Today’s guest picture comes from my walking friend Mark. It shows a curious old gentleman who went with him on a walk yesterday.
We were up and away promptly after breakfast when we cycled up to join the volunteers at the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve tree nursery. The last few trays of seedlings needed to be transplanted to bigger trays and added to the many thousands of trees there.
Those with sharp eyes and a familiarity with BBC Scotland TV programmes may spot a well known face in the background. The presenter Dougie Vipond, with a producer and a cameraman from the programme ‘Landward’ had come along to film a segment which should be broadcast next month. He interviewed Jenny, the estate manger . . .
. . . and then the producer and cameraman wandered about taking ‘colour’ pictures to go behind the commentary.
All three of the visitors were very pleasant, open and undemanding. We watch Landward regularly anyway but we shall watch this programme with special interest when it comes on.
The sun came out from time to time while the filming was going on and the countryside looked good.
With the camera crew departed and the final seedling tree transplanted, we made our way home for lunch.
We had a quick look round before we went indoors.
The Special Grandma rose is having a final fling . . .
. . . and although there were no butterflies about, there were still quite a few bees to be seen.
I filled the feeder, but there was not enough demand to create squabbles today and all was very peaceful.
When I was walking yesterday, I made somewhat hard work of the outing. I had felt the lack of walking miles in my legs. As it was quite windy and rather grey after lunch, I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to get a few more walking miles in this afternoon rather than battling the breeze on a bicycle.
I set off over the river, through the town and up the Kirkwynd in the direction of the monument on top of Whita Hill.
As you might expect with only two days to go until the autumn equinox, there are no great patches of wild flowers left but there were still plenty to see if you stopped and looked.
So I stopped and looked.
And as I came on to the open hill, there was lichen on a wall and fungus among the grass.
There were also a few spots of rain and I could see a light shower drifting across the town and up the Ewes valley. Luckily for me, the wind kept the rain away from me and I got to the monument without getting wet.
In spite of the grey skies, there was even a moment of sunshine as I walked along to the end of the ridge and looked over the Solway plain.
Turning to my right, I followed a mountain bike track down the hill until I got to the new timber extraction track which goes down to the wood where we were pulling out unwanted rhododendrons last Saturday.
Work will soon be done to narrow the track to walking width but at present it gave me a broad and easy route to walk down the steep hill, with an excellent view on the way.
There were wild flowers here too, the last of the bell heather and many of the widespread little yellow tormentils.
I didn’t go straight back to the town along the Hallpath when I got to the felled wood, but doubled back to the Round House . . .
. . . took the track down to the old railway through the oak wood . . .
. . . and came down to Skippers Bridge. I looked up the river from the bridge . . .
. . . and then took the riverside path to the suspension bridge, passing invasive Himalayan balsam in profusion and a fine outburst of fungus behind the Co-op.
Oddly enough, my legs felt a great deal better today after yesterday’s exercise and they coped with five miles and 100ft of ascent without any complaints.
Mrs Tootlepedal is amazed at how heavily our runner beans are now cropping after a summer when they produced no beans at all. We had beans with our evening meal.
The regular Zoom with my brother and sisters finished the day off. It looks as though it might be quite a wet day tomorrow so I should be able to catch up with the Archive Group work that I have missed.
I had two rather unsatisfactory candidates for the flying bird of the day. I couldn’t chose between them so I have put them both in.