More jam today

Today’s guest picture, and it was very welcome on a gloomy day in Langholm, came from my sister Mary who walked along the canal in London in lovely sunshine today.

It didn’t rain all day here but it might as well have done because it was impossible to say when the rain was going to start and stop so making plans was a waste of time. Anyway, it was so generally gloomy that sometimes it was hard to tell if it was raining or not.

I was fortunate to find a dry moment to cycle to the shop to buy some sugar. I had bought some strawberries yesterday, and as the last batch of strawberry jam has mysteriously disappeared, it was time to make a fresh batch.

That I was able to buy strawberries in November and that they came from the Netherlands says a lot about the modern world, for good or bad, depending on your point of view.

I made some bread too for obvious reasons.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy on administrative tasks for the buy out group so I took time to look out of the window.

It was all action in the rain out there….

…though a blackbird looked a bit depressed by the damp.

A chaffinch wisely kept his feet out of the puddles by standing on the hedge beside the feeder.

A bunch of greenfinches turned up looking fierce and a chaffinch made a hasty exit as the first one approached the feeder.

They settled on the feeder and I enjoyed the sight of a goldfinch trying to sneak up on an empty perch while they were looking the other way.

A chaffinch did not escape observation.

Although there was plenty to look at…

…I found a second or two when it wasn’t raining at all, and went out to check on the garden.

The flowers are fading fast although a few are left in poor condition but spireas are offering a good display of colour to make up for that.

Then I had to put the camera down and settle down to eat a bowl of the excellent squash and arborio rice soup that Mrs Tootlepedal had just made for lunch.

This is a recent addition to her repertoire and very welcome. It comes into the category of ‘chewing soup’ and makes for a hearty meal.

After lunch, I lost my head when I spotted another dry moment and went for a walk. Luckily, I hadn’t entirely surrendered my grip on reality and took my good coat, some gloves and a waterproof bag for my camera. It rained almost all the way round a three bridges puddle jumping outing.

I saw a gull standing and a mallard swimming as I got to the Kilngreen…

A bit further on, two mallards walked along the river bank with military precision.

The rain started again and then got heavier as I walked up the Lodge walks and round the pheasant hatchery. It wasn’t really a day for photography at all, but all the same I did look around as I went and noted some well nibbled fungus among the moss…

…some late leafiness…

…and some growths on a tree which at first I thought were fungi. A second look makes me think that they are galls of some sort.

I can recognise a fallen horse chestnut leaf….

…which I met just before I crossed the Duchess Bridge.

The path under the trees on the other side of the river was a welcome shelter from the rain, but the gloom made looking at things a bit tricky. I really have no idea what these things are on a branch lying too far down the banking for me to be able to pick it up or get close.

I was happier with these fungi on a tree trunk end on the other side of the path.

Thanks to my stout coat, I got home in good order and after a quick snack, joined in the Carlisle Community Choir virtual rehearsal.

With more rain in the forecast for the next three days, I will be looking out for any walkable gaps. Luckily, my cycling miles are well ahead of schedule, so I can wait for a bit in the hope of better weather with a clear conscience. Riding on wet roads covered with freshly fallen leaves and larch needles is not my idea of fun any more.

The flying bird of the day is a regulation chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “More jam today

  1. A similarly grey day here again today. I enjoyed all the photos, especially the mallards today. Squash and arborio rice soup sounds good on a cold wet day.

  2. I enjoy your blog very much; even on a gloomy day you find lots of interesting things to photograph. I believe your possible galls are stump puffball mushrooms; they are quite common here near New York. The yellow things on a branch would likely be some kind of jelly ear, possibly even “crystal brain fungus”; doesn’t that sound lovely.

  3. The two mallards look great.
    Wet leaves and freshly trimmed hawthorn at this time of year make for tricky cycling conditions,you certainly need your wits about you if you venture out,.live to fight another day I’d say.

  4. Flowers, even wet flowers, and your colorful shrubs are very welcome sights.
    Great shots of the mallards!
    Keeping a blog fed and happy with photos isn’t an easy thing so I admire your going out in the rain. I’ve done it and it isn’t much fun trying to keep the camera dry.

  5. I also liked the mallard photo and the sound of the soup. Im wondering whether strawberries in November is also a bit weird in the Netherlands. Clever garden folk here are bragging about their harvests. Ordinary, mediocre gardeners such as myself were rather proud to spot one nearly ripe one on my plants this morning. Lucky your jam production doesnt rely on me🤣

  6. We have had terrible winds all day here in Wisconsin. The winter weather outlook brings me to the idea that on the days when the Tootlepedal’s can’t bike or walk in storms and the birds have flown then maybe you could just blog a soup recipe for us.

  7. Your commentary makes light of the gloomy conditions 🙂 I particularly enjoyed the photograph of the Marching Mallards and the Duchess bridge. Chewy soup is the best on miserable days.

  8. Great use of a dull and damp day, I say. Getting out there and making the most of what is on offer, rain or shine, but maybe not snow and ice, for me anyway. Wet leaves and pine needles leave me very wary when I am pedalling, like yourself, but then again I am far from a speedy sort of cyclist. I am hoping I will be able to keep on cycle commuting for some time yet, before the frost of winter drive (no pun intended) me back to using my Yaris. Enjoyed your post with my breakfast of toast, banana and strawberry jam (made in Scotland of course). Cheers.

  9. Really like all the bird photos especially the matey mallards and the sedate chaffinch. Even though you got wet on your walk it was well worth it to discover all those interesting things even if some were unknown….gives me a reason to look through my books! Alas no strawberries around here just lots of fallen apples and even I can’t face another apple cake/ pie/ sauce etc….!

  10. Liked the Double Duck of the Day picture. Liked them all, in fact, even the jelly fungus. Soup sounds a bit complicated to me. There is nothing wrong with simple soup.

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