Today’s frightening guest picture comes from a visit to the gardens at Alnwick by my Newcastle correspondent. What lies behind the gate? We can only wonder. Feral primroses perhaps?
We had another fairly chilly, grey day today but at least the wind had dropped so as soon as I could manage after breakfast, I got the fairly speedy bike out and set off towards Callister. There was just a hint of rain in the air so I left my route plans flexible with the option of turning and running for home in the event of a deluge.
The light wind and an absence of rain encouraged me up and over Callister and down the other side as far as Gair. Once there, I weighed up my options. I could turn and go back for a dull 22 miles or I could go on and take the back road to Chapelknowe for a circular 25 miles. I sniffed the air and decided to go on for the circular ride.
I was a bit miffed therefore when I got to the junction with the back road to Chapelknowe to find that it was closed for several weeks.
Going back looked like a very dull choice now so I pressed on again and went home via Kirkpatrick Fleming and Canonbie. Luckily this is an undemanding route as far as any hills go and I was able to manage the extra miles without too much bother, The final total of 31 miles was a new best distance for my knee.
The chaffinches were busy at the feeder in the garden when I got home…..
….but I was more interested in having a relaxing bath than standing at the window trying to hold a camera steady so I didn’t watch the birds for long. I did put some chopped up suet balls out on the lawn and they attracted a good crowd almost immediately…
Although the light wasn’t very good, I was hoping to see goosanders, oyster catchers, dippers, nuthatches and tree creepers. I like to travel hopefully.
I didn’t see any goosanders but the mallards made up for that.
I was pretty tired when I got home but a short rest and a nourishing meal got me ready to go to Carlisle with Susan for our recorder group’s weekly get together. There were only four of us this week and we had a steady evening of playing fugues by Mozart and Bach, fantasias by Purcell, Ludo and Byrd and several other pieces which I can’t remember owing to old age. We ended with a Thomas Morley song and a set of Farnaby tunes so you can see that a good time was had by all.
I did see an oyster catcher too on my walk and it appears as flying bird of the day.