Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie. She made use of the brand new Nine Elms tube station in London on the very first day that it opened for business. She says that it is more impressive inside than it looks from outside.
We had another grey day here with the temperature once again sitting in a very narrow range between 11° and 15°C. There was a very light drizzle in the morning, but otherwise, although it looked as though it might rain from time to time, it didn’t.
Since the drizzle had stopped after breakfast, we took our friend Nancy’s advice and went to look for blackberries on the old A7 a couple of miles out of town. At first sight the location did not look very promising, but it didn’t take us long to see that Nancy had been perfectly right. It was indeed a very good spot for picking brambles. The absence of nettles was a bit particularly good point.
It didn’t take us long to pick big two pounds, and we were soon back in the car heading home for coffee with Margaret.
We had ginger biscuits with our coffee.
After Margaret left, I watched the birds for a bit. It was a day when there were plenty of birds to watch.
And more kept arriving.
Some birds waited quietly on the feeder bar for their turn . . .
. . . while others got on with their keep fit exercises.
Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do some dead heading, trying to avoid dead heading somnolent bees while she did so.
Meanwhile I put all the brambles that we had picked over the last three days into a pan with a couple of apples from the garden and simmered them until they were soft. Mrs Tootlepedal set up the juice draining system and we had lunch while the fruit softened. After lunch, I filled the jelly bag and we left it to drip while we went out into the garden.
A second Sweet William has produced some late flowers to join the rudbeckia, potentilla and dahlias.
Just when you think that the roses have finished for the year, more come out . . .
. . . and judging by the unopened buds, there should be more to come. I see that I shouldn’t be surprised as when I checked back, I found that I was still taking pictures of roses in our garden in November last year.
The exciting lily is getting more exciting.
In the vegetable garden, two courgettes continue, clover flowers and the yew tree bears berries.
I tend to overlook the begonias because they live in a shady border and their colour is often a bit too much for my camera, but they have been most reliable since Mrs Tootlepedal put them in, so here are a pair.
While the softened fruit was dripping into a big bowl, I went off for a cycle ride, leaving Attila the Gardener to attack innocent plants. I noticed a lone red admiral butterfly as I was getting ready to leave the garden.
It was a gusty day, and at times cycling into the wind as I headed out over Callister was slow going, but once I had turned at Falford and I was heading back round the Solwaybank windfarm, things became a lot easier.
When I looked over at the turbines, I could see that the wind was almost directly behind me now.
The local horses were not at all curious about me.
I had heard strange bird noises as I pedalled out towards Callister, and it had taken me some time to register that there were geese flying over my head. They had almost gone by the time that I got my camera out of my back pocket. I had felt a bit stupid for taking so long to recognise what the sound was, but when I heard the sound again as I cycled homewards, I was more prepared, and a patch of better weather helped. Here are my two efforts.
The little Lumix is not the best thing for catching high flying birds against a grey sky.
There were glints of sunshine as I got nearer home . . .
. . . but I pedalled along under a cloud.
Instead of taking the direct route home, I took a diversion to the top of the Canonbie bypass. This road has been closed over the last few nights, and I wanted to see how the resurfacing work was coming along.
It is coming along well . . .
. . . and it was a treat to glide along the new smooth tarmac. Apart from anything else, the passing traffic was a lot quieter than it had been on the old rough surface.
I don’t know how far they are going along the road, but there is plenty of opportunity for them to make improvements,so I hope that they don’t stop too soon.
I left the main road and cycled past the spot where we had been picking brambles in the morning.
As I had stopped to take the picture, I took a moment to explore the wood on the other side of the road. There is a nice clearing among the mature trees . . .
. . . and it wasn’t hard to find out how the clearing had come about.
I got home to find that the juice had more or less stopped dripping and that Attila the Gardener had dug up a hefty hosta.
After our evening meal, I made five and a half pots of bramble and apple jelly. This was not quite as many as I had hoped for but perhaps the fruit was a bit too ripe for perfect jelly. However, the proof of the pudding will be in the tasting, and I hope to try a sample from the half jar after finishing this post.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch looming over a goldfinch.