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Posts Tagged ‘hoverfly’

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce’s trip to Arran where he visited the Machrie Moor Stone Circles.

Machrie Standing Stones

Just to put it on the record, we had a day without rain today. We were pathetically grateful.

I started the day off with a cycle ride.  This would have been quite a bit longer if I had been a bit more gung-ho about getting up, getting breakfast and getting going.  Leisurely was a more appropriate word than gung-ho to describe my activities but I got out before coffee time at least.

I was just pedalling up one of the early hills when my neighbour Ken whizzed past me.  As he is the same age and same weight as me, the only way he can cycle faster than me is by trying harder so I was stimulated into trying harder than I usually do myself and I kept him in sight until he stopped for a drink near Canonbie.  I stopped too and we had a chat…

Ken

I wouldn’t have caught him up if he hadn’t been feeling his back a bit but he was very cheerful all the same.

…and then set off on the road back to Langholm…

Woodhouselees road

It was a lovely day for a cycle ride

….with one or other of us setting the pace.  As a result, I managed a much better speed than I would have done if I had been on my own but I was also quite a bit more puffed out when we finished.

We were going to see Matilda in Edinburgh in the afternoon but I had time to look round the garden after the pedal.  The sun was really trying its best and the white flowers glowed.

Cosmos and Japanese anemone

Cosmos and Japanese anemone

poppies with hoverflies

The poppies were popular with hoverflies today

poppy

After all the pale flowers, I couldn’t pass the pink poppies without my finger clicking!

poppies

There really were hoverflies, flies and bees everywhere, enjoying the sunshine just as much as I was.

daisy with flies

Some ox eye daisies drew the flies

dahlia with hoverflies

A dahlia had pulled in hoverflies with another coming up to join in

bees on the Michaelmas daisies

There were three sorts of bees on the Michaelmas daisies

I had a close look at a bee.

bee on Michaelmas daisy

And an even closer look at another.

bee on Michaelmas daisy

I keep on resolving to get my tripod out and use a little patience on these close up shots but I keep on taking hand held ones and then doing something else so this may be the best that I will get.

The something else that I did today was to go to look for a butterfly…

small tortoiseshell butterfly

…and I am glad that I did because it is a treat to see a small tortoiseshell butterfly.

I had to go inside in the end and have a shower and some lunch and then we drove off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh.

It was such a good day that the town hall at Lockerbie looked like a Disney castle when we got there.

Lockerbie Town hall

On the down side, the train was late yet again.  It is a most unreliable service.

We got to Edinburgh a quarter of an hour late and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to buy some lampshades, I caught the bus to Matilda’s.  Because of roadworks my bus was diverted and I got a much better view from its window than I expected.

Arthur's seat chapel

Matilda was baking a cake when I arrived presumably because she knew that we were coming.

I read a book with Matilda until Mrs Tootlepedal arrived and then we sat and chatted and played until it was time for tea.  We enjoyed a pizza with trimmings and then we got to eat the cake made by Matilda and her dad and enhanced with some jam and cream by her mother, so a proper family affair.  It was delicious, a credit to then all.  We were allowed to take some home with us in a box.

All too soon it was the moment for Matilda to go to her bath and for us to catch the bus back to the station.  The train was on time and we got home safely.

We looked up at the sky when we got out of the car and for once, we could see the stars very clearly in spite of the street lights all around.  This was tempting so I got my camera out, stuck it on a tripod and pointed it hopefully at the sky.  I was impressed by how many more stars it could see than I could with my naked eye.

stars

stars

If we get another clear night, I will go out of town to find a darker spot and have another go.  There are obviously a lot of stars to photograph out there.

The flying bird of the day is a sweet pea ignoring the recent rains and reaching for the sky.

sweet pea

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce, who is on the island of Arran where he visited the Blackwater Foot harbour.  A harbour, a bridge and a waterfall in one shot is very good value.

Blackwater foot

We had a lovely sunny morning.  This was a great joy after such a gloomy day yesterday but, as is the way in life, I had to spend it sitting in the Welcome to Langholm office putting data into the Archive Group newspaper database and welcoming only two visitors to the office, both of whom were locals.

As I left to walk home, a light drizzle appeared as if by magic.

Still, it was a lot better than yesterday and the drizzle soon faded away and let me mow the greenhouse grass and Mrs Tootlepedal hang the washing out.  Almost as soon as the washing was on the line, it started to rain again.  How we laughed.

