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Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone and reveals that the path in yesterday’s guest picture did indeed lead to a lighthouse, though the lighthouse is rather unusual.  It is opposite the port of Port Ellen next to Carraig Fhada at Kilnaughton Bay. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1832 by Walter Frederick Campbell in memory of Lady Eleanor Campbell. This is a very characteristic lighthouse with two square towers connected to each other.  It is a working lighthouse.

Islay lighthouse

Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had a lie in today so things started slowly and it was very hard to distinguish between breakfast and morning coffee.

It was a cool day but dry and with not anything like as much wind as we have been having recently so I eventually got my bike out and set off to see how far my legs would carry me.  I was feeling pretty creaky at the outset but once again the good Dr Velo provided if not a complete cure, at least some relief from creakiness and my legs took for me for an enjoyable 30 miles.  I might have gone a bit further but I had no food with me and I had told Mrs Tootlepedal that I was going to do 20 miles so 30 miles seemed sensible.

The farmers have managed to get a second cut of silage in and my route was dotted with green fields where the sheep were grazing and pale fields where the grass had gone.

fields near gair

I kept my nose to the wheel for the most part and didn’t stop to take pictures, except for one of the river at Irvine House with just one hint of autumn among the trees.

Irvine House

There was a bigger hint a few hundred yards further along the road.

autumn bracken

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden chatting to our neighbour Liz. Liz was taking a break from hard work in her own garden but it wasn’t long before both the gardeners were back at work.  I had a sandwich and then came out to do some dead heading and supervising.

We have got some late orange hawkweed to keep things looking bright.

orange hawkweed

And if you think that this dahlia looks a little crowded with insects…

insects on dahlia

…what about this dandelion?

insects on dandelion

I went in for a cup of tea and then there was a smir of rain which brought Mrs Tootlepedal in too.

The rain didn’t last long and the afternoon brightened up again so Mrs Tootlepedal went back out to the garden and I went for a short walk.

The park wall showed that moss is getting back into its stride after the dry spell in the summer.

park wall moss

..with some spleenwort too.

There was lichen and a flower on the wall…

park wall lichen and flower

…and sloes and fungus beside the path as I walked up past the Stubholm…

sloe and fungus

…where I found that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

Stubholm track

Gaskell’s walk had a lot to look at as I went along.

seed head

There were rosebay willowherb seed heads in abundace.

fireweed seed

…and a lot more fungus…

gaskell's fungi

…although one patch turned out to be fallen leaves.

The small lichen garden on the fence post at the Auld Stane Brig was still flourishing

Auls stane brig lichen

It has been there for years.

On the other side of the bridge, two cows did formation grazing.

two cows eating

The road back to town was colourful in places….

wildflowers by the road

…and there was another hint of autumn when I looked back over the graveyard to the woods that I had just walked through on the far side of the Wauchope Water..

A hint of autumn

At Pool Corner, the slow worms, both old and young, were still above ground (but under a sheltering piece of roofing felt).

slow worms

My walk was noted by interested spectators.

cows and sheep

Between the late start, the cycling and the walking, I didn’t have much time for looking at birds but in spite of that I did recognise how lucky we are to have a good variety of bird visitors.  Today we had starlings, blackbirds, blue tits, coal tits, sparrows, goldfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins, jackdaws, pigeons and collared doves.

You will have to take my word for that though as the only pictures I have is of the flying bird of the day, a chaffinch, going to join a goldfinch, sparrow and greenfinch on the feeder.

busy feeder

Looking at the picture, I notice that the chaffinch looks a little upset and this may have been because the perch that the chaffinch was hoping to land on has become unscrewed.  I will have to look for it tomorrow.

Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge shows 6 cm of rain for the week or just about 2¼ inches, almost all of which came in one night early in the week so our weather has been better than expected.

 

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I have kindly been sent a lot of guest pictures lately and I am working through them so I apologise to those whose great images have fallen through the sieve of time.  Today’s effort is from our younger son and shows his washing line on a typical recent day.

wet washing line

We had another grey day today here for the most part, a day when it always looked as though it was going to rain soon….but it didn’t and as a result there was lots of time for work in the garden.

As soon as the worst of the early dampness had worn off, I got various mowers out and mowed the drying green, the greenhouse grass, the middle and the front lawns and then strimmed the edges of everything that I could see.  There was hardly a blade of grass standing in the garden by the time that I had finished.

counterstriped lawn

I went for a fancy pattern to please Julie, a faithful reader from Australia, who had suggested that  a little variety in the lawn striping would not go amiss.

