Long time no sea

Today’s picture is another from Mike Tinker’s recent visit to NZ.  It shows an elegantly silhouetted shag (he tells me that all cormorants are called shags in NZ).

NZ cormorant or shagAfter a spate of cool, windy days, we had a calm and warm day today and with my back well rested by some well judged idleness, cycling was an obvious choice.

After two days of aches and pains (and considerable groaning and moaning since I haven’t mastered the art of suffering in silence), I started cautiously.  However, I was happy to find that the two hilly 50 mile rides that I did last week had put quite a lot of stuffing in my legs and the warm dry weather suited my breathing well and as a result, I felt really good.

For the first time this year, I was able to push on a bit without having to have a big rest straight away.  I had also chosen a very flat route and with very light winds, I was able to roll along at a much better speed than of late.

My target was the little seaside village of Powfoot on the Solway shore and my aim was take some moody pictures of the sea.  I should have read the tide tables.

Powfoot solwayThere was no sign of the sea at all.  The extensive mudflats made it look as though you could walk across to the English shore in your slippers.

There was plenty of sky though so I took a picture of that.

Powfoot solwayThe old houses by the shore looked very pretty.

powfootIt was a perfect day for cycling.  The lack of sun meant that I didn’t  have to bother about sun cream or glare or about getting too thirsty and the wind was obliging enough to strengthen just a touch when I turned for home and had it it at my back.  These beneficial circumstances and my largely hill free route meant that I managed to get my average speed above 15 mph for the 50 mile tour and this was easily my best effort with my new knee.

Since I was quite busy pedalling, I didn’t pay too much attention to the wild flowers in the verges as I went round but I enjoyed these dandelions at the border, where I stopped for a banana before the final push for home.

dandelions
The verges have been covered with dandelions for weeks. They must enjoy the present weather.

The curious can see the route details here.

Mrs Tootlepedal had spent the morning altering some curtains while I was off cycling and was relieved to be able to get out into the garden in the afternoon.  The lack of new flowers which should be out by now made us all the more grateful that the primulas have enjoyed the cool weather a lot.

primulasprimulasprimulasI was very pleased to see some bees visiting the apple blossom….

apple blossom with bees…but we will need more if we are to get a good crop.

The tulips are nearly over but not quite.

tulipstulipI was going to put some buck-u-uppo on the middle lawn but the ingenious bottle, which should be attached to a hose so that it can spray the fertilizer, was so old that its fittings were jammed tight and I couldn’t get it to work.  For some reason, the thought of lugging watering cans full of water all over the garden didn’t appeal to me much so I picked up a camera and went on a brief cycle tour instead.

Mr Grumpy was in hunting mode at the Kilngreen.

Mr GrumpyHe wasn’t looking in the water but in the long grass on the bank.  He plunged his beak into a hole but only came out with a very small insect.

Mr GrumpyI rather think that he may have been after a frog.

I left him to his prey and went on to the sawmill brig to see if the dippers were about.  They were.  dippersThere was a pair of them visiting a hole in the bank so I assume that have a nest in there.

dipper nest
All mod cons including a shower.

I moved on to see if the blue tits still had control of the nesting hole at the Jubilee Bridge.  I think they have as I saw a blue tit visit…

blue tit…but it came out again very quickly (too quick for me) and didn’t return while I was watching so I don’t think that there are any young yet.

I cycled on home and had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal who had finished her work in the garden by this time,

In the evening, we went to our local choir, Langholm Sings, and sang.  We have two concerts coming up with them and we are working hard.  Some of us are even watching what the conductor is doing.

The flying bird of the day is Mr Grumpy making off with his insect.

heron

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Long time no sea

  1. Congratulations on the increased speed. Interesting name for the fertilizer! Nice to see Mr. Grumpy getting some use out of his wings.

  2. Great Wodehouse reference! Lovely flowers and I loved the bird photos, especially Mr. Grumpy — how you capture all that action, I cannot imagine.

  3. Well, you did make me smile with your self-depreciating humour (regarding the not suffering in silence bit). I’m glad the previous rides have helped your muscles along. I’ve neglected to check tides too but in my case I was thinking about getting some nice pictures of marine animals in rock pools. However, it was high tide. Walking across the flats in slippers to England made me chuckle. Mr Grumpy still looks his appealing grumpy self! I hope more bees arrive soon for your apple crop.

  4. Lovely shot of Mr Grumpy and well done for all that cycling at a better speed. The flowers in your garden are beautiful and I loved your shot of the apple blossom.

  5. I’ve always thought suffering in silence very over rated 🙂 Congratulations on a joyful, comfortable bike ride – what a destination! Thanks for the Mr Grumpy update…he looks very Gollum-like searching out his prey. And extra thanks for clearing up the shag/cormorant debate here on the Homestead; those birds that have taken to drying their wings on the goat paddock fence go by either name 🙂

  6. I think your prose style has a twist of its own that even P. G. lacks, excellent though he is. I like it a lot!

  7. Pity about the tide but the sky in your seaside pictures is beautiful. We had the same thing with our hose this year and Commando had to go and buy a new one. Ever since then it’s been raining.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: