It was a ‘mist in the valley’ morning here and I should have been up on the hill. Others were more active and for today’s guest picture, keen hill walker Tessa sent me this fine Brocken Spectre which she met in the mist today. You can see why some people might have religious visions.
When the walkers got above the mist, there were some lovely pictures of a sea of mist covering the valley to be had, so I am really sorry that I didn’t do more than look put of the window and say to myself, “There should be a good mist opportunity up there.” My excuse is that I have been spending too much time following the US election and I was tired.
I didn’t waste my time entirely and managed a very chilly ride to the shop in the mist and a peer out of the window at the birds at coffee time.
A small flock of greenfinches arrived and took over the feeder at one point.
And after coffee, I did manage a walk round the garden to admire our home grown autumn colour…
…and to note berries and other seasonal oddities, like the rosemary and mustard flowers…
The berries in the top right corner are on the nerines.
I had hoped that the clematis would survive the frost but after looking promising, it has faded leaving Welsh poppy, perennial wallflower and nasturtiums to keep the colour going.
We are in tier two of the Scottish Government’s covid restrictions and hairdressers are still open. For the first time since March, Mrs Tootlepedal ventured out for a professional haircut.
As the sun had come out by now, and it was a really very agreeable day, I went for a three bridges walk.
The riverside willows are looking good when they catch the sun.
Once on the Kilngreen, I had the opportunity to shoot a sitting duck which I took.
…and added a sitting gull too. (Not wanting to become involved in any arguments, it was sitting on the fence.)
I had to be a bit more alert to get any shot at all of a grey wagtail which was flitting along the side of the river, but it stopped just long enough for a quick snap.
I walked up the Lodge Walks, enjoying what was left of the colour…
…and instead of going through the Lodge grounds, I cut across the top of the Castleholm and enjoyed more leafy loveliness…
…and a large tree stump which obligingly had two different sorts of fungus on its opposite sides.
It’s handy when you don’t have to go far to find a fungus.
I crossed the Duchess Bridge and found a lot more fungus on old branches beside the shady path along the river.
At least, I think that these rather ghostly fingers are fungus.
The schoolchildren were enjoying the sunshine as they played on the Scholars’ Field in their lunch break while I went past, and I enjoyed finding a very fresh looking umbellifer with really good colour…
…and several bees on it.
That was the icing on the cake of a most enjoyable November walk. Any dry walk in November is enjoyable, but a sunny walk on a calm day with added fungus and flowers is especially enjoyable.
I had no trouble in remembering to remark to Mrs Tootlepedal that her hair looked very nice when I got home because it did. Money well spent.
Her broken biscuit fragments on the lawn were still attracting jackdaws and we got another one today with a lot of white about it.
After a lunch of (tinned) scotch broth and bread and cheese, I went for a bicycle ride. It was a day for a longer ride but I had wasted too much time watching nothing happen in the US election developments and got out with only enough time to go round my 20 mile Canonbie circuit. Looking at my records later, I saw that I have only done this normally regular ride twice in the last month, so it was a pleasure to back on track again.
I saw an old friend…
…who was too busy with her own lunch to acknowledge my greeting.
Across the road, a tree asked to be photographed.
As the afternoon light doesn’t last very long now, I pushed on and didn’t stop for another photo opportunity until Hollows Bridge where it was clear that peak autumn colour is long past…
…but as a result, I could get a much clearer views of the mill’s Archimedes screw gently chuntering away making infinitely renewable electricity.
I reached the end of the old road among the new larches…
…and followed the cycle path round the corner and was home just in time to watch the last few kilometres of today’s stage of the Vuelta.
A good walk and an enjoyable bicycle ride had eased the pain of missing out on the mist opportunities, and the day was rounded off well with a good chat with my siblings and Mrs Tootlepedal through the medium of Zoom.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.