Once again, it was only teasing and the washing dried in time and I was able to finish the mowing and enjoy the garden.

The ornamental strawberry has been flowering for ages.  It is very good value.

strawberry

The return of the sunshine brought a crowd of butterflies with it.

Michaelmas daisies with butterflies

Now that the buddeias are almost over, the Michaelmas daisies are the flower of choice for the discerning Red Admiral.

red admiral butterfly

Butterflies seem to be able to cope with quite a bit of damage to their wings.

The butterflies had to share the Michaelmas daisies with bees and hoverflies and the whole clump was literally buzzing.

bee on Michaelmas daisyhoverfly on Michaelmas daisy

A peacock butterfly was making the most of the very last of the buddleia flowers.

peacock butterfly

At the other end of the garden, different butterflies were to be found on the dahlias.

small tortoiseshell and red admiral butterfly

A small tortoiseshell joins a red admiral

That was the first small tortoiseshell I have seen since one in July and as that was the only other one to visit us this year,  this one was very welcome.

Nearby, a clump of dahlia flowers looked around for customers but only one hoverfly found them attractive..

dahlias

I moved on and admired the poppies….

poppies

…who looked grateful for the sunshine.

After a last look at the tropaeolum, looking redder than ever if that is possible…

tropaeolum

…I went inside to put some cycling gear on….

….and it started to rain.

Once again, it was a tease and by the time that I was ready to go, the rain had stopped again.  Just to make sure that it wouldn’t start up while I was out cycling, I put on a heavy rain jacket and that kept it dry while I cycled 27 miles in my ‘outdoor gym’.

It was pretty windy and I had to battle quite hard to get up the road but, of course, that meant an easy roll back down again.

When it is windy, I tend to keep my head well down to improve the aerodynamics while cycling into the wind so I didn’t see much on the way out and on the way back, I was often going too fast to stop in time when I did notice something so it was a quiet ride photographically.

I did stop to check on the sloes near Cleughfoot which I had seen looking a bit scabby early last month…

sloes

….and they were still looking scabby now….

sloe

…though there was fairly healthy looking fruit as well.

At my turning point, I was pleased to see that the farmer had his barn well stocked….

Cleughfoot

…though less pleased to see the black clouds looming up behind it.

They came to nothing though and the sun continued to do its best….

Glencorf burn

…to help me to ignore the brisk northerly wind.

In May, I had stopped to admire the hawthorn blossom on the road back to Langholm…

hawthorns

…and today, I stopped to admire the berries.

Hawthorn

When I got home, I enjoyed a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker and then, after a shower, it was time for a visit from Luke for a flute lesson.

He has been practising so the lesson went well.

I hope to be in a better position to make use of a promised sunny morning tomorrow than I was today.

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Today’s guest picture is another from my daughter’s working trip to Venice.  After the storm had passed, she got a better view out of her office window.

venice

We woke to a brilliantly sunny morning and I got up into my cycle clothes, ready for a pedal in the sun.  A look at the thermometer, which was showing a meagre 7°C, suggested that a leisurely breakfast and a good read of the morning papers might be a good idea.

I did get going when the the thermometer hit 9° but it still seemed quite chilly even in the sun.   I couldn’t complain about the views today though….

Cleuchfoot

…but the one of the locals seemed a bit miffed by me standing in her line of vision.

Bloch cow

I cycled an extended loop, taking in Kirkpatrick Fleming and Gretna on my way to Canonbie.  I didn’t stop too often for photos as I had a busy afternoon in mind but the call of this little stream was too much for me….

The Black Sark

…especially as it had a nice bridge over it with some convenient steps so that an elderly photographer could get down on to its bank with ease and dignity.

Black sark Bridge

Every bridge should have such a set of steps.

Black sark Bridge

The reason for cycling an extended Canonbie loop was twofold, first because it was such a beautiful sunny day, with big blue skies….

Gretna road

…and secondly because the 34 miles took me over 500 miles for the month, a total which I consider a minor triumph these days.  One of the best things about being retired is that I can make good use of whatever sunny moments there are in a day so in spite of the rotten August weather, I managed to get out fifteen times during the month and hardly got rained on at all.

When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work in the garden and she was literally surrounded with butterflies at times.  There must have been more than twenty peacocks and red admirals flitting about and it was a great sight to see them fill the air above the flowers.

I found a peacock on a calendula….

peacock butterfly on calendula

…and a red admiral on a Michaelmas daisy.

red admiral butterfly

And the shining dahlia had visitors all afternoon.

dahlia with red admiral butterfly

There were poppies and bees again but I noticed a Welsh poppy which I thought compared very well with the Shirley poppies…

Welsh poppy

…and not all the insects were bees.

hoverfly on cosmos

A hoverfly on a cosmos

I do like the Shirley poppies when they have just come out and still have that crumpled paper look.

Shirley poppy

Among the poppies, the cornflowers are a bit overshadowed but they are always well worth a look.

cornflower

There is a single salvia among the phlox but it is looking better every day.

salvia

Oddly, the camera sees it as much more purple and less blue than my eyes sees it but it is still a pretty flower.

salvia

Among all the flowers, the seed pods of the tree peony are rather subdued but quite impressive at the same time.

tree peony pods

The main business of the afternoon was a shopping trip to Carlisle, where many necessities were purchased. These included three big bags of farmyard manure, three small bags of coffee beans from around the world (Rwanda, Malabar, Java) and four smaller bags of tea leaves from India and Ceylon.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I have different views of what a necessity is.

It is wonderful to get such treats in a very small city tucked into the far north western corner of England but although you may think that Carlisle might be a little provincial and perhaps even dull, I can report that for today at least, it was a very hip place indeed.

hips

Seen beside the road to the station

I had to wait in the car for a while while Mrs Tootlepedal visited a shop, no hardship in a car park with this fine view of the city walls…

City walls and carlisle cathedral

…and I was almost as surprised as she was when she came back to the car and revealed that she had been into a clothes shop and actually bought some clothes.

We rounded off our shopping with a visit to a discount supermarket and arrived home, tired but happy.  For the first time, I used my phone to pay for our parking time in Carlisle and I must say it is a useful thing to know exactly how long you have left on the virtual meter as being even a minute over time can incur a substantial fine in these days of cash strapped councils.

We passed though brief showers of rain both on the way down and the way back but the sun was shining brightly when we got home and the butterflies were still flitting about.

I ignored them though and took a picture of two nicotiana catching the evening rays.

nicotiana

We had a refreshing cup of Broken Orange Pekoe tea when we went in.

My body was somewhat tired by the end of the day but my spirit was refreshed by the sunshine.

No flying bird of the day today but its place is taken by a fine display of rolls made from scratch by my son Tony.  He tells me that they reminded him of the rolls he used to buy from Dropscone’s bakery when he was a boy.

Tony's rolls

 

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Today’s guest picture, from my ex-colleague Ada, shows a passing traveller whom she ran into (but not over)  on the road.

frog

The forecast said that it would start to rain at 3pm today and it was absolutely spot on which made it lucky that I had managed to get my day organised on that basis.

I am still struggling to persuade my back muscles to relax on a full time basis so I went for a gentle 20 mile circuit of Canonbie on my bike after a leisurely breakfast.  I had time while I was getting mentally and spiritually prepared to pedal to walk round the garden admiring Mrs Tootlepedal’s packets of poppy seeds in action.

shirley poppies

Although she had to re-sow because of the poor weather and thus had to buy a second set of packets of seed, it still looks like good value for £15 (and quite a bit of gardening time) to me.

This was one of the few days when Dr Velo didn’t have a cure for feeling a bit old and tired so I let the wind and the hill discourage me for the first five miles but once I had first gravity and then the breeze helping me, I perked up a bit and got home safely.

I stopped three times, all on the first section of the ride, to take pictures.  The flowers on the rosebay willowherb beside the Wauchope road are going over but its red stems still give it a lot of colour.

rosebay willowherb

I stopped half way up the hill past the Bloch to admire the view….

Wauchope valley

…and the picture reflects the alternating sunshine and clouds that accompanied me on the rest of the trip.

I stopped again at the top of the hill when a mixture of heather and young trees in a replanted wood caught my eye.

heather and young trees

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal agreed that it might be worthwhile to take the car up on to the Langholm Moor to see if we could see birds or goats.

I had a shower and a light lunch and off we went.

We saw lots of birds but no goats.  I had my new lens with me and although the light was quite poor by this time, I made an effort to record a bird we saw hunting near the road.

hen harrier

It was too quick for my trembling hand and the autofocus

hen harrier

I did a bit better when it hovered.

