Genuine tidying up

Today’s guest post comes from my friend Dropscone, the golfer. He has found several new hazards on the golf course lately. At least they save on mowing costs.

We had a dry but grey day here, and once again I had to take things carefully to avoid making my knees worse. My knee felt pretty good in the morning, so it was hard to be restful on a good cycling day. I was helped by the fact that Sandy came round for coffee w. This gave me a good reason to sit and chat instead of scampering about.

He left to visit a friend in Carlisle, and at the same time, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help show an interested party round the moor and the proposed Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

This left me with time on my hands, so I put a brisket of beef in the slow cooker, and then had a very gentle test pedal round to the corner shop to stock up on vital supplies of dates and honey. That turned out to be quite enough pedalling for the day.

There were no birds to look at when I got back, so I had an early lunch and then considered my options. I could continue with my tidying up in the front room (which had not got very far yesterday), or I could go outside and sweep fallen walnut leaves off the lawns. I chose to sweep leaves for a while, and then, intoxicated by the fresh air, I went for a walk.

After the success of yesterday’s short and flat outing, I went a little further and added a little uphill for today’s effort as I strolled round the Becks Burn walk. It felt fine at the time, but as I write this, my knee is suggesting that I might have gone a step or two too far. I will try to rein myself in tomorrow.

I stopped a lot as I went round. There were fungi, a couple as big as soup plates, to admire . . .

. . . and I liked the contrast between the trees as I looked across the field to the Wauchope Churchyard.

There were larch needles on one side of the rather battered looking Becks Burn bridge, and unsettled sheep, numerous catkins, and a wild rose on the other side.

All but one of the trees round the Auld Stane Brig have lost their colour, but the lichen garden on the post at the end of the bridge is flourishing. You can see the post itself at the near end of the parapet in the bottom picture in the gallery below.

I had to walk back to town along the road as Gaskell’s Walk is still closed because of the unsafe bridge. This took me round Pool Corner, a colourful spot at this time of year thanks to the many larches.

I passed a beech hedge on the way, and I enjoyed the demonstration of the fact that young beech branches keep their leaves while old branches shed their leaves. The lower branches are cut back every year which keeps them young.

My camera struggled a bit at Pool Corner, deciding that the larches were a different colour every time that I pointed it at them. In the poor light, I didn’t think that it did justice to them at all.

When I got back to town, I walked down to the river in the hope of seeing a dipper. There was no dipper to be seen, and I had to settle for some colourful fallen leaves before heading home . . .

. . . where I found that there is still the odd hint of colour in the garden.

I felt happy with my knee after my walk, so I swept the walnut leaves off the middle lawn and the back path before going inside. When Mrs Tootlepedal got home from her adventure, we put the collected leaves on a couple of the vegetable beds to keep the soil protected during the winter, and the sharp eyed gardener spotted a bright green caterpillar nearby.

We went in and had a cup of tea. Finally I couldn’t avoid it any more and got round to doing a bit of tidying up in the front room. I resisted the temptation to take the music out of the music cupboard and put it back again, and this time I actually tidied some things up. There is still some way to go, but at least I could see that we have got quite a large table in the room, and not just an amorphous heap of stuff. Progress.

Sitting down was the the modus operandi for the rest of the day.

I didn’t see a single bird in the garden today, so the flying bird of the day is an anonymous but large raptor being pestered by a smaller bird. It flew over my head on my walk, and I did the best that I could with my fungus camera.

Footnote: a knowledgeable friend says that the larger bird is probably a golden eagle. They have been introduced to the the area north of us and are beginning to be seen here.

Second footnote. The knowledgeable friend has had a second look and thinks that it is just a buzzard being mobbed by crow. Ah well.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Genuine tidying up

  1. I enjoyed all these photos. I thought the ones at Pool Corner were quite nice. Lighting can change so rapidly in this weather, and getting a good shot of something can be difficult.

    The beech hedge is intriguing. They don’t have thorns like hawthorn, but must be good at keeping larger livestock confined.

    Take good care of your knee. It is easy to overdo, something I know well.

    1. Boo hoo, sadly, my expert has changed his mind and now thinks that it was just a buzzard. It seemed very large to me but he is probably right as he knows a lot.

  2. We have many eagles in our area (southeast corner of Minnesota, a Midwestern state in the U.S.). In fact, the National Eagle Center is only about 25 miles from Red Wing (my home).

    1. Sadly, my expert has changed his mind and now thinks that it was just a buzzard. But eagles have been seen locally so I live in hope of seeing one soon.

      1. Ugh, a buzzard eh? They’re lovely in their own way but generally speaking most folks do not love them like they do the eagle.

  3. I hope the knee straightens out. Back when you had your knee operation mine felt fine but now they’re fine as long as I don’t kneel down. Getting back up can be challenging.
    The fungi were nice to see. Some of them looked like they might be ink caps.
    That would be great if you had eagles there. I just saw one a couple of weeks ago at work.

  4. How exciting to see a golden eagle! Wouldn’t it be good to find more raptors arriving in the area now that the moor is no longer used for grouse hunting?

    1. Sadly, my expert has changed his mind and now thinks that it was just a buzzard, but attracting more raptors to the moor is high on everyone’s list.

  5. The composition of colourful leaves makes an attractive picture and I am impressed by the variety of fungi you came across on your walk.

  6. Huge range of lichen in your photos from soup plate size to miniature cities. I keep looking but never find so many different kinds here!

  7. I had to take another look at this post because I wanted to see all those wonderful pics, especially loved the little bridge and a POV of the new bridge. It felt like I was there! Thanks for sharing.

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