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Posts Tagged ‘cascade’

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Dropscone and shows a handy chart telling me where to get my coffee from.  He found it in a coffee shop in Bromley, Kent.

coffee belt

I had quite a full day today with a very contrasting set of weather conditions to go with it.

I had to get up early (for me) to take the car to the garage for its annual MOT test.  In order to do this, I needed the full wet weather gear as it was blowing hard and raining heavily and I had to walk back from the garage.

Then it was time for breakfast and a battle with an unforgiving crossword while the rain sluiced down outside.  The rain eased off in time for Dropscone to arrive by bike for a cup of coffee (from Ethiopia).  As we sat and sipped, the wind eased off a bit too and birds returned to the garden.

chaffinches

Chaffinches..

goldfinches

..and goldfinches

It even got light enough to see some flying birds.

chaffinch and goldfinch

The river had been quite high when I went to the garage in the morning but nothing like as high as yesterday but Dropscone remarked that he had thought that it was well up when he had come for coffee.  It had rained hard before he arrived so after coffee, I went to check.

Dropscone was right.

Church in flood

The church was under threat….

Church in flood

…from all sides.

Once again, I was glad that we don’t live right beside the river.

Esk in flood

Luckily, it had brightened up quite a bit by this time and it looked as though we weren’t going to get flooded in the town.   The park wasn’t so lucky….

Park in flood

…and the Castleholm was awash as well.

Castleholm in flood

Once again today there was talk of road closures and riverside evacuations in neighbouring towns and in the Lake District one poor village was flooded for the fourth time in two months.   We had been lucky again.

But the time that I got home from my brief walk, the sun had come out and the day was looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth.

January sunshine in the garden

chaffinches

I should have gone straight out for a cycle ride but the sudden onset of sunshine gave me such a shock that I had to sit down to recover.

I did get organised in the end though and got the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a few miles up the Wauchope road.

In spite of the blue sky, the ride wasn’t quite idyllic as there was a brisk wind blowing into my face and the road was running with water.  I am trying my very best not to fall off and bang my new knee so very wet conditions make me go cautiously.

Still, the light was gorgeous when I got to my turning point at the top of Callister.

Callister

…and even better as I went back down the hill.

view from callister

I stopped to look at one of my favourite cascades but there was almost too much water going over it and it was rather flattened out.

Wauchope cascade

I cycled down to the River Esk when I got back to the town to see if had dropped.  It was well within its banks but looking quite lively all the same.

Esk in flood and sun

Although the temperature had dropped from 10 degrees at eight o’clock to 6 degrees by the time that I had finished cycling, it was still such a nice day that I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a short walk.

Unfortunately, she was deep in some curtain making and by the time that she was ready to go, the sun had gone.  It was still dry though so we took a turn round Gaskell’s Walk.

I took pictures of snowdrops and a nearly out daffodil in our garden before we left…

snowdrop

early daffodil

…and then put the camera away until we passed a tree stump covered with fungus on top and down the side.

fungus on gaskell's

When we came to the top of the bank at the Stubholm, there was more evidence of the damage caused by the weather.

fallen tree Stubholm

We got round our walk in the dry but not long afterwards there was another fierce shower.

It had passed by the time that the car was ready for collection, having passed its test without needing expensive work done.

A bit of research on the internet showed local roads in terrible conditions with landslips and floods on every side.  We were hoping to go to Edinburgh to see Matilda tomorrow but our main railway line is closed because of flood damage to a viaduct and the alternative route requires nearly a hundred miles of driving to get to the station and back.  The forecast for tomorrow is for more heavy rain and driving doesn’t look very appetising at all so we will have to rely on Skype for contact.

In the evening, I went to the Archive Centre with Sandy and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  What with one thing and another, it was our first combined visit for over a month.

There were many opportunities for flying birds today, often all at the same time….

flying birds

…but in the end, I settled for one which wasn’t a very good photograph but which I think makes a striking image.

flying chaffinch

When I was out in the morning, I took a very brief video to show the force of the water passing under the Langholm Bridge.

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is the last from Tom’s wild life adventures in South Africa.

lionsWe had another late start today but it didn’t matter much because it was miserable, wet and nasty morning, not fit for anything other than sitting over the breakfast table and doing the crossword.  We managed to get breakfast finished in time for me to welcome Dropscone for coffee.

