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Posts Tagged ‘fuchsia’

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 Simon, a camera club member who is working on the continent.  Knowing that I like bridges, he sent me this historic example by which one can cross the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Swiss border bridge

I had such a dull day that I was very tempted to copy the famous occasion on 18th April, 1930 when the BBC news reader announced that there was “No news today” and played music for the rest of the bulletin.

But I cracked.  So here is a very little news.

It was a wet, windy and miserable morning.  I am still not sleeping very well and Mrs Tootlepedal had gone out to an all day Embroiderers’ Guild workshop so I saw no good reason to get up until after lunch.  I watched a good game of rugby on the telly with New Zealand showing how the game should be played before lunch and then I watched an exciting horse race from Ascot where the hot favourite was beaten a centimetre after lunch.

I finally got enough interest in real life to go out into the garden in a fine drizzle and sweep the leaves off the lawns and pick up some walnuts.

I did a little shredding and welcomed Mrs Tootlepedal back from her meeting.  We had a walk round the garden which tried its best to cheer me up…

rosy cheeks roselush fuchsiawinter jasmine

…and then we went in and had a cup of tea.

I watched a rather glum blackbird perching in the rain…

blackbird in the rain

…and then, in the search for thrills, I drove down to Co-op to recycle our old newspapers and cans and do a little shopping while I was there.

The recycling went well and the shopping would have gone better if I had taken any money with me.

The second visit was more successful.

And that was the day.

There were hardly any birds about in the garden today and those that were there were keeping a very low profile.  In desperation, I looked up and saw two passing rooks so I do have a double flying bird of the day with which to end a dull post.

two flying rooks

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Today’s guest picture, like yesterday’s, comes from Canada but shows a different view of Thanksgiving Day there.  Langholm exile Joyce sent me this view from her window in Ontario.

Canada scene

We had an altogether better day today here as far as the weather went, with not even a hint of a raindrop about.  My plan was to make the best if the day by leaping up early and bicycling madly all day.

In real life, I got up rather late, had a leisurely breakfast and did the crossword and only then felt strong enough to get my bike out. For some reason, I am feeling a bit tired in general at the moment and far from bicycling madly about, I kept to a very steady speed indeed, especially when it came to going up hills.

And my route today had plenty of hills compared with my usual flattish outings.  I headed north out of town and aimed for the county boundary twenty miles away at the top of a hill.

There were plenty of excuses to stop along the way to take pictures.

I liked these poplars….

poplars near Craig

…and there was an amazing crop of crab apples on a tree beside the road.

crab apple beside road

I followed the Esk to the point where the Black and White Esk rivers meet.  (I stopped just so that I could take a Black and White picture in full colour.)

Black and White Esk meeting

I then cycled across the bridge over the Black Esk and followed the White Esk to its source.

black esk bridge

The road to Eskdalemuir up the west bank of the White Esk is one of my favourites.  It is quiet, well surfaced and has gentle gradients.

Castle O'er road

My route took me through the village at Eskdalemuir and past the Tibetan monastery, where the stupa was sparkling in the sunshine.

samye ling

The road climbs steadily to just over 1000 feet…

seismic station road

…so my bike was happy to have a rest while I ate a tuna roll at the county boundary.

county boundary

I ignored the charms of the Scottish Borders and after a ten minute break, I pedalled back home through Dumfries and Galloway.

I took the same route home as I had taken on the way out as the alternative route down the east bank of the river has a very steep hill which my knees were not anxious to face,

On one of my stops for refreshment and rest, I looked back up the Esk valley.  It appeared to be very benign in the gentle sunshine but it can be a harsh place in the winter.

looking up Esk valley

Although there was quite a bit of cloud about, it was so thin that the sun shone through it it all day.

My route took me along the Eskdale Prehistoric Trail and I stopped at one of the sites while I ate a banana.  There are information boards at the sites and some of the boards are more informative than others.

This one is unusually honest.

prehistoric trail board

This is the natural amphitheatre.  One of these days I am going down the path to try out the acoustics.

prehistoric trail over rig

It has been a very good year for cones and these trees along the Esk at Bailliehill were dripping with them.