Then I sieved some compost.

After some slack dead heading days because of the drizzle, there was any amount of dead heading to be done and both Mrs Tootlepedal and I went round several times snipping off the ones we had missed on the previous circuit.

Some flowers survived the snippers.  The camera makes things look a lot brighter than they actually were.

white and red poppies

sunny reggae dahlias

Even on a drab day these ‘Sunny Reggae’ dahlias shine.

There are an encouraging amount of insects about.  Sometimes it seemed that every flower had one.

wild strawberry with tiny insect

phlox with insect

been on daisy

Or two!

dahlia with two insects

But butterflies were scarce.  The strong wind may have made life hard for them

peacock butterfly

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help at the Buccleuch Centre over lunch so I set the kitchen window camera up in the vain hope of seeing the nuthatch again.

I saw a blue tit first….

blue tit on feeder

…and then the usual stramash of sparrows…

mass of sparrows

…with occasional greenfinch incursions…

incoming greenfinch

…but no nuthatch.  I am revising my nuthatch expectations down to nil.

We were having our outside doors painted for the second time as it had rained very heavily after the first effort and the work needed to be redone.  The painter went off after lunch and looking at the clouds, it seemed that it might be quite likely that the same thing would happen again but fortunately the rain held off and the doors dried.

I had received a call from a data miner in the Archive Centre to say that an unfortunate train of events had led to one of the microfiche readers losing some vital parts so after lunch, I snapped a siskin on the feeder…

perching siskin

,…and  went up to the Archive Centre to see what I could do about this, taking a picture of the clematis by the front door on my way out.

big hearted clematis

This is a late flowering and you might say that it is all heart.

It was a bit of a struggle to fix the microfiche reader as one of the errant parts had suffered minor damage but I got it cobbled back together in the end and the miners should be able to get back to work (with care).

When I got home again, Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work in the garden and I joined her, mostly in a  supervisory role but from time to time actually doing something helpful.

After a while, we both needed a sit down so we tested out the newly oiled bench and admired the flowers in the new bed beside the lawn.

new bed by middle lawn

On our other side, tall rudbeckias looked down on us.

rudbeckia

I like these rudbeckias because the flowers are durable and don’t need much dead heading.

However, there was plenty of dead heading still to do on a final tour.

There are many flowers about that don’t need dead heading all the time.

pansy and anemone

We are sawing up the old, rather rotten bench a bit at a time and I was cutting through a plank on the back when I noticed some lichen on one of the uprights.

lichen on old bench

We were probably right to think that it was time for a replacement.

I had thought of a walk (it was too windy for a cycle ride) but all this gardening had knocked some of the stuffing out of me so a cup of tea and a sit down looked like a more attractive proposition.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious evening meal and there were just enough raspberries to have as a dessert.

In any spare moments during the day, I ate a plum.  More plums are ripening all the time.  The wasps and the jackdaws are dealing with a lot of them but there are more than enough left to satisfy the most enthusiastic plum eater.  I can see plum chutney looming.

I hope to widen my horizon tomorrow as the forecast is quite cheerful.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch.

flying greenfinch

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She went down to the Thames a week or so ago to catch a boat and spent so much time taking its picture that she almost missed it.

South Bank 002

We had another warm, grey, damp morning today but it wasn’t raining and I was able to take a look around.

The ginger syllabub rose has produced two or three late blooms and the mint is flowering.  I looked closely at the mint and admired the jewel like moisture on the tips of its flowers but I needed to hold the drooping head of the rose up for a ‘hand held’ shot.

mint and ginger syllabub

Mrs Tootlepedal is pleased with the picture presented by the bed at the end of the drive and even on a gloomy morning, it has its charms.

end of the drive bed

There was no time to hang around in the garden though as we had been invited to lunch in England by our friend Sue.

She lives in Cumbria near the town of Brampton about 25 miles away from us and is most notable for having turned a shipping container into a garden room.

We drove south, enjoying the recently improved surfaces of the roads as we went.  We were likely to arrive a bit early so we stopped to look back down on Talkin Tarn, a man made lake near Sue’s house.

Talkin Tarn

Sue lets her container room out through Airbnb and has no shortage of takers.  Many of them have remarked on their enjoyment of the birds visiting the feeders outside the windows….

bird's eye view

This is a bird’s eye view of the feeders with the container room in the background

…and so she asked me if I would take a picture or two of birds at the feeders for her website entry.