I had ground some coffee beans a few days ago for a friend who had bought beans instead of ground coffee by mistake  and I had lent him a handy tin to keep the ground coffee fresh.  He was so impressed by my little coffee grinder and the prospect of endlessly freshly ground coffee  that he went out and bought himself a (better) grinder and yesterday he gave me back my tin with some of his own ground coffee in it.  Dropscone and I tested it out and found it very good.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set about sawing up a couple of the apple tree branches.  If we take our time and don’t jigger ourselves, we will get the whole tree sawed up and into the log pile before too long.

I took a few pictures in spite of the rain.

jackdaw with pink pellet

The pink pellets are still pulling them in.

chaffinch

goldfinch and chaffinch

A goldfinch and chaffinch exchange views on the value of deficit reduction at the expense of the poor. (They are against it.)

After lunch (lentil soup), the day took a turn for the better and a little blue sky appeared…and a little blue tit as well…

blue tit…so I took a walk round the garden to see if there were still some flowers about.

nerine, clematis and salvia

Nerine, clematis and salvia laugh in the face of raindrops

marigold and poppy

Marigold and poppy look at things differently

Walking across the little bridge over our pond, I saw a streak of green between the planks which I took to be moss…I was wrong.

lichenThe hint of blue sky tempted Mrs Tootlepedal and me to get on our cycling gear but even as we were pulling on the leggings, it started to rain.  It was one of those days when the weather was unreliable because by the time we had our shoes on, it had stopped again so we set off up the Wauchope road.

We found ourselves pedalling along a river of sunshine…

Wauchope road…between banks of grey and threatening clouds….

cloudy windmills…and by the time we got to Wauchope schoolhouse, Mrs Tootlepedal voted for a quick return home before we got soaked.

The river of sunshine got narrower as we pedalled home….

wauchope road…until it closed up entirely…

rainbow…but it opened up a bit as we hit Caroline Street….

Caroline St rainbow….and I can confirm that the happy householder at 37 is the proud owner of a crock of gold.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had enough of this uncertainty and stopped cycling but I looked at the now blue sky, picked up Pocketcam and went back up the road.

You can see why I might have been tempted to risk a downpour.

Pool corner

Looking back at Pool Corner as I left the town.

I dropped in on my favourite cascade…

Wauchope cascade….and was pedalling happily up the road with a few miles in mind and enjoying the sunshine…

Wauchope road…until I got to the top of the hill past Wauchope School where massive grey clouds sent me scuttering back home.  I was putting my bike in the garage when the rain started.

It didn’t take long until the sun came out again though and I popped down to the suspension bridge to see how things looked there in the evening sun.

riverside treesMrs Tootlepedal looked at my picture when I got back and remarked that it was a pity about the telephone pole.

It was a pity…

riverside trees…so I disappeared it.

In the evening, we drove down to Canonbie to attend a performance by the Border Strathspey and Reel Society in Canonbie Church.

This is a group of musicians who keep alive traditional Scottish dance music.  There were about 25 of them tonight, mostly fiddlers but with an accordion, double bass, guitar, drums and keyboard players to add some depth to the sound.  As well as reels and strathspeys, they played jigs, marches and slow airs.  They were pretty good and a pleasure to listen to and they had an excellent local singer as one of their guest soloists.  By coincidence she sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as part of her program.

The concert would have been unalloyed joy had the first half not gone on for an hour and a quarter with the second half looking to be just as long.  I was beginning to feel like Mr Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (“You have delighted us long enough.”) but fortunately the concert organiser had some strong words with the group at half time and the second half was pruned sufficiently so that we got out after two and a quarter hours.   It was good to see a group so proud of their own work that they thought that a three hour concert would be needed to show it off but you can have too much of a good thing…..

…especially as I still had the pictures to prepare for posting and the blog to write when I got home.

Luckily the clocks go back tonight so a late bedtime won’t matter so much.

The flying bird of the day is another jackdaw with some white markings.

flying jackdaw

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Today’s guest picture shows a fine boat on the Trent and Mersey Canal.  It was encountered by my brother Andrew as he was cycling along the tow path.

Trent and mersey canalIt was a rather disappointing morning as we woke up to be greeted by yet more rain.  Instead of cycling, I did useful things like putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and finishing off the fund raising cards.  This took me neatly up to the moment when Dropscone arrived bearing scones.  He had been even more active than I had been and had already visited Carlisle on an errand.

By the time that he left, the day had taken a distinct turn for the better and I was able to walk up to the town to deliver the cards and order fresh supplies of coffee without any need for a coat at all.

