Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She came across this well decorated gate on a recent walk near her home.
The day started off looking a bit grey, but it didn’t take long for the promised sun to appear. When it arrived, I got changed for cycling and Mrs Tootlepedal goodly stayed in and prepared some lamb and vegetables for a slowed cooked stew.
It was still a bit chilly, but as the sun was shining I went out in windproof socks and a glow of anticipation (zeugma…or possibly syllepsis).
The sense of anticipation was slightly dented when I found that I had forgotten to put on my cycling helmet. I had to turn back after going only a quarter of a mile.
I had noticed that the Pool Corner heron was in its favourite spot though.
Having turned round to to go back to pick up my helmet, I kept going in the same direction and went round my Canonbie circuit in the opposite direction to my usual practice.
This should have meant a speedy spin down the hill and through the village but slippery leaves on the road, barriers across the road to discourage motorists from using the bike path, a long wait at the traffic lights at Canonbie, and the disinclination of my legs to get going so early in the day all made for leisurely progress.
And a stop to say hello to the Canonbie cows.
As well as sunshine, the forecast had predicted brisk winds, but in this respect I was happy to see that they were wrong. I had a light breeze in my face on the way down and only a gentle shove in the back on my way up the hill towards home.
My route home took me between neatly trimmed beech hedges…
…and past a tree which was exceptionally well supplied with branches.
I stopped to check on the fine fungus at the top of the final hill before the town and found that it had grown bigger…
…but had not been nibbled by anything at all. I wonder if it is poisonous.
I got back in time to join the garden coffee party…
…for a cup of freshly made coffee and several crisp coffee biscuits. Although there was no need for blankets or umbrellas today, it got a bit chilly as the sun went in and the wind got up so we didn’t last quite as long as usual.
I had a look round the garden when we finished, and recorded a few flowers doing well…
…and three roses trying their best.
I went in and looked out for birds and found that the sun had come out again. A goldfinch was doing a little basking.
After lunch, we drove a couple of miles up the Wauchope road to collect some bracken. Mrs Tootlepedal uses this to cover her vegetable garden beds during the winter so that they don’t get compacted by rain or snow.
After we had cut enough to fill our car boot, we went for a walk through the little wood that sits on the bank of the Wauchope Water.
The Wauchope looked peaceful enough today…
…but it not always so gentle as several trees which had been swept down from a collapsing banking into the river showed.
This is a favourite spot for fungus and there was plenty to see today, although we had come a little to late to see them at their best.
It is a lovely little wood for a short stroll…
…whichever way you look…
…though we had to be careful when we took the path round what looks likely to be the next tree that ends up in the water.
We came out at the bottom of the wood and walked back to the car through the field, admiring the contrasting needles on larch and spruce.
Just in case anyone is worried that we might have taken more than our fair share of bracken, we did leave a bit behind.
We had another walk round the garden when we got back and I took a picture of a rather feeble flower…
…just so that I could say this will be probably be the phinal phlox phlower of the year. Small pleasures!
A large pleasure was finding that Lillian Austin has been keeping two lovely flowers going under the protection of its leaves.
I went in and had a last look for birds at the feeder. This was as near as any got.
As the light faded, I practised my flute a bit, sang a little, and put some of the newspaper index entries into the Archive Group database.
I got an email to say the our Langholm choir is hoping to provide a virtual performance of a song for a virtual Christmas concert so perhaps I had better put in some more actual singing practice.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s slow cooked lamb stew was superb and it rounded off a day which had had just about as much variety as we can get into a day as things stand.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.