A fine memorial

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline. She came up from Portsmouth to meet my other two sisters on the south bank of the Thames for coffee, a catchup and a meal. She took a picture of Waterloo Bridge on her way to meet them.

We had to get up and organised quite promptly today, as Mrs Tootlepedal had a meeting on Langholm Initiative business at nine o’clock. The meeting was brief and went well, and the mist was still rising off the hill went I went through the town to collect a prescription and buy some beef.

It was definitely an autumn morning . . .

. . . which was appropriate as it is the Autumn equinox today.

I had time when I got home to have a look round the garden.

I like the late flowering tall daisies, and we are very pleased with the fuchsias which have done really well this year after several disappointing seasons.

The sunshine brought the best out of the dahlias. They have not been discouraged by wet and cold nights.

The white clematis at the front door is positively thriving.

Deserving frames all to themselves in my opinion were the late poppy . . .

. . . and the very promising Charles Ross apples.

There were no butterflies at all today, but still quite a few bees . . .

. . . and we spotted a little nest of caterpillars chewing their way through a nasturtium as we left the house on our e-bikes . . .

. . . on our way up to the bird hide in the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

I had been asked by Margaret, the ex-chair of the Langholm Initiative, to come and take some photographs as a family planted some trees in memory of their brother who died recently and left the Nature Reserve a generous donation in his will.

Two of his brothers and their wives had come to plant the trees . . .

. . . and they all took part.

Nine rowans and a hawthorn were planted in the hope that at least one would survive the vicissitudes of wind, weather and plant eating creatures to be a fitting memorial for Robin who had loved nature and the outdoor life with a great passion. It was a very touching occasion.

When we got home, it was time for lunch and for a look at the birds. I had filled the feeder in the early morning, and the seed level had gone down far enough to create a feverish atmosphere by this time . . .

. . . with a competition to see . . .

. . .who could shout loudest . . .

. . . and some regrettable sparrow kicking.

A robin bought a touch of serenity to the scene.

After lunch, I checked the forecast, and finding that it said that the weather was set fair, I went for a cycle ride. I took my road bike to even up my electric and pedal powered miles for the month so far.

My legs were feeling the effect of three days of walking, so I went along quite slowly and kept my head well down until I looked up at the twenty mile marker and got a surprise.

You don’t see one of those unless there is also some rain about. I looked behind and saw a shower looming up.

I looked ahead and saw a wet road and some gloomy prospects.

The trick would be to cycle fast enough to avoid being caught up by the shower behind, and slowly enough not to catch up with the rain in front. As I had stopped beside the churchyard with the Korean pines in it, I had a look at them too.

The cones don’t fall off to spread their seeds but are eaten as they stand on the branches. The church is now a private house.

I got going again, and I must have picked the right speed because I didn’t catch up with some very dark clouds ahead of me . . .

. . . and I didn’t get rained on from behind. When I looked across the fields towards Langholm, I was amused to see that Whita had its own personal cloud.

I passed over many wet sections of road, so I was extremely fortunate to get home dry. To my surprise, Mrs Tootlepedal told me that it hadn’t rained in Langholm at all while I was out. She had done some useful gardening.

My sister Caroline had got home to Portsmouth safely and was able to join us for the regular sibling Zoom in the evening. My brother had had his Covid booster today so I think that Mrs Tootlepedal and I are the last in line. We will get our jab early next month.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “A fine memorial

  1. The apples do look good. They have me thinking about a possible future apple pie.
    Your robins almost always seem to look happy. The only other birds I can think of that might out-happy them are the mallards, which are always smiling.
    The Korean pine cones are still looking beautiful.

  2. Well done for missing the rain. Im often amazed at how local the weather can be; one of our number works 3km from home and will often have spent the day in drizzle while weve just had cloud, or basked in sunshine while weve been lost in the fog

  3. I like the shot of the suspention bridge and the fog climbing the hills.
    Indeed a nice memorial, let’s hope the trees will survive….
    Have a nice weekend πŸ™‚ We have a rainy day.

  4. The family planting trees was touching. That is a fine memorial to their brother Robin, who was also generous to the Nature Reserve. I hope all nine trees survive and thrive.

    I always enjoy the sights along your walks and rides as well as the gardens. The personal cloud over Whita, rainbow and Korean pine cones were nice additions. The late poppy is quite striking and I am glad you took its portrait.

    Quite a bit of kicking goes on at the feeder. I never thought of birds as kickers until your many photos of it happening at your feeders. Watching them live I suppose they move too fast for me to pick out their bad behavior here, though I have seen some things, including an impatient sparrow that pecked a dove that blocked access to the feeder tray for too long. You capture their personalities well. I also enjoyed the serene robin. Have there been fewer of them this year?

    1. I never imagined that small birds would trample on each other until I got a camera. We only get one or two robins in the garden each year. Looking at my records, September seems to be quite early to see one about.

  5. Planting trees is a lovely way to remember someone and good to have a family photo to record the occasion. A strange photo of the cloud over Whita and all the sheep pointing in the same direction! Hope there were two pots of gold with the two rainbows…very lucky!

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