you and I both featured acorns today.

  3. How lovely to see swallows…hope they fly off before the frost! Those chillis look good enough …to eat! Great shot of the bumble bee.

      1. I know that feeling when they have hung around here too long in previous years and then they didn’t reappear the following year! Let’s hope they get off safely now.

  4. I love that chilli windowbox. Great idea for a restaurant. If it can be done in Scotland, surely it can be done here. As always, I enjoyed ALL the photos even though I don’t comment on each one. :-). It’s always a feast of good photos here at the Tootlepedal blog.

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