Winter draws on

Today’s guest picture shows that Tony’s dog likes his East Wemyss sunsets as much as Laura likes her Lake Michigan ones.

Although my posts usually take the form of a daily diary, I am starting this post with something that didn’t happen today and which I didn’t see. Our friend Gavin send me some pictures which he took at the Fairy Loup. Alert readers who don’t just skim through the posts in the hope of seeing some exciting lichen shots may well remember this shot of the Fairy Loup which I took last week when on a walk with Mrs Tootlepedal…

…but Gavin’s pictures show a dramatically different story. The burn no longer goes over the Fairy Loup but now plunges into a hole just above the falls and emerges quite a bit down the river out of a hole at the side of the stream.

The top two pictures show the dry rocks of the falls and the bottom panels show (left) the new plughole, and (right) the emerging and very dirty water.

I would like to go down and see this myself but Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that capering around with a camera on the edge of sinkhole might not be a good policy. This is an old coal mining area so there may well be caverns, man made or natural under the track. Canonbie is also in a modest earthquake zone, and there was a small earthquake in Dumfries last week which might have contributed to the event.

Anyway, I thought that a local river disappearing was definitely interesting enough to put in a post.

Here in Langholm, we had a dry and uneventful day, though I had a double coffee morning delight. Sandy came down for the first sitting and we caught up on our news. He told me that he had been cycling yesterday and managed to put his banana and his mobile phone in the same rather tight jacket pocket with very bad results for both. You can read about his outing and enjoy his photographs here if you want.

He was even more welcome than he usually is as he brought down a generous helping of a walnut and banana loaf which he had made. It was delicious.

As Sandy left, Margaret arrived and she and Mrs Tootlepedal made themselves suitably comfortable for a chilly November morning. We know how to have fun in Langholm.

I had noticed a goldfinch leaving a half empty feeder in disgust earlier on…

… so I filled the feeder and joined them.

We had to put up with a faint drizzle while we sipped and chatted but it didn’t dampen our socially distanced enjoyment.

After coffee, I checked out the flowers. Various forecasts offer overnight temperatures tonight of between 2 and 0 degrees Celsius so this may be the last time that we see some of these.

The poppy below is the very last of the red poppies and it may be that those little buds on the Lillian Austin will never emerge.

The stars of the shows are the three fuchsias which arrived late in the season but have stayed on well. They don’t like the cold.

And there is a special place for the cosmos which came out so late in the year that they may only have a week of life or so before they go under.

Still, we can hope that the forecast is a bit over gloomy and that there will still be a bit of colour left tomorrow.

At least the rain seems to have stopped for a while. As Mary Jo’s rain gauge shows, we have had enough over the last four days to last us for quite a while.

I went inside and then looked out to see if the newly filled feeder was attracting customers.

A siskin had arrived and as usual started looking around to see if there was any trouble he could make.

But today, it was siskins themselves who were under threat from aerial invaders.

Goldfinches fought among themselves, both near and far.

A pigeon and a jackdaw kept an eye on proceedings.

Some mistakes had crept into the dates entered into Archive Group’s newspaper index database so I spent some useful time putting the right dates in…and made an internal memo to make sure that everything is checked a bit more regularly.

After lunch, I went for a cycle ride. It was quite chilly at about 8°C (feels like 4° said the forecast) so it took me some time to get many layers of warm clothing on. (It took me quite a bit of time to take my day clothes off too. Now it is November, I am dressed for winter.)

When I had finished, I wondered if I would actually be able to turn the pedals with so much on.

However, I got going and pottered round my now familiar 20 mile Solwaybank loop. They have been out mowing the verges and strimming road side shrubs so there is not a lot of detail to look at but I did see two little splashes of colour on my way…

But on this particular route, the new wind turbines are always there to see. The fourteenth turbine is going up and I waited a while to see if there was going to be any movement.

There were certainly plenty of bits waiting to be lifted into place.

But the crane wasn’t doing any lifting so I moved on.

The leafy tunnels are nearly over now…

…but by the time that I got to the open country, the sun was out….

