Nursery slopes

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Alistair. He and his daughter Matilda have been cooking up Halloween treats.

Although there was a little shower of rain in the morning, generally today was a much better day than we expected. We had so many visitors for coffee that they had to work in shifts. Sandy came first, and he was joined by Nancy who was bringing round some of the data miners’ work to be entered into the Archive Group database. We three had a very cheery chat and then we were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal who had been out shopping. Finally, Sandy and Nancy politely moved on to make room for Margaret to join us. Few subjects of conversation remained untouched.

When all was quiet again, I watched the birds for a bit. There was a good turnout today with the perches in constant use.

Goldfinches and sparrows found it hard to co-exist peacefully.

It was our day to go up and see if the trees in the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve tree nursery needed watering. After some heavy rain recently, it was almost certain that they didn’t, but I thought that I would go up anyway just to check on them, and combine this with a longer cycle ride as the weather looked set fair for the afternoon.

It has been a windy month and I have done more electric cycling than plain pedal pushing so I took my road bike out today. As there a couple of steep hills on the way to Cronksbank, I was pleased to find that I could get there in the same length of time that Mrs Tootlepedal takes on her electric bike. I was a lot faster on the flat sections and a lot, lot slower up the steep hills.

I was surprised to find a large mound of road planings beside the nursery when I got there . . .

. . . and a wagon with another load passed me as I was inspecting the trees. They are obviously going to patch up the track to Perterburn.

The trees were fine and I think that the rabbits have been deterred by our efforts to keep them fenced out.

I whizzed back down to the banks of the Tarras Water, and toiled back up the hill to the bird hide and then, instead of going back to Langholm, I took the road that leads back down to Glentarras before climbing out of the Tarras valley altogether and coming down the hill . . .

. . . to meet the old main road going along the River Esk to Canonbie.

There are getting to be more leaves on the road than on the trees in some places, but the sun came out before I got to the village . . .

. . . so even if the ride had been a bit of a roller coaster so far, I couldn’t complain about the weather, and the relatively flat section through the village and along the river was a relief.

Three old friends sat for their portraits.

It is a steady climb from the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass until the final five miles back to Langholm, so I was happy to stop and admire a battered old tree in a field of gulls . . .

. . . a gathering of Belted Galloways . . .

. . . a fine show of larches at the Kerr . . .

. . . and a patriotic air display above the Bloch.

By dint of pedalling as fast as I could for the final miles back down the hill to Langholm, I just managed to squeeze my average speed into double figures. It had been a hard working ride but a most enjoyable outing.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I got home, shifting plants that were in the wrong place, improving the soil, and making plans for next year. I wandered around finding that there is still some of this year left but generally you need to look quite hard to find it.

I was interested to see that the astrantia is covered in little flies.

The last dahlia to come out this summer is going exceptionally well . . .

. . . which Mrs Tootlepedal puts down to the beneficial effects of growing near a well fertilised rose bush.

I went in for a cup of tea and then had a recorder lesson Zoom with our granddaughter Matilda. She has been too busy dancing to do any recorder practice but we made good progress in the lesson anyway. It is a delight to hear her play a duet with her father.

That Zoom was followed by the regular Zoom with my siblings, and then we put the new air fryer to double use as Mrs Tootlepedal cooked rice and chicken in one pot for our evening meal and then I produced a more successful tarte tatin with apples from the garden for our dessert. We have a long way to go before we will be confident that we are getting the best out of it, but it certainly cooks quickly and economically.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Nursery slopes

  1. What a lovely assortment of cattle, including the shaggy Highland that reminds me of Jeff, the dog down the street (minus the horns, of course) – they’re about the same size!

  2. I enjoy seeing your country roads, and the views that unfold. Do you have any problems with cars, when out cycling? Here in Canberra, there are many passionate cyclists, and always lots of discussion about the behaviour of cars and cyclists.

    1. In general the road traffic is quite light on the back roads and the drivers are considerate. I have occasional moments but bad drivers are pretty rare.

      1. That makes life much easier for you and fellow cyclists. Canberra had good roads and a relatively small population. However, times have changed and more cycle paths are definitely needed. I’m sure many of our cyclists would love to live where you are!

      2. It is in many ways a cyclist’s paradise but road surfaces are often very poorly maintained which puts some people off and we are surrounded by hills which puts other people off.

  3. Enjoyed reading how your visitors came over in batches. Seemed like it must have been a cheerful hubbub. Do hope you solved some of the world’s problems.

  4. The dahlias are still looking pretty good for this time of year. The extra fertilizer from the rose bush probably did help them.

    I especially enjoyed the cattle from your bike ride today.

  5. I echo Lavinia’s statement on the cattle, a splendid sight. The air fryer sounds like a very good buy saving the planet and your pocket. i shall have to look into getting one myself.

  6. Excellent patriotic shot! Good to see all the cattle keeping an eye on you as you whizz along those tree lined roads. The dahlias are beautiful and such a delight to see at this time of year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: