Three sunny days in a row. Summer at last.


Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our neighbour Liz who met this colourful beast on a recent walk in the south.

caterpillarI had been pressed by Scott, the minister, to go for a cycle ride of a decent distance with him as today promised wall to wall sunshine and tolerable winds.  As he had a morning meeting, the ride start  was scheduled for midday.  This gave me several hours after breakfast to change my mind about going or not going.   I used the opportunity to the full.

In the meantime, I spent a remarkably small amount of time (and mental anguish) on the phone while cancelling my existing contract and ordering a new model.  It should come tomorrow and after a few weeks, I may even be able to use it properly.  It is a 4G phone and as we only have 3G coverage in Langholm, it is a bit like casting pearls before swine.  It will be really good when i need to use in Carlisle though.

I also admired Mrs Tootlepedal’s raking skills as she achieved a fine tilth in the potato bed which we finally cleared yesterday.

tilthI also looked at a few flowers.

Two marigolds looked right back at me.
A burst of sunflowers is beginning to emerge.
Possibly a perfect flower.  The dahlias have loved our recent weather.
A poppy flashing its skirts in the breeze
Yet another clematis has joined the show

In the end, I made up my mind that I was fit enough for a ‘decent’ distance and went off to meet Scott.  He kindly let me shelter behind him as we set off into the breeze and responded to my frequent requests to ‘slow it down a bit’ with the result that after twenty miles, I was relaxed enough to suggest a favourite route of mine that would give us a round fifty miles, a ‘decent distance’.

garmin route 25 Aug 2015We settled for this and pushed on.  I would have had many, many beautifully composed and  interesting pictures to show you of our route if my phone been fully charged.  As it was, it turned out to have a battery as dead as a dodo so you are spared any unnecessary details.

We stopped at Longtown after 35 miles to enjoy a pot of tea for two and some toasted tea cakes before taking on the final gently uphill section home.

The wind had seemed quite brisk when we set out but it didn’t seem so bad by the time that we finished.  This was lucky as it was coming out of the west and as you can see from the route map, this meant that it was against or across us for much longer than it was behind us.  Still, any day that I can manage 15 mph for fifty miles is a good day and thanks go to Scott for keeping my speed up by acting as a wind deflector when the going got tough.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker enjoying a cup of tea in the garden and discussing the best care for a poorly tree.  Mike told us that he had been for a couple of rides on his mountain bike with a friend who has just acquired an electric bike (they are getting increasingly popular).  He had enjoyed the outings but had found that being whizzed past by an electric bike while he was struggling up steep hills was not undiluted joy.

As Mike left, I took a picture of a very decorative poppy whose rich colour and many layers challenged Pocketcam to its limit.

poppyIt is actually redder than the pictures shows but I had to reduce the saturation in the photo editor to get any definition at all.

I also took a moment to watch the birds.

two shouting siskins
Two shouting siskins working in concert.
In spite of the shouting siskins, it was basically ‘sparrow city’ today.
There were some calm birds about

I resolved to go for a short walk in order to take some pictures to make up for the failure to record the bike ride.

I chose a walk that gave me a good view over the town…

You can see the top of the walnut tree in our garden at the bottom of the picture

…some interesting wild flowers.

The hedges are full of convolvulus now

The hedgerows are getting a bit barer now as the meadowsweet loses flowers….

meadowsweet..but not all the colour has gone.

knapweedThere was a gate that caught my eye….

gate…and then my camera battery ran out without notice (or at least without me noticing) so I turned round and came home.

Not my most successful day when it came to battery readiness.

I think that perhaps my legs were in cahoots with my battery because they felt quite pleased to be sitting down when I got back to the house.

In the evening, as there was nothing more interesting on the telly, I spent a little time watching the Bloomberg Channel.  It seems clearly evident that we are rushing headlong into another major financial crisis while governments fail to act and smart financiers see how much they can make by betting against their clients’ interests so I felt that I should be trying to find out what these experts thought was going on.  I learned that I should probably be unravelling my China shorts…..and no, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

It is going to rain tomorrow but summer has been very good while it lasted.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Three sunny days in a row. Summer at last.

  1. Happy you got a few nice sunny days! Your flowers never cease to amaze me! They are all beyond beautiful. The poppy’s dance in the breeze is my favorite today 🙂

  2. I don’t generally like marigolds, but yours are lovely. And that dahlia is stunning! I’m fond of gates, and always appreciate it when you spot one.

  3. I’ve managed to enjoy several hours of TV this evening, but perhaps you have different programmes there, and/or different tastes. I can especially recommend a programme on owls on BBC2. Glad you had such a nice day.

  4. Wow! I’m with you, the dahlia may be perfect, I loved it.

    I’m glad that you’ve had a spell of nice weather and were able to get in a longer ride. From the number of times that you’ve mentioned electric bikes lately, I get the feeling that you’re thinking of purchasing one. You’ll have to up your battery management skills if you do. 😉

  5. I had to have a bit of a sit down and I only read today’s Tootlepedalling! I have given up on trying to follow the worlds wheeler and dealers; they don’t seem to miss my attention

  6. Glad you had another good day weather wise. I too admired Mrs T’s tilth. I am unable to follow the financial crisis and am perfectly certain that financiers will do well out of it and pensioners badly.

  7. As usual I am exhausted envisioning even half of one of your days (maybe your batteries were too) but what a beautiful post. The flower pictures are gorgeous. Congratulations on the sunshine and warmer weather.

  8. I’m sorry you had a frustrating experiences with batteries. That seems to happen more often to me when I come upon something highly unusual or would just make a lovely shot. I particularly liked the first siskins shot where they are working in concert. A great moment in time to catch. You do have a very pretty town. More lovely than skyscrapers!

  9. 15mph average over 50 miles. Indeed, I’d say, a decent distance, and a decent speed. Chapeau! Something I would love to boast of here. BTW I’ve been having a hard time getting my comments accepted recently…the vagariesof the internet, I suppose. But, hence my tardy reply.

    1. I struggle to get my comments onto your posts so i suppose that we are victims of a super power battle between Google and WordPress.

      I hasten to add that my 50 was over very forgiving terrain with biggest hills in the middle section being bridges over railway and motorway!

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