Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in sunny East Wemyss. It shows his dogs having fun beside the sea.
It didn’t look much like a day for fun here, as it was quite wet and very windy when we got up. Everything looked damp and dismal after a pretty soggy night.
Our day was brightened though by the arrival of first Sandy and then Margaret for coffee and conversation.
After they left, I walked up to the town to do a bit shopping. This would have gone better if the butcher hadn’t been on holiday for a week. However, as I visited out corner shop on the way home and bought some sausages for a sausage stew, all was not lost. The fact that the rain had stopped helped too.
I took a picture as I crossed the bridge to show that there was a bit more water in the river than there has been lately.
Before I went in, I took a turn round the garden. Mrs Tootlepedal was a bit gloomy because flowers had taken a battering from the heavy rain and wind, but I found plenty to be cheerful about still standing.
I went in and looked out at the birds. The feeder was busy . . .
. . . but when I looked again after lunch, there wasn’t a single bird on the feeder. Curiously, there were several sparrows perched on the top of the feeder pole.
It was a popular spot . . .
. . . but not half as popular as the fake tree a few yards away. This was sparrow central for a while.
I don’t know what was going on. They weren’t at all interested in the seed in the feeder, and they flew off like a puff of smoke after a while.
I am going on one of Mark’s longer hill walks tomorrow, all being well, and as I have done very little walking recently, I thought that I ought to give my legs a refresher course, and went out for a stroll in the afternoon.
I took my new camera. It has many merits but not much in the way of a zoom. An oystercatcher by the river was much too far away away for it, but a great crowd of ducks at the Kilngreen suited it better.
My plan was to walk the undemanding five miles ’round Potholm’, and so I walked up the Lodge Walks, and headed for the Langfauld track. I passed a willowherb, and thought that it didn’t look like a typical rosebay willowherb. I took a picture of it and one of the more common sort too . . .
. . , and with a little research after the walk, I found that I had pictures of hairy willowherb on the left and rosebay willowherb on the right.
You learn something every day, as they say.
It was grey day . . .
. . . but everything was very green after the rain, so I was happy enough.
I was slightly less happy when I got to the North Lodge, and instead of being able to continue my walk up the Esk valley . . .
. . . a notice saying ‘no entry’ and warning of timber working, a huge pile of logs, and a machine throwing trees about in a casual manner all suggested that a different choice of route would be wise.
I went back in the direction from which I had just come, but along the track above the woods this time.
When I came to the end of the track, I walked along the Baggra to add a bit of distance to my outing.
I got my camera to peer closely at things as I went along. There were finally plenty of insects about, and the last of the marsh woundworts could be seen. I think that the hoverfly is leucozonia glaucia. It says on the internet that it is usually encountered on umbellifer flowers (especially Hogweed and Angelica) in woodland rides and clearings, so that looks right.
I saw burdock, and many umbellifers, some covered in insects and some just emerging. Less attractive, were the many young pheasants newly released in preparation for the shooting season.
As I walked along above the rugby club, the pitch looked to be in really good condition for the new season.
The Baggra wasn’t as wet as I expected after the overnight rain, but it was very grassy and at times, you could hardly make out the track ahead of you.
I passed some horses in the field beside the track . . .
. . . and although their flowing manes make it look as though they might be rushing towards me, their legs show that they are standing still and it is the wind that it doing the rushing.
The route took me along the bottom edge of the field, past some lovely wild flowers on the bank above the road . . .
. . . and down to the High Mill Brig. The sun came out as I reached the bridge.
I crossed the bridge and walked along the road to the rugby club. I was pleased to see a lot more insects here too, though I couldn’t find any caterpillars on the ragwort.
The many red shoots of the silverweed, creeping along like strawberries suckers, explain why there was silverweed the whole way along the road. It is a plant that spreads easily and seems to love the edges of busy roads.
Instead of going straight home, I took the road up the hill when I had passed the rugby ground, and then, when I got to the pines above Hillhead . . .
. . . I took the track along the hill to the top of the golf course. The view from the hill is today’s header picture. I checked to see if there was any British soldier lichen on the wall at the gate at the top of the Kirk Wynd, and found a little troop . . .
. . . before walking back down the hill to the town, with a burst of rosebay willowherb and some cheerful heather . . .
. . .to keep me company.
The Town Hall clock struck four just as I got to the Market Place, so I quickened my pace to get home in time for an afternoon cup of tea and a slice of toast and gooseberry jelly.
I found that I had walked five and a half miles, much the same distance as going round Potholm, and probably with better views. I was very happy with my changed route.
My legs and feet had found nothing to complain about, so I hope that they will survive the longer and hillier walk tomorrow. I gave them a good rest after I got home today.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.