Today’s guest picture is another of the fine crop of fungus to be found in my Lake Michigan correspondent, Laura’s back yard.
We had more rain overnight, but it was not serious rain and it petered out by coffee time, dampening Margaret on her way in, but letting her get home dry.
After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal went back to pasting wallpaper, while I lounged around doing the crossword and checking on the birds. It was a good day for bird watching out of the window.
The two goldfinches were back, but with a fresh slant on life . . .
. . . but it didn’t take long for them to be joined by an eager throng.
I picked out a pair of dunnocks . . .
. . . a collection of blue and coal tits . . .
. . . and, most pleasingly of all, a little wren which bobbed about for a moment or two without actually visiting the feeder.
As you can see from the wren pictures, the sun had come out, and as the forecast looked set fair, I seized the opportunity to get out on my bicycle. It has been sorely neglected over the past rainy and windy days.
It was still a bit breezy but nowhere near as brisk as my last outing, so I pedalled along cheerfully enough, glad that my recent fall had affected my ability to cycle.
I had had to wait to set out until I thought that the roads might have dried out a bit, as I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks with damp and leafy surfaces. I had to negotiate several places where water was running across the road, but by and large, the roads were amazingly dry and the cycling was a pleasure.
The larches are turning, and many streams were still running boisterously along . . .
After what seems like months of road works at Eaglesfield, I was finally able to cycle through the road junction there, and head round to Chapelknowe. The hundred yards of new surface seems like a small return for such a long spell of work, but there were unexpected difficulties only discovered after the work had begun.
I stopped for a couple of views on the way to Chapelknowe and investigated how the Korean Pine cones were doing in Half Morton graveyard.
As you can see, (click on the picture for a clearer view), the pine cones are being eaten. These pines don’t shed their cones but rely on them being eaten on the branch, and the seeds dispersed by the cone eaters in due course.
I read an article today which stated that sunshine at this time of year can lead to more cycling accidents than you might expect, and there was enough low sun and deep shadows today to make me see that this might well be right.
Luckily, I had lightly tinted glasses on which coped with the glare but let me see in the shadows. I could see oncoming car drivers with their sun visors down who were still having to put their hands over the eyes as they came towards me. I kept a wary eye on them.
One of the pleasures of autumn cycling, is the leafy tunnels which provide interest, offering a hint of mysterious delights beyond to those who go through them.
I planned a route which would take me just over three hundred miles for the month, the minimum amount that I aim to do in any month without snow or ice. In the end my 28 miles today got me up to 303 miles for the month. It has been wet and windy which has discouraged me from cycling as much as I would like, and I have put on a bit of weight as a result. It is sad to say that 60 miles of walking this month, however enjoyable, have had no beneficial effect at all.
The clocks go back this weekend, so time for afternoon outings becomes severely curtailed. As the sun was still shining brightly when I got home from my ride, I thought that I ought to make the best this final good day and go for a walk. Mrs Tootlepedal, who had finished her wall papering, was busy in the garden, taking advantage of the dry moment, so I went by myself.
The recent floods have washed up quite a bit of debris against our bridges.
I walked along the river to the Kilngreen, where at half past four, the shadows were already lengthening.
I passed several ducks and a lone dipper on my way to the Sawmill Brig.
I had come out with the hope of seeing sunshine and shadows on hills, rivers and trees. I was not disappointed.
The Lodge walks were looking lovely from both inside and out.
I looked across the Castleholm towards Warbla.
When I crossed the Castleholm to get to the Jubilee Bridge, it was already in the shadow of the hills.
It was getting decidedly chilly by this time, so I didn’t dilly dally on my way home, although some fading larch needles detained me for a moment.
Sunset in Langholm was at 17.37 today. We had ten and a quarter hours of daylight, but next week heralds the start of winter gloom in the evenings, and we we will be down to eight and and half hours by the end of next month. I was very glad to have made good use of this bright and cheerful afternoon.
By way of a change, we have synchronized flying birds of the day today. The goldfinches were not impressed.