Two choirs and a stroll

Today’s guest picture is another from our friend Gavin’s trip to the Isle of Coll. They do good beaches on Coll. This is Crossapol Bay.

The day here started well with a set of good old fashioned hymns at the church service, with the added benefits of easy bass parts for me to sing. With two sopranos, one alto, one tenor and one bass in the choir, we were never going to deafen the congregation, but we did our best.

I had filled the bird feeder before going to church and the seed level had already gone down a lot by the time that we got home. More birds arrived all the time . . .

. . . and there usually yet more waiting in the wings.

It was grey morning, but it was still dry so I was able to mow the middle lawn after we had had coffee and a ginger biscuit. I took the opportunity to wave my camera at the dahlias while I was out in the garden. You could have them plain . . .

. . . or with added bees.

There were butterflies about too, and with the buddleia flowers going over, some had to share and some took to Michaelmas daisies.

I noted the first nerine of the year . . .

. . . and a fine pot of gentians . . .

. . . which are both late season flowers. On the other hand, the Lemon Queen is still doing good business and an odd orange coloured opium poppy is out too.

I could hear sounds of birds in the dam and so I went to investigate. I had to stop on the way when a robin at the back gate demanded attention.

When it flew off, I peered over the gate and saw two starlings in the water, an adult and a youngster.

The adult went away with an instruction to the youngster to be sure to wash behind its ears. It was only too happy to obey.

A watching sparrow got so excited, it joined in too.

After a nourishing plate of Mrs Tootlepedal’s excellent Scotch broth for lunch, I went for a short walk before the trip to Carlisle for our afternoon choir.

I chose the newly re-opened Gaskell’s Walk to start my outing. I noticed that a blackthorn was carrying a good crop of lichen but it wasn’t to the detriment of a good crop of sloes too.

Kind people have put a number of benches in suitable spots around the town . . .

. . . but I didn’t have time to try this one out. I pressed on down the new path that by-passes the chasm crossed by an old bridge, now removed for safety reasons. The path is in good condition at the top, but unless the do something about the drainage, it looks as though it might not take long for the bottom part to get seriously eroded.

Back on the old path at the bottom of the hill on the other side of the chasm, someone has gone to a lot of trouble in creating arches.

I look forward to seeing how they develop.

At the far end of the track, I had a look at the lichen garden grwoing on the top of a fence post at the Auld Stane Brig. It is flourishing.

Instead of going straight home along the road, I had enough time to walk up the Becks road and come back by the track to Holmwood.

The Becks road had plenty to distract me on the way up . . .

. . . but I made it to the bridge across the Becks Burn . . .

. . .and walked briskly along the track on the other side. Everything is very dry again and I had no need for boots on my walk. Along the track, there were a lot of crab apples on the crab apple tree, a vivid sedum, and another well placed bench with a view . . .

. . . but the prize for the best dressed bench of the day went to the last one that I saw.

I got home just in time to get ready to go to Carlisle. The Carlisle Community Choir is preparing for a ten year anniversary concert in a couple of weeks, so we had a very hard working session today. I like all the songs that we are singing at the concert, so it was no hardship to buckle down and concentrate.

It had been a bit drizzly as we drove down to Carlisle, but it cleared up as we drove back to Langholm

A visit to the Co-op on the way home followed by a serving of Mrs Tootlepedal’s very tasty fish pie for our evening meal rounded off a satisfactory Sunday.

The flying bird of the day is a bumble bee.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Two choirs and a stroll

  1. I enjoyed your selections from the day. The lichens are looking good. I need to check my favorite patch of cladonia here to see if it is perking up now it is cooler, and slightly damper.

    The starling and sparrow enjoying a good bath was a nice addition. I am seeing more starlings here, and perhaps will be lucky enough to see a murmuration this autumn. It is always good to see a cheery robin, too.

    The pot of gentians looks joyous!

    1. We used to have sensational murmurations near us with thousands and thousands of birds but we don’t see them any more which is a great sadness.

  2. Another gorgeous post! Church sounded nice. My local big black bear is close by, so I still have to scatter some in am and pm for those raising young. Do you get big migration numbers passing through your area?

  3. The gentians are beautiful – the unopened ones remind me of furled umbrellas 🙂 The wee robin is a treat.

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