A change in the weather

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She had a furry rather than a feathered friend at her bird feeder yesterday.

We read a news item today saying that this September had been one of the warmest Septembers on record. It doesn’t look as though October is going to break any heat records, as it has started out being quite chilly and miserable. Additional clothing has been recruited.

We started the day very slowly after the excitements of foreign travel, and I had things to do on the computer, so it wasn’t until nearly lunchtime that I glanced out of the window

The birds seemed quite pleased that I was back and had filled the feeder . . .

. . . but they were probably quite a lot less pleased by the return of the sparrowhawk which had its lunch on our lawn.

Although it was keeping a wary eye out, it was quite happy for me to get several clear shots of it through the open back door before it flew off.

As there were no more small birds at the feeder thanks to the hawk’s visit, I made some lentil and carrot soup for lunch instead of bird watching.

It started to rain quite heavily and we were happy to lounge about after lunch until it stopped in the mid afternoon. The birds had returned to the feeder . . .

. . . and after watching them for a while, I put on my new waterproof trousers and went for a walk. The trousers worked their magic again. Although it rained in the town while I was out, it didn’t rain on me. To make things even more satisfactory, it started to rain again just as I got home.

I had a quick look round the garden before I left. The dahlias did have insects on them today in spite of the rain . . .

. . . and there are still plenty of flourishing flowers to be found.

All the same, it was a pretty gloomy day for a walk, even when the clouds lifted off the hills . . .

. . . but there were autumn leaves and crab apples to look at as I went along the track to the Becks Burn.

The last time that I came this way, I could almost have walked across the burn in carpet slippers. Today, I was glad that I had a bridge to cross. There was a lot of water going under the bridge.

Although the leaves on the trees are still mainly green, there is a definite autumnal feel to a walk now . . .

. . . and a cow that I passed agreed with me about that.

When I got down to the Auld Stane Brig and looked back up the hill, I saw that other cows were posing in the landscape in a slightly unnatural but artistic way, as though sketched in by a Dutch landscape artist.

I crossed the Auld Stane Brig and, after ducking under a fallen tree . . .

. . . I headed up the lower slopes of Warba. Looking up the Wauchope valley, the weather did not seem very promising to say the least. . .

. . . but it must have been these clouds which slipped past me and rained on Mrs Tootlepedal in our garden.

I paused to admire the skill with which engineers sling power lines across every fine view in our area . . .

. . . and then I walked through the Kernigal Wood, where the trees hide the pylons across the valley. . .

. . . and kept going until I came down to the Esk at Skippers Bridge.

There was a good flow of water running down the Esk, and every bridge that I passed on my way home had a purpose in life.

I walked back to the town up the bank of the Esk, noting flowers on the river bank and lichen on a fence . . .

. . . not to mention more flowers on the hedge which hides our water treatment works from passers by.

After four days with a lot of sitting down involved, I was pleased to have stretched my legs for just over four miles, especially as I had avoided getting wet. As it looks as though it is going to be wet and windy for the next three days, finding this little gap in the weather was very fortunate.

An evening meal of mince and tatties, followed by a dose of Strictly Come Dancing rounded off the day.

The flying bird of the day is that sparrowhawk making off with its lunch at speed.

Footnote: I found a conker in my pocket today which I had picked up on our Thames walk a couple of days ago. It is a pleasing memento of our trip.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A change in the weather

  1. Lovely! There is a lot to like about TX, but I am perplexed and disappointed at the lack of birds. The hummers came right away with a feeder, but I have seen one sparrow on a couple of days at my small bird feeder and one flycatcher coming in to dine when army worms took over the yard. I have never seen such a dearth of birdlife, and I don’t know why.

  2. Seems your trip has done you good,what with talk of crossing burns in carpet slippers,artistic cows,bridges doing their jobs.and conker mementos,very entertaining 😊
    Very upbeat for what as you say is some quiet unpleasant weather on the way.
    “Good “ shot of the sparrow hawk doing his worst,but they all have to eat ,it’s the way of nature.
    Now cats are a totally different matter☹️

  3. I’m glad your rivers are full and flowing again. Ours could still stand to go down a bit.
    It’s amazing to see where a cow’s stomachs will take it.
    Those are great shots of the sparrow hawk. Easy pickings for both you and it.

  4. I enjoyed all these lovely autumn photos, including the conker.

    I had to look up “Strictly Come Dancing”. No TV service here, we just use the set to watch movies.

    The sparrow hawk is an efficient hunter, though I have seen small birds evade them here by flying into a dense clump of mint or lemon balm. Our neighbor recently reported a full size hawk had attempted to take off with one of their big chickens.

  5. Fabulous shots of the hawk, Tom! LOVE the cows’ landscape shot, they led me into your photo, one by one. The close-up of the one chewing on a piece of grass made me giggle. 🙂

  6. I have often read about children playing with conkers, but haven’t seen one until your photo. It’s quite beautiful, and looks as though you’ve burnished it to show off the striations. It’s good to see so much water flowing in your area.

  7. It does look like October is right on schedule… Love the Sparrowhawk photos, it indeed looks fierce. We could use some of your rain.

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