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Archive for the ‘Walking’ Category

Today’s guest picture is another from Simon and this time shows the inside of the covered bridge between Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  I do not know whether the light at the end of the tunnel is in Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

swiss bridge

After yesterday’s extremely gloomy weather, we enjoyed a bright and cheerful day today, although it was a bit colder than we have become used to with the thermometer unable to creep into double figures.

As a result I put a pair of gloves on before cycling off to church with Mrs Tootlepedal.  We had a ‘Songs of Praise’ service today with favourite hymns chosen by members of the congregation.  Fifty hymns were suggested and the Worship Team had chosen the eight most popular for the service.  That amounted to quite a lot of singing but as they were tuneful hymns, it was no hardship.

The sun was still out when we got home so after a look round the garden…

fuchsia, marigolds, verbena, rose

…where I was pleased to see an insect on nodding acquaintance with the Crown Princess…

rose with insect

…Mrs Tootlepedal and I set out for a short three bridges walk to enjoy the day.

There is colour about but much of it is already on the ground.

tree at suspension bridge

The lonely gull that haunts the stretch of the River Esk between the Suspension and the Town bridge was in its regular place again today…

lonely gull

…And as we watched the gull, a flash of blue speeding up the river turned our heads.  A kingfisher had flown past us at speed.  It was far to quick to catch on camera so we walked up to the Town Bridge to see if it had stopped nearby.

tree at meeting of waters

There was no sight of it unfortunately but a look back down the river was quite rewarding.

church and poplars from town bridge

We crossed the bridge and walked down onto the Kilngreen.  It was a good morning for a walk.

looking at Timpen

We were not the only ones taking advantage of the day and when we reached to Lodge Walks we could see other walkers…

lodge walks 20 Oct

…in every direction.

Lodge walks 20 oct (2)

Although we have long thought that the trees along the Lodge Walks are all beeches, looking at the trees on recent walks have shown us that some of them are hornbeams.  Although their leaves  are different to beech leaves, their trunks are so similar that it is not too surprising that we have only just noticed.

There is still no sign of all out autumn colour but the variety of shades among the trees across the Castleholm is still very attractive to me.

 

castleholm trees 20 Oct

And the felling of the conifer plantation at the far end has made the walk more scenically enjoyable.

view over pheasant hatchery

We didn’t walk far and having passed under this well established fungus near the Lodge…

old fungus duchess bridge

…we walked down the leaf covered track to the Duchess Bridge and headed home…

leafy tarck to duchess bridge

…pausing to enjoy the view from the bridge…

river esk from duchess bridge

…and also the glint of sunshine on moss covered fallen branches in the dark wood on the far side of the river.

moss in wood besode esk

When we got back, I was impressed by how vigorously the Weigela is producing a second flush of flowers after its first flowering in June.  Looking at my records, I see that it also flowered in October in both 2018 and 2017 but the last time before that was in 2011.

weigela oct 20

An insect was exploring a rather bedraggled dahlia.

insect on dahlia oct 20

Like the fuchsias in the flower beds, the ornamental fuchsia in the chimney is also enjoying the season.

pot fuchsia oct 20

We went in and I made some celery and Stilton soup for lunch which we ate with enjoyment, and then there was just time to sieve a little compost and practise a song or two before we set off for Carlisle and the Community Choir practice.

Our conductor, who is based in Glasgow, has organised a musical weekend for us in the city next week, including a joint concert with one of her other choirs so we had a good solid practice today in preparation for the jaunt.

Not surprisingly after eight hymns in the morning and a good sing in the afternoon, my throat feels as though it needs a bit of cossetting this evening.  Our conductor says there will be even more singing next weekend and we may need a lie down after it.

I had made a pasta sauce in the slow cooker in the morning and we were quite ready for a reviving meal when we got home.   There was a beautiful sunset as we drove back from Carlisle but after the clocks go back next weekend, we will be returning from Carlisle in darkness, a signal that the long winter months will be upon us.

The flying bird of the day, a black headed gull, was asleep at its post and not flying at all..

gull on post

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He was tempted by this large pre-Halloween spider mallow shortcake but a quick look at the nutrition information revealed that he would have to take two or more days to eat it to stay within his health guidelines, so he gave it a miss.

halloween mallow

I had a rotten night’s sleep and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a business meeting, I was more than happy to idle the morning away with nothing more demanding than the crossword, sweeping the leaves off the middle lawn and washing the car,  Those who know me well will be amazed to hear that I washed our car, but when you carelessly buy a white car, even the most dirt blind person can’t avoid noticing when it turns brown.

