Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

A last look at the Kelpies is Bruce’s guest picture of the day.


We were greeted by another cold and sunny day today but as the temperature had risen a degree or two and the north wind had slacked off a bit, it was a more promising day.

It was still pretty cold in the morning so I was more than happy to sit inside, drinking Ethiopian coffee and easting the traditional Friday treacle scones that Dropscone brought round.

He has been quite pleased that it has been too cold to play golf lately as the state of his game has been giving him no pleasure.  I am hoping that this little break will do his game some good.

Normally, I would spend a fair bit of time on a morning like this glancing out of the kitchen window and enjoying the antics of the finches on the feeder but today the garden went all Rachel Carson and there were no finches to be seen.

Not any?  Not any.

Not any at all? Well hardly any.

Honestly, I only saw three finches all morning…


…and they didn’t stop.  We suspected that a sparrowhawk might be lurking and putting off visitors but on the hedges, under the feeder and in the plum tree, blackbirds…




This one was checking out some apples which I have put on the bench.

…and no less than four robins scampered about very freely.  I know that there were four robins because I saw them all at the same time.  I think that we might have two couples as there was some chasing going on but quite often two robins seem happy to co-exist.

I took a lot of robin pictures but it is hard to tell whether I got shots of four different birds or four shots of the same bird.


It is a real treat to have so many robins about.

I went out into to the garden to see if I could see a sparrowhawk lurking but I only saw a robin sitting on the fence.


There was a sudden rush of finches just after lunch….


…and a little unpleasantness too among the greenfinches…


..but it was a small rush and it didn’t last long.  We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether this is a temporary phenomenon or not.    It was quite worrying to see so few birds.

However, it was less worrying to find that the temperature had climbed to a balmy 4.4°C after lunch so I put on a stout jacket and set off for a short pedal on my slow bike to check the state of the roads.  Because of the combination of my prolonged cold and some very unsympathetic weather, I only cycled three times in the whole of November,  totting up the grand total of sixty miles.

The roads proved to be pretty well ice free today, though a little care was needed at some very damp and sheltered corners, and I enjoyed my outing very much.  I was in no hurry and stopped to take pictures as I went along.

The sun brought a little warmth but the hills and fields are looking very wintery now.

Wauchope field

One of my favourite trees near the Bigholms.

Wauchope field

The wide blue yonder.  I turned for home at the end of the straight.


Brown is the predominate colour now.

wauchope view

I was surprised to see this little crop of fungus looking quite healthy beside the road.


The sun was still out when I got home so after taking a picture of a Leycesteria in the garden which has obstinately remained out….


…..I took the opportunity to walk round my Langholm, Sawmill and Jubilee Bridges short walk in the hope of catching a flying gull.

There were gulls about….

black headed gulls

…but they obstinately refused to leave their posts….

black headed gulls

…so I had to make do with some late afternoon sunshine on the Kilngreen…

Kiln Green

…some trees silhouetted against the sinking sun…

bare trees

…and any amount of interesting lichen.


It was just about dark by the time that I got home so I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.  She had been test driving the cooking of a vegetarian recipe while I had been out.

In the evening, having eaten the vegetarian meal, we were delighted to welcome Mike and Alison for the first Friday evening visit for some weeks.  What pleased me most about the visit was that it meant that there was Friday evening music again after quite a gap.

Alison and I played Telemann, Loeillet, Rameau and Marcello and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting these old musical friends.  If we weren’t exactly note perfect after the lay off. we hit enough right notes to keep us happy.

And of course the playing and cycling made for a Tootlepedalling day and filled a cold winter’s day with warm feelings.

The flying bird of the day is not a good picture but i felt that since the robins had stayed while the finches had deserted us, one of them deserved the accolade.

flying robin

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Today’s guest picture is another visit to Irene’s sunny garden in South Africa.  Since they have been suffering from a drought, the colour is very commendable.

south african garden

There was no sign of frost here this morning and there was a little sunshine to warm things up so I decided to ignore the ongoing coughing and try out a short cycle ride.  It took me quite a lot of time to make up my mind to give it a go but I finally got on the road and clocked up a sensibly brief and gentle ten miles, turning when I got to the bottom slopes of Callister.

Callister in November

While the ride didn’t do me any good, it didn’t seem to do me much harm so I may try again if the weather stays kind.  It was good to be back on the bike and to find that I remembered how to pedal after two weeks of walking.