We are not very knowledgeable bird watchers but we think this is a female hen harrier.

After watching the bird for some time, we  drove on up to the county boundary….

County boundary

…which is marked by a fence at this point, in the hope of seeing some goats but there were none to be seen so we turned for home.

We stopped here  and there on the way back for me to enjoy the views and Mrs Tootlepedal to watch raptors through binoculars.

I like the bubbling little burn that runs down the hill beside the road.

Langholm Moor burn

Even though it was a bit gloomy, I could see the Lake District mountains, which I had visited not so long ago, across the other side of the Solway plain.

Skiddaw

Nearer to hand, there was plenty of heather in bloom.

heather

And it is always a pleasure to up on the moor.

Whita

Especially when there is a nice bridge to be seen on the way.

Tarras Bridge

We stopped to look at gulls on the Kilngreen when we got back to the town…

black headed gull

…and got home shortly before the forecast rain started.

I had time for a quick garden wander.

rambler roses

The very last of the rambler roses on top of the arch

sweet pea

A sweet pea in the cage that is necessary to keep it safe from the sparrows when it is young

two cosmos

The only cosmos in flower yet

I tried to take a picture of one of the cornflowers among the poppies but I got distracted…

Heliophilus pendulas

…by a Heliophilus pendulus, one of the many hoverflies.  It really enjoyed the flower.

Heliophilus pendulus

For once I am fairly sure about the identification (so I am probably wrong).

It didn’t rain very hard and occasionally even gave up in a half hearted sort of way but the afternoon remained dark and gloomy enough to persuade us to find things to do indoors.

Sandy dropped in and kindly collected my entry form and fees to take down to the Canonbie Flower Show secretary.  He has been tiling in his new house and will be pleased when he has finished the job.

The flower of the day is a dahlia with its own internal illumination….

dahlia

…and the official flying bird of the day is one of the three black headed gulls that we saw on the Kilngreen.

black headed gull

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s tour with Justin.  They visited Sizergh Castle near Kendal on their way to Langholm.

Sizergh Castle

The forecast had suggested that today would be calm, dry and occasionally sunny, a perfect day for mowing grass.

Mowing the grass was was tempting but the lack of wind, a very rare thing round here this year, made cycling even more tempting.  Mrs Tootlepedal got me up promptly and provided breakfast and for once I managed to avoid any footling around and got off at about nine o’clock.  The days are still long so I had plenty of time for pedalling.

It was quite cool when I set out but it got warmer as the day went on and it turned out to be, just as the forecast had predicted, a perfect day for cycling.

I had chosen a relatively dull route, a simple out and back mostly up the old Glasgow road from Gretna and so I was a bit dashed when I got to Gretna to find a “Road Closed ” sign across the Glasgow road.  They were applying gravel top dressing.  I was joined by another cyclist and we enquired whether two cyclists might sneak through and were relieved when we were given the all clear.

The other cyclist turned out to be a Norwegian, who was doing the Land’s End to John  o’ Groats route with the excellent scheme of pedalling for the morning and early afternoon and then finding a TV screen where he could watch the Tour de France.  I was able to tell him that a Norwegian cyclist, Edvald Boasson Hagen, had won a stage of the Tour of Britain a few years ago by riding at terrific speed down the very road that we were cycling up.  He was impressed.

We cycled together as far as Lockerbie, where he stopped for coffee and I pressed on.  His company had been invaluable as it kept me to a sensible speed over a hilly section of the ride and it provided a pleasant diversion during one of the duller bits of my route.

I stopped for a snack at 40 miles.  The route follows the main railway line and motorway up the Annan valley but the motorway was pretty quiet as I ate my roll.

Motorway

To be fair it was mostly a bit busier than this!

The views of Upper Annandale as I went along were very enjoyable.

Annandale

My next stop was at Beattock, home of a very pretty church….

Beattock Church

…where I visited a pub and enjoyed a half pint of good beer and my cycling staple, a plate of egg and chips.

With fuel on board, I set off to pedal up the ten mile climb to Beattock Summit.  I think that it is my favourite piece of cycling road.  The verges were filled with wild flowers (which my phone refused to photograph properly), the surface is mostly reasonable and very good in places and the gradient is so steady that once the correct gear has been selected, progress is regular and painless.

