Today’s guest picture comes from my walking friend Mark. He led a group over Arkleton Hill last Sunday. I would like to have joined in if we hadn’t had choir business.
It was another gloomy day today and it got steadily gloomier as the day went on. Our day started well though when we were visited by our plumber. He had the last half inch tap washer in his stock to fit to a leaking tap. He remarked that our taps were very old fashioned.
Fortunately it was dry as I went across the town after breakfast for a routine visit to the health centre, and I stopped to look at the Wauchope Water from the park bridge on my way home.
But it was raining by the time that Margaret came round to join us for coffee, and it kept raining, with the very occasional break, for the rest of the day.
I needed my brolly for a walk round to the corner shop before lunch and I didn’t get a camera out until the early afternoon.
The rain was too much for the birds . . .
. . . and the seed went down very slowly today.
Even the disputes between the birds were calm today and amounted to not much more than a hard stare.
I always think it odd that some birds, like this sparrow, would prefer to shove another bird aside rather than take a vacant perch.
After lunch, I had another go at cooking a tarte tatin in the air fryer. The result looked good but it was undercooked. More trial and probably more error will be required before the perfect tarte is produced.
Although the rain seemed to be getting worse rather than better, I felt the need for a walk so I put on my wellies, picked up a big blue brolly, put my new waterproof camera into my pocket, and strode off in search of photo opportunities.
I had it in mind to go up the track to the top of Warbla . . .
. . . but a look at the wind turbines on a neighbouring hill showed me that the turbine blades were nipping round at a good speed so I performed a u-turn that the present government would have been proud of and went for a low level walk instead.
On my way back down I met a haw . . .
. . . and some seeds that had fallen on stony ground.
Although it did not have airy views, the low level walk had compensations . . .
. . . and my little camera did its best to make the day seem brighter than it really was.
The last couple of days have brought a lot of autumn colour to the trees . . .
. . . but the road along the river still had a bit of green about it.
I went up the path through the oak wood beside Jenny Noble’s Gill . . .
. . . picking up a lot of acorns under one particular tree, and checking on the state of some very black fungus on a fallen branch which I had seen on my last walk here. (They may be exidida glandulosa or black witches butter)
At the top of the wood, I looked towards Broomholmshiels . . .
. . . but a check on the time persuaded me that the direct route home through the wood was needed. The sound of streams running off the hills had accompanied me on my walk and the track was muddy and wet in places . . .
. . . so I had to look where I was going, but a dead white fungus, looking much like a human ear growing out of a fallen branch, caught my eye. The other side was more conventional.
I don’t think that I would have got very good views in the rain if I had gone to the top of Warbla . . .
. . . so I was happy with my decision to keep low.
Walking in wellies on slippery tracks is hard work so I concentrated on where I was putting my feet until I got back to the town and kept my camera in my pocket. Near home, I got it out again when I was passed by three men in black pedalling home from work
Mrs Tootlepedal had been doing the minutes from a meeting of the Langholm Initiative while I was out, and she finished just as I got home. We enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea together.
The evenings are drawing in.
We spent a good bit of the day reeling at the astonishing behaviour of our ruling class. As the king said recently, “Oh dear, oh dear!”
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow in a whirr of wings.