Free of charge

Today’s guest picture comes from my Canonbie friend Simon. He is back at work at outdoor sporting venues. He came across this fine crop of fungus on a Scottish golf course.

We had another generally fine day today, although it inconsiderately started to rain just at the right time to spoil the chances of morning coffee in the garden with Margaret. It was quite breezy too so I was happy to have my coffee indoors even when the rain stopped.

I looked at the birds. They were frequently coming and going at the feeder.

And sometimes going and coming.

Goldfinches showed that siskins aren’t the only ones who can start a fight to the disgust of a greenfinch…

…and another greenfinch vented its frustration at this continual bad behaviour.

The rain clouds cleared away and I went out into the garden and savagely attacked the drying green with the scarifier while Mrs Tootlepedal collected the results in the wheelbarrow.

This was not just bad temper. Mrs Tootlepedal has a plan for a wild flower mini meadow round the drying pole and for that she needs much less grass. Too much grass tends to smother any possible wild flowers. Her plan is for another scarifying effort and to follow that by sowing yellow rattle which impoverishes the grass and will make space for the wild flowers to take hold.

I then took a walk round the garden to check how the garden flowers were doing.

Pretty well on the whole. And there were butterflies too.

Having done that, I went for a short three bridges walk before lunch.

These are the three bridges which I crossed today.

Autumn is definitely getting into its stride, and although we don’t have the vivid reds of New England, we are starting to get some really lovely mellow tints such as these along the Lodge Walks…

…and others across the Castleholm.

I passed the Lodge and took the low road towards the pheasant hatchery…

…where I exchanged a nod and a wink with a bullock.

I liked the picture made by this tree as I turned to walk along the top of the hatchery…

…admiring the trees….

…which lined the path down the other side.

After a last look across the field…

…I put my camera away as I found that I had already taken over 100 pictures.

Only to take it out a few minutes later when I passed a fine clump of fungus which I have added to one I saw earlier in the walk,

This time I really did put my camera away (almost).

I crossed the Duchess Bridge and got home in time to make some lentil and chicken soup for lunch.

The afternoon was spent driving to Dumfries where Mrs Tootlepedal had a hospital appointment. One of the benefits of driving an electric became evident when we were able to find a empty parking space reserved for electric vehicles in an otherwise packed car park at the hospital. An added bonus was that we could plug the car in and get some free electricity while we were waiting for the time for the appointment to arrive.

This was my view from the car as i waited fro Mrs Tootlepdal to return form her appointment.

From that point of view, the efficiency of the infirmary in taking Mrs Tootlepedal in bang on time, treating her with great care and attention and then sending her out again in a very contented state of mind, all within a quarter of an hour, was disappointing.

We only managed to acquire fifteen miles worth of free energy before we were on our way again.

Still, it gave us time to visit a nearby farm shop and cafe where we enjoyed a cup of tea and an enormous scone each, as well as buying some good quality cheese and meat.

The drive home was very restful, and we arrived back in time for me to have a quick look round the garden and add a fine red poppy to some weigela flowers which I had photographed after my walk in the morning to make a final flower panel for the day.

I then joined in our regular sibling Zoom while Mrs Tootlepedal cooked our evening meal.

All the remained was to eat the meal and sample some of the new cheese. This was no hardship.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

47 thoughts on “Free of charge

  1. Glorious foliage, beautiful bridges, and a rather disconcerting trend showing you picking up some of Attila the Gardener’s more fearsome habits!

  2. If you both took books and a flask I’m sure you could manage to cram a bit more electricity in.

    These wild flower meadows take a fair bit of work don’t they? Makes you wonder how nature makes it look so easy.

      1. I can see that being a problem. If yuo could teach Hen Harriers to eat sheep would this solve a number of problems in one go? Forgot to say before – i hope Mrs T came through her medical ordeal in one piece.

  3. A beautiful set of photos from your day, and thank you for posting the Lodge Walks view again.
    All these autumn forest walk scenes look very pleasant and inviting.

    Grass here is very resilient, and hard to keep out of gardens. Our county is known as “The Grass Seed Capital of the World”

  4. I love how the Greenfinches are the arbiters of proper behavior. Looking forward to seeing Mrs. T’s wildflower meadow. I wish her luck. Grass can be persistent. I have been removing stubborn clumps of lawn in my yard for 20 years… I am glad you kept the camera out to capture the fall landscapes.

  5. Those autumnal colours are coming on a treat, but only 15 miles of free electricity? Free electricity you should be getting for all those wind farms despoiling the scenic beauty of the borders. I’m supposed to get 20 free days of electricity every six months from British Gas, as a loyalty reward, but I have no idea how it is credited to my account or the value? That’s despite me asking. I’ve had an explanation i.e. the 20 cheapest usage days are discounted from my bill every six months, but it isn’t shown on my bill. At least you knew how much free electricity you had received. I will have to ask British Gas again, but as, no doubt, everyone knows now, getting answers about anything is very laborious, frustrating and prone to failure especially in this pandemic. I have to say, if that’s all I have to worry about in these strange times I am very lucky indeed, cheers.

    1. I have been offered a reduction on my car insurance if I have driven less this year. I will probably have driven not much over a half of what we are insured for but the reduction might be £25 which doesn’t sound very generous. I don’t think that I have the mental strength to take it up with them.

      1. Questioning or having the audacity to complain to these super oversized companies has always been frustrating even more so now with Covid. One does, indeed require mental strength to keep on. Their motto must be “Frustrate to succeed!”. Let’s see if I can get a Latin translation to make it kosher so to speak. Straight from google we have
        “Pro ariditate”
        How do you like those pommes de terre Rodney?
        You know it makes sense.
        Cheers Tom.

      2. I failed O level GCE Latin at school as well. Sacre blue, mon ami. Never mind your omegas chum. Burning the midnight oil here. Cheers

  6. Glad the hospital was satisfactory and that you combined it with an ‘outing’ to a farm shop. All good for the soul in these troubled times.

    1. The hospital visit was important but it showed that the way ahead was clear and shouldn’t pose too much of a problem so we were pleased with that.

  7. Your usual excellent photography. I particularly like the bridge triptych and the other landscapes. It is good that Mrs T received such good treatment – never mind the electricity 🙂

  8. Everything seems to be coming up roses for you both at present! Love the stunning autumn colour on your walk and the matching coloured, curly hair on the bullock …he looks a charmer.

  9. I find myself wondering how it is that you can cross three bridges and end up back where you started. Shouldn’t that land you on the wrong side of the water?

  10. I like the sound of the wildflower garden, Tom. I might try that on a patch of lawn where grass just refuses to grow. I’ve already wasted two bags of grass seed on it in the past two years with nothing to show for it. Perhaps wildflowers would do better.

  11. I’m thoroughly impressed with your electric car charger at the hospital. We don’t see many fully electric cars around here because of the distances we have to cover for many occasions. Sightings of charging stations are rare as well. I’ve had to settle for a small hybrid. Your bullock has a really nice curly hairdo.

  12. I am ever so glad that Mrs T felt contented after her doctor visit. That’s the best kind. I was worried awhile back, as I can be a hypochondriac for other people, too. Your garden flowers are better than mine. I am sure some of that is due to your vigilant deadheading.

  13. I am so pleased Mrs T had comforting news at the hospital. Being free from that worry should help her to recover more speedily, especially if she has the correct medication.

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