The light wasn’t great but there was no shortage of birds to shoot, especially blue tits but with several coal tits and great tits too.

coal tit, blue tit and great tit

A strange rustling in the leaves heralded the arrival of a featherless visitor to the feeder.

A squirrel appeared, looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth…

another squirrel

…but it didn’t take long before it was tucking into the bird food.

squirrel

I had caught several glimpses of a nuthatch but it saw me and kept its distance.  In the end, I had to go into the container and shut the door before it would come forward.

nuthatch

Sue provided us with a delicious lunch and then took us for a walk round the neighbouring lanes.  There was plenty to see as the verges hadn’t been so cruelly cropped as ours and as I was accompanied by two wild flower enthusiasts…

Sue T and Mrs T

The experts getting down to business!

…I am able to name much of what I saw.

scabious, tansy, fungus, beech nut

From the top left clockwise: scabious, tansy, beech nut and unidentified fungus

bee, butterfly and rose gall

Co-operative nectar hunting and a twisted rose gall

fungi

The fungi are beyond me to name

umbellifer, deadly nightshade, honesty, corydalis

An umbellifer with at least six insects on it, deadly nightshade, a thriving corydalis (they like walls) and some honesty.

Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it was the best policy to collect a few of the honesty seeds so that she can try to grow some in our garden.

As well as the detail, the broader picture was delightful too.  The countryside there is full of little hills and hollows…

Talkin view 1

…but has wider views of the fells as well.

Talkin view 2

We walked down into the valley of the Gelt river and under this very tall viaduct, built between 1832 and 1835 for the Carlisle and Newcastle railway.

Gelt railway viaduct

We passed under the railway and over the river and walked up the other side of the valley, eating many deliciously ripe blackberries from the hedgerow as we went.

The amount that we climbed can be measured by this modest looking bridge…

railway bridge Gelt

…from which we were now able to look down on the railway.

Newcastle railway

We followed a path through a field, passing some really well stocked hawthorn trees…

hawthorn

…and admiring yet more wooded views…

Talkin view 3

…before finding ourselves back down by the Gelt River again.

We crossed it by a new footbridge…

Gelt footbridge

…and walked through a pasture in the welcome sunshine which had appeared…

Talkin view 4

…and then followed the lanes back to Sue’s house.

The walk was about three and a half miles in length by a rough calculation but had such variety of surroundings that it was thoroughly satisfying….as were the cup of tea and home made ginger biscuits when we got in.

It is always a pleasure to visit Sue and she is very clever at finding a good walk for us and if the sun comes out as it did today, it is hard to think of a better place to spend some time.

The drive home was smooth and uneventful and we settled down to our evening meal with the feeling of a day very well spent.

I even got a nearly flying bird of the day in Sue’s garden.

flying blue tit

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Our friend Gavin must have been in Yorkshire today as he sent me this shot of the breakaway in the Tour de Yorkshire going through Leyburn for my guest picture.

tour de yorkshire

The promised better weather arrived today but it took its time and didn’t really arrive until the afternoon.

As a result, I cycled along the road to the producers’ market in just a hint of drizzle.  Still, the purchase of fish, cheese and good meat cheered me up.  The trouble with buying seasonal local food though is that it is seasonal and local so there was no honey or venison at the moment.  It makes the anticipation for their return to the market all the keener.

Mrs Tootlepedal wasn’t letting a little dull weather spoil her gardening and spent almost all of the day hard at work.  I helped where I could and took time out to mow the front lawn and take a few pictures.

Mrs Tootlepedal said today that she sometimes wishes that she could freeze garden time at this time of year because she loves the colourful state of things so much.

I took a  few pictures to try to capture some of that feeling.

Who could resist this?

tulips and daffs

Mind you if the colour was like this all the time, maybe we wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we do when it comes after a long, cold, grey six months.

The tulips are in full swing.

tulips

In all shapes and colours….

tulips

…and designs.

_DSC3809

And some have friends too.

fly on tulip

We have dead headed daffodils by the bucket full but still plenty survive…

daffs

…to take their place as daffodil of the day.

daff

There are other colours, even though they are not as prominent as the tulips and daffs.

pulsatillasilver pearviolet

And I was pleased to see bees busy all over the garden, although the fruit pollination is what I like to see best.

bees in garden

While I was looking at flowers, creatures big and small intruded into the frame.

