Today’s guest picture is a second from Bruce’s walk yesterday. As well as donkeys, he saw the disused railway viaduct that links Scotland and England.
The north wind persisted and we had another day of cool, dry weather, Mrs Tootlepedal was not discouraged and was out shifting concrete slabs soon after breakfast.
She has moved three already but still has well over twenty more to move. As our friend and coffee companion Margaret observed, it is a good lockdown activity.
I am happy to report that my back was well enough for me to be able to offer some actual lifting assistance today, as well as my usual supply of helpful advice.
She took a break while we had coffee in the garden with Margaret, wearing coats and gloves as we ate shortbread and biscuits and drank our coffee.
After coffee, I wandered round the garden in between helping to lift the occasional slab. Roses are doing their very best to brighten these rather gloomy days.
Lillian Austin produces what seems like a new flower every day.
The little red rose has still got a lot of flowers…
…while the rambler rose, which flowers in July, has come with a few late blossoms too…
…and Special Grandma is trying hard for a third flowering but may not beat the cold weather forecast for the end of next week.
As well as helping Mrs Tootlepedal, I mowed the middle lawn, and got a surprising amount of grass in the box. It looked quite good when I finished….
…but the moss is already making a determined come back. As Mrs Tootlepedal says though, “That’s Scotland for you.”
As you can see from the lawn picture, shrubs are providing us with some home grown autumn tints. I have picked out three azaleas round the front lawn, and three spireas round the middle lawn as examples.
On the front of the house, more leaves…
…and berries add to the colour.
As we have blackbirds in the garden, I am surprised that the berries are still there.
Just to prove that the Lumix can sometimes agree with me about what subject it should focus on, here is a foreground fuchsia.
I like fungus but I am not so happy to see it growing boldly in our flowerbeds…
…but Mrs Tootlepedal took it very calmly.
We went in for lunch and I took a moment to check on the birds. A chaffinch arrived and looked carefully around to see if the drive work had finished.
Then a busy robin popped up and down to the feeder for a while…
…before pushing off when moire chaffinches arrived,.
A coal tit checked for seat availability…
…before finding space among the chaffinches.
We had some fresh lettuce leaves with our rolls for lunch. Mrs Tootlepedal has been growing the lettuce in the greenhouse and the result was very satisfactory.
I wasted some time after lunch watching the time trial in the Giro. Fortunately, time trials are interesting in theory but quite dull to watch in practice, as every cyclist goes along the same course one after the other. As a result, I was able to tear myself away and go out for another back stretching cycle ride.
Greatly to my amazement, some of the new turbines at the Solwaybank windfarm were actually going round today. I didn’t expect to see any whirling activity until all the turbines were up. I forgot to take my camera with me so the photos on my ride were taken by my phone which doesn’t like poor light very much.
It took a five second video to prove that the blades were going round.
I didn’t go round that windfarm today but went on and visited the other new windfarm to the north at Crossdykes to see what was going on there.
I added to my selection of ruined cottages as I passed the Grange Quarry…
…and enjoyed a tiny glimpse of autumn colour a little further on.
It was a battle up the hill and into the wind from Paddockhole to Crossdykes, but it is not far and I got there in the end. To my disappointment, there were no completed turbines to be seen (the ones in the background are from a different site)…
…but if you fancy looking at bits of wind turbines lying around, this is the place for you.
I had rather hoped that the north east wind would be northerly enough to blow me home and once I had turned the corner at Enzieholm Bridge, this proved to be the case, and I enjoyed a smooth pedal back to Langholm. The light was not conducive to taking scenic or autumn colour pictures so I stopped only once to admire this striking hedge.
I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been out doing more slab shifting while I had been pedalling. Once she has got a project going, she likes to get on with it.
The nights are drawing in now so the 26 miles concluded my activity for the day, a shower and the final appearance of the slow cooked brisket bringing proceedings to a close.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.