Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He crossed this bridge on a walk near Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
We had another lovely day here today, but there was a definite hint of autumn in the air, with the temperature in single figures before breakfast after a chilly night. It warmed up well though, and it was a good day for a pedal when I sneaked out to do my familiar Canonbie circuit before coffee, especially as the wind was very light.
I only stopped for two pictures, both taken at Irvine House, one to show a very unhelpful sign and the other to show what a good day it was.
Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda had been doing water colour painting while I was out, and the kitchen table was covered in fine art when I got back.
We had coffee with Margaret and then it was time for a wander round the garden. As well as painting, Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda had done watering and dead heading already so there was not much left for me to do except take a few pictures.
I was very excited by the sight of our first ripening tomatoes . . .
. . . and I enjoyed the sunshine and shadows on three clematis.
While familiar flowers like a symmetrical salvia and an upstanding dahlia caught my eye, a new zinnia was to be found tucked away in a bed, and the row of little hostas along the back path is very pretty.
There were many bees about again . . .
. . . but the best thing was the sighting of a peacock butterfly on one of the buddleias. There was another one about in the garden too.
The plant that stood out for me though, was this berberis.
The berries on the rowan tree are turning fast, another sign of impending autumn.
I watched the birds briefly after lunch. There are definitely more chaffinches around among the usual siskins and sparrows.
In the afternoon, we all went off to the park, where Matilda had a pedal, a play on the swings and a visit to the waterside. We went down to the Esk below the Church, where the water is so low that there are many wildflowers growing in the river bed. We could see that new timber has been laid on the suspension bridge.
The water was so low that a duck had to stop swimming and walk down the river under the bridge.
Then we went along to the Wauchope below Caroline Street where Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda built a very adventurous pier out into the middle of the river. It wasn’t as exciting as it might have been though, as neither of them fell in. I looked at flowers to pass the time.
It was very pleasant sitting on the grass beside the river, and as it looks as though it might start raining tomorrow or the next day and then forget to stop, we will have done well to have had two riverside outings while the sun was still shining.
When we got home, Alistair cooked us a delicious evening meal which we followed with some of Mrs Tootlepedal’s home made ice cream.
We are waiting rather nervously to see what the weather brings, but there is no doubt that we do need rain, so we shouldn’t complain too much if we get wet. We will though.
The (just) flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.