I had to fill up the sunflower seed feeder when I got home as it had been well used.

chaffinch and goldfinch

Additional visitors not welcome.

Luckily Mrs Tootlepedal had a visitor before lunch so after my ride, I had a good excuse to retire to my bed and have a snooze for half an hour or so..

After lunch, in a rare outbreak of usefulness, I helped Mrs Tootlepedal plant tulips as she has a lot to put in.  I managed to sink fifteen red ones into this bed….

tulip bed

…and now I will have to wait several months to see if I put them in the right way up.

I found two survivors when I looked around.

clematis and marigold

How the middle calendula survived when its two friends collapsed is a mystery.

More specialised skills in the gardening department were required than I could offer so while Mrs Tootlepedal toiled away, I went off for a walk.

I started along the river where the usual suspects posed for pictures….

gull and ducks

There was a hint of Noah’s Ark about the ducks, I thought.

…and then I followed the main road out of town and took the Newcastleton road up the hill.

There were neat hedges to admire…

Newcastleton road

…abundant lichen on the stone walls….

Newcastleton road lichen

…amusing fence posts….

Newcastleton road fencepost

…and fine views up the Ewes valley to enjoy.Newcastleton road view up Ewes

When I got to the quarry, I turned on to the lower slopes of Whita and walked along to Whita Well.

Here there were rather monochrome trees silhouetted against the weak sun….

Whita trees

..although the sky was still quite blue if you looked in the right direction.


Added colour was provided by gorse flowers.  Gorse is an indiscriminate flowerer and all seasons seem to suit it.


I ended my walk by coming down the Kirk Wynd and looking over the Town Hall to Warbla in the background.

View over the town

As you can see, it was only just past three o’clock by this time but already the day was growing darker and Mrs Tootlepedal came in from the garden when I got home.

During the  morning and early afternoon, I spent a moment here and there staring out of the kitchen window.  My new mixed seed feeder is doing no business but the suet balls are proving attractive…

dunnock and blue tit

…so I have taken the seeds down and hung the fat balls up instead.  I will have to put some more out at low level for the dunnocks because they won’t fly up to the feeder.

I have got some pink pellets out too and they are proving quite popular.  A starling was tempted down from  its high wire for a visit today.


I am particularly pleased to see regular visits from several blue tits as numbers were reported to be in a bad state after a couple of poor springs so it is a treat to see them looking well.

blue tit

The sunflower seeds are the main draw though and we had good numbers of chaffinches, goldfinches and greenfinches again today.

Sometimes the greenfinches dominated the feeder….


…and got quite ratty if anyone else pushed in.

greenfinch and goldfinch

Sometimes things were quieter….


…and, as usual, I was always looking for a flying bird picture opportunity.  Such was the traffic today that on many occasions I didn’t know where to look….

flying birds

…and missed them all.

It was easier to spot a static blackbird, one of many still in and around the garden.


I wondered if this one had been a lawyer in a previous life.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to see the local dramatic society’s annual play in the Buccleuch Centre while I stayed at home to nurse my cough and make a dozen bread rolls.

I did find one chaffinch who kept out of the general hurly-burly for long enough to be the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary, who popped over to Paris for some culture.  She bravely used that external escalator.

The excalators snaking up outside the Pompidou building

It was frosty again when we got up and I recorded the fact with the aid of a spirea.

frozen spirea

frozen spirea

My recovery from the cold has been delayed again and so I took advantage of a cancellation at the Health Centre to get a check on my chest from a doctor this morning.  It’s just a cold and will go away in its own sweet time.  He didn’t have much of a view about when and suggested sticking my head over a bowl of boiling water three times a day for a week.  I think he said ‘over’ and not ‘in’.

I was wasting another day of very light winds but as the temperature never got much above 5°C, I wasn’t as distraught about this as I might have been on a warmer day.

I looked out of the window as the morning went on.

I couldn’t see much because flying chaffinches kept getting in the way.

flying chaffinches

There were other birds about….some cute…


…some stern…


…and some that I may have seen at Gretna yesterday evening.


After a nourishing lunch of sombre looking but quite tasty soup, I went for a short walk just to stretch the legs.  When it is not windy, even 5°C seems pleasantly warm for a walk if you are properly dressed.