I also spent a little time stalking the garden birds.

starling, chaffinch, robin and sparrow

Once again, a dunnock is my pick of the day, though the robin ran it close

dunock on lawn

We have had a small but tasty crop of autumn raspberries and the very late hosta is a continuing delight.

raspberry and hosta

There are some good survivors among the humble flowers and the Crown Princess has perked up again.

daisy, yarrow, sweet rocket and rose

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal looked at the fine weather and suggested a walk.  She likes to go somewhere away from my regular walks if possible, so we drove to the top of Callister and checked out a track there.

It was alright at the beginning as we passed this little bridge under the road which we had just driven along…

conduit

…but the track soon became very soggy so we retraced our steps and tried walking in the opposite direction.  It looked as though a weather front might be looming up…

view from callister

…but we kept walking until we got to the end of the track about half a mile on.  There was plenty to see on both little walks.

I think that the yellow flower is a prickly sow thistle, the painted lady looked a bit pale and battered but flew about quite cheerfully…

lichen, flower, painted lady and clover

…and the clover and lichen were both doing very well.

There was fungus and more lichen beside the track…

fungus and lichen

…and some larches turning to gold among the spruces.

larch callister

The track led us towards an artificial pond that was made when the area was first planted with trees.  It was said that it was to attract ducks but it looks neglected and overgrown now, more marsh than pond….and not a duck in sight.

 

pond callister

We strolled back to the car and drove a few hundred yards along the road back down the hill.  There we parked and took a forestry track along the other side of the road.

The track was rich in wild flowers, including this very impressive multi stemmed dandelion look alike.

big yellow flower

And although the clouds were still looming, the sun stayed out and made things look very colourful.

fungus and dandelion with insect

There were lichens of many kinds on our way….

four lichens

…and lots of colourful details too.

four items along westwater track

We went far enough along the gently climbing track to enjoy some splendid views over the neighbouring hills…

westwater track view 1

…with the sun shining on the monument six miles away…

westwater track view 2

…and the Solway plain lying below us with the northern English fells in the distance.

westwater track view 3

I liked the way that seemingly arbitrary larches had sneaked in among the regulation spruces.

westwater track view 4

When we had enjoyed the views for long enough, we turned to go back to the car, passing tiny forests of moss and a smooth clump of deer grass….

moss, mold and deer grass

…and two very interesting patches of something slimy or moldy (or both) on the track.

The track, which was was rather bare and severe when it was first put in a few years ago, has grown into the landscape now and it was a pleasure to walk along it in the late afternoon sunshine.

Westwater track 5

As we turned the corner into the sun, we had the choice of the yellow brick road…

westwater track view 6

…or the straight and narrow.westwater track view 7

We probably didn’t walk much more than three miles at the most but it was a very worthwhile excursion and we felt that we thoroughly deserved our cup of tea and a biscuit when we got home.

We would normally have been in Edinburgh on a Thursday afternoon visiting Matilda but both her parents are a bit poorly and her other grandparents were visiting already so we didn’t feel a visit would really be a good thing.

On our walk, we found ourselves under a fairly busy flight path for a while so the flying bird of the day is a bit bigger than the normal ones.

flying plane callister

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo.  She escaped just in time from the Manitoba snow storm and arrived in London to find that it was raining a lot instead.  In the end the rain stopped for long enough for her to visit Kew Gardens where she encountered these  splendidly prickly plants.

kew

After our short spell of better weather, the weather gods had decided to bring us back down to earth today and it was raining heavily when we got up.   Mrs Tootlepedal bravely cycled off in the rain on business after breakfast while I did the sensible thing and stayed at home and arranged to have coffee with Sandy and Dropscone.

Dropscone brought his usual supply of good scones and we sconed, sipped and chatted away as the rain fell.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from the town and we squeezed another cup from the pot for her.

After coffee, I had time to do the crossword and start a tarte tatin off before we had lunch,  After lunch, the rain finally eased off and I was able to get out into the garden.

There were birds posing for me all over the place.

