A flood of cyclists

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s sister Liz.  She saw this deadly nightshade on a visit to the Solway shore.

Deadly nightshadeThe day started pretty well and then improved.

I got up reasonably early and went up to the Moorland Project bird feeders.  I was filling in for fillers who were otherwise engaged.  The feeders all needed refilling and after that was done, I settled down in the hide to see if the birds would be grateful.  They were.  This was good but less good was the fact the light was poorer than I had hoped.  As usual though, I just snapped away regardless.

Two chaffinches
greenfinch and siskin
Greenfinch and siskin
Woodpeckers on nuts and seed

The feeders kept busy but there was a complete absence of any of the tit family, no blue tits, no great tits and no coal tits.  They seem to have been badly affected by the poor weather at their breeding time.

The pheasants were wisely keeping a low profile and practising lurking in the undergrowth.

pheasantWhen I had packed the camera away, I was looking at an umbellifera near the hide to see if I could get a good picture of a red beetle on it.  However when I put the photo to the computer in the evening, I thought that the flower itself was more interesting than the insect.

umbelliferaI got home in time for a late breakfast and after some really first class moaning about this and that, I was vigorously encouraged by Mrs Tootlepedal to pack it in and go cycling.  I did just that.

I had only gone half a mile up the road when it started to rain but I had a rain jacket and a cap in my back pocket so I put them on and pedalled on, hoping to come through the rain and out of the other side.  After seven or eight miles, I did just that and for the rest of the trip, the weather was kind.  It was a bit breezy and quite chilly but the breeze was behind me on my return and I had dried out by the time I got home.

Because of the gloomy weather, I hadn’t packed my camera but I had my phone with me and a patch of colour by the roadside brought me to to a halt.

Grange QuarryIt was worth coming out just to see that.  I wasn’t in any hurry today and the twenty five miles took me almost two hours but as my knees where quite happy about the whole thing, I was happy too.

I had just finished a nourishing lunch of a sardine on toast with a selection of good cheeses when I was visited by Scott, the minister, who had returned from taking part in the London 100 mile bike sportive with 25,000 other keen pedallers.

He had enjoyed himself and got round at 15 mph without incident and even managed the 12 mile cycle ride back to his car after the finish of the event.  He loves swooshing down steep hills and his only disappointment had been that there were so many other cyclists about all the time that he couldn’t go down the hills at his normal speed.

After he left, I caught a glimpse of white going past the window and rushed out with my camera to catch a very rare shot of a butterfly visiting our garden.

butterfly and tailess sparrowI have combined it with a picture of a tailless sparrow which often comes to the feeder and seems to be able to fly with no problems.

As you can see, a little sunshine had appeared by this time.  I had to spend some time preparing cards to sell for Archive Group funds but I was able to get  into the garden and mow the drying green and then look at a few flowers while I was out.  It was quite colourful.

knautia and weiglea
Red:  weigela and knautia
courgette and rose
Yellow: courgette and rose
blue(ish): Hosta and lobelia
Blue(ish): Hosta and lobelia

I went round the back of the house to try to capture the fine floral display along the dam.  Our neighbour Kenny had just cut the grass there and it was looking very neat.

damsideI was just thinking about going for a walk when the second cyclist of the day appeared.  This was Dropscone.  I was surprised, as he is a man of habit and his usual routine is to cycle in the morning and golf in the afternoon.  Today, he had not only done exactly the opposite but had scored well at the golf and gone quite quickly on the bike so he was in a very cheerful mood.

When he left after a cup of tea and a bsicuit, I got my walk in.  I chose to walk along the same route that I was following when I fell in the hole last month.  This time, I kept my eyes peeled and stopped when I saw anything interesting.  I didn’t fall into any holes even though there was quite a lot to look at.

There were fungi along the way.

fungiThere was a quite a substantial number of the ones on the right but they had either been kicked over by some enterprising dog or heavily eaten as they were all uprooted and damaged.

I saw another batch growing at the foot of a tree and I have combined them with a close up of some meadowsweet.

meadowsweet and fungiI went to take a picture of a very pretty pink flower and ended up by taking a flying bee of the day as well.

flying beeAs I walked through the bluebell wood, the foxgloves showed that they are nearly over….

foxglove and bluebell…and I imagine that the seed heads on the left are all that remains of the bluebells.

It is not a walk with views but occasionally, a gap in the trees lets you see a hill.

whitaI was very pleased to finally take a picture of a nettle covered in tiny flowers.  I have tried this shot often this year with no success so even this not very good shot cheered me up a lot.

nettleThe camera finds it hard to know what to focus on.

As I added a honeysuckle picture too..

honeysuckle…the walk would have been worth it just for those two shots.  As it was, the warm, sunny evening was a pleasure in itself…though it did make me think of how many evenings like it we have been missing this summer.

I came back along the path beside the park wall and took a final shot of the jungle that can be found on its stones.

park wallMrs Tootlepedal had been at a meeting in Newcastleton during the afternoon but she got stuck into the garden when she got back and I did a little compost sieving

The lamb stew made another appearance for our tea and then it was time for me to settle down and look through the day’s pictures.

I found a very compact siskin for the flying bird of the day.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “A flood of cyclists

  1. The meadowsweet closeup was just georgeous I thought and I loved the honeysuckle too. Glad you managed to cycle a decent few miles without your knees complaining, hope for more possible cycling weather tomorrow!

  2. The roadside flowers are glorious, certainly not something I’d usually come across! You are clever with your flying bee shots, Tom. That’s something I rarely catch and usually they are much blurrier. The miniature moss world is fantastic. I like how macroshots help us see the wonder that we usually just pass by. The pheasant photos you’ve been showing always make me think of Roald Dahl’s book, “Danny, Champion of the World” where a little boy drugs some pheasants and takes them away before the landed gentry start their shoot. I hope you get some good cycling weather tomorrow.

  3. I think those roadside flowers would have stopped me just as quickly.
    That’s a great shot of the nettle, I think. It took me several tries to get a decent shot of them too. They aren’t easy to get in focus.
    I agree with your thoughts about the umbellifera flower. It’s a beautiful thing.

  4. A fine day from start to finish, from the birds at the feeders, the flowers during your cycling, the flowers from the garden, to the compact siskin, they were all great!

  5. You have more than excelled yourself with such a fine selection of birds, bees and flowers that I could not possibly pick a favourite, though the honeysuckle is a triumph. So pleased you managed a long ride without knee trouble.

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