In this way I arrived at the 1000 ft summit very smoothly and took a moment to look around.  This is a world of massive windmills…

Clyde Farm windmills

…and large amounts of them too.

Clyde valley windmills

The wind was so light that most of them were stationary, a very unusual occurrence, but there was a light breeze just beginning to persuade a few to get started.  By the time that I came back on the return journey, most of them were turning.

I had come so far, that I was now in the upper Clyde valley….

Clyde

…and the River Clyde, which starts not far off, will flow through Glasgow before it gets to the sea.

My turning point at 60 miles was marked by a fine hedge of roses beside the road.

Crawford rose

I was a bit worried by the fledgling breeze but it proved more of a  help than a hindrance on my way back down to Gretna and I rattled along very comfortably.  I stopped at 80 miles to eat my second roll and my phone camera worked well enough to spot a hoverfly…

hoverfly

…on a striking ragwort plant beside my resting place.

ragwort

I had failed to pack a couple of bananas which I had bought specially for the trip so I stopped in Lockerbie to buy a large ice cream, a bottle of juice and a bar of chocolate to help get me home.  Together with regular nibbles of a guava energy bar, they did the trick and at no stage of the journey did I run out of steam.

To avoid the new top dressing on the road to Gretna, I turned off at the church in Kirkpatrick Fleming…

KPF Church

…and took a back road down to Gretna.  My satisfaction with this cunning plan was slightly dented when I ran into some newly laid top dressing at Glenzier.  I had seen the warning sign when I passed in the morning but didn’t think that they would get there when they had been busy at Gretna.  I was wrong…but it was only a short stretch and there had been sufficient car traffic to flatten the gravel  out enough to make it safe for an elderly cyclist.

The wind was not so helpful now and I was happy to see this sign…

Kerr road sign

…which showed that I was nearly home.

It didn’t tell the whole truth though as I had had a mathematical revelation as I pedalled along.  Without thinking too hard, I had roughly calculated that 120 miles would give me a distance of 200km.  This seemed like a nice round number and that was why I had turned at 60 miles.  However, a little more thought revealed that I would need 125 miles to hit the 200km mark  (125×8/5=200) so I had to cycle through the town and out of the other side to make up the missing five miles.

This was no problem though and I pleased and surprised myself in equal measure by finding that I was fit enough to do this distance, the furthest that I have ever cycled in a day, with no great trouble at all.  I felt that I could have gone quite a few miles further if needed.  The secret was taking things slowly and steadily.  That is not to say that my knees are not complaining quite a lot as I sit and write these words though.

Once again, I took sufficient care of my eating and drinking that I weighed exactly the same at the end of the ride as I did at the start.

I had enough energy to walk round the garden in delightful evening sunshine when I got home.

ligularia

There is a new knautia out…

knautia

…and pink phlox have come to join the white.

phlox

What I call marigolds but what I should call calendula I am told are popping up all over the place.

calendula

The rambler roses are doing wonderfully well…

rambler rose

…but they have probably bloomed too early to be any use to the maker of the crown of roses which is carried round the town on Common Riding day on the last Friday of this month.

I retired for a meal of sardines, garnished with new potatoes, turnips and broad beans from the garden and this drew a very satisfactory day to a close.  The grass looked as though it needed cutting badly though.

For those interested, further details of the ride can be gleaned by clicking on the map below.

Garmin route 11 July 2017

A thousand foot climb doesn’t look much when it is spread over forty miles!

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary’s Lake District trip.  I have shown you some of her nice bridges so I thought I better include a lake too.  This is Grasmere.

Grasmere

The main business of the day was our Carlisle Community Choir concert in the afternoon but the morning was free for other things.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I had another go at shooting bees.

I got a better picture but I wonder if this is a hoverfly and not a bee at all.

hoverfly

There were definite bees about.

bee

Collecting pollen from a Welsh poppy

I peered into the heart of a poppy….

poppy

…and enjoyed the sight a new rosa complicata popping out in the middle of the rosa moyesii.

roses

Back inside, I went through all the songs for the concert and then to give my head a rest, I went for a short walk round Gaskell’s.

I started with a view of seven ducklings at Pool Corner…

seven ducklings

…and wished that I had brought my other camera with me to do them justice.

I have been rather lax in the matter of taking gate pictures lately so here is one with a fine view of a meadow behind it.

Young riders field

There had been  sharp shower of rain while I was going through the songs and everything looked very fresh in the sunshine….

springhill

…though I kept an eye for encroaching clouds.