The rather scruffy male blackbird is looking better…

blackbird improving

…even though the female doesn’t think much of him yet.

fierce balckbird

The sparrows often have a bath in the dam behind the house and then, like this one, flit up up onto the lilac to have a flutter and a shoogle to get dry again.

fluffy sparrow

A bird skulked in the shadows on the fence…

dunnock on fence

…before flying up into the rowan tree to reveal that it was a dunnock or hedge sparrow.  It is obviously a bit slow in learning the difference between a fence, a tree and a hedge.

dunnock in rowan

As you can see, the sun had come out by this time, so I took a quick look at some clematis…

two clematis

…and a fuchsia which is coming out ridiculously late for the first time this year, together with a dahlia which is hanging on very well after looking as though it was well past it.

fuchsia and dahlia

Then, as it was too good a day to miss by now, I got my bike out and checked to see how my legs were feeling after two busy days.

It turned out that they were feeling fine and they carried me round my customary twenty mile Canonbie circuit slowly but without complaining.

There is a spot along the way where the grass always turns golden brown at this time of year.

brown hillside Kerr

I didn’t stop for many pictures as this is a well documented ride already but I needed a breather after 15 miles so I took a look up stream from the Hollows Bridge…

view from hollows bridge october

…and a bit later on was much struck by the golden colour of some bracken on the old A7

bracken old A7

The sun is getting low in the sky all day now and the trees on the far bank were casting interesting shadows on the old distillery building as I crossed Skippers Bridge.

Distllery from Skippers october

When I got home, I turned out the tarte tatin and while Mrs Tootlepedal made a pot of tea, I cut a couple of slices of the tarte to go with it.  I added some ice cream to my slice and in my view, it would be hard to find a better after-ride refreshment.

I was so refreshed indeed that after I had had a shower, I went out for a short walk.  I was motivated partly by the tarte, partly by the lovely evening light and mostly by the fact that my physio has told me to walk more.

It is not long until the clocks go back so evening walks at this time of day will disappear for some months so I was pleased to able to enjoy such a beautiful light today.

The shadows were falling fast but I had time to enjoy some gentle autumn colour on my way.  The pictures speak for themselves, I think.

tree at church

Esk in evening light

looking up esk

trees by A7 kilngreen

lodge october evening

By the time that I had crossed two bridges and was approaching the third, the sun was ready to sink behind the hill and the shadows were lengthening…

castleholm october evening

…until the monument was in the sun but most of the New Town was in the shade.

Whita in sun town in shadow

I swept  a lot of walnut leaves off the front lawn when I got home.

We had courgette fritters for tea and then I went to sing with the Langholm choir.  Because of some illness going round, we had a select turnout, but we had a most enjoyable sing all the same.

As the sun went down on my walk in the afternoon, it began to feel a little chilly and I was wondering if we would have a frost tonight.  However, it was still quite warm when I walked home from the choir and when I looked at our thermometer a moment ago, it said that it is 9 degrees C.  The forecast claims that it won’t get lower than 5 degrees overnight.  We have been very lucky to have kept our flowers for so long and it looks as thought they may still be there tomorrow.

No flying bird of the day today but I was happy to see a starling back perching on the holly tree again.

starling back on holly

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Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He sent me this gorgeous shot of the sun rising over East Wemyss this morning.  (I suspect that he may have run the image through the filter on his phone.)

Wemyss morning

We had a sunny day here too and Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it would be a good day for an excursion with a nice walk in it.  I agreed and we set off to visit Buttermere, one of the small lakes in the Lake District.   It has a good, mainly flat six mile path round it which we have walked before and which we thought would be a suitable test for our feet.

The perfect sunny October outing turned out to be slightly less than perfect in two ways.  The weather let us down a little and as we got into England, it started to rain.  Although the rain had finally stopped by the time we got to Buttermere, the busy weekend tourist traffic hadn’t and Buttermere’s car parks turned out to be so full to bursting that there was no room for one more car, not even a small one.

We were a bit at a loss but in the end, we turned back the way we had come and found a place to park beside Crummock Water, another lake a mile or two away,  This was a delightful spot and the clouds broke up as we got there.

Crummock Water

Crummock water is not completely surrounded by hills…

Crummock Water north

…but there are plenty of hills to look at.   They are popular with walkers and we could see a track running up the little rocky valley behind us.

 

hills behindCrummock Water

I walked up the hill behind the car park and soon got good views of the lake….

Crummock Water view

…and I took a panorama of as much of the Lake as I could see.  There was a smir of rain falling at the south end.

crummock panorama

Click on the picture for a bigger version.

I walked up a handy little path beside a small gill that was tumbling down the hillside….