After lunch the sun came out and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with the driving for the disabled, I watched the birds for a while…..

chaffinch and blue tit

The birds come in all shapes and sizes

siskin and chaffinch

This siskin stood patiently waiting on the back of the chaffinch for quite a few seconds until it flew off.

…and then took a walk round the garden.

Special Grandma and a day lily

Special Grandma and a day lily are not bothered by a little rain.

There were others interested in the flowers too.

beesI took the opportunity to sieve a little compost.

A cycle ride seemed in order but a brisk wind had arrived with the sunshine and not wanting to tax my legs too much, I got the slow bike out, loaded up the cameras and set for a gentle pedal-an-shoot outing up the Wauchope road.

It took me well over an hour to do the eight miles to Cleuchfoot and back but I did leave the bike at the roadside while I wandered about on several occasions.  The slow pace suited my knees, which were mumbling and grumbling about doing any cycling at all.

I stopped at Pool Corner to admire a great heap of slow worms…

slow worms…which had arranged themselves very artistically.

There was quite a lot of water coming down the Wauchope so I thought that a visit to my favourite cascade might be a good idea.  It was a very good idea for me but the light was in the wrong place for my camera and I couldn’t capture the scene at all well.

Wauchope cascadeI tried again at a little cascade further upstream.

Wauchope cascade

The light was better here because the sun had gone in for a moment or two.

Wauchope cascade

The bigger picture

There were plenty of flowers to look at as I went along.

wild flowersMany of them had accompanying wild life.

insectsThe road up to Cleuchfoot is very pastoral

Cleuchfoot..and has an excellent surface!

The celestial artist had been dipping into his palette to paint a splendid variety of lichens onto the stone walls.

lichens

All within ten yards of each other

Some trees were so covered in lichens that the pine needles had to fight to get through.

lichen covered treeAs we get towards the end of summer, the brackens start to take over the world, reaching out ever further.

brackenI got home before Mrs Tootlepedal and was enjoying listening to a startling test cricket match on the radio when she arrived.  She wasted no time in getting on with the gardening and I went out to help her dig up another row or two of potatoes.  They are continuing to look healthy and slug free and should keep us going for some time.

We had some of them in a feta, tomato and potato bake which I made for our tea.

While I was out I had a look at some flowers.

astrantia and tropaeolum

The better light let me get sharper pictures than usual of astrantia and tropaeolum

Mrs Tootlepedal spotted that the first calendula of the year had come out.

calendula

A tiny fly had spotted it too.

The wind had dropped and it was lovely wandering around the garden on a warm summer evening though it did give us a slight sense of loss for all the warm summer evenings that there haven’t been this year.  Still, one is better than none.

After tea,  Sandy and I went up to the Archive Centre but the internet connection was on a go slow so we didn’t get as much work done as we would have liked.  We consoled ourselves with a refreshment at the Eskdale.

Just as I typed the last few words of this post, the international Space Station flew over Langholm.  Mrs Tootlepedal gets regular emails tellingnher  when to expect to see  it and it is very punctual.  We had a cloudless sky and for once I was prepared, with the camera on a tripod and the correct settings in place.  I didn’t have a remote control so there was a slight wobble when I pressed the 13 second shutter release but this is probably the steadiest picture of something travelling at 17,000 mph that I am ever going to get.

International Space StationI calculate that it travelled 61 miles while the photograph was being taken.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.  These seem to have returned to the garden in good numbers after a short absence.

chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture shows a bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal crossed by my brother Andrew on a recent visit to Stoke-on-Trent on a rainy day.

Stoke

We had a better day today as far as the weather went.  The sun was not in evidence but neither was the wind, with the result that it felt warmer.  If my knee had been in better condition, this would have been an ideal day for a long pedal but as it was, I was happy to wait around in the garden….

turk's cap and foxglove…and round the back of the house….

back wall…for the arrival of the Langholm Scone Transporter service.

DropsconeDropscone was especially welcome as he has been off officiating at the Scottish Boys Golf Championships and there has been a scone drought at Wauchope Cottage as a result.  On the down side, he had run out of treacle so, although it was Friday, treacle scone day, we had to make do with his plain scones.  We bore it bravely.

We were joined for coffee by our neighbour Liz, who was over on a gooseberry picking visit.  Luckily we had some Glastonbury cake for her, courtesy of Venetia, so Dropscone and I didn’t have to limit our normal scone consumption.

After coffee, I mowed the drying green and the front lawn and did a little helping in the garden.  Not wanting to do too much and set my knee back, I left Mrs Tootlepedal slaving away and went inside to do the crossword.

But not before is had taken a picture or two.

willow

The intricate pattern on a willow.

bee on poppy

And a bee deep in a poppy

After lunch I was determined to test the knee on a short cycle ride but was delayed for two hours by the necessity of watching the Tour de France, which is at an exciting stage. However, I did manage to tear myself away and set off up the Wauchope road with Pockertcam at the ready.

Unfortunately, the council had been up there before me….

Wauchope Road…which made things better for the motorists as far as visibility went but was a bit of a blow for someone looking for wild flowers.  Still, there was a lot to be seen.

crosswort and mallow

Crosswort and mallow

vetch and mallow

The delicate and the robust

Wauchope cascade

A passing cascade

I finally arrived at Wauchope School where I was able to enjoy the roses in the hedge….

Wauchope school roses…and walls and streams.

Wauchope viewsI turned round for home here as I thought that six miles was quite enough for a first trial, especially with a good deal of hopping on and off the bike involved.

I stopped on the way back to look at an alder.  It seemed strangely coloured…

alder…and a  closer examination showed that almost every leaf had been affected by these colourful galls.

I got home in time to see the finish of the stage and all seems set for an exciting day tomorrow.

I looked out of the back door…

bending flowers

Contrasting curves

…and then Mrs Tootlepedal went out to do a little more gardening and I took out my camera.

clematis

Two new clematis are out

poppy and astrantia

Two old favourites. The astrantia has added some coloured tips to its repertoire.

bee in clover

A bee in clover

Then I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a drive up to the Moorland feeders might be interesting.  In the event, she saw not a single bird on the moor while I had a very quiet time in the hide, seeing only an odd chaffinch or two coming near and a lonely woodpecker which kept its distance.

chaffinch and woodpeckerThere were flying things buzzing about in the sky above the feeder but they were not what I was really looking for.

helicopter and aeroplane

They were not as close together as this in real life.

On my way back to the car, a quick look at the wild flowers near the hide revealed a very busy plant indeed.

plant with insectsIt was a show stopper.

We had a last wander round the garden when we got home and then it was time for tea.  I had pulled up a couple of good looking turnips from the veg patch before we had gone up to the feeder and put them in a casserole with some lamb from our local producers market.  With some of our own broad beans and new potatoes on the side, it made for a very tasty meal.

A full day was rounded off by a visit from Mike and Alison.  Alison and I played a selection of sonatas and divisions with great enjoyment and even some moments when the composers might have recognised their works.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

flying sparrow

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Today’s guest picture comes from the phone of my neighbour Liz and shows some reflective geese which she observed on Rutland Water when she was down there.

rutland water geeseIt was confusing today.  It had rained heavily during the night and the forecast was for more rain during the day so it took me quite some time to realise that it was in fact quite a reasonable and dry day.   Breakfast had imperceptibly morphed into morning coffee before I finally came to my senses and got my cycling clothes on.

The choice of clothing remains tricky as although the temperature was a theoretically warm 50°F, there is still a cold air when you are out of the sun and facing the wind.  As my chest doesn’t care to get chilly, I erred on the side of overdressing and set off for a gentle circular tour well wrapped up.

garmin 15 April 15The first thing to say about the graphic on the left which comes from the Garmin record of my ride, is that they too must have been reading the forecast of rain because my whole journey was completed in pleasant sunshine with occasional cloud cover but with not a drop of rain in sight.

They got the temperature about right and the wind probably was correct too but the wind speed forecasts don’t account for gusts.  In real life, the amount of time on any given ride when the wind is actually at the speed that the weather measurers suggest that it should be is minimal.

On this occasion, after a hard working seven miles straight into the breeze,  it was either across or behind for most of the rest of the ride and was not too discouraging at all.

I stopped to admire the amount of water that the overnight rain had put into the Wauchope.

Wauchope cascadeWauchope cascadeA twinge in my back when I got back on my bike discouraged me from stopping to take any more pictures and I concentrated on cycling for the next 27 miles.

The winter weather has not been severe this year but it has still taken its toll on our roads and there were plenty of bumps and potholes along the way for me to concentrate on.

I got round without mishap though and after a nourishing jam sandwich and a cup of tea. I wandered round the garden to see what was new.

tulipstulipsmagnoliaThings are definitely looking up.