The small were very small.

insects on flowers

And the big came in the form of a blackbird which flew onto a garden seat a few feet away from me, gave me a very hard stare and then did its keep fit routine…

blackbird

…breaking off to give me some more hard stares from time to time.

And in between, a lone butterfly appeared.

comma butterfly

I think that this is a comma, a rare visitor for us.

In the afternoon, we were visited by Mike with his daughter Liz and her husband and daughter.  Liz is a professional gardener and had come to look at a sick shrub to suggest a course of action.  Targeted pruning was suggested and Mrs Tootlepedal will put this into action.

The expert party went on to look at a gift which Mrs Tootlepedal has recently received.  They considered what should be done with it…

bamboozled

….but I am sorry to say that they were bamboozled.

In between times. the feeder was busy with siskins, goldfinches, chaffinches and redpolls…

redpoll and siskinsredpoll and chaffinchgoldfinches

I had to refill it.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that she had been watched by a robin while she worked which is good news because we haven’t seen one around for several weeks.

When we needed a rest, we watched bits of another good stage of the Tour de Yorkshire bike race on the telly.   I didn’t envy the riders at all as they ground up the 1 in 4 slope at Sutton Bank.  Even these superb athletes had to go at a very sedate pace to get up such a hill.   I would have needed a lift in a car!

In the evening we went to the Buccleuch Centre to listen to a jazz trio led by a very good lady singer who has lived locally for the last few years and with the piano played by our Langholm Sings accompanist, Nick.  He turned out to be a very accomplished jazz player with a great sense of rhythm and good invention and as the singer and bassist were very good too, it was just my cup of tea and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

In all the gardening, I didn’t have time to get a solo flying bird of the day so once again it is a pair, this time seen from behind.

siskin and chaffinch flying

 

 

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The guest picture of day comes from my brother Andrew, who looked up when he was visiting York Minster.

York Minster

Once again, we woke to a gloomy, damp day but it had the goodness to stop raining while I visited the dentist for a check up.   It was pleasantly warm as I walked home having been given the all clear but the garden was still looking fairly damp when I got there.

nasturtiums

However, it was still and dry enough to tempt some insects out…

bees and butterflies

…and if you look closely, you can see three beasties collecting pollen from the poppy above at the same time.

insect on dahlia

I can’t make up my mind whether these rather fluffy yellow things are bumble bees or not.  I don’t think that the ones on the poppy are but I am less sure about the one on the dahlia.  Once again, I hoped to be helped out by knowledgeable readers.

My daughter has been in Portugal for a short break and very kindly sent me a tin of genuine Portuguese sardines so we had some very tasty sardine pâté for our lunch.  She knows that my brain needs all the help it can get from oily fish.

After lunch, the weather brightened up a lot and we walked to our church in glorious sunshine to celebrate the life of Charlie Edgar, a member of Mrs Tootlepedal’s Church Choir who died recently.  Mrs Tootlepedal  has had a long association with Charlie, both through the choir and the local amateur operatic society of which he was a mainstay for many years.   We sang two cheerful hymns and heard a very fine eulogy written and read by a friend so although memorial services are by their nature not something that you look forward to going to, this one was a very fitting tribute to a good man.

In spite of the sunshine, it was still a bit too soggy to contemplate some mowing when we got home so after a pause to catch up on the highlights of yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta on the telly, I got the fairly speedy bike out and did a very modest vuelta of my own.

It was perfect cycling weather – warm, sunny but not too hot and with a light wind to provide a little cooling when needed.

I went out of town up the Esk Valley and enjoyed the views as I went.

Gates of Eden

The ‘Gates of Eden’

Bentpath

Bentpath

Telford Library

The Telford Library at Bentpath founded to provide local antimony miners with books to read

As I pedalled up the road towards Bailliehill, I stopped to admire the heather..

Heather

…and looked back at the Esk in the valley below.

Esk at bailliehill

Soon, I had climbed out of the Esk valley and had dropped gently down to the start of the Water of Milk…

Water of Milk

Whereas farmers get very basic bridges, I got a fine stone bridge to cross a small tributary a bit further along.

Bridge near water of Milk

The road rose up from beside the stream and as I pedalled along, I could look across and see the tops of all six of the new windmills on Ewe Hill on the other side of the valley.

Ewe Hill Windmills

I was very pleased to see that they were indicating that I would have what wind there was at my back for the last ten miles of my journey.