I walked through the park to the Stubholm and then followed track through the Kernigal wood and down to Skipperscleuch and came back along the river.

There was lichen and fungus to be seen as I went along.


And I liked the way that two leaves had become imprinted on a rock much in the way that we used to press leaves when we were in the infant school.

lichen and leaves

Although I was among trees for a lot of the walk, there were occasional views.

mist in the hills


And even a little late autumn colour.

late autumn colour

Most of the colour from my walk was in the form of larches, which looked golden to my eye from a distance….


…but not quite as pretty to my camera’s sensor.

The actual needles were mostly brownish yellow but still surprisingly green in places.


There were plenty of bare trees to enjoy.

bare tree

And when I got down to Skippers Bridge, I went down to the waterside and took the obligatory shot.  For some reason Roy Orbison came to mind.

skippers bridge

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepdal had been very busy doing another section of her path and clearing the nasturtiums from around the front door,


It was sad to see them go as they had done very well in resisting the early frosts but the last one had been too much for them.

I lent a hand on some more tidying up.

There are still a few survivors about.

sweet rocket and clematis in november

It was too cold and gloomy to linger in the garden for long so we came in for a cup of tea and a slice or two of a Selkirk bannock.  In this we had a lot in common with Queen Victoria who is said to have been very partial to a slice or two of a Selkirk bannock with her afternoon cup of tea.

In the evening, I went off to do some more croaking with Langholm Sings, our local choir.  There were only two tenors there tonight and so we enjoyed a very quiet and peaceful evening and were modestly pleased with our efforts.

In spite of all the flying chaffinches, the flying bird of the day is a blue tit.  It not the best picture but it makes a change.

flying blue tit



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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s recent peregrinations.  He passed the south door of York Minster on his travels.

York Minster

I was slightly annoyed to find that I was no better when I woke up this morning.  If anything, I was a little worse.  My throat was better and I had stopped sounding like a disgruntled frog but my cough was a bit worse so another possible cycling day went by without a foot on the pedal.

The weather was rather dull in the morning but, as so often, my day was brightened by the arrival of Dropscone and scones to go with coffee.

After he went on his way, I mooched around feeling a bit depressed by my everlasting cold.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop and I made some rather sombre brown lentil soup for my lunch.

In between times, I looked out of the window.

A dunnock was back on the chimney pot under the feeder.


We have a group of dunnocks lurking in our hedges at the moment.

Some of the birds looked a bit cross like me.


And some looked even crosser.

greenfinch and sparrow

I kept on thinking that I might go for a bike ride after lunch when the weather brightened up but I never quite managed to be able to ignore my chest which was saying, “Don’t cycle, ” in quite a loud though somewhat wheezy voice.

I looked out of the window again.  There were small birds…

blue tit siskin and great tit

…birds with a point of view…

greenfinch, chaffinch and robin

…and, in the end, a sunny bird.


I still couldn’t quite make up my mind whether to go for a quick but gentle pedal and in the end, I went for another walk just to stretch my legs.

I had a look at the garden survivors before I left.

november flowers

You can probably see why I like to walk along the river between the bridges even though the sun had gone back in by this time.

Esk and George Street

The little white dot that you can see in the middle of the river is our resident big gull.

Gull in Esk

I didn’t see much while I was walking, partly because there wasn’t much to see and partly because I was walking fairly briskly for a reason which will become plain later in the post.

I could see that the leaves are nearly all off the trees now….

Castleholm trees

…and I could see where they have gone.

fallen leaves

The path along the river bank was covered with them and I felt like royalty walking along a red carpet.

fallen leaves

When I got home, I admired the work that Mrs Tootlepedal is doing on her new path.  It shouldn’t be too long before I can show you the finished article.

Seeing the starlings on the feeder in the last couple of days had made me think of Gretna and the annual murmuration there.  Although it was rather cloudy, it wasn’t a bad afternoon so I suggested to Mrs Tootlepedal that  this might be a good moment to see if the starlings were actually murmuring.  She agreed that it might be and we got in the car and drove to Gretna.

The starlings don’t always congregate in the same spot every year so we thought that we had better try the place where we had seen them last year first.  As it turned out, we had made a good decision and our timing was perfect.