There were birds aplenty too.

goldfinches

A matched pair of goldfinches

chaffinches

A pair of chaffinches having a sparring match

chaffinch

A chaffinch looking to see what is down there

blackbirdIt was a blackbird…and talking of blackbirds, our neighbour Liz has had an early blackbird nest in her garden and invited me over to see the first of the fledglings which was lurking in her garage being fed by its parents…..well it was there until I arrived when once again, it appeared that the bird had flown and it was nowhere to be seen.

I contented myself with photographing one of her hellebores.

helleboreLate in the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal finally finished putting the final layer of undercoat on the floor of the front room and as we had no choir practice this week, Mrs Tootlepedal and I took ourselves off to the moor to look for harriers and owls.

We saw one of each almost as soon as we arrived but they vanished equally quickly and we sat for quite some time staring moodily at the heather before giving up and going off to the chip shop to acquire our evening meal.

It was a beautiful spring day and it cheered us up a lot.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s recent walk through Regent’s Park.  It is good place to walk through.

Regent's Park  27.09.14 007After a heavy night of rain, I was interested to see what the river would look like so on my way to the producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre, I went up to check.

Esk in floodI met a chap who has a small weather centre in his garden and he told me that three inches of rain had fallen since Friday morning so it was no surprise to see plenty of water in the Esk.  Things drain so quickly here though that the river had already begun to drop by the time I took the picture.

I made some judicious purchases of fish, meat, cheese, local honey and carrots at the market and then went to collect some coffee beans that I had ordered from a shop in the High Street.  Yesterday’s visit to Matilda had been fun but strangely tiring so this small amount of activity was more than enough for the morning and I devoted myself to making and drinking coffee, doing the crossword and watching birds on the garden.

I was experimenting with using my macro lens with an extender on it to see if it could get me close enough to take decent pictures but the gloomy day made things hard.  The extender gets me closer but stops me being able to use a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the wings.

chaffinchI tried some perching birds.

greenfinch and goldfinch

I was happy to see a greenfinch and a goldfinch

When the garden had dried out a bit, I went to see if there were any flowers left.

Fuschsia

The Fuchsia under the walnut tree had been protected from the worst of the weather.

Rose and poppy

One of the few surviving poppies and a plucky effort from the Special Grandma rose

Delphiniums

A rather tearful Delphinium wondering if it is worth flowering.

marigolds

The marigolds are still looking very cheerful

Just before lunch, I went out again to see of there were any bees about but they had not appeared.  One of our sedums is going over….

sedum and clematis…and even the hardy clematis is starting to look a bit worse for wear.

I had another look at perching birds and enjoyed a severe looking young greenfinch and a chaffinch either singing its heart out or complaining about the rotten weather.

greenfinch and chaffinchAfter lunch, the weather brightened up a lot and Mrs Tootlepedal and I resolved to shake the cobwebs out of our system and go for a little cycle ride.  Some grey clouds had just passed and it was sunny as we set out.  I stopped to visit my favourite cascade on the Wauchope and it was very different from my last visit a few days ago.

wauchope cascadeI took great care not to fall in.

Sadly, we had misjudged the weather and more black clouds rolled in from the north west and it started to rain.  We thought better of getting thoroughly soaked and turned for home after only a couple of miles.  Still, we were pleased to have got out even for a short while and it certainly perked me up a lot.

Annoyingly but inevitably, once we had got home and settled down, the weather soon improved and it turned into a sunny, if slightly chilly, afternoon.

I continued to try to catch flying birds with the macro lens with modest success.

sparrows

There are plenty of sparrows back in the garden.

As the sun got lower in the sky, the reds and pinks of the sedum, the nerine and the petunias under the feeders began to glow gently…

sedum

nerines and petunias…but the bees were not tempted out.

The air in the garden was filled with a host of tiny flying insects and you can see them as little white dots surrounding this perching chaffinch.

chaffinch and fliesIt would have been a perfect evening for a flycatcher.

While I relaxed after a tasty plate of fish for my tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to sell raffle tickets at the Buccleuch Centre.  This was a fund raising effort to provide a new and improved website for the Centre.  This is a very worthwhile project as it should result in more tickets being sold outside the town, enabling the Centre to continue to provide us lucky locals with a good range of concerts.

The weather forecast is not looking too good in the near future but as I enjoyed a very good month of cycling in September, a few days of rest will do me no harm at all.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch taken in the gloomy morning conditions.

flying greenfinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal who was visiting the world’s greatest baby in Edinburgh.  Matilda is puzzling out the convoluted constitutional matters that have arisen since the referendum.

