Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She took it though a bus window as she passed Trafalgar Square this week. It is very obvious that central London has not returned to anything like the usual pre-covid crowds of tourists.
In spite of a rather gloomy forecast yesterday, today turned out to be mostly fine, with not a hint of rain until the late afternoon.
It was still quite chilly when we got up, so I put my usual delaying tactics into place before going out for an unexpected cycle ride. The crossword, coffee with our neighbours Margaret and Liz, and washing the bird feeder all filled in the time until midday.
It was a comfortable 8°C when I finally got going, and the wind was so light as not to be either a hindrance or much of a help. I only needed eight miles to get up to my 4000 mile total for the year, so I settled for a gentle 20 mile loop round the Solwaybank wind farm to take me there.
The needles are coming off the larches, but there were still plenty left on the trees as I headed up and over Callister.
As I passed the field of coppiced willows near Conhess, I was impressed by their growth. The individual plants are well above six foot tall now. That is quick growing when you think what they looked like in March this year.
The turbines at Solwaybank were not turning today, but they have been placed in a breezy spot as this tree shows.
It was a clear day, and from the top of the hill beside the windfarm, I could look across country to see Tinnis Hill in the distance. I had cycled past it yesterday. Beside my feet, a lone buttercup bloomed.
The great joy of this route, is the tree lined section of road when you have passed the wind farm. I was just in time today to catch the last of the autumn tunnels.
Feeling that these two tunnels would be hard to beat, I didn’t take any more pictures until I was happily back in our own garden after completing 4012 cycling miles for the year so far.
I had a search for flowers in the garden before I went in, and managed to round up six rather scruffy specimens, with some berries and box ball thrown in to make up the panels.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy gardening while I was out pedalling. She has been digging over the front beds and removing as many of the large stones which infest the ground as she could.
I had a slice of bread and bramble jelly for a light lunch, and then went off for a walk with Mrs Tootlepedal. She wanted to look at some of the very young spruces growing on the moor, so we drove up to the White Yett and walked along the track to the Castle Craigs.
If you like cairns, this is the walk for you.
We found some varied lichen . . .
. . . and fungus and striking vegetation too. We couldn’t work out what the fresh looking green plant was.
It had got rather gloomy by this time and there was a threat of rain. The moor was looking at its brownest . . .
. . . so we didn’t linger long. Mrs Tootlepedal rtested out the bench beside the Castle Craigs cairn for a minute or two, and then we walked back to the car. This was a good policy because there was a hint of drizzle on the car windscreen as we drove home.
I took a picture of a fungus in the garden a day or two ago. Mrs Tootlepedal had told me where to find it, but when she looked at my picture, she said it was not the one that she had seen. We went to investigate and found that there were indeed two crops of fungus at the same bin.
It was a double fungus fest.
When we went in, I cooked a tarte tatin. Later in the evening, I couldn’t find my mobile phone although we looked everywhere. It was a complete mystery as I had definitely used it after we had come back from our walk, Finally, the astute Mrs Tootlepedal diagnosed the situation correctly, and found missing phone hiding in the pocket of my tarte tatin apron.
Although I had washed and filled the feeder in the morning, it hadn’t attracted many customers at all, even when we were out. Some birds had obviously visited, as the seed had gone down a little . . .
. . . but they had not come at a moment when I was looking out of the window.
As a result, the flying bird of the day is also the only bird that I saw all day. The quality of the image is not good, but beggars can’t be choosers and it is a flying dunnock. A flying dunnock doesn’t appear on the blog very often! (The last one was two years ago.)