…and even a steep little hill looked quite inviting.

The weather over England looked more variable.

At the top of the hill before descending into the Wauchope valley, I had another look back at the turbines to see if anything was being lifted up, but all was still. I waited for a while just in case of action, but I soon got rather cold and after looking at the sun being squeezed in a cloud nutcracker…

…I got back on my bike and pedalled home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had spent some useful time in the garden planting tulip bulbs and sowing yellow rattle on the scarified drying green, so we were both happy to sit and watch the finish of the time trial in the Vuelta. For the second grand tour event running, a British rider is going well and that added some extra interest for us.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the American election goes smoothly and will be very interested in the result when it is finally declared. We wish our American readers well.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch looking pretty perky.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

43 thoughts on “Winter draws on

  1. Your post provides just the reassurance I need that there is still sanity somewhere on the planet. And beauty. Your flowers look even more inviting in the autumn light. The Fairy Loup is magical. I hope our election survives itself. Thank you for the sympathy.

  2. Now that’s really exciting, a stream disappearing into a sink-hole – but less pleasing aesthetically. And I love the warm blankets on the ladies’ knees, presumably both crocheted by Mrs Tootlepedal.
    I’m just settling into a long night’s televiewing…

  3. Very interesting about the river. Thank you for the well wishes about the election. I have been saving your blog to catch up on in order to soothe my nerves on this scary day.

  4. Mrs T is the voice of reason; sink holes are scary stuff, esp when there is historic tinkering with the ground. I love the morning coffee routine and they look well rugged up! As for the nut cracker sky…made me smile…suite-ly😁

  5. Mrs. T is right, stay away from the sinkhole area. I enjoyed all the photos fro your day, especially the country lanes disappearing through leafy tunnels and over the hills. Morning coffee looks like fun! The green lawn chairs caught my eye. They look exactly like ours. 🙂

  6. The river going underground is interesting. I don’t know if I’d want to walk on the ground above it though, so I agree with Mrs. T. At least until it calms down.
    I thought that was a baby blanket Mrs. T. made, now I get it.
    Thank you for your well wishes. All anyone I’ve talked to really wants is some leadership. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any.

  7. As others have done, I come to your blog today to escape the worry about the events to the south of us. As always, you don’t disappoint – so please follow Mrs. T’s advice and don’t disappear down a sinkhole! It looks as though Mrs. T. is putting her new blanket to use already. We certainly didn’t need a blanket outside today – it was a remarkable 18ºC, and is supposed to be 16 tomorrow. Odd, but welcome, and gives me no excuse but sloth if I don’t get out and wash the windows before winter gets serious.

  8. That was interesting about the sink hole – wise to avoid the area.
    Those blankets look perfect for an outside coffee morning.

  9. Love the comment and answer for derrickjknight! Another great photo from East Wemyss..I even know where it is now! Sinkholes can be hazardous but very interesting just to have a peep at! Good to see the birds arguing again…just like politicians and all those lovely views on your cycle ride. The cloud nutcracker made me laugh!!

  10. Oh dear… that sink hole would make me utterly nervous if you decided to explore it! If you truly cannot resist, at least be tied with a stout rope so help can pull you out were you to fall in. Eric gives me the jitters at some of the things he attempts. Seems that sort of stuff ought to left to the younger set. On the other hand, I’m trying to figure out your use of the word “burn” in this instance. Are you referring to the charming little waterfall it used to be? Or am I missing something?

    Very envious here or your fuchsia. The last trim the deer did to ours seems to have discouraged further blooms. Then again we had our first freeze last night (32º F or 0º C). I’m afraid that it’s the end of the cherry tomatoes that were doing quite nicely until now. At least some measurable rain is predicted for the coming week. May it be so!

    1. A burn is just the Scottish word for a stream. Anything less than a river can be a burn.
      Someone has come and filled the hole in the burn up with stones and the water is now going over the falls again.

      1. So, burn sounds like what we here call a ‘creek’ (or ‘crick’ in vernacular). Good to hear the fall has been restored. It was so lovely. Very clever!

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