The lure of the cream tea

Today’s guest photo shows a bird which my brother met on a visit to Tiritiri Matangi Island near Auckland in New Zealand Tiritiri Matangi Island Aug 2014 - 8After the rain showers of yesterday, we enjoyed a day without any rain at all today and very welcome it was too.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir after breakfast and I took a walk round the garden.  I could hardly hear myself think at the poppy bed such was the throng of insects visiting the poppies.

poppy with bumble beeIt seemed that every poppy had it own visitor.

poppy with hoverflyThere are many quieter berries in the garden at the moment.

garden berriesIt was too good a morning to stay in the garden so I took the slow bike out and went for a gentle ride down to the Kilngreen and up the Lodge Walks.

The ducks on the Kilngreen eyed me up in the hope of food….

mallard….and black headed gulls flew past in effort to feature as flying bird of the day.

black headed gullOn the Castleholm I could see the first tree foreshadowing the coming of autumn leaves.

autumn treeIt was a pleasure just to be outside on such a sparkling morning.

When I got back home, I watched a coal tit visit our feeders, the first that I had seen for some time.

coal titMrs Tootlepedal returned safely from church and after a cup of coffee set about mowing the drying green combined with a little more clearing out of plants that were now surplus to requirements.

This sort of thing is too strenuous for me so I got some sour dough bread on the go while she was working. 

Then it was time for an early lunch.  We were going to take advantage of the fine weather and light winds to visit Middlebie, twelve and a half miles away, where kindly people were serving travellers with cream teas.

The road to Middlebie is hilly and we left ourselves plenty of time so that we could enjoy the scenery as we went along.

When you get near Middlebie, the country opens up and the Solway plain lies in front of you.

view of Solway plainMrs Tootlepedal remarked that if you woke up to a view like this every day rather than the view of the surrounding hills which greets us in Langholm, you might well have a very different view of the world.  She is probably right.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen some bright orange fungus in a tree when she had pedalled along this way a fortnight ago and I was looking forward to seeing it but in the intervening time, it had turned white and when I tried to photograph it, the Hotts Burn got in the way and I couldn’t get close enough to it for Pocketcam so I photographed the Hotts Burn instead.

Hotts BurnThe hall at Middlebie has a modest frontage….

Middlebie Hall…but like the Tardis, it is much bigger inside.  These cream teas are very popular though and even at half past two, it was nearly full and we we were lucky to find  two empty seats to squeeze into.   The scones and cakes were tasty and just what was needed half way through a twenty five mile ride.

We didn’t stay long and were soon on our way home, caressed by a favouring wind.

As I say, the route is undulating…

Mrs Tootlepedal cycling
Mrs Tootlepedal going downhill and Mrs Tootlepedal going uphill.  There was little chance to snap he on the flat.

…and we stuck to a very steady speed.  This was just as well, as I have had quite a heavy week of cycling and my legs were asking plaintively if there was any chance of a little sit down soon.

As always when the sun is out and the wind is from the west, the last few miles home from the top of Callister were an unmitigated cycling pleasure but on this occasion it was even more pleasant to sink into an armchair and relax when we got in.

We made a pizza for our evening meal and considered that the weekend had been a great success.  Even the sourdough bread turned out particularly well.

Among all the black headed gulls that I saw in the morning, a lone herring gull took the honour of being elected flying bird of the day.

herring gull

 

 

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “The lure of the cream tea

  1. Your trees seem to be turning very early this year. I saw an orange maple yesterday but it wasn’t very old.
    I like the views of the open fields. It’s very different from what I see here and I think Mrs. T. might be right.

    1. I think that it was a horse chestnut in my picture. They have been suffering from a disease which turns the leaves earlier than usual so that might be the cause.

  2. Ooh cream teas! A fitting reward for a peddle together 🙂 . Love the poppies and bees. The first blooms are coming out on my nectarines and plums and blueberries so spring isn’t far behind them 🙂

  3. Glad you were able to make the most of a lovely day. The picture of the coal tit was very eyecatching. Glad you found a seat for the cream tea, one of life’s many pleasures.

  4. Striking picture from Tiri Tiri Matangi Island.
    And lots of wonderful birds and flowers from Langholm.
    So glad you had such a lovely day for your ride and that the cream tea was up to standard.

  5. I enjoyed your guest photo very much.

    What a wonderful day you had! Your coal tit looks very much like one of my favorite north American birds – the black-capped chickadee.

  6. I must ask what a “Hotts Burn” is even though you included a photo of it… in this sentence you wrote: “when I tried to photograph it, the Hotts Burn got in the way and I couldn’t get close enough to it for Pocketcam so I photographed the Hotts Burn instead.” ~SueBee

    1. A burn is a stream and the Hotts Burn is the burn at Hotts. Mrs Tootlepedal can be seen in the background standing on the Hotts bridge at Hottsbridge.

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