Crummock Water waterfall

…and enjoyed several little cascades.

Crummock Water cascade

I would have liked to go a little further up the hill but the ground was very rough and when I looked back down the hill, I could see Mrs Tootlepedal coming towards me.

Crummock Water Mrs T

I was glad that I had not gone any higher as I stumbled back down the hill to meet her.  Going up is still not too bad these days but going down rough and steep ground is murder on the knees.

The Lake District hills are not big hills but they are often very dramatic and I took a last view south…

looking towards Buttermere

…and went past this local sheep looking for a blade of grass among the bracken…

local sheep

…before meeting up with Mrs Tootlepedal and going back to the car.

We decided to cut our losses and head for somewhere to eat and then go home.

The roads here are very narrow and there was plenty of motor  traffic, many cyclists and some brave pedestrians to share the roads with so progress was slow as we went [past Loweswater and headed for a wider road.

We stopped when we found a moment for a last look back at the hills…

veiw of lake District

…and found a suitable cafe at a garden centre near Cockermouth.

The cafe was bright and cheerful but rather quiet as a gas explosion had closed a busy road nearby and caused congestion in the town.  This had reduced their custom and we got served very promptly as a result.

The garden centre was attached to a fine house but the plant area was surrounded by tall trees and rather gloomy.

cockerrmouth gardenc entre

It is the end of the season too and nothing caught Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye, not even the things on the ‘reduced to clear’ stand, so we were soon on our way home.

We got home safely though there was more rain on the way.  We were just on the edge of the shower and as a result we drove along under a spectacular rainbow for several miles.

It was sunny in Langholm all day so after a cup of tea, we set out to make up for some of the walking that we had missed in the Lake District by strolling round the Becks Burn walk.

Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out a chrysalis on the outside of our kitchen window as we left the house.

chrysalis

We may not have the mountains and picturesque hills of the Lake District, but it is no hardship to walk through the countryside round Langholm on a sunny evening.

poplars from scotts knowewhita from becks trackwarbla and clouds

When we looked down at the Auld Stane Brig, it does seem that many trees are going to lose their leaves without showing any colour this year.

auld stane brige

I noticed that the winter jasmine at our back door has come out, a sign of the times.

winter jasmine

All in all, although it wasn’t quite the outing that we had planned, it wasn’t a bad day.  It is always a pleasure to visit the Lake District, even if we didn’t stay long.  We did about 120 miles in the Zoe and still had at least 40 reliable miles left in the battery so that gave us some confidence in how far we could drive without having to charge the car. And we had an enjoyable walk in the end too.

The flying bird of the day is a chicken pretending to be a sheep.

chicken and sheep becks track

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Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce.  Not long ago he was in Glasgow where he was very impressed by the Doulton Fountain, the largest ceramic fountain ever built.  It was one of the most popular attractions at the 1888 International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park.

Doulton fountain

It was raining heavily when we woke up, but it very kindly took a break while Mrs Tootlepedal went for her morning walk with Riley.  While she was out, I set off for England and a singing lesson and drove through many a sharp shower on the way.  It is noticeable that colder temperatures and more use of lights, heaters and wipers reduces the amount of miles that we can get out of a full charge of the battery in the Zoe, but as it still gives us well over a hundred miles, we are not too despondent.

When I got home, slightly light-headed from doing so much proper breathing during the singing lesson, it was time for lunch.

In the afternoon, I looked at the holly tree just as the sun came out to emphasise the iridescence of a starling’s plumage…

irridescent starling

…and while the sun was shining, I took a short walk round the garden.

Zinnias, roses and fuchsia enjoyed the better weather.

zinnia, rosy cheeks, fuchsia

Although the perennial wallflower and Michaelmas daises are nearing the end of the line, a new clematis has come out to keep the purple colour going a little longer.

perennial wallflower, daisy, clematis

Later in the afternoon, our guest Riley took us for a walk…

riley walk

…so we could enjoy some autumnal delights, like fungus on the track round the Scholars’ Field…

fungus on scholars

…and a small patch of brightly coloured leaves beside the new path on the Castleholm.

autumn leaves

I had a look at the Castle ruin as we passed…

castle in autumn

…and saw that something had been doing some serious nibbling on Noble Fir cones…

noble fir cones eaten

…in a rather selective way.

noble fir cones eaten (2)

The piles of scales under the tree makes it likely that squirrels had been at work.