Harry's Hounds field

I was lucky though and it stayed fine while I walked and only rained again early in the afternoon.

I had interested spectators.

cow at auld stane brig

There were lots of wild flowers to keep me entertained.  Here are some samples.

Two purple…

toadflax and geranium

Toadflax and geranium

Two pink.

clover and campion

Clover and campion

And two geums.  I like really whiskery flower.

geums

There were fruits as well as flowers.

raspberry

I think that might be an early blackberry flower on the left and there is an indication of a very healthy wild raspberry crop to come on the right.

The path back to the town was a narrow causeway in a sea of green.

Gaskell's Walk

Spring is turning into summer and the lambs are growing up.

lambs

It was a refreshing walk and there was just time for another look through the songs and an early lunch before we sett off to Carlisle for a final rehearsal and the concert.

Our concert was held in St Cuthbert’s Church, a very handsome church with a gallery.

St Cuthbert's

It was hard work, as we had a intense workout at the songs and then only a short break before the concert itself.  The audience gave every evidence of thoroughly enjoying the programme and as far as the tenors went, we did many things pretty well and did our best to forget about the moments when our memories let us down.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I have put our names down for a final flourish next week when some of the choir are giving an informal performance and then the singing season will have ended for another year and we will have a couple of months off before starting all over again.

Next to the car park where we left the car while we sung is a large area of flat ground which was occupied by car showrooms until recently.  The show rooms have been demolished and the area is now occupied by gulls, lots of them.

gulls

Mrs Tootlepedal was very impressed by the fact that almost all the gulls were sitting pointing in the same direction.  They were there at half past one when we arrived and they were still there at six o’clock when we left.  I wondered if they were sitting on nests among the concrete.

With a busy day on the cards tomorrow, we were glad to have a quiet evening in.

A flower of the day to end with today as I couldn’t catch anything in flight.

_DSC5624

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Today’s guest picture comes from our older son Tony.  He was working on a street just below Edinburgh Castle and found a moment to enjoy the splendid view.

Edinburgh

The Scandinavian high pressure system is holding firm and we had another beautiful day here.  I had contemplated going for a bike ride but it was quite breezy and for some inexplicable reason, I was a bit tired so I settled for a mile down to the Co-op and back on the slow bike, followed by a walk round the garden.

The garden was glowing in the sunshine with some flowers still flourishing well after their usual sell-by date.

Crown Princess Margareta

orange hawkweed

astrantia and euphorbia

There were bees and hoverflies buzzing vigorously about with the dahlias as a popular destination.

hoverfly and bee on dahlia

bee and dahlia

It was so nice out that I decided to go the extra mile and cycle round the Kilngreen and the Castleholm while Mrs Tootlepedal spread a little of her manure about the flower beds (she has all the fun).

The fortunate arrival of a family intent on feeding the ducks meant that there was no shortage of action on the Kilngreen.

There were black headed gulls flying high…

black headed gull

…and low….

black headed gull

…with mallards coming in….

mallards flying

…and herring gulls going out.

herring gull

I cycled on over the Sawmill Brig and saw that the estate had cut down the two diseased trees on the Lodge Walks.  The gap that this has left will affect everyone’s  favourite view up the Walks in autumn.

Lodge walks

The trees are beginning to turn…

Trees on castleholm

…but there are quite a few trees shedding leaves without changing colour at all and we are worried that autumn colour may be very short if there is a sharp frost.

Castleholm

I got home in time for a shower and a shave, a look out of the kitchen window…

jackdaws

…and a late lunch.

Then it wasn’t long before it was time to jump into the car and go off to Carlisle for our choir practice with the Carlisle Community Choir.

We are taking part in a concert in the cathedral quite soon and although we will sing some numbers that we used in competitions last year, our conductor is teaching us three new songs at high speed so we had a very hard working session.

Two new tenors arrived today which is a good thing. We are a small section at the best of times and we have lost a couple of members from last season and we were a bit short staffed to say the least.  The newcomers seemed to enjoy themselves though so we hope that they will be back next week.

The fine weather bathed our drive home in golden light and it will be a memory that we will have to cherish as in three weeks time, we will be driving home in the gloom.

The flower of the day is a poppy with a delicate white outline on its petals…

poppy

…and the flying bird of the day is one of the aerobatic black headed gulls.

black headed gull

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