Early birds

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, it was taken yesterday and once again goes to prove that while we may be having miserably grey days here, East Wemyss is still the sunshine capital of the known world.

There was a tremendous hailstorm here in the night but it was mercifully short and by morning there was no sign of its passing.

In spite of the clocks going back overnight, we had resolved to have breakfast at the same time of day, that is to say an hour earlier by clock time, as we usually have had it. Somewhat surprisingly (in may case at least) we manged to achieve this aim and it turned out to be a good idea.

I had time to look at some birds after breakfast, including a blue tit on the feeder…

…a goldfinch on a fern…

…and two more goldfinches having a competition to see who could look more pensive…

…and we were still able to drive down to Canonbie and and enjoy a walk in what would have been a wasted hour if we hadn’t ignored the clock change.

We parked at the gate to the old A7 and walked along to the Byreburnfoot bridge where we had a look at the river.

Having looked at the river, we walked up the track beside the Byreburn in a mixture of occasional light rain and some spots of sunshine too.

… until we came to the waterfall known as the Fairy Loup. It would have taken a very brave person to have leaped over it today.

We walked on up the track….

….until we came to the road at the top where we had a choice of looping round and going back to the car by road, or walking back down the track. As it looked as though it might rain, we chose the shelter of the track and almost immediately, the sun came out.

The walk back was a delight, with glimpses of sunlit woods…

…interspersed with another look from the top of the bubbling burn…

….and a look over the waterfall from the top.

The rain stayed away and the autumn colour as we walked along the old main road back to the car was a treat…

…whichever way we looked.

We saw some very colourful individual items as well as the trees.

We stopped the car to look at Hollows Tower, with its flags fluttering boldly in the breeze…

…and then drove back to Langholm, where it looked as though there had been more rain while we had been away.

Thanks to our early start, we had had a good walk and still got back well before it was time to have coffee with Margaret in the garden. On the down side, it started to rain. It stopped and the sun came out just at coffee time, so Margaret came round, I made coffee and we all got settled down just in time for the rain to start again. We gave up.

I put the time inside to good use by making a batch of crunchy lemon, date and oatmeal slices on Mrs Tootlepedal’s recommendation…

…and followed that up with some leek and potato soup for lunch, using the last of this year’s potatoes from the garden.

After lunch, we settled down to watch the final stage of the Giro where the top two riders started the final time trial on exactly the same time. We were supporting the young English rider Tao Geoghehan Hart (who has a Scottish and Irish connection but was born in London) and were naturally very pleased when he won both the stage and the whole Grand Tour event.

I had time to take a couple of sunlit bird portraits…

…and a quick look round the garden…

….before sitting down to a virtual choir practice with the Carlisle Community Choir. During the session we heard a first take on the virtual choir performance which some of the members had recorded at home and sent in. It was a rough cut so as to speak but it díd offer hope that our conductor may be able to produce a finished product. It must be pretty difficult to combine twenty of so different recordings unless you are an experienced sound engineer.

And as the nights are now officially drawing in, that concluded the entertainment for the day.

Our policy is going to be to try to continue to get up early and go to bed a bit earlier too, but we don’t think that we can manage to ignore the clock time entirely so we will have to see how it goes.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch, anxious to get to the feeder as soon as possible.

Footnote: I took a short video of the water going over the Fairy Loup and here it is. It is short and loud.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Early birds

  1. I, too, was much impressed by the ‘sunlight bird photos’ – as well as by the extraordinary amount of water flowing over the Fairy Loup! You still have much beautiful autumn colour to enjoy – I hope it lasts for you. We have forecasts of between 9 – 11ºC by the end of the week, which could deal with a lot of the early snow if the forecast is right. Fingers crossed! (p.s. – your crunchy slices look very tasty)

  2. Your ‘stolen’ golden hour rewarded you with plenty of golden sights – and the results of your baking look delicious!

  3. You seem to be having a beautiful transition into autumn there, with plenty of color and colorful leaves. We’ve gone into wintry cold here, at least in the mornings. Most plant and tree leaves have turned brown and withered with the cold mornings. Oddly enough, the peonies have undergone some beautiful red-gold color changes this year, along with the blueberries, which always turn scarlet. Tomorrow morning it should be down in the 20s. We usually don’t see that until December or January.

    1. The autumn had turned out better than we thought that it might after an of year of weather. I see that wildfire is back in California and it is really cold in Denver.

      1. I checked the fire map just now. Looks like California still has a number of blazes going. Oregon does too, not so many as before.

        The midwest is freezing, and we are having some low temperatures too, not as bad as those poor souls though. We had a 24 degree morning here. That is unusual before Halloween. It warmed into the lower 50s by afternoon.

  4. I have to say I consider myself to be a morning person. It’s the best time of day (as far as I’m concerned) to get on with pedalling, chores or projects. Your post proved it, you experienced so much and still got home for coffee, brilliant. Cheers

  5. While you were out walking, I heard on Radio 3 what sounded like a good wheeze for choirs. 24 (or however many can be safely and legally accommodated after risk assessment) meet physically (while being very careful not to socialise because that is verboten) and are Zoomed, while the rest sing along with them at home. (When I say wheeze’ I don’t actually mean wheeze’!)

  6. The beautiful autumn colour just keeps on coming in your neck of the woods and why we aren’t all moving to East Wemyss I don’t know! Great bird portraits and a splashy noisy video which made me jump .. but in a good way! We finished our potatoes today too- will definitely plant more next year…if I remember! The fruity slices look tasty!

    1. Mrs T is intending to plant more potatoes next year. We would have got more than we did this year if that late frost hadn’t done for a few plants.

  7. I enjoyed your video of Fairy Loup very much. I await the day when our little creek gets filled up like that! The wee bit of progress we made a few weeks ago, seems to have pretty much run out to sea already! Perhaps we’ll see more rain in November?

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