Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He met two new friends on his walk yesterday.
In contravention of my unwritten rule to use only pictures taken on the day of a post, I am starting today with a picture I took yesterday when we were on our way to visit Mike and Anne. The crumbling spire of the unused Erskine Church has long been protected by unsightly scaffolding, but it is still dangerous and bits have been falling off it. Instead of mending or demolishing the spire, the scaffolding has been repaired. Strange choices.
It was a miserable wet, grey morning here but we were fairly cheerful none the less because we were waiting for a visit from our older son Tony and his partner Marianne. As they live in perpetually sunny East Wemyss, we hoped that they might bring some of their good weather down with them. Sadly, they just brought more rain.
They arrived at lunchtime and we had a good meal with a catch up on their news. We have not seen them for some time.
After lunch, they went off for a walk with Mike, an old friend of Tony.
I had a moment to look at the birds. A pair of siskins struggled with the sunflower seeds.
It had stopped raining after lunch, so Mrs Tootlepedal and I were able to get out into the garden for some tidying up and a few photos. It was very soggy.
I took a lot of yellow pictures . . .
. . . including a set of a bee having adventures with a snapdragon. After checking one out, it dived into another and then had to rather awkwardly back out again.
A more sensible bee settled for a dahlia.
As always, I found it hard not to take a picture of the blue salvias.
As well as gardening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I moved a couple of bookcases in an attempt to weigh down a carpet which has developed a nasty habit of creeping across the floor.
When Tony and Marianne got back from their walk, he and I looked at the buddleia which was busy. . .
. . . and admired a red admiral butterfly in particular.
Then Tony made himself very useful. Some time ago, he had kindly bought us a set of wirelessly linked fire and smoke alarms for our house to meet some new regulations which are coming in soon. He added to this generosity by setting them up and installing them this afternoon. It is useful to have a son in the building trades.
After a refreshing cup of tea and some dainty fairy cakes (which Mrs Tootlepedal had baked because she knew they were coming), I left Tony and Marianne to chat with Mrs Tootlepedal while I went out for a twenty minutes stroll round a three bridges leg stretcher.
In spite of the recent grey weather and the rain, the river is still very low . . .
. . . but the repairs to the suspension bridge seem to be coming along . . .
. . . so at least we should be able to walk over it soon.
Having not seen many birds in the garden, I saw a few at the Kilngreen, and once again, there were a lot of wagtails about.
I have been wondering if the damp weather would encourage fungus to sprout, and I saw some early examples on my walk . . .
. . . which took me across the racecourse, first over the home straight . . .
. . .and then across the back straight . . .
It is a very scenic race course.
I got home just in time to see Tony and Marianne go off for an evening meal with Mike and his family. They will have a lot to talk about as Michael and Tony will doubtless reminisce over old times when they were youngsters.
When they had gone, I had another look at the bird feeder. The seed had not gone down very much during the day, but in the rather gloomy evening light, four siskins were doing their best to make a difference.
Tony and Marianne are staying the night with us and we are having lunch with them tomorrow before they head back to sunnier parts.
The flying bird of the day is a morning siskin.