Led astray by fast women

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia in Somerset and shows a bluebell wood that she stumbled upon recently by accident while taking a break from electioneering.  That’s my kind of accident.

bluebell wood in SomersetI had no time for morning photographs as Mrs Tootlepedal and I had to up early for the 60 mile drive to St Bees on the Cumbrian coast where I had foolishly entered for a fifty mile cycle event.  The mileage wasn’t a problem but the climbing was.

elevation profileAs you can see, there were not many flat moments on the ride until the last ten miles,   An additional handicap for me was the steep descents.  I am a very cowardly descender for three good reasons: one – bad eyesight makes me slow to spot problems ahead, two – my bike handling skills are poor and three – I fell off going down hill a few years ago and it hurt.  This means that having laboured to the top of the hills, I couldn’t get full value from going down the other side.  As a result my average travelling speed for the run was a sluggish 11.8 miles an hour but I was pleased, and my knee was pleased too, simply to have got round such a challenging course as I am by no means match fit yet.

The result of the climbing was some magnificent views along the way but I didn’t dare stop to take pictures in case my legs refused to get started again.  Dropscone and Scott, the minister also took part but as they both started and finished behind me, I will have to wait until coffee time tomorrow to get their full stories.

I had to get back promptly because of a camera club meeting in the evening so when I finished the course, there was just time for one picture of the coast at St Bees….

St Bees…before setting off home.

The most exciting moment of the ride came when I was following three ladies who had overtaken me and they took the wrong route.  Being polite I took the wrong route too but luckily we came to our senses before any great damage was done and we were soon back on track.

Mrs Tootlepedal had amused herself with a walk on the cliffs to the south of the village while I was pedalling.  She said that the path was very near to the crumbling cliff edge as she walked along so I was glad that I wasn’t with her.  She had also visited the village of St Bees and had been impressed by the devil may care speed at which the fastest cyclists whistled down the main street

I had time to walk round the garden when we got home.  By and large the tulips are past their best having been battered by the recent weather but they still have their charms.

tulipstulipsI saw a bee squeezing pollen out of a pulmonaria.

beeThe birds perching in the plum tree have lost their blossom background and are now perching amongst some fresh green leaves.

chaffinchAnd then I went in to have a shower and prepare for the camera club meeting.

The meeting had two parts.  In the first, several experienced members had brought in some of the gear that they use and we were all interested is looking at other people’s solutions to the difficulties of taking pictures.  Then we split into groups of experienced and less experienced photographers and went off to take a few pictures in the late evening light and to give and to get advice while we were doing this.

Once again, we all enjoyed ourselves and we were able to look at the projected results of our work when we got back to the hall.

The party that I was with visited our garden to take some flower shots. Here are some of the shots I took using my macro lens to show off its possibilities, even in low light.  Of course, tulips figured again.

tulips tulipsI was pleased with this picture of a group of tiny flying insects.

insectsMy favourite rhubarb flower made an appearance…

rhubarb…and one of the euphorbias too.

euphorbiaThat is a drop of water in the corner of the flower.

One of the other members lent me a very clever 24 LED lighting device.  It has variable brightness and if used properly. I can see it might be a very useful tool.  In fact, I was so pleased with its effect on this dog tooth violet….

violet…that I think that I am going to buy one to help taking pictures of fungus and lichens in gloomy situations.

The camera club has had an experimental year but the members are very happy to try it again next season so we will meet in September and do it all again.  I would like to nudge any local readers who like taking pictures at any standard to come and join us then.

I am expecting to sleep quite well tonight.

The flying bird of the day is the only flying bird that I saw.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Led astray by fast women

  1. In fact, Venetia stumbled, quite literally, in her bluebell wood, and fell over a tree root, though with no lasting psychological damage.

  2. Congratulations on getting round the course. I hope you aren’t too achy tomorrow. I like the photo of the tiny flies and also the beautiful euphorbia flower.

  3. Your title had me chuckling; how polite you are to not show them up!
    Hearty congratulations on completing the challenge. I look forward to hearing Scott and Dropscone’s take on proceedings.
    The second tulip photo taken with the macro lens is wonderful as is one with the insects. Camera club seems to have been a very successful undertaking.

  4. Wonderful title! I congratulate you on completing the course – the ups and downs look quite alarming. (I share your views about speeding downhill, by the way.) You must be very pleased that your knee withstood the rigours of the day.

  5. Well done on the cycling event! I would have been very pleased to accomplish that one. I actually find hilly country a challenge too because I don’t like to go really fast downhill for similar reasons to you. My legs turn to jelly as soon as the road surface gets bumpy/potholes and that’s when I am in danger of losing control and falling, so I keep the speed down a bit. As you say, it means you don’t have a good build up to speed to begin the next ascent. I think your average is pretty good considering the elevation changes and your recent knee replacement! I had to smile reading the fast women title. That rhubarb flower still raises my eyebrows. Very interesting. 🙂

    1. When the road is bumpy and my glasses are bobbling up and down on my nose, I get very nervous. And even more so when the road suddenly goes into shadow.

  6. Very well done indeed for successfully completing that challenging and long ride!
    How you had the energy to go out to Camera Club in the evening I do not know, but you took some very effective late evening pictures in your garden.

  7. Well done for that hilly ride. You should be sharing your very positive recovery strategies with others – but I suppose you are. Glad to know you took the downhill with care and stunned that you could do anything else in that day.

  8. Congratulations on finishing such a strenuous ride! Also for the successful first year of the camera club.

    I have one of those LED panel lights. It works well enough for lighting dimly lit subjects, but the one that I have can’t eliminate the shadows from the sun, I have to use my flash for that.

  9. I’m glad the cycling went well. Commando says he has come unstuck following a shapely lady runners in the past until he found out she was far quicker than him and he ran out of energy. I’d love to join the camera club but it’s a bit of a treck.

  10. You are amazing! I would love love love to average 11.8 miles per hour in terrain like that, and over a course of 50 miles! And have energy left for photos, and a meeting. Chapeau!

  11. Amazing to me that you are cycling so much, so well. And still have energy left. I like the flying insects too. Someday I would like instruction in night photography.

  12. Congratulations on making it round the cycling course — it looks very strenuous indeed!!

    I’m glad you will be doing the camera club again in the fall. If I lived in Langholm, I would definitely enjoy it!

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