As I rode up the hill at Callister, I passed some birds who are planning a trip of their own quite soon.

swallows

While I pedalled along, I reflected that the bicycle really is a wonderful invention.  A day or two ago, we watched the finest runners in the world run the Olympic marathon on flat roads.  Today, I went about the same distance over much hillier terrain and under my own steam in a time some ten minutes quicker than they had managed.   Running is a very pedestrian way of getting about, as they say.

Those interested in the route can click on the map below.

Garmin Route 23 Aug 2016

I was hoping to go for a little flying bird walk when I got back but the clouds had returned and the light was not promising enough to make it worthwhile so I wandered round the garden instead for a few minutes….

rudbeckia and nicotiana

Rudbeckia and Nicotiana are adding to our pleasure with colour and scent respectively

cardoon

A second cardoon has flowered

sweet peas

The better weather had brought out more sweet peas

…and then went in to have a shower and make baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our tea.    I had some very tasty cheese to hand so this rounded off the day very well.

After tea, we watched the highlights of today’s stage of the Vuelta so we had a double helping of cycling to enjoy.  It looks as though it will be an interesting race.

We are promised a day of sunshine tomorrow.  We are very much looking forward to that.

The flower of the day is another in the long line of poppies.  I find them very hard to resist.

pink poppy

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my neighbour Gavin and shows the harbour at Crail on the east coast where he is on holiday.  We have booked a holiday cottage nearby for next April and I can guarantee that the weather won’t be this nice then.

CrailIt was a day of perfect autumn weather, crisp in the morning, pleasantly warm in the afternoon and cooling down as the evening wore on. There was not a cloud in the sky all day and the conditions above the town were such that  passing aircraft were not leaving vapour trails to spoil the blueness.

After putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, I spent the morning entertaining first Sandy to a cup of coffee when he had finished filling  the Moorland bird feeders and then Dropscone, when he had finished a few holes of a golf with a friend.

In between times, I walked round the garden enjoying the colour in the sunshine.

poppies and marigoldpoppy and dahliaThe colour didn’t just come from the flowers.

peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly

red admiral butterfly

A red admiral

The were several peacocks and red admirals about, the first time that there have been a lot of butterflies in the garden this year.

red admiral butterfly

Sometimes they were side by side.

The Michaelmas daisies and the sedum were the two favourite attractions but almost anything that was out had a visitor or two.

sedum and astrantiaThe bumble bees preferred the sedum and in the afternoon I counted over 150 bees on the plants beside our bird feeder.  It was quite an amazing sight.

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

great tit and coal tit

Great tit and coal tit

I have put some tasty morsels into the new covered feeder and they are being eaten but never when I am watching so I was pleased to see these two at the other feeder.

A dunnock crept around under the feeder…

dunnock…and a chaffinch pretended to be a flower.

chaffinchThen I took a walk up Warbla to enjoy the day.

Things are definitely running to seed on all sides…

seedy…but the views remained very satisfying.  I looked across to Meikleholm hill where I had seen the scabious plants.

MeikleholmI walked up the track to the top of the hill and looked around.  The phone panorama function looked around too.

Warbla panoramaI had Pocketcam (Nikon J1) with me and it has an ingenious mount so that I can attach my DSLR lenses to it and get a vastly increased zoom. The fine weather gave me a chance to try this out.  I put my 70-300mm lens on the mount and looked down towards the town….

Langholm…and the river.

Langholm BridgeThe bridge is a mile (1.6km) away from where I was standing.

I was quite impressed.  I would need a tripod and delayed shutter release to get the best out of it but it obviously has great possibilities.  I looked east and west.

Monument and Craig windmillsThe monument is just under 2km away and the windmills are 3½km off.  It amuses me that some people can regard the monument to a colonial administrator in India with equanimity while being appalled by some elegant renewable energy devices.  (They weren’t generating any electricity today though.)

Although the sky was cloudless, the views were a bit hazy but I did my best.  I used the zoom again, out…

View from warbla…and in…

Langholm…and my phone again for a wider picture….

LangholmIt was good to be alive on a day like this, with a gentle breeze keeping me cool on the top of the hill.

I walked back down and took a shot on my way with Pocketcam with its own 10-30 lens on.

Whita from warbla I was just thinking that whatever the charms of the walk were, a lot of wild flowers were not among them when  a splash of colour caught my eye.  It turned out not to be a wild flower though but my friend Tom, taking a little fresh air after a morning conducting mock interviews with fourth year school pupils.

