Consecutive coffees

Today’s guest picture comes from South Africa where Langholm exile Tom photographed a welcome sign of spring, a nice bunch of clivias.

We have many signs of autumn here but after yesterday’s chilly morning, we were back to more gentle temperatures today. It has generally been so mild overnight that the turning of the year has been creeping up on us surreptitiously, and it came as something of a surprise to realise that today is the autumn equinox.

After I had published yesterday’s post, I went to have a look to see if the clouds had parted enough to let me have a look at the harvest moon. There was a good deal of this . . .

. . . and one moment of this.

I couldn’t see anything tonight as the sky was completely clouded over.

When I looked after breakfast, there was a steady stream of visitors to the feeder, led by a siskin . . .

. . . and a sparrow.

A young goldfinch waited in the wings . . .

. . . as the feeder got busier.

A pigeon scavenged for fallen seed under the feeder.

They do a good job in keeping things tidy.

Blue tits appeared from time to time . . .

. . . and various birds posed without visiting the feeder itself . . .

I was quite entertained and I was able to take all those pictures in the space of a quarter of an hour before I cycled off to the corner shop for supplies.

I got back in time to make a pot of coffee for Sandy who walked down to visit us. He is getting about a bit better and sent me a message later in the day to say that he had had a good walk. I hope to get out for a walk with him soon.

As soon as Sandy had left, Margaret arrived and I had a second cup of coffee with her and Mrs Tootlepedal.

When Margaret left, I went out into the garden to do some dead heading and weeding, and take a picture or two of things that caught my eye . . .

. . . including a very promising looking lily.

Mrs Tootlepedal came out and we cut the old canes from the raspberries in the fruit cage. Then, while I shredded the old canes, Mrs Tootlepedal tied the new growth to the wires. I am looking forward to next year’s raspberry jam already.

I had time for a look at some of the wilder corners of the garden before we went in for lunch. Orange crocosmia spills over behind a hedge, leycestaria grows unbidden beside a bench in the vegetable garden, and the mint runs riot and is filled with the buzzing of insects which rise in a fizzing cloud when you walk past.

And there may be dahlias about too.

I picked another of Mrs Tootlepedal’s lettuces for a BLT sandwich for my lunch, and had another look at the birds while the bacon was frying.

Siskins were being siskins.

In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a meeting at the Langholm Initiative office, and I went off for a bicycle ride. It was much windier than it has been lately so I chose my familiar route down to Canonbie and back, which I hoped would be as wind friendly as possible.

It was a good decision, and after battling straight into the wind for the first few miles, I was protected from the worst of the crosswind on the way down by kindly hedges, and then I had the wind more or less at my back on the way home.

I looked at my records and found that I have done this run 28 times already this year but it is always different and I never get tired of it.

Today I had a great bank of hawthorns along the Wauchope road to enjoy . . .

. . . a different set of curious cows . . .

. . . and a glimpse of the sun when it came out as I neared home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had got back from her meeting and had been very busy in the garden while I was out, so we were happy to sit for a moment to have a cup of tea. I popped out into the garden to see if any interesting birds were flying over head. There were none flying but pairs of jackdaws and doves were sitting on the wires over the garden.

I looked around . . .

. . . and went back inside.

On my bicycle ride, I had noticed a promising patch of brambles so as we had to go shopping anyway, we decided to drive down and see what we could pick before going to the shop. The brambles were big and luscious but there weren’t as many as I had hoped. We managed to pick a pound of good fruit before we drove back home, but I will see if I can find some more to pick tomorrow in the hope of getting enough to make some more jelly.

We had sea bass for our evening meal and that rounded off the day very well.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch actually flying.

While I was bird watching, I took a colourful corner just in case I didn’t get a decent flying bird picture. It is a pity that I don’t need to use it.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Consecutive coffees

  1. I am glad you used that last photo, even though you didn’t need to. A fine selection of birds, flowers and views again, and I am especially enjoying the variety of color and for in the flowers.

    I saw a couple of new butterfly species here this afternoon, which I will have to try to find in the online guides, and I spotted a tree frog on the side of the garage after sundown. Chickadees are making themselves at home in the butterfly bush, and there are still many hummingbirds about.

    1. Butterflies remain very scarce here this year except for the common or garden whites. There have been odd days when a lot turn up but mostly we are lucky to see more than a handful.

  2. Beautiful views, lovely birds and an exceptionally pretty corner of the garden. I enjoyed seeing Tom’s clivias: mine are coming into flower too now and brighten up the garden.

  3. Great moon photos – we have a moon atlas…somewhere…and wanted it last night when the moon was full. Thank goodness the young birds have a sample bright feather or two to know which sort they are as they all look very similar! Love the cow photo- they look very interested in the photographer.

    1. The cows don’t see many passing cyclists. 🙂

      I wish that we had got a better sight of the moon earlier in the evening when it would have been more colourful.

  4. Great shot of the harvest moon.
    Close up of the sparrow reveals they aren’t quite as drab as we might think.
    We too have our wood pigeon christened Percy,who waits patiently for the goldfinches to finish feeding,then cleans up the mess they leave.
    Still plenty of healthy flowers to be seen in your garden,must be payback for the cold spring we had..

    1. The male sparrows have a good rich colouring I agree, The females are drabber.

      The whole gardening year has been unusual with some plants going over more quickly than usual and others hanging on for ages.

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