Today’s guest picture comes from my friend and ex-work colleague Ada. She has been on Tenerife and sent me this atmospheric picture of the Tiede Volcanic National Park there.
We had another day here that was better than we might have expected from the forecast of a few days ago, generally cloudy and quite breezy, but dry and with an occasional glimpse of sunshine.
We had a quiet morning in with coffee by ourselves. After coffee, I had a look at the birds. Traffic was light, but the feeder occasionally got busy. There were often birds waiting in the wings on the willows too.
I liked this out of focus goldfinch which looked as though it was working out the best way to get onto that vacant perch and into the picture.
I went out into the garden and sieved a bit of the excellent compost from Bin D. Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she is using it to improve the soil in the dahlia beds.
I went back in and finished off some outstanding business for the Archive Group charity return and then went round to the post box to post the forms off. A glitch in the regulator’s website meant that I couldn’t complete the whole process which was annoying.
After lunch, with the weather looking to stay dry, I got my new cycling month off to a start with a trip on my road bike. It was only a few miles before I was a bit sorry that I hadn’t gone out on my electric bike. The wind turned out to be very gusty at times and my legs weren’t in the mood to hurry along at all. However, I coped with the difficulty by proceeding at a very slow pace over Callister. Before I got to the hill, I stopped to admire the larches beside the Bigholms Burn . . .
. . . and I was going so slowly up the hill itself that it was no problem at all to stop when I noticed a striking patch of moss on the wall beside the road.
I took a closer look . . .
. . . and then took an interest in the rest of the life on the wall.
I battled on, over the hill and down the other side, still having to pedal quite hard while going downhill into the brisk wind.
A brisk wind doesn’t encourage you to sit up straight and look around, so I stayed hunched over the handlebars until I got to a more sheltered spot in a valley where this tree on the slope above me caught my eye.
It took me more than an hour to do the ten and a half miles to Paddockhole, where I stopped for a drink, a date or two, and a look round.
I looked at the Water of Milk from the bridge, realising that autumn colour has almost gone now.
There are a lot of these plants on the bank beside the bridge.
I got a good deal of help from the wind on my way home, but my legs were in a very unhelpful mood so I wasn’t a great deal quicker on the way back than I had been on the way out. Still, I enjoyed the outing in spite of the slow progress.
Mrs Tootlepedal was at work in the garden when I got home and I had a look round. Things are fading away day by day but I could still find four dahlias . . .
. . . two fuchsias . . .
. . . two patio roses . . .
. . . and in the vegetable garden, a lot of verbena . . .
. . . along with a forest of mustard and a field of phacelia.
To put the record straight, the garden actually looks like this . . .
. . . but Special Grandma isn’t acknowledging that it is November at all.
Mrs Tootlepedal had used our new air fryer machine to bake a small cake, and several slices of that went down very well with a cup of tea when we went in.
I used it to make some vegetarian sausage rolls with the excess pastry left over from the tarte tatin. We are getting to grips with its possibilities.
Looking at the forecast, tomorrow should be a very good day for staying in and practising songs for the choir.
No flying bird of the day today. A nibbling goldfinch will have to do.