 

pine cone glut

There was a little autumn colour here and there along the route and this tree beside the graveyard at Bentpath was the best.

 

autumn colour Westerkirk graveyard

I walked down to the river at the Bentpath Bridge but there are so many trees in front of the bridge that I couldn’t get a shot of the whole bridge and this glimpse through one of the arches was the best that I could do.

benty bridge

I pottered on gently and got home after 45 miles at very restful 11 mph.   As I had climbed over 2000 ft on my way, I was quite happy to have got home at all.

Mrs Tootlepedal had organised an exhibition of her Embroiderers’ Group work in the Welcome to Langholm office in the morning, and she had done some good gardening in the afternoon, so we had both had a full day.

After a cup of tea, I wandered round the garden.   Some plants were complaining that I had left them out of my review yesterday.

The most surprising is this hosta.  It has sent up flowering stems from some very brown leaves.

late hosta

The Icelandic poppies are still flowering in spite of poor dead heading from me.

two icelandic poppies

And the lamiums haven’t stopped at all since March.

lamium

Another little rose has taken advantage of the continuing warmth.

red rose

The fuchsia by the back gate has produced a large crop of berries.  Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that they might be edible but we are not going to try them.

fuchsia seeds

My flute pupil Luke came and we put in some heavy work on developing his counting skills.  It is obviously an area where I need to hone my teaching skills!

The flying bird of the day is a blackbird having a rest before a big night out on the tiles.

blackbird on tiles

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Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce.  He has left the country with his wife and seems to have turned up in Helsinki where they saw the cathedral.  (They will be back.)

helsinki cathedral

A brief post today as it is late again as I sit down to write  because I have been to Edinburgh.

We had a day of occasional showers but it was dry enough in the morning to let me see some sparrows who exemplified the divisions in the country by simultaneously sitting on the fence and looking in two different directions at the same time.

sparrows looking both ways

It stayed dry as I went across the suspension bridge on my way to see the physio…

 

town bridge in autumn

…who is patiently trying to sort out my general stiffness with a well judged programme of exercises.

On my way back I stopped to check on our resident rock-standing gull and wondered if it had slept badly last night or was perhaps trying some new eye shadow.

gull with eye shadow

I walked round the garden when I got home.  The continued warmish weather (11 degrees C in the morning) has brought out some unseasonable flowers on the weigela…

wiegela october

…is keeping the fuchsia flourishing…

fuchsia

…as well as the cosmos…

cosmos clump

…and the Japanese anemone, which is managing very well without any dead heading from me.

anemone clump

The roses continue to delight.

princess margareta rose

Rosy Cheeks is making Mrs Tootlepedal very glad that she has added it to our stock.

rosy cheeks rose

There are even a few campanulas stills ringing a bell…

campanula october

…and I was pleased to see a bee hard at work among the fuchsia flowers.

bee on fuchsia october

I had time for a very short walk before lunch.  The poplars in the park are a favourite at this time of year.

poplars from park

The view of the trees at the far end of the Murtholm sums up the uneven autumn that we are having.

 

murtholm view october

The sheep don’t mind though as long as there is grass…

sheep grazing

…and it has been a good year for grass.

I spotted what I think is a Herb Robert flower..

herb robert

…and I was just walking along this path when the battery in my camera expired…

stubholm path

…leaving the other interesting things that I passed unrecorded.  I didn’t see much of interest to be honest.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a meeting in the evening so after lunch, I went to Edinburgh by myself.

I drove to Lockerbie in the rain and was relieved to find that at least the train was running this week.  It was twenty minutes late getting into Waverley Station but I suppose I must be thankful for small mercies because I had a very enjoyable time with Matilda, another delicious meal and a good conversation with Matilda’s mother, Clare after the meal.

And the train back was on time and it wasn’t raining as I drove home.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s meeting had gone well so it had been  satisfactory day.