The clouds had left a gap for the evening sun over the Solway and we could see a gang of starlings perched on electricity wires not far from where we were parked.

starlings at Gretna

More starlings arrived and they shifted along the wires until they were directly in front of the setting sun.

starlings at Gretna

This was spectacular but not very promising for photography so I was pleased when they moved back up and flew past in front of us.

starlings at Gretna

For the next 25 minutes we were treated to a most enjoyable close formation flying display as more and more small birds flew in to join the flock.

starlings at Gretna

Sometimes they came very close…


…and sometimes they filled the sky above our heads.

starlings at Gretna

I took a detail from that last picture just to show the individual birds.

starlings at Gretna

From time to time, I tore my eyes off the birds to admire the sky…

Gretna sunset

…which was sensational.  Unfortunately, I had brought the wrong lens with me and couldn’t do full justice to the sky or the starlings.  The sunset was as much of a treat as the murmuration.

All too soon, as the light faded, the starlings got ready for bed and started to fly lower in the sky….

Gretna starlings

…until a corporate thumb pointed to the chosen roosting spot….

Gretna starlings

…and in the twinkling of an eye, the whole flock had subsided into the trees and bushes for the night.

We drove home in a very happy state of mind, admiring the sunset as we went.  The sky which had been pink and red in Gretna….


….was purple by the time that we got back.


We will probably go back to see the starlings again and there may be more next time as starlings migrate here from Europe as the winter goes on.

In spite of the thousands of flying birds we saw at Gretna, the flying bird of the day is still a local chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo, my Manitoba correspondent, and indicates that perhaps I should stop complaining about the weather here.

manitoba snow

In fact, we had a pretty good day here today with lots of sunshine in the morning and early afternoon.  This left me frustrated again by not being able to cycle on such an eminently suitable day for cycling.  Everyone I meet seems to have the cold too so there really is a lot of it going about.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a whole day embroidery workshop so I was left on my own to go to the Producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre.  To my great joy, a cheese seller has appeared so I was able to add cheese to my purchases of honey, fish, beef and venison.

I had a cup of coffee with Mike Tinker while I was there and he too is finding it hard to throw off a cold so we indulged in a little mutual sympathy.

I got home and downloaded the shopping and seeing that the forecast was for clouds later, I went out for a walk while the going was good.

I keep hoping that a bit of fresh air will blow the cold away but really, I just like taking a bit of exercise on a good day.

I walked along the river and Kilngreen without seeing anything to detain me and when I had crossed the Sawmill Brig, I headed up the hill past the estate offices.  There is a wall beside the road  that almost always has peltigera lichen and there was some there today.

peltigera lichen

Once I got out of the wood, the pattern of sunshine and shadow on a beech hedge made me look twice.

beech hedge

The hedge is completely smooth in spite of appearances.

I followed the track along above the rugby ground and dodged the soggiest bits while enjoying the strong contrast of light and shade.

Pathhead track

It has gates too.

Pathhead track

What I didn’t expect to come across on a sunny and dry day was this.

Rainbow on Pathhead track

It shows just how much moisture there is in the air when you can get half a rainbow without any rain.

Although I miss the autumn colour, I enjoyed the bare trees that I passed on my way.

trees on Pathhead track

There are still needles on the larch trees among the spruces.

Larch and spruces

This track took me about a mile and a half north of the town and when I got to the end of it, I turned back down to the main road, crossed the High Mill Brig…..

High Mill Brig

…and further downstream, I passed the more utilitarian modern bridge to the rugby pitch and caravan site.

Rugby Club Bridge

When I got back to the Sawmill Brig, I made my route into a figure of eight and crossed the bridge again and took the new path across the Castleholm to the Jubilee Bridge.

I looked up as I went.

Noble Fir and fern

Cones and a fern

And across.



And down.

wild flowers on the scholars field

Three wild flowers round the Scholars’ Field.

I got home in time to have a look for garden survivors….

garden flowers november

…and have an excellent pie which I had obtained at the Producers’ Market for my lunch and then I found myself at a bit of a loose end.

I put the camera up and stared out of the kitchen window.

The sun came and went which didn’t help my camera settings but there were plenty of birds about today.

chaffinchpigeonchaffinch and greenfinchrobin

I had bought some mixed seeds as a change from endless sunflower hearts and put them out in a second feeder but there was no demand for them at all until quite late on when a single coal tit arrived and sampled the quality.

coal tit on seed feeder

We will have to wait to see if it tells its friends about this new opportunity or keeps it to itself.

