Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce. He was out on a walk when he met three donkeys who were perhaps hoping for a snack
The north wind was still blowing, though only gently, so we had another cool day. There was an occasional glimpse of sunshine, but there was also a rather surprising fall of very gentle rain from a clear sky at one point.
My back is definitely improving but I still thought it best to have a relaxing morning doing nothing. Mrs Tootlepedal on the other hand was full of energy and embarked on some serious work on improving our drive. This means lifting and laying heavy concrete slabs so I confined myself to constructive supervision.
And wandering round the garden taking flower pictures after coffee, which we had indoors by ourselves today.
The Icelandic poppy dead heading regime is still paying off and there were small but grateful visitors today…
…even when the poppies were not of the first quality.
There were a satisfying number of bees and hoverflies still about. and the big Michaelmas daisy was a draw…
…as was a nasturtium.
There are quite a few out of season shows going on and I found a bright primula…
…and a very out of season sweet rocket….
…and the single white rose, blooming months after its ‘use by’ date.
Nasturtiums are thriving against the wall of the house without the aid of much sun….
..but a little bit of sunshine lit up the Japanese anemones, which have done well without any dead heading…
…and the sunshine brought out the best in the star of the garden today, the big Michalemas daisy.
Mrs Tootlepedal points out that she planted another one of these plants a few yards away and it hasn’t done any good at all. The gardener has a lot of mysteries to cope with.
After lunch, I had a look for birds. Once again, there were very few about, perhaps because of the drive activity in the morning. I spotted a male chaffinch in the plum tree…
…and a female chaffinch on the feeder.
I had intended to go for a leisurely cycle ride in pursuit of some autumn colour but the weather got rather gloomy so I got a bit discouraged. Then I made the fatal mistake of just glancing at the Giro unfolding on Mrs Tootlepedal’s tablet. The glance lasted for an hour and a half of an enthralling stage.
By the time that the stage ended, I only had time for a short ride and I set off with the intention of dashing round my undemanding Canonbie circuit. Luckily, just before I came to the crucial turn off, I remembered that the Canonbie bridge was shut this week, so I headed on over Callister and went round the Solwaybank windfarm loop, the same length but a little more hilly.
Once again the windfarmers had been working behind my back and the new tower had a top and two blades on as I passed.
I checked to see if the third blade was hanging from the crane…
…but once again they had seen me coming and knocked off work and gone for a cup of tea
I completed the loop without stopping again as the light was poor and I saw nothing to make me get my camera out. The policy of rest in the morning and a gentle cycle in the afternoon is paying off and my back feels a lot better. With the weather’s permission, I will do it again tomorrow.
I had a look in the greenhouse when I got back and found that our tiny crop of tomatoes are staying stubbornly green.
Note: it is one of the mysteries of the Lumix that it thinks that I am more interested in getting the leaves in the background into focus than I am in the great big green tomato taking up all the foreground. This is the downside of cameras that try to be really helpful. (Mostly they succeed though, it has to be said.)
The day was rounded off with a sibling Zoom with shared pictures, and a second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s excellent slow cooked brisket of beef, with parsnips on the side.
Today’s ride took me over 250 miles for October so far. It has been a cool month but I can’t really complain about the cycling weather, especially as there have been no frosty mornings yet. I am just over 3500 miles for the year so far, and with luck, I may make my target of 4000 miles. That is still very weather dependent. In November of 2017 and 2018 I managed a grand total of 85 miles over the two years because of bad weather.
I didn’t manage to catch a flying bird of the day today, so a sitting chaffinch in the fake tree is standing in.