I took a picture of a flying starling this morning, and it would have been the flying bird of the day…

flying starling

…if I hadn’t caught a bee in mid air too.

flying bee

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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 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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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew.  As well as the moon, Derby has been visited by the sombre ‘Knife Angel’, an artwork designed to highlight the problem of knife crime in Britain.

knife angel

Autumn gave us a sharp reminder that it is here with a chilly start to the day, not far above freezing.  But having nudged us in the ribs, it then provided us with a beautifully sunny day to cheer us up again.

All the same, it was too chilly to spend much time outside early on as my cold has not given up altogether.  I did pop out into the garden from time to time to enjoy the sunshine and watch birds…

chaffinch, blackbird, starlings

…and check that the flowers hadn’t been knocked out by the cold morning.  In general, the flowers had survived very well…

argyranthemum, cosmos, nasturtium

…and as the day warmed up…

verbena and nerine

…insects came out to enjoy the flowers too

insects on flowers

There were not many butterflies about but seeing any was a bonus.  I didn’t see any in October at all last year and 10th Oct was the last that I saw any in 2017 so we are right at the end of the butterfly season.

This red admiral looked to be in excellent condition.

red admiral butterfly

Rather annoyingly, the transplanted fuchsia finally showed a flower at the very last moment, much too late to be sensible, and…

fuchsia october

…Mrs Tootlepedal, worried about another cold night coming, picked a spray and took them indoors.

fuchsia indoors

Finally I spotted a butterfly on the sedum.

rd admiral on sedum

I made a leek, onion and potato soup for lunch, all from the garden, though I did add a little shop bought carrot for colour.

It had warmed up quite a bit by the time that lunch was over, so while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some business, I got my bike out and tested my chest with a gentle twenty miles round my customary Canonbie circuit.

I wrapped up very well and in the sunshine, it was really a good day for cycling for semi invalids.

I was a bit alarmed to see that my favourite tree has already lost all its leaves…

bare tree bloch

..but other trees are hanging on.

two trees with leaves

It was another clear day and i could see the Lake District hills clearly on the far side of the gleaming Solway.

view over Solway

Canonbie Church was looking at its best…

Canonbie Church

…and when I looked around, the trees at Canonbie seem undecided about changing colour yet.

trees with leaves october

I stopped at Hollows Bridge for a rest and looking down at the rocks in the river, I could just make out…

hollows brodge view

…Mr Grumpy’s Canonbie cousin.

heron at hollows

Some of the route back from Canonbie is on the old A7, now bypassed by a wide new road, and it is hard to believe that this was once a busy main road.  It makes for a quiet ride now, although cyclists have to join the traffic on the main road for the last couple of miles back into Langholm.

old A7 seven sisters

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden.  Among other things, she is trying to pinpoint an annoying leak in our pond.  This may be an insoluble problem but Mrs Tootlepedal is not giving up yet.

I recorded a visit from a small tortoiseshell butterfly…

small tortoishell butterfly october

…and went off to sieve the last of the compost in Bin D.  When I had finished, I took the cover off the compost in Bin C and started to shift it into Bin D.  However, for one reason or another, the compost turned out to be in excellent condition, and I may be able to use it straight away without more shifting.

I have never managed to make such good compost so quickly before and I would like to know how I’ve done it.

good compost

It might be the steady warm weather we have had this summer, or possibly some careful layering of green and woody materials when it was put into Bin A, or perhaps just the right amount of moisture in the pile, or a combination of all of these things…or possibly pure chance.  Whatever the reason was, it will save a lot of sieving.

In the evening, I went off to the first meeting of the season of the Langholm community choir, ‘Langholm Sings’.  We have a new conductor and a new accompanist but because two concerts have been arranged in early December and we are going to be pushed for time, we are still singing some old and familiar songs.  As a result, the meeting was not quite as exciting as I had hoped.   Still, as hitting any low notes made me cough a bit, some undemanding work was probably a good thing.

As my cold is getting better, Mrs Tootlepedal’s cold has returned.  I hope that this sort of thing is going to stop soon.

The flying bird of the day was being checked out for style by an interested spectator.

flying starling and spectator

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