Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alastair. He spotted a fine Halloween rainbow in Edinburgh this afternoon.
After more overnight rain, we woke to another grey and rainy morning here.
We walked to church in the dry, but we had to scuttle back home with our coats buttoned up as it was raining heavily after the service. The service was a bit disjointed, and there was nothing very interesting for the choir to sing, so it was disappointing that my afternoon choir in Carlisle had been cancelled because of worries about the travel conditions in the continuing bad weather.
After coffee, I checked on the birds and found two goldfinches back again. They had got things straight today.
A gap in the rain appeared, and I seized the opportunity to go for a short walk along the track to the Becks Burn. There was plenty of autumn colour still surviving after the many rain showers, both beside the track . .
. . . and across the valley.
There was plenty of food for birds out here too, with hips and crab apples waiting to be eaten.
And there was a lot of fungus on and around tree stumps before I crossed the burn.
I crossed the burn and walked down the road towards the Auld Stane Brig.
The season has caught up with some trees . . .
. . . and for a moment it felt quite wintery . . .
. . . but only for a moment. Autumn soon reasserted itself.
I passed more fungus on my way down to join the Wauchope road.
Because the path through the woods from the Auld Stane Brig back to Langholm is closed, I went straight back to town by the road . . .
. . . pausing to enjoy the warm welcome which you get when you come round Pool Corner on an autumn afternoon.
I got home in the nick of time, just before the next rain shower started.
Before I went in, I spotted a most unseasonable poppy beside the dam and no less than three lilies in a heap in the garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal had made a very nourishing ham broth for lunch, and as she enhanced it with croutons, I felt very content after lunch in spite of having no choir to enjoy. We went shopping instead. More raspberries had hopped into my shopping basket, and I made some more raspberry jam when we got back. I eat yoghurt for the good of my health, but I don’t much like the taste, so quite a lot of raspberry jam goes into making the yoghurt palatable. I realize that this does not give me top marks for healthy eating, but it certainly gets top marks for a delicious flavour. And it requires a steady supply of fresh jam.
I had another look at the birds when the jam had been put into pots.
There was action at the feeder . . .
. . . with spectators looking on.
The light faded an hour earlier today, and it was dark when the time came to go back to church for an additional evening service. This was a special service to provide comfort for people mourning the loss of family and friends, a new idea from the minister. It was a short but touching event, and gave the choir some good singing to do, with an extra encouragement to do it as well as possible. We did our best, and as a bonus, it wasn’t raining when we walked home.
We are going to start weekly church choir practices with some additional members from the Langholm Community Choir. It hasn’t restarted after the pandemic lockdowns. A small Christmas concert may be possible if enough people turn up, and that will be quite exciting. With four dark months to come, a bit of music brings some welcome light in the gloom.
My memory is not always quite as crisp as I would like, and when I wrote in yesterday’s post that I idled the morning away, I managed to forget that I had found a moment to cut the front hedge . . .
. . . and another to top up the sieved compost bin . . .
. . . so I hadn’t entirely wasted my time.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch throwing out a challenge.