To the woods

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found a lovely canal bridge on a recent walk. All that was missing was the canal.

We had a rather miserable sort of day here today as far as the weather went. The morning was often wet and always windy. I went to the shop, did a little composting, and then stayed quietly indoors until noon, when I had a quick walk round the garden in a non drizzling moment.

Flower pictures are getting harder to come by, and the reliable snapdragons are fading fast.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help staff a stall in a gazebo for the community buy out group at the Langholm Chilli Festival on the Kilngreen, and came back for lunch in slightly damp and chilled state. She had had a useful time though, giving out information and enrolling new members for the Initiative, so she was quietly satisfied.

For some reason, the bird feeder was very quiet today and I hardly saw any birds.

The weather forecast wasn’t very promising after lunch, but sitting about moaning about the weather wasn’t a very attractive proposition either, so we went for a walk.

There had been a producers’ market in the High Street to go with the chilli festival fun, and by good fortune, our local soap maker was still on the go when we got to the Market Place. I bought three bars of soap and took them round the walk with me.

(I took too many pictures on the walk so I have put many of them in galleries, and as usual, a click on a smaller picture will bring up the full size image.)

After yesterday’s sunny hill walk, I thought that a well sheltered low level walk would be a better option today. We walked along the path through the oak and birch woods to Broomholmshiels . . .

Mrs Tootlepedal was very happy to see a lot of small oak shoots growing beside the path, promising regeneration of the ancient oak wood.

Even on a damp and gloomy day, it is a pleasure to walk along this path.

Needless to say, as we came to the open section at the end of the woods, the weather closed in . . .

. . . and it was hoods up and heads down until we got to the shelter of the road leading back down to the river. We did just have time for a look around before the rain caught up with us.

There was plenty to look at on our walk as well as the trees and the views. I have added some dubious identification to the fungi that we met, and would be happy to be corrected.

Banks and walls had treats too.

When we got down to the river, I was tempted by some familiar photo opportunities.

Mrs Tootlepedal found an oak gall and enjoyed the smooth covering of moss on a wall.

Our leaves are taking their time about turning, but there was some colourful foliage, and we were surprised by a hogweed in flower and the bright red berries on a holly tree.

Towards the end of the walk, the alert Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a grey squirrel which scampered off up a tree . . .

. . . and I noticed a monster staring at me from the undergrowth in the park.

The most unusual thing that we saw was this . . .

. . . which might possibly be the oddly named wolf’s milk slime mold. Once again, I would be happy to be corrected.

Our walk of just under five miles was timed to perfection, and we arrived home at five to four, perfect time for an afternoon cup of tea and a slice of bread and bramble jelly.

I had hoped to add to my collection of birds for the day when we got in, but the seed in the feeder had hardly gone down at all and there were no birds at all to be seen.

As a result, I didn’t manage to get a flying bird of the day today, so a perching goldfinch from the morning is standing in.

Footnote: I am sorry that I haven’t included any pictures of the chilli festival but there will doubtless be a full report in our local paper, the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser, next week. It has a good website which can be found here.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “To the woods

  1. The fly agaric and turkey tail are the only mushrooms I recognize. That’s a great turkey tail. I’ve never seen so much red in one.
    That does look like wolf’s milk slime mold and I say that because you can just see a little bit of the orangey liquid on the one in the lower right corner. In a day or two it will have the consistency of toothpaste.
    The birds on the bird feeder all looked very wary, as if they expected a visit from the hawk.

  2. I’m sorry that you were caught in the rain, but the misty photos are quite beautiful (unlike the wolf’s milk slime mold . . .).

  3. I feel very sorry to learn that the Leader project had to be cancelled following brexit. That will have dire consequences for the next buyout plans.

    1. Although I regret the passing of the Leaader Project as it has been very useful to us over the years, it wasn’t a factor in the first buyout and shouldn’t affect the next stage.

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed all your photos here. How beautiful it is even on a grey day! It is the season for fungus and misty fall colors. That slime mold is an interesting one, too. I have been looking for some here now the weather is wet again, but have not seen any, yet. My mushroom hunter friend from the market is finding lots of chanterelles this year and has also treated me to a sample of cauliflower mushroom. It was quite tasty.

    The birds at the feeder look watchful. Perhaps the sparrow hawk has been back?

    1. I haven’t seen the sparrowhawk lately but there have been unwelcome visits from neighbourhood cats who stalk the birds. You are lucky to have a mushroom hunter friend. I am too nervous to eat anything that I find.

  5. That was a fabulous meander, just wish I could have walked with you both. It’s great to make use of a dampish day. Being stuck inside is no fun, when there is so much to be seen outdoors. Cheers.

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