We were threatened with rain showers in the afternoon but when none came. I went out and sieved a little compost and cleared up a pile of nettles on the drying green, the result of some recent garden tidying by Attila the Gardener.

As I was going out in the evening, I went back in and looked at the photographs that I had taken so far and by the time that I had finished doing that, Mrs Tootlepedal was back from a hard day’s embroidering.

We had a cup of tea and watched some rain.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to be a front of house manager at the Buccleuch Centre and I followed on to be a customer.  She went home when the show started but I stayed to enjoy an excellent concert by Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood.  Because we watched a recording of Strictly Come Dancing when I got home, it is too late to put a commentary on the concert here if I am to post before midnight so all I will say is that the programme was varied and enjoyed by a good audience.

The flying bird of the day is two chaffinches.

chaffinches flying


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Today’s guest picture is another blast of Irene’s sunny South African sketches.

Irene's garden

We had a quietly grey day here today, dull but dry and calm.  It would have been another good day for a cycle ride and it has been annoying that probably the best two days for a bike ride that we are likely to get in November have coincided with me having a cold.  And to make it worse, not an all out and knock you down cold but just a niggling, persistent little blighter that won’t go away.

So it was lucky that although Dropscone was going to a society dinner in Edinburgh in the evening, he had enough time and energy to bring a set of treacle scones round for coffee in the morning.

The coffee was quite exciting as four packs had just arrived by post and we were able to chose our brew by looking at some fanciful descriptions of the flavours on the packets.  We settled for ‘rum and raisin’ flavour from Kenya but it tasted remarkably like ‘coffee’ when we drank it.  It was nice though.

When Dropscone left, I had a quick check on floral survivors in the garden.  There are not many but those that are left are doing their best to keep us cheerful.

calendula, nasturtium, rose and poppy

Then I went back in and stared out of the window for a bit.

The birds were back and it was a busy morning at the feeder.

busy feeder

Blue tits and chaffinches came and went.

blue tit and chaffinch

A greenfinch, blue tit and goldfinch all stopped for a quick pose for me.

greenfinch, blue tit and goldfinch

And a robin waited on the chimney until I had got a pose than popped up to the feeder to give me another chance.


But perhaps I liked this picture of a blackbird on the ground more than any feeder pictures today.


Mrs Tootlepedal went off to have lunch at the Buccleuch Centre with our neighbour Margaret and I waited in for a man with a van to come and collect the garden tiller to take it away for its service.  He arrived on time and I wrapped up well and went out for a walk.

I went down to the river to see if there were birds to be seen.  There were.

I have been thinking that the outer pair of gulls in the panel below were herring gulls but I think now that they may be black backed gulls.  The one in the middle is definitely a black headed gull.

gulls on the Esk

Also on parade was a dipper, Mr Grumpy and a goosander.  The dipper wouldn’t wait until I got it in focus but almost immediately disappeared under the water.

dipper heron and goosander

The mallards on the Kilngreen were more obliging and lined up neatly for a shot.


Nearby a rook was surprisingly calm while I fussed about with my camera.


I left the birds to their business and walked over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge walks.

The leaves have left.

Lodge Walks in November

Although, across the Castleholm on the more sheltered side, there are a few leaves still left.

Castleholm trees

I kept an eye out for the stumps of the felled trees along the Walks as they can be interesting.  I found this display of fungus on one of them, looking for all the world like a big handful of spilled beads…


..but as a closer look proved, they are firmly attached to the wood.  They may be a variety called purple jellydisc or Ascocoryne sarcoides.

As I have remarked before, the fall of the leaves lets me see the bridges more clearly…

Duchess Bridge

…but I didn’t cross the Duchess Bridge when I came to it on this occasion and walked down the side of the Castleholm to the Jubilee Bridge instead.  This let me look back at a lone tree which had retained its leaves against the odds.

Lodge walks

After I crossed the Jubilee Bridge, I had a last look at the larches at the end of the Scholars’ Field…


…bowed to the only flower that I saw on my walk….

umbellifer in November

…and got home to find Mrs Tootlepedal back from lunch and hard at work in the garden planting out wallflowers.

I sieved a bit of compost for her, shredded a few dead ends, photographed a lupin which is obstinately and not very successfully trying to flower well past its sell by date…


…and went inside to get out of the cold.

I put the afternoon to good use by catching up on my correspondence and entering a week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database.

