Today’s guest picture from sunny East Wemyss, much needed on another generally gloomy day here, shows one of Tony’s dogs playing ‘King of the Castle’.
We woke to heavy showers, and were quite pleased when a long enough gap in the weather appeared not only to let us cycle to church to sing in the choir, but also to get back home again before the next rain came on.
Henry, our organist was back at work after his recent marriage, and as his wife was there too, we had just enough choir members present to sing an introit and enjoy the hymns.
I was hoping to go for a walk or a cycle ride between church and the afternoon choir in Carlisle, but every time that I thought about getting going out, another shower of rain came along, and in the very gusty wind I became discouraged.
I stayed indoors and watched the birds instead.
There were a few busy moments . . .
. . . but the birds seemed very wary . .
. . . and there was a good deal of anxious flitting going on which made photography in the dim light tricky. A robin dropped in for a moment . . .
. . . and a blue tit shared the feeder with a goldfinch . . .
. . . but by and large, it was very quiet.
The wind was not quiet though, and birds often had to hang on tightly when the gusts hit the feeder . . .
. . . with both a goldfinch and a coal tit feeling the need for a steadying claw.
In a dry moment after lunch, I went out to inspect the garden.
The stargazer lilies are not giving up without a fight, and another new one had appeared today . . .
. . . but the little red rose is still the pick of the bunch. Mrs Tootlepedal puts this down to good feeding and looking after the soil.
There is quite a lot of non-flower colour about as the blooms fade away. . .
. . . and we have had more rose hips this year than we usually get.
There is almost always something interesting to look at in the garden.
Another dry spell encouraged me to go out for a quick walk down to the river before going to afternoon choir.
I saw a dipper at the Kirk Brig, but it was in a very fidgety mood, doing lots of feather maintenance and refusing to stand still. In the poor light, I got a collection of very fuzzy pictures of it.
I looked down the river . . .
. . . and then walked up it, passing the decorative fallen leaves from two riverside trees . . .
. . . until I got to Mary Street. I had hoped to find an old tree there which is covered with polypore fungus, but tragedy had occurred and this rich source of photographs had come down to earth.
There was some good colour on the Castleholm on the far bank of the river . . .
. . . and another fine tree at the Manse . . .
. . . which I passed on my way to Pool Corner, where I was hoping to see a heron. Sadly, the heron was out, and I consoled myself with a peltigera lichen on a wall . . .
. . . and a quince hedge . . .
. . . as I made my way home after this quick tour of the New Town.
The changeable nature of the day was confirmed by my drive to Carlisle. I passed though a torrential shower at the border, and then arrived in at the choir practice in beautiful sunshine.
Because of the distance that we have to stand apart, even though we are all wearing masks, the singing is not quite as satisfactory as it should be. All the same, it is a great deal better than our Zoom sessions so I am thankful for small mercies.
The weather stayed fine for my drive home. Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she had been driven out of the garden by a series of heavy showers.
She had made an excellent slowed cooked lamb stew for our evening meal, so in spite of the weather, it turned out to have been a reasonably cheerful day in the end.
It didn’t provide a very crisp flying bird of the day though.