A drop of golden sun

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He visited Melbourne in Derbyshire and got a good view of a very full reservoir on a fine day.

We had a warmer morning here today after our recent frosty starts, but this was because the skies were cloudy and we could not see the top of Whita Hill when we got up.

It didn’t make me any more eager to rush out and do things though, and I was content to idle around until Dropscone appeared for coffee. I was pleased to see him as always, but I was in for a shock on the scone front. He regularly brings four scones with him, two for each of us, but today he only brought three, having given one away to an old acquaintance whom he met on his way through the town. However, one and half scones each was not the end of the world, and we survived.

When he left, I had a quick look round the garden for colour . . .

. . . and as I looked, the sun came out and lit up the middle lawn.

You can see that to all intents and purposes, the flowers are over for the year.

In the sunshine, a starling sat on top of the holly tree and invited admiration.

I left the garden to do some shopping in the town, and on my way back, I visited the corner shop and added a cream cake to the other supplies in my bag. It was a day for surprises because when I got home, I managed to drop the cream cake on the ground. It made a most satisfying splat. I was tempted to go back and get a replacement but I resisted.

Mrs Tootlepedal was keen to get the garden gates off their hinges and into the greenhouse to protect them from the winter weather. I gave her hand, and we had to clear a good many nasturtiums out of the way, as they had grown through the bars of the gate. There were one or two left when we had finished.

I went in and took a moment to watch the birds. They were few and far between today, but we did have a visit from a great tit to add to our usual visitors.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal discussed our walnut tree with our friend Mike Tinker, who happened to be passing the garden, while I got ready to go for a cycle ride.

The forecast was ambivalent about the chance of rain, but I only felt a couple of drops on my way round the familiar Canonbie circuit, and in the end, I got a good deal of sunshine to cheer me on my way.

As I turned off the Wauchope road to go over the hill, a large flock of birds rose from a field where sheep were grazing. At first I thought that they were starlings, but when I look at the pictures later, I think that they are fieldfares, winter visitors to our region.

My favourite oak tree has lost all its leaves quite early this year. It is in an exposed position though.

As I looked at the tree in the sun, which had come out again, I noticed a marked contrast between the green of the field and some threatening looking clouds in the background.

No wonder the forecast was ambivalent.

Luckily the clouds were downwind of me, and I had avoided them. In fact, I had a very pleasant ride and took time out to stop for pictures on my way. (Click on a picture in the gallery to get a larger view.)

The clipped hedges are a mixed blessing. They make for a good picture, but the hedge trimmers often leave thorns lying on the road, and cyclist have to be very alert to avoid punctures. Luckily the trimmers seem to have been careful this year, and the recent heavy rains have washed a lot of the roads clean anyway, so it wasn’t too much of a problem today.

The church at Canonbie caught my eye . . .

. . . as did some nearby larches

When I had crossed the river by the Canonbie Bridge and was cycling up the far bank towards the Hollows Bridge, I entered a golden period of cycling.

It is hard to believe that forty years ago the leaf strewn track in the picture above was the main road between Carlisle and Edinburgh.

I stopped for one more picture on the old main road . . .

. . . before joining the new road and cycling back into the town among the passing cars, buses and lorries.

Mrs Tootlepedal had finished planting her new tulip bulbs for next year while I was out pedalling, and she was just watering in the Special Grandma rose which she has transplanted. I took a picture of it, the little red rose, a potentilla and some pretty dogwood leaves . . .

. . . and then we went in for a cup of tea.

Mysteriously, a chocolate eclair had appeared in my pocket as I passed the corner shop near the end of my ride, so I was forced to eat it with my cuppa. Mrs Tootlepedal had a small portion of it too.

The darker evenings mean that I had time to add a few entries to the Archive Group newspaper index after tea. Mrs Tootlepedal helped by reading out a huge list of names of flower show prizewinners which an eager data miner had transcribed from the microfiche. I was grateful for the assistance. My touch typing is non existent, so big lists of names are hard work without help.

I then spent some time on the phone to the technical assistance department of an internet provider trying to find a way to access the Langholm Walks website to update it. The original website hosts have been taken over by a bigger firm that has no interest in hosting websites. As a result, the lady who answered the phone (very promptly) was completely unable to help me, but most unusually she was very keen to try to find out how she could solve my problems. “This is most interesting,” she said, having unavailingly consulted her line manager and the tech department back office. “It will be very good for us here to work out how to help you.” I feel that she may not last long in her job if she is actually going to try to help customers.

As a result of all this, I got to the regular sibling Zoom meeting a bit late, but I was in time to catch up on the latest family news and share a picture or two.

The lack of bird visitors today meant that the best that I could do was to get an almost flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “A drop of golden sun

  1. I enjoyed all the photos from the day, full of shadows, light, and color. I love that starling in all his magnificent iridescence. They are beautiful birds.

    That leaf strewn track seems very narrow, but I suppose 40 years ago there were far fewer vehicles to travel on it.

      1. I can imagine the inconvenience, and having to go a long, long way around. Rock slides and downed trees over roads are the problem here. Up over the mountain pass into eastern Oregon can get closed down.

  2. It’s amazing how quickly nature can take over abandoned roads but it always ends up being pretty, from what I’ve seen.
    The potentilla is unusual. It looks bicolor, part red and part yellow.
    The shot of the sun on the hillside with dark clouds behind is very good. I see that happen here but rarely.

  3. You obviously left the deer, a female deer far behind in your quest for a drop of golden sun – and you found golden scenes in dollops, all very pretty to see.

  4. Splendid photography all round. Taking garden gates inside for the winter is dedication indeed. I liked you anecdote about the helpful techie lady. Let’s hope she comes back with an answer

    1. I have my fingers firmly crossed. We should have moved the website to a new host long ago, but as I am not the administrator, I didn’t know that the hosting company had been sold.

  5. The pictures you took as you cycled through the woods were stunning, i enjoyed them a lot. Sorry about the first cream cake and being minus 1/2 a scone!

  6. What a stellar set of photos. The shot of the leafy road with the stone wall on the left just begs you to cycle into it – lucky you.

    As for the most helpful attitude of the internet company’s employee . . . like Miss Bingley, I am all astonishment! To see a problem as an opportunity to learn something is a rare and wonderful attitude.

  7. Great header picture again.
    Glad to see the lovely gentian making another appearance,it is quite a striking flower.
    Hard to believe your leafy lane was once a main road. I suppose itโ€™s known as progress.
    The autumn colours are really great this year,a pleasure to ride along I imagine.
    Like most cyclists Iโ€™m always a bit nervous cycling along quiter roads with newly clipped hawthorn,but they do look appealing.

    1. The clipped hedges have been much less of a trial this year (though I may be speaking too soon). I don’t know whether the trimmers have been taking more care, or have got better equipment, or whether I have just been lucky with my timing.

      It has been a good time to be out and about both on foot and on the bike.

  8. Hello TP,
    A wonderful treat on a gloomy morning. Both the light and your capturing of it in a fab selection of photos – the starling is stupendous! But also your wonderful assessment of approach to service by large companies – though I must add that our recent dealings with Western Power, were also a joyous exception to this,
    best wishes and hope you enjoyed the big bonfire How tidy you folk in Lanholm are!


  9. As you say those clipped hedges are a marvel, a beautiful sight. If you fear punctures from those pesky thorns, get some Tannus inserts they are brilliant.

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