There is a very colourful tree beside the path which does its best to brighten up early autumn very year.

autumn colour new path

The sun came out as we walked along and it was very pleasant as we passed the Sawmill Brig…

sawmill brig from castleholm

…and admired the fine crop of spleenwort on the wall nearby…

spleenwort wall

…as well as enough beech mast to feed a good few pigs as we turned up the Lodge Walks.

beech mast

It was a grand day for a walk after a very unpromising morning.

view of timpen from castleholm

We crossed back over the Jubilee Bridge and were surprised to find Mr Grumpy standing in the shallow water below us.

heron at jubilee bridge

We took the narrow track behind the school on our way home and found things to look at as we went along it.

snowberry, tree seeds, daisy

Our neighbour Liz, Riley’s owner,  has been attending a passing out ceremony for one of her grandsons who is now a fully qualified agricultural machinery engineer.  She got back this afternoon and came over to collect Riley just after we had returned from our walk.  It has been a pleasure to have such a well behaved visitor in the house.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a very satisfactory meal of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans for our tea, and a good day was rounded off by a meeting of our recorder group.

Although our weather here had been calm, the two ladies who drove up from Carlisle to play had come through torrential rain with the roads awash with water on their way.  We have been seeing some very heavy rain in the area lately but luckily Langholm has escaped the worst.

We had a good time playing some testing quartets and followed that up with a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit.  I hope that the travellers got better conditions for their drive home.

Once again, the elegant wings of a starling feature on the flying bird of the day.

flying starling

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Today’s guest picture is the last from Dropscone’s Highland holiday.  He and his daughter Susan visited Loch Ness but resisted the charms of the cruise boat and drove round the loch by car instead.  They didn’t see a monster.

Loch ness cruiser

It was another gloomy, damp day here with the clouds hanging low over the  town and frequent spells of miserable drizzle to make things damper and gloomier.

Mrs Tootlepedal found a nearly dry moment to take our visitor Riley for a walk after breakfast, and Riley enjoyed a well earned rest when he got back.

riley

I had a pretty good rest all morning myself and it was only interrupted by the arrival of Sandy for a cup of coffee and a biscuit.  He had had a very good ride on his new electric bike yesterday and was full of praise for the way it had carried him up steep roads and over the hill and far away.  He has written about his trip here.   This might interest anyone thinking about getting an e-bike.

When he left, I went out into the garden to see if it was raining.

It was.

sparrow in rain on fence

Looking around, I could see that our power lines were busy.  I don’t usually expect to see a robin perching on one.

robin on wire

I do expect to see starlings at present.  They were adopting varying formations today,

three starlings on wirefour starlings on wire

A blackbird preferred to remain at a lower level and took the chair.

blackbird on chair staring

Sandy went off to the Archive Centre and brought back some sheets of the newspaper index for me to put onto the database.  Spurred by this, I caught up on my backlog, and it looks as though there will be plenty more gloomy weather to come which will encourage me to put in these new sheets soon.

As the afternoon wore on, the drizzle stopped and I found myself with just enough time for a quick three bridges walk before my flute pupil Luke arrived.

I nodded at some flowers as I left the garden…

roses and dahlia panel

…and walked down to the suspension bridge from which I looked up river towards the first bridge that I would cross…

 

Town Bridge October

…and down river to where the poplars are just beginning to change colour.

poplars beside Esk

The best leaf colour of the day was lying in a gutter beside the bridge..

fallen leaves

…and there is a bit of worry that the leaves may fall off the trees this year without giving us a good show of autumn tints.

I walked along the river bank and crossed the town bridge.  I was hoping to see some riverside birds, but the only one that I came across was Mr Grumpy, standing on one leg.

heron one leg

I then walked up to the Sawmill Bridge and crossed it.

sawmill brig

Looking up the Lodge Walks from under the canopy, the trees look pretty green still…

lodge walks inside

…but looking at the same trees from outside in the field, they look rather brown.

lodge walks outside

Across the Castleholm, there was a mild show of colour but the birch trees have lost all their leaves already and give the scene a rather blurred look.

trees across castleholm

A little burst of sunshine appeared but it lit up Whita Hill and the monument while I remained under a cloud.

sunshine on whita

When I got to the Jubilee Bridge, the third of my three bridges, something had changed since my last walk.

jubilee bridge october

I realised that I could see more of the bridge than usual and this turned out to be because someone had cut down one of the two big trees that stood beside the bridge.

felled tree jubilee bridge

Why they should have done this is a mystery at present.

