Today’s picture was sent to me by my brother who was visiting the David Austin rose collection with his wife.
There were a tremendous number of young birds in the garden in the morning making a terrific racket as they demanded to be fed. A starling tried desperately to get into the fat ball feeder to get some food for a squalling youngster perched on our neighbour’s roof.
A family of sparrows went on a grubbing outing at the far end of the front lawn.
A demanding young blackbird kept its mother busy.
It was the Wimbledon final today and I find that generally Andy Murray does better when I am not watching so I decided to go and check out the new bit of road surface near Canonbie which Dropscone had told me about. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I set off to go to Canonbie but by a fairly circuitous route in order not to be back in time to disturb Andy at his playing.
Young birds weren’t the only thing making a noise. This bull at Wauchope schoolhouse was serenading a cow in a field across the road with a wonderful collection of roars, grunts and heart rending groans.
…for a banana and shortly afterwards to admire a nest of alpacas in a field,
The sun was out by this time and with flat roads in front of me and only a very light wind in my face, cycling was a great pleasure.
My next stop was for a bite of lunch in the café at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. I was entertained while munching on my bacon butty by both an osprey cam (two chicks on a nest nearby) and a barn owl cam (three chicks on a nest in the same building).
I put my Garmin into my back pocket here while I was eating my lunch and through inexperience forgot to turn it off and it sneakily added 21 minutes to my journey time behind my back while I was eating.
I didn’t stop to admire any wildfowl as I only had sandycam in my back pocket and birds need a longer lens. I pedalled on past Caerlaverock Castle and along the shore of the estuary of the River Nith where I stopped at Glencaple. We had visited Glencaple earlier in the year on an outing with Sandy and on that occasion, the tide had been out. It was well in today.
I had considered trying to ride 100 miles today but good sense took over and I turned for home at Glencaple which was on the 40 mile mark. Once again, I came to Caerlaverock Castle but this time I stopped there, paid the entrance fee and behaved like a tourist with a camera.
As well as enjoying looking at the castle, the views from inside the castle looking out were very good too.
There is some restoration inside and some fine displays of lichen as well.
I had a good look round and enjoyed the sight of a busy swallow feeding young at the top of a tower, too far up for me to get a picture.
As well as the castle, there is a visitor centre with an all important tea room….
…where I enjoyed a pot of tea, a slice of lemon drizzle cake and and an ice cream.
Suitably refreshed, I headed back to Annan. The wind had got up a bit but was now mostly behind or across so I made good time. I stopped in the little village of Ruthwell, hoping to visit the Savings Bank Museum there but it was shut on a Sunday.
Langholm opened its own savings bank in 1849 and this eventually became a branch of the Trustee Savings Bank. This branch was eventually closed during our time on Langholm.
I pedalled happily on through Annan to Gretna and then along the main roads until I got to the turn off to Canonbie. Dropscone was right. A section of the road had been resurfaced….
…and very smooth it was too but not before time as it has been terrible for years.
I rolled back into town seven hours after I had started having covered 82 miles. Just under five and half hours of that had been spent pedalling and I was very pleased with my average moving speed of 15.3 mph. I can’t pedal very fast but if the route is not hilly, I can keep up a steady pace for quite a long time. 100 miles here we come.
With my assistance in not putting more pressure on him by watching, Murray had three set points for the match by the time I came in but as he promptly lost all three, I went out into the garden until he had won the match. I must say that I had harboured doubts about his ability to win and I certainly never expected him him to do it in three straight sets so I was all the more pleased for him. Some of the English sports writers are going to have to look back on things they have written about him in the past and eat their words.
Talking about eating your words, many pundits and ex players who laid into Warren Gatland for dropping Brian O’ Driscoll and ruining the British Lions’ chances against Australia are going to have to eat very large portions of humble pie too. What fun it all is.
While I was out in the garden not making Andy lose points, I took a few flower shots.
No flying bird today as there are too many pictures already.
My card from Sandycam took a fit when I put it into the computer and claimed that it wasn’t formatted. I was very cross as I had stopped at Caerlaverock just to take some pictures and I thought that they were all lost. However, a little internet research and some expenditure provided me with a very nice programme which dug them out again. That’s why this post is rather late.