We needed a cheerful guest photo on a very gloomy day here, so this picture of Bonny Prince Charlie ignoring the autumn colour was just the thing. It was taken by my brother Andrew in Derby.
It was a deeply yday in Langholm. Although it started dry, the rain came on at coffee time and it was still going when darkness fell.
Our morning was brightened by the overlapping arrivals of Sandy and Margaret for coffee, both of them in very good form.
We went shopping at the Co-op after they left, and that managed to fill up the morning for us.
I did look at the birds after coffee, but once again there weren’t many about. We do have a regular set of blue tits visiting us just now . . .
. . .and a robin is always a welcome visitor.
Two dunnocks were chasing each other round the garden with great vigour. In the end, one flew off, and the other did some grazing under the feeder.
Some birds would rather start an argument than use a spare perch as this chaffinch proved. This was probably a twitter storm.
After lunch, we armed ourselves with waterproof footwear and large umbrellas, and went for a walk. The rain was persistent but light, so we pottered along cheerfully enough.
They was a large gang of people on the Kilngreen doing noisy works connected with installing the new electric car charging point there. As a result, Mr Grumpy was lurking quietly on the other side of the bridge, away from all the fuss.
The remains of last night’s bonfire were still smouldering gently beside the river, but it had burnt away most neatly.
It was not a day to lift your eyes to the hills . . .
. . . so we walked up past the Estate Offices and took the track along the top of the wood along to the North Lodge.
There was some colour in the trees . . .
. . . but the track on the other side of those trees was more green than brown when we got to it.
It had been a good year for fungus, and in places there was plenty to see as we went along.
We got as far as the North Lodge . . .
. . . and weren’t tempted top extend our walk any further. We turned back and walked round the Pheasant Hatchery to get to the Duchess Bridge and the track back to town.
The day had a sort of gloomy majesty about it that made it visually interesting in spite of the rain . . .
. . . and we liked the contrast between the trees in the foreground and the spruces and larches on the hillside beyond them.
I spotted some script lichen on a tree beside the track . . .
. . . and the eagle eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted some curious fungus once we had crossed the Duchess Bridge. At least, I assume it is a fungus.
There was no shortage of autumn leaves, both underfoot and on every side.
Mrs Tootlepedal told me that we had some fungus in our own garden, so when we got back, I went to look for it. It was past its best but still quite impressive. The biggest one was about the size of a tennis ball.
Luckily I had bought some iced finger buns in the morning, and they went down very well with a cup of tea when we got home.
It was soon dark, so I settled down to some more recorder music cataloguing before the regular evening Zoom with my siblings. I did some newspaper indexing for the Archive Group too.
Dark nights may not be any good for walking or cycling, but they do help you to do the things that you ought to have been doing when you were out walking and cycling.
A chaffinch, caught just before it landed, is the flying bird of the day today.