At last a little calm

Today’s guest picture from my Newcastle correspondent is another from the recent Latino celebration there.  They don’t dress like this every day in Newcastle.

newcastleThe temperature hadn’t managed to creep up very much today but the wind had dropped a lot so after hanging around for quite some time….

poppy
It gave me an opportunity to admire the first oriental poppy of the year…
allium
…and to learn that not all alliums are round and purple.

….in the hope that things might warm up a little, I set off for a relaxed pedal.  Of course the down side of no wind is that you have to pedal all the time and never get those wonderful downwind miles when you think that you really might be proper cyclist. The other things is that rain showers don’t move over you so quickly and I had ten miles of light rain soon after I started in which to consider whether this was a good idea.  All around me though, there were blue skies so I persevered.

Once again, I made up my route as I went along, listening to my legs at each decision point.  They were in a fairly co-operative mood and I made my first stop on a motorway bridge near Lockerbie after 20 miles.  I munched on an egg roll and a banana.

Lockerbie
You can see the shower that I had pedalled through lingering over Burnswark in the background.

While I munched, I considered a selection of wild flowers in the verge at my feet.

wildflowersI wouldn’t have registered any of these if I had been pedalling past.

From Lockerbie, I went back down to the coast at Annan, stopping to admire the River Annan from the bridge at Hoddom.

River AnnanThough I doubt that if I was a road engineer, I would be very happy with a tree growing out of one of my buttresses.

Hoddom BridgeFrom Annan, I usually take the flat coast road back home but today I was in a more adventurous mood and climbed back up to Chapelcross before returning by Kirkpatrick Fleming.   As a result I did a quite a bit more climbing in 53 miles today than I had done in 60 miles last week.

I took a back road down to KPF and was rewarded with some good verges.

vergesI had a couple more very brief light showers as I went round but it was a very enjoyable and not very testing ride.

When I got home, I had a cup of tea (courtesy of the gardener) and a snack before going out to mow the middle lawn.  There is remarkably little growth in the grass yet but frequent mowing always does a lawn good and it is not looking too bad.

When I had put the mower away, I wandered round the garden with camera in hand.  There is a good deal of colour about now.  Some quite delicate….

poached eggs and primulas
Poached eggs and primulas beside the pond

…and some a bit more in your face.

azaleasI couldn’t resist another astrantia.

astrantiaAlthough Mrs Tootlepedal is a bit snooty about the ‘wishy washy’ aquilegias, the bees still like them.

aquilegia with beeI went in to get out of my cycling gear and took the chance while I was upstairs to catch a couple of colourful corners below.

azaleas

azaleas and rhodies
This one should be more colourful but the azalea at the front left was blasted by a late frost.  It is producing leaves.
Feeder corner
I like looking at birds through the kitchen window, Mrs Tootlepedal likes flowers.  We have the best of both worlds.
sparrow
I got an unusual view of a sparrow and siskin.

Then it was time for a relaxing bath until my flute pupil Luke came.  We had a good time playing a couple of new duets and Luke was in full concentrating mode so we made good progress.

I just had time for a slice or two of cold lamb before going off to do some singing and playing with Isabel.  Mike wasn’t there this week so we had the opportunity to play some solo sonatas by Handel as well as trying to improve my singing a bit, an uphill task even for such an experienced teacher as Isabel.

The flying bird of the day is one of a pack of swifts that were circling high over the garden when I got back from playing with Isabel.

swift

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “At last a little calm

  1. Thanks to your legs for allowing you to undertake the more adventurous option and providing us with, in particular, the road down to Kirkpatrick Fleming. Just beautiful. And your garden? One word: WOW!!!

  2. I’m always a bit shocked when you write about your very long bike rides and then continue your day with mowing or other yard work: I expect the day’s activities to end with the long ride. It seems more appropriate that you would go home and relax in Mrs. T’s gorgeous garden!

    1. I like to get something done when the muscles are still warmed up and I don’t have to start from scratch. My rides are of a reasonable length but they are taken at a leisurely pace just to stop me from getting too tired.

  3. Congrats on a good long ride.

    I always enjoy overview photos of your splendid garden, with the hedges always so expertly clipped and lots of good green structure to set off the flowers.

  4. Another very energetic day. Glad you had such an enjoyable ride. Lovely colours in your garden.

  5. Lovely shot of the river with the reflection! And the views from your windows…sigh! So gorgeous. It must be heavenly to see that garden when you glance out.

    We’ve had so much rain here this spring, it is impossible to keep up with the mowing and unfortunately it is a job hubby does not enjoy overly much. We’ve had so much rain that I have as much fungus as flowers growing in the new landscaping. :/ And try to keep up with the weeding! Ugh, it is a full-time job!

    1. I am sorry about your rain. We have been very chilly here but the rain has not been excessive and we have had enough dry spells to keep us from getting too soggy.

  6. The flowers are getting more beautiful with every passing day!

    I heard that it hadn’t reached 70 Degrees F (21 C0 there in Scotland yet this year, no wonder you’ve been complaining about the weather.

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