Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie. It shows some fine colour which she encountered on a recent visit to Regents Park in London.
When Mrs Tootlepedal looked out of the dining room window after breakfast, she could see a good collection of blackbirds. They had gathered to nibble on cotoneaster berries under the window.
While the blackbirds were eating berries, coal tits and blue tits were flying in for seed.
I almost caught a blue tit in flight coming back for more.
Our forecast was for ‘rain later’ but luckily it actually arrived quite a lot later and we had a warm and dry morning with light winds. Mrs Tootlepedal did some light work on the drive and had coffee with Margaret and Liz, while I seized an unexpected opportunity and went for a pedal round my twenty mile Canonbie circuit.
I added an extra quarter of a mile to the trip by going round the block after I had started out in order to collect my camera which I had failed to put into my back pocket. I am glad that I did this, as my legs were quite tired with six days cycling out of the last seven, and I was happy to have an excuse to stop every now and again.
My favourite tree, which got clobbered by the late frost in spring, has lost all its leaves now….
At the far end of my ride, the three sisters of Grainstonehead are still well leafed.
In between, I passed a Belted Galloway.
The banks of the River Esk are the best place locally that I have found for autumn colour and I stopped at both ends of the old main road at Byreburnfoot. It was closed forty years ago after a landslip and now is a handy route for cyclists and walkers.
There was a colourful welcome to Hollows Bridge too…
As I got to the bridge, the sun came out and I was almost tempted to try the bench in the little wood beside the river…
…but I wanted to be home for lunch so I paused on the bridge itself to admire the trees beside the river, looking south….
…and pedalled on home.
I got back in nice time for lunch and as Mrs Tootlepedal had been out and purchased a steak pie from the butcher for me, this was a good thing.
I had a walk round the garden while the pie was cooking. I found that there were plenty of berries left for the blackbirds.
Special Grandma has made it with a late bloom.
A late cosmos has come out too, but it is not quite so convincing, being a bit short in the petal department.
The verbascum keeps producing more flowers and it looked quite striking today in front of a contrasting shrub in the bed behind.
The berries on the St John’s Wort in the back of the vegetable garden have now unanimously decided that black is right colour.
When I went in for lunch, I had a quick peek out at the birds and found two coal tits in the fake tree discussing the quality of the menu on offer.
After lunch, I had another check on the birds but there was a very disappointing attendance in the afternoon, and apart from these two siskins, I hardly saw another bird…
Luckily there was plenty to do. I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database (and then corrected the wrong date that I had put on all the 53 entries).
As keen readers of the sports pages will know, the cycling Tour of Spain, known as the Vuelta, has started and it is overlappping the last week of the Tour of Italy, the Giro. This meant that we could watch the end of the Giro stage for today and immediately switch to watching the last miles of the Vuelta.
We are well sorted for any afternoons in the immediate future where bad weather or the need for a comfortable sit down keeps us indoors.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a lentil and coconout milk dal for our evening meal, and I followed that with some of last year’s plum surplus which had been hiding in the freezer in the form of plum puree. It went very well with ice cream for afters.
The flying bird of the day is a coal tit performing a somersault on its approach to the feeder in an attempt to impress a blue tit..