Looking around

Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s recent Lake District trip, It shows Ullswater.

Ullswater again

We were blessed with a whole day of lovely weather from dawn till dusk.  I didn’t quite manage to be up and about by dawn but I did get onto the bike about ten o’clock.  I was a bit delayed in starting my ride by trying to deal with an ominous creaking sound which has appeared recently.

I thought that it might be my saddle so I took it off and gave it a good clean and then put it back on rather nervously,.  It is all too easy to get the settings for the saddle position wrong resulting in posterior agony.  In the event, the saddle was positioned correctly to my relief but it turned out not to be the source of the squeak.  I may have to seek professional help.

I started out feeling a bit tired and cranky but the pedalling worked its usual magic and I was soon bowling along without an ache anywhere or a care in the world (except for a persistent creaking noise.)

garmin route july 17My route took me over Callister and then along the back roads through Middlebie to Ecclefechan.  The six miles to the top of Callister were into the wind and I took them at a very steady pace but after that, with no big hills to worry about, I rolled along at a good pace for the rest of the ride. Sticking to quiet back roads, I pedalled through the fields to Brydekirk and then back towards Eaglesfield and on down to Hollee.

A click on the map will reveal details of the ride to those who have time hanging heavy on their hands.

Just as I left Ecclefechan, I stopped when my eye was caught by a very striking bunch of yellow flowers in the hedgerow.  I only had my phone with me but it gives you some impression of their impact.


They must be a garden escape I would imagine but I have no idea what they are.

From Hollee back to Langholm I was on slightly busier roads but the traffic was very light and the wind was behind me and my joy was unconfined.  I stopped once again when I came upon a large flock of little white butterflies near Milltown of Sark.  They were hovering round a good crop of vetch.

Today's guest picture is another from my sister Mary's recent Lake District trip,  It shows Ullswater.
Two of the butterflies enjoying a rest.

Oddly, this was the only collection of butterflies that I saw, although there were a lot of individuals flitting across the road on the rest of the trip.

I headed down to Canonbie and came back along the main road which gave me the chance to bicycle down the newly surfaced stretch of road back to the town.  It was very smooth.

Checking my bike computer, I added a circuit of the New Town to the very end of my ride which brought my mileage up to a neat 40 miles.

I had time for a light lunch before having a meeting with a man who wanted a photograph of the monument that overlooks the town.  I didn’t have a suitable one in my files so when Sandy came down a short while later, we went off to find a vantage spot.  I took several shots and then went back into the town to show them to the man.  He didn’t like any of them.  I said that I would try again.

Sandy and I went off to practise our landscape shooting skills up the Esk Valley.  Mine are basically non existent as I need to learn the difference between what pleases my eye and what the camera likes.  These are by no means the same.

We took trouble, using tripods (and even a spirit level) as well as a remote shutter trigger but in the end we didn’t get a lot of satisfaction.  The light, which looked quite good to us, looked rather flat and hazy to the cameras.  After quite a bit of tinkering on the photo editor, I have picked a few.

Gates of Eden
Looking across the Esk to the Gates of Eden:  Pocketcam (Nikon J1 with a 10mm-30mm lens)
Esk valley
The same view: Nikon D7000, 70-200mm at 200mm
Looking back across the Esk from the other side: Pocketcam
Looking back across the Esk from the other side: Pocketcam
Esk valley
The same view: D7000 with the 18-55 lens at 48mm
Looking in the same direction: D7000 with the 70-200mm lens at 105mm
Potholm farm buildings
Potholm farm buildings: D7000 at 105mm

Turning to the north gave a very different light.

esk valley
D7000 at 48mm

We left the Esk Valley and drove through the Gates of Eden to look down into the Ewes Valley.

D7000 at 75mm with an HDR going over in the photo editor
D7000 at 75mm with an light HDR going over in the photo editor

What becomes apparent is the bewildering differences between cameras and lenses and the difference that a few degrees of turn can make to the effect of the light.  Not to mention the many possibilities that the photo editor offers.  Pocketcam liked the light better than the D7000.

Still, after we had had a cup of tea and watched an exciting finish to the Tour de France stage, I went off and took a few more pictures of the monument and this time the man liked one of them.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work in the garden so I did my bit and mowed the middle lawn.  I am trying to avoid using any weedkiller on the lawn this year so I have got out my old golfer’s pitch mark repairer and I am using it to dig up the more obtrusive weeds.

I took a picture of a crocosmia filtering the evening sunlight.

crocosmiaIn the evening, Sandy reappeared and we went off to the Archive Centre where a fitful internet connection allowed us to get a bit of work done on  the newspaper index database.    I shall need more wet days if I am to catch up with the hard working data miners.

Over our post-landscape tea and biscuits, I caught a chaffinch to be flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Looking around

      1. Ok doubting myself now could be a different species called Inula magnifica

  1. An unexplained squeak on a bicycle can be maddening. I wish you luck in finding the source. The difference in lighting in your photos is quite interesting. As for the man who disapproved of your photos, I sincerely hope this was either a business arrangement or perhaps a favor for a good friend. Had I gone to that much trouble only to be met with disapproval, I don’t believe I would have been able to find my inner calm.

    1. I thought that I had done what he asked but it turned out when he saw the result that he hadn’t quite asked for what he wanted. He is an old friend. My inner calm was undisturbed.

    1. Thank you. I shall certainly look at it but having been given several books on landscape photography a couple of years ago which I read carefully, it will have to be good to make me better.

  2. How frustrating. Do love to see Ecclefechan mentioned. Such a pleasure to say it and reminds me of all the journeys past the sign through the years when we had to say it out loud.

  3. Lovely landscape pictures. You were very patient with your monument photography. Glad you had such an enjoyable bicycle ride.

  4. I’m glad you finally got a shot to please the demanding man. That bike squeak sounds maddening, I’m sure it would any me. The flying bird is one of the best yet in my opinion.

    1. The bike squeak is maddening me. I’ll have to go to the bike shop and see what they can do. I liked the flying bird shot so I am glad that you did too.

  5. I always think your landscapes are wonderful, and I enjoyed seeing the differences in your shots posted here and comparing – very interesting!

    Another stellar guest photo, as well.

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