Dry run

Today’s picture shows a rose that I had been looking forward to seeing, showing the worst of the recent rain.

weatherbeaten rose

I woke up and looked out of the window and the sun was shining. Hooray.  I had thought of doing a long ride but a quick shower of rain after breakfast and a look at the forecast made me change to a ‘see how it goes’ policy. The wind was due to get up and heavy showers were in the offing. I’m too old to look at pedalling into driving rain as a challenge any more so I took a picture of some birds in the sunshine to cheer myself up before I set off.

young robin
A two faced young robin. He looks this way...
young robin
..he looks that way.
down coaltit
The coal tit just looks one way

I had a view of where I was going to cycle but I had one eye on the clouds and the other on the wind direction as I didn’t want to leave myself with a tough ride home.

I went down the A7, not using the cycle path and turned left in Longtown to go towards Brampton. They are mending a bridge near Brampton and the road is closed to through traffic which made it a real pleasure for cyclists. Added to that, the road has been largely resurfaced lately and offers the longest spell of cycling round here where you don’t have to keep your eyes down for potholes. With the wind off my right shoulder and the road wet from rain which had just passed and was going away to my left, life was lovely.

I turned off just before the broken bridge and passed through Irthington, crossed the A689 to make a loop through Newby and Little Crosby before re-joining the bike path beside the A689 again. I was struck by this plush house next to the Eden Golf Club. It looks as though it has been recently refurbished.

big house

Quite a bit of work for a chimney sweep there.

I headed up past the Houghton Hall garden centre and turned back on the A7 at the roundabout for short while before turning off again towards Rockcliffe. A blaze of colour in the hedgerow alerted me to an outbreak of Himalayan Balsam, a very pretty plant but one which is now the subject of a dangerous plant order and considered a pest.

Himalayan Balsam

After Rockcliffe, I paused by the main line level crossing to eat a couple of bananas and an unhealthy bar. It’s not often that you get the chance to stand in the middle of the West Coast mailn line so I took it.

down line

After crossing the railway, I turned left for Gretna and Kirkpatrick Fleming before finishing the trip with a climb up to the Kerr and a rush down the Wauchope road. The road is still closed but there was no sign of the road menders. It was, however, running with water so I had managed to miss another heavy shower and got round completely dry.

The trip was 57 miles and by pedalling hard along the last three miles, I managed to get the average speed up to 16 mph which added the icing to a very enjoyable morning on the bike. I have put a map of the route for those interested here. It was a flat route with only 1000ft of climb which is not a significant amount over the distance.

There had obviously been a heavy shower just before I arrived so I went down to the river to see what effect the rain had had.

brown wauchope
The Wauchope is showing where it had been raining.

It was very sunny for a bit and I was able to take a cheerful picture of the middle lawn.

middle lawn

I took a flower or two in the sunshine as well.

japanese anenome
Japanese anenome
lupin sideshoot
A delicate side shoot from a long cut down lupin
A little marigold which has been protected from the worst of the weather by surrounding plants

Since we have been visited by quite a few tits lately, I put some peanuts into the fat ball fortress to see if they would like them. It didn’t take them long to come and have a look.

tit upside down
Weighing the peanuts up from all angles


tit and finch
A chaffinch has a look too. It didn't go in.
tits go nuts
In the end, the tits went nuts

I wondered whether the sparrows would go for the peanuts.

sparrow onlooker
The one on the right doesn't look convinced.

The rest of the day was given over to alternating sunshine and showers but at least this is better than continuous cloud and rain.

I have just started to eat a few raspberries from the plants in the garden and the crop looks enough to promise a pot or two of jam in the not too distant future. If there is enough, I will enter a jar in the Agricultural Show along with a jar of marmalade.

We are promised more sun for tomorrow. Perhaps the flowers will perk up. Mrs Tootlepedal certainly will. She spent a lot of today tapping the chimney and has nearly finished taking the paint off. It has been a tedious task.

I put another week of the E & L into the database and am now only five weeks behind the indexers. I hope to catch up by Thursday.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

6 thoughts on “Dry run

  1. Very nice church photo. You’ll have to pedal over to Dumfries one day and take some pics. I’m curious to see how it compares to the town of the same name near me. I cannot possibly be worse.

    1. Ours are growing in partial shade through the gaps in paving stones. Maybe you are being too nice to yours. Ours don’t have much competition where they are though.

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