I stood on the bridge and looked upstream.

 

upriver from jubilee bridge october

And then I walked home and saluted a beautiful astrantia which welcomed me into the garden.

astrantia october

My flute pupil Luke came and we practised some new pieces which was exciting.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been looking at recipes and made a delicious red lentil dal to go with a second helping of the venison stew.  The day ended well.

There are two flying birds of the day today just because I didn’t have much else to do in the morning except look up at distant birds.

First, a rook flying high over the garden…

flying rook

…and then a starling, trying to find a better power line to perch on.

flying starling

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Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony and shows more of the East Wemyss mini hydro scheme.  They are very enterprising there.

Wemyss waterworks

The morning was dry and reasonably warm as I pedalled along to the producer’s market at the Buccleuch Centre after breakfast.  We are looking after our neighbour Liz’s dog while she is away for a couple of days, so Mrs Tootlepedal was out walking with Riley while I stocked up on meat, fish and honey.

I had a quick look round the garden when I got back.  Checking my records, I see that I didn’t get a single rose picture last year after September so as long as the roses keep flowering, I will keeping putting them into posts to celebrate their survival into October this year.

As I may have said before, far as the weather and the seasons go, it has been a funny year.

princess margareta rose

The transplanted fuchsias, which we had given up as complete failures, have both flowered late now.  The fancy ones in the chimney pot have also returned after giving up earlier on.

two fuchsia

I surprised myself both by finishing the prize crossword quite quickly and by actually getting into my cycling gear and going out for a ride relatively early in the day.  The forecast was for rain quite soon, so I didn’t hang about and just pedalled up to the far end of Callister, where I took an autumnal view of the countryside…

view of winterhope

…and noticed that far to the west, Criffel had got is own cloud sitting on top of it.

criffel in cloud

Then I cycled back through the town and out of the other side, where I noticed that which side of a wall it is on is important for grass colour.

wall at ewes

Then I cycled home, completing an undemanding 20 miles.  As I have not quite thrown off my cold, this was just what the doctor ordered.

Mrs Tootlepedal had enjoyed her walk with Riley and after lunch, we put him in the car and drove up the road for a few miles to a spot where Mrs Tootlepedal could cut some more bracken, Riley could have a sniff about, and I could take my pocket camera for a very short walk through a field and wood by the river bank.

There were occasional wild flowers in the field…

three wild flowers

…and lots of variety in the conifers…

three conifers

…and a large quantity of fungus in the wood.  I have often walked along this path before but I have never seen anything like so much fungus.

wauchope fungus 1

It was all sizes…

wauchope fungus 2

…all shapes…

wauchope fungus 3

…and all colours.

wauchope fungus 4

It is a short path, only a couple of hundred yards long perhaps, but it is always a pleasure to walk along it, listening to the chatter of the Wauchope Water.

wauchope water at wood

The bracken was colourful today…

bracken beside wauchope

…and a good gate is always a pleasure.

wauchgote

Walking back through the field to meet Mrs Tootlepedal and Riley, I passed the smallest fungus of the day; this one was no bigger than my thumbnail.

tiny field fungus

When we got home, Mrs Tootlepedal laid the bracken out on one of her vegetable beds where it will protect the soil from rainfall over the winter.

Mrs Tootlepedal had peeled some apples for me while I was out cycling so I cooked a tarte tatin while she was gardening.  We have got the hang of this dish now, helped by our sparkling new tarte tatin pan and some practice, and the result was very satisfactory.  I think that it is now my favourite way to eat the apples from the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal still leans towards apple crumble.

While the tarte was in the oven, I went out into the garden and watched a large flock of sparrows whizz about.  They bathed in the dam, primped in the lilac tree and surveyed the world from the greenhouse.

three sparrows

While I was out, I added the Rosy Cheeks rose to my October collection…

rosy cheeks rose

…and noted that a Welsh poppy had come out in spite of the lack of poppy dead heading recently and another bee was back at the verbena.

welsh poppy and verbens with bee

The forecast rain still hadn’t arrived when we went in for a cup of tea  but as there was athletics to watch on the telly, we didn’t really care what was going on as the darkness fell outside.  (It’s wet and horrible as I write this.)

A quick look at the forecast for the week ahead shows no sign of frosty mornings but plenty of rain to come, so be ready for more rose pictures.

The flying bird of the day prefers to remain anonymous.

flyimg starling

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