Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She took this picture of the River Itchen in Winchester, where she is on a short visit with my two other sisters.
We had a grey but dry day here today. Being slightly chilly and not very windy, it was not a good drying day and the washing was still faintly damp when it was taken in late in the afternoon. Still, it was not windy and wet, so we were duly grateful.
After breakfast, I pruned back the Charles Ross espalier apple. Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that the three espaliers are getting a bit too big for their boots, and they will need more serious cutting back, but that is above my pay grade so I will leave it to her.
I took a walk round the garden to see what was going on. As we haven’t had a frost yet, we still have a good selection of flowers in bloom . . .
. . . and I will keep on taking dahlia pictures as long as they last.
It was 10°C and it seemed to be a bit too chilly for the bees. There were very few about.
Two flowers stood out for me today, the resolute Lilian Austin . . .
. . . and the superabundant big Michaelmas daisies.
Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a curious thing in the garden and I took a picture of it.
It was very difficult to decide what it was. Was it something deposited by an animal? Was it a fungus of some sort? Google thought that it might be the unfortunately named ‘dog’s vomit’ slime mould. I would welcome suggestions from knowledgeable readers.
I went back in and looked back out at the bird feeder. I found that the birds were keeping a good eye out themselves, both this way and that.
There was a good deal of traffic with birds flying in . . .
. . . and sometimes coming and going in a rush at the same time.
There were moments of peace too. A dunnock tested the slabs in the drive to see if they were wobbly . . .
. . . and a blue tit was very colour co-ordinated with its background.
I had double coffee gatherings today, as first Sandy arrived, and as he left, our neighbour Margaret came round. Luckily I had made a pot of Monsoon Malabar so it was no hardship to drink several cups.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning and combined coffee with Sandy and Margaret with two visits on business to the town (and a little shopping on her way back).
When she got back, she became even busier and took the hedge trimmer to the end of our hedge along the street. This produced a good deal of material for me to shred and add to the compost bin, so we were quite ready for lunch by the time that she had finished.
She is thinking of cutting the rest of the hedge back to the same level. That will give us plenty to do in the weeks to come.
After lunch, she finally slowed down and retired to read a good book. I went out for a short pedal round the Solwaybank loop.
My progress was tracked by a curious cow.
Since I have crossed it several times this year but have not photographed it since May, I thought the bridge across the Kirtle Water at Linnbridgeford deserved another look.
I was surprised to see two lots of rather late wild flowers on my trip, red campion . . .
. . . and ragwort.
In general, the colours are a bit muted at the moment, though the tunnels on the Solwaybank road are showing a bit of autumn promise to come.
In contrast to the curious cow on my way out, I saw a magnificent bull on my way back, not quite the monarch of the glen, but certainly the master of all it surveyed.
Once again, the light faded away not long after I got home, so another quiet evening unfolded.
The flying bird of the day is a looming greenfinch.