DSC01558It was a breezy morning so I suggested to Dropscone, when he arrived after breakfast, that we should go round the more sheltered traditional morning run rather than expose ourselves to the wind on the top of Callister.  He prefers the traditional circuit anyway so he readily agreed and off we went.   The sheltered route was proving very satisfactory but our hopes of a good time were severely deflated when Dropscone got a puncture just at the point when we were farthest from home.

The downside of the sheltering hedges is of course the possibility of thorns on the road when the hedges are trimmed in the autumn and a thorn was the suspect here.  Dropscone doesn’t carry a spare tube and he didn’t fancy trying my aerosol puncture repair gizmo. On top of that, the MTRS was unavailable as she was on her way to Carlisle to catch a train so we were a bit at a loss.  Fortunately, a helpful man in a van was delivering feed to nearby farms and he also delivered Dropscone and his bike to the main road where Dropscone hitched a lift back to Langholm from the second car that came along.

All’s well that end’s well and we were able to enjoy coffee and treacle scones only half an hour later than scheduled after Dropscone had retrieved his bicycle..  He is now buying some even stronger tyres.

While we were sipping our coffee, I noticed an unusual bird at the peanut feeder.

tree sparrowIt was a tree sparrow, a very infrequent visitor to the garden.  A moment later, I noticed another one perched on top of the feeder pole.

tree sparrowI have no idea if this was a male and female pair or a parent and child or perhaps just two sparrow friends on an outing.  They didn’t stay long and left just before Dropscone.

The sparrow was joined by a robin….

robin…and they made a change from the usual diet of chaffinches.

I took a walk round the garden where the sun was out which was nice but the brisk wind made photographing flowers rather tricky.  I had to look in sheltered places.

wren and ginger syllabub

The Wren has come out to join the Ginger Syllabub in a late flowering.

grass

Mrs Tootlepedal’s ornamental grass taking its cue from me and going to seed.

delphinium

A very late delphinium

I had the macro lens with me and the difficulties of using it when things are swaying about is shown by this double take of an insect on a flower.  In the first I got the flower but not the insect and in the second, I got the insect but not the flower.

insect on flowerI love the macro lens.  Who knew that there were so many fascinating creatures in the garden?

I gazed longingly at a fine looking plum, the last of the season which was tantalisingly out of reach on the top of the tree.

plumIn the afternoon, I went to the Tourist Information Point for the final time of the season.  I wasn’t expecting any visitors but I had two.  The first was Sandy who was on his way to do some shopping and which was a pleasure but didn’t really count but the second was a genuine tourist, a fisherman and bird watcher who was happy to help me pass the time by chatting about birds he had seen.

I took the opportunity to pop down to the river and do a little gull watching…

gull…but there was no sign of Mr Grumpy.

It was such a lovely afternoon that when I had locked up, I went for a little cycle ride up to Mrs Tootlepedal’s manure mine.  On the way, I parked the bike and scrambled down the bank to have a look at my favourite cascade on the Wauchope.  This was what it was like when I looked at it in January.

Cascade on WauchopeThis was what it was like today.

Wauchope cascadeYou can see that it has been a very dry spell.  The low water gave me the chance to look at some very folded rock just below the cascade.

folded rockI like these sort of formations as they give me a view of the great forces which have shaped the land that looks so peaceful as I cycle through it.

peaceful scene

A few hundred yards further upstream

I stopped at the manure mine, parked the bike again and went for a short walk.  There was some dull fungus to be seen both in the wood and in the field….

fungus at manure mine…and it has been a good year for fruit of all sorts…

fir cones…but the best thing was the wood itself which was very pretty in the evening sunshine.

wood at manure mineEven leaving the wood was a visual treat.

manure mine gateOn my way home, I stopped to take a close up of a striking green lichen which appears on just one section of wall.

lichen

Taken with Pocketcam

When I got home, there was just enough light left to take the obligatory bee of the day picture…

bee…on the irresistible sedum before it was time to make tea, sort my pictures out for tomorrow’s show and make some semolina to welcome Mrs Tootlepedal home after her day of Matilda visiting.  In fact, she was rather late as her train was held up but the semolina was all the more welcome because of that.

As this was the last tourist information day of the season, I am hoping that I will be able to visit Matilda next week.

One of the Kilngreen black headed gulls is flying bird of the day.  It is not a very sharp picture but I thought it showed very well what a beautiful day it was this afternoon.

flying gull

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