Tom on warblaI exchanged greetings with him and made my way home via Gaskell’s Walk.  Tucked away in a little valley with no cooling breeze, the heat was considerable and I was glad to get back into the cool of the house.

I went up to the town to do a little business and when I got back Tom appeared with some coffee beans.  He had inadvertently picked them up while shopping, not realising that they were beans so I ground them up for him and recommended buying a grinder of his own so that he could always have freshly ground coffee at home.

Mike Tinker dropped in and was impressed by the great bumble bee collection on the sedum.  We keep on being told that our bees are declining in numbers so perhaps they have all come to our garden this week.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her pony driving and claimed to have seen a cloud in the south as she drove home.  We didn’t believe her.

In the evening, I went off with Sandy to do some work at the Archive Centre and with the internet connection working well, we got quite a lot done.

The forecast says that our spell of good weather may be coming to an end in a day or two but it has been great while it has lasted and I apologise for the flood of pictures it has unleashed on you long suffering blog readers.  Things should calm down soon.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo in Manitoba and shows a rather strange extra rock under the tree in her garden.

newgarden rockOur run of really good weather continued today, although the temperatures are definitely getting chilly in the morning.

I was pleased to wake up at a reasonable time as I had set my alarm for first, three o’clock and then, half past four during the night in the hope of seeing the lunar eclipse.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I did wake up and see the eclipse but it didn’t seem to be quite as exciting as we had been promised.  This is what we saw around 3am.

Lunar eclipseThe camera saw more than we did.

Lunar eclipseMy second view at 4.30am was not much more exciting.

Lunar eclipseMrs Tootlepedal saw some much better shots on the TV news.

The cold morning kept me hanging about for an hour after breakfast before I set off on the fairly speedy bike to make the best of the sunshine.  The temperature was still in single figures C but the sunny weather kept me warm.  I was a bit pressed for time so I stuck to an easy route and a modest distance of thirty miles.  I took a couple of pictures of the quiet roads that I followed. One in Scotland….

Scotland…and one in England.

EnglandAnd a river too.

esk

The River Esk at Irvine House

I hardly saw any traffic, either motorised or on four legs, so I had a very tranquil spin round the low country.

I had time for a shower, lunch and a quick look at the sedum before going off to do my stint in the Information Hub on the High Street.  The sedum was busier than ever.  I counted over a hundred insects on it today.

sedum and insectsAmong the bees and hoverflies, a lone butterfly appeared again.

butterflyMy two hours at the IH were far from boring today as I had several customers visiting the art exhibition there.  I even sold one of them a painting.  I also sold a copy of the Langholm Walks to a local resident who told us that he had had an excellent view of the eclipse last nigh from his house which is up on the hill above the town.  I was also entertained by a visit from Dropscone who had returned from  golf lesson in Carlisle so the time passed very pleasantly.

When I got home, I turned down an offer of a cup of tea with Mike Tinker and whisked Mrs Tootlepedal off to visit the scabious on the hill which I had seen a few days ago.

The fungus on the tree stump on the track up to the open hill had lasted very well….

fungus…but sadly most of the scabious had gone over and I wasn’t able to show Mrs Tootlepedal the full display.

scabiousWhat scabious there was still in flower was very attractive to insects and almost every flower had a friend.

scabious and insectsI was a bit disappointed but Mrs Tootlepedal was very amiable and the walk was a delight in itself.  There was plenty to see.

scabious and seeds

tortoiseshell butterfly

A tortoiseshell butterfly among the flowers

hawthorn

The hawthorns seem either to have hardly any berries or a great profusion.

It is always a pleasure to look down at the town tucked neatly among the hills.

LangholmI had another look at the tree stump with fungus as we passed it on the way back and saw that it had a different crop at the very top.

fungusWe got back in time for me to have a cup of tea before my flute pupil Luke came for his regular practice.  He is playing in a school concert this week so we ran through his piece for that and then we played some duets.

Once again, time was a bit short but I had time for my tea before going out to play trios with Isabel and Mike.  They had both got up to see the eclipse but had not been very impressed.  We had a good play though, in spite of the lack of sleep and there is a fair chance that several of the composers might even have recognised the pieces that we were playing.

In all the rushing about, I didn’t have time to get a good flying bird shot and this was my best effort.

flying bird

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