By the time that I had finished it was very gloomy outside so Mrs Tootlepedal came in and we had a cup of tea.

My Friday evening orchestra, Alison is, like me, not feeling quite at her peak so once again “Yes, we had no sonatas.  We had no sonatas today.”  I am very short of tootling pleasure at the moment.

I put another week of the newspaper index into the database instead.  It’s an ill wind etc etc.

The flying bird of the day is a pretty determined greenfinch.

flying greenfinch


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Today’s guest picture is another blast of sunshine from my sister Mary’s visit to Bath.

The river Avon at Pulteney Bridge

We had some sunshine of our own today and very welcome it was.  It was still chilly in the morning in spite of the sun and my cold has not given up yet so I was happy to stay in for a cup of coffee with Sandy.  Later in the morning we got a visit from our old friend Dr Cat Barlow who used to mastermind the Moorland Project and was responsible for the comfortable hide at the Moorland Feeders which I often visit. She is working with golden eagles now.

In this way, the morning passed very sociably and I rounded it off by making some potato and carrot soup for lunch.

I did look out of the window from time to time.

The sparrow with white markings was back.

white headed sparrow

And I had put out some fat balls which attracted a beady eyed jackdaw.


We have had blue tits and great tits in recent days and today we added a coal tit (or possibly two).

coal tit

I liked this sparrow trying to blend into the background on a bush while waiting for the feeder to be free.


On the whole though, there weren’t many birds about again.  There must be plenty of food in the countryside still.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents.  I thought it best not to pass on my cold to others and stayed at home and went for a gentle walk in the sun.  It would have been a perfect day for a long cycle ride as it was warm, sunny, dry and almost windless but a rare outbreak of good sense kept me off the bike while my chest was not in good condition.  That and Mrs Tootlepedal  saying, “How many people have said, ‘Oh, I am perfectly fit’ and gone out running or cycling with a cold and dropped dead.”

My walk was a treat so I didn’t mind too much.

I walked through the town and up the Kirk Wynd….

Kirk Wynd gate

When I got to the hill, I turned along the Quarry track which contours along the face of the hill.  It offers lovely views back over the golf course and the town.

Viw of langholm from Whita

You will notice that the windmills on the hill are absolutely stationary, a very rare thing this year and as a result, I had to unbutton my jacket as I walked along as I was too hot.

I like the rolling nature of our hills and the low autumn sun picks the contours out well..

rolling hills

As always, I was observed.


The track is provided with benches where a man may take his ease for a while and admire the countryside….

whita benches

…but the clocks have gone back and evening comes very early now so I kept going.  I crossed the wall at the quarry by the excellent stile…

quarry stile

This is looking back after I had climbed over the stile.

And followed the path down the open hillside to the woods at the Round House.

oak woods

There is another bench at the Round House….

round house

…and although I didn’t sit on it, I did stop beside it for long enough to enjoy the view over the town that I would have got if I had sat down.

view from Round House

I walked down to the river at Skippers Bridge and in spite of the recent wet weather, the water was low enough to let me get a good look at the bridge from the upstream side….

skippers bridge in shadow

…although the sun had sunk far enough to leave the river in the shade by this time.

There was still a fair bit of water about.

River Esk

I walked home along the Murtholm and saw a dipper on the far bank of the river.  Sadly, the light was too far gone for me to be able to photograph it but it was good to see it all the same.

I did photograph some ivy and the first catkins that I have noticed this autumn.

ivy and catkins

On the bank above the river there was just enough light left to let me have a look back at the Round House, tucked in among the trees.

Round House from Murtholm

On my way home, I dropped in to tell Nancy some archive news and she and Bob kindly invited me in for a cup of tea and a slice of cake so between the views, the gentle exercise and the hospitality, I felt that the afternoon had gone very well.

I was welcomed home by an Icelandic poppy.

icelandic poppy

The hillsides are getting pretty bare now but I had seen two flowers on my walk…

whita flowers

…but these were the only two.  I shall have to look out for others on my next walk.

The espalier apples are the gift that keeps giving and I had stewed apples for my tea. I am determined to eat as many of our apples as I possibly can this year.

As I write this, Mrs Tootlepedal has just arrived back from Edinburgh and that has rounded off a very good day.  I even think that my cold might be a bit better.

A flying chaffinch with a gleam in its eye modestly takes its place as the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


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