From bike to bog to boogie

Mam tor

Today’s guest picture shows what is needed to stop erosion at a very popular hill top.  My brother Andrew visited the  summit of Mam Tor in the Peak District and took this striking picture on the way.

Mam torAs the main roads are generally free of lorries on a Sunday, I used to go up and down the A7 quite a lot on Sunday mornings while Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church choir.  This year, because of the recovery from my knee operation and the persistently miserable weather, I haven’t had many opportunities so I was really pleased to find a Sunday morning and some good weather arriving at the same time today.

Thinking of the wind direction, I headed south, hoping for a breeze behind me on my way home.  The wind was light enough not to be a problem either way though and I made good progress down to Longtown and then to Newtown on the Roman Wall. The fairly speedy bike stopped there and took a selfie at its favourite bench….

Newtown bench
No puddles under benches today

…while I took the chance to eat  a banana before turning to complete the twenty miles back home.

Although the wind wasn’t quite as helpful as I had hoped, I was a little quicker going back than going out but in spite of trying quite hard, I arrived back two minutes later than I would have wished.  Still 15.9 mph is nearly as good as 16 mph. (No, it isn’t)

I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal when I got home.

yellow crocosmia and lily
We noticed two new arrivals

But couldn’t ignore the latest poppies.

poppiespoppiesI don’t think that we have had poppies with so many layers before.

There are two clematis entwined in a philadephus next to the pond…

clematis…at least, I think it is two different plants as they have six and four petals respectively but they look remarkably similar.  Can the same clematis have different numbers of petals?  These are self sown so Mrs Tootlepedal could shed no light on the question.

After lunch, we sat and watched the final events of the World Athletics Championships and then went off for a walk as it was still a very fine, dry day.

We went along to the Becks burn again, passing through the woods there…

Becks wood… but this time, instead of turning back to the town when we emerged from the trees, we turned towards the hills.

Becks viewThe road was lined with flowers old and new….

wild flowers…and one which caught Mrs Tootlepedal’s eye.

Wild flowerI had seen some of this beside the road at Gair earlier in the week but nowhere else.  They look like a seed heads at first sight but a closer look shows that they are flowers.  I have no idea what they are and would welcome suggestions.

Our walk continued along the ‘Crab Apple Loaning’.  The are reasons for the name of this lane.

crab apples
And here they are.

It was fairly dry after all the rain….

Crab apple loaning…and very restful to stroll along.

Crab apple loaningThings changed with a vengeance when we got to the open hill at the end of the lane.

We hadn’t reckoned on just how wet the hillside would be and crossing the trackless waste was really hard work.

The track to GlencorfOne moment Mrs Tootlepedal was there….and the next she had disappeared into a bottomless bog.

I exaggerate a bit.

But not much. In the mile or so until we got to the Cleuchfoot road, we hardly took two steps without having to hop from tussock to tussock, suck our feet out of a squelchy bog or leap across a marshy rivulet.  It was harder work than we expected and there were moments when we felt that we might have bitten off more than we could chew.

We finally arrived at the Glencorf Burn…

Glencorf burn…and struggled along it until we hit the road.

The three miles back home along the Wauchope road were blessedly easy walking but felt quite a long way.  We had things to look at as we went along though.

ruined cottage
Hard to beat as a picturesque location but needing some work done as they say.
Bonnie purple heather
Bonnie purple heather
interesting flower
And another interesting flower, unknown to us.

We were more than pleased to get a sit down and a cup of tea after our hard working six miles but we didn’t have long to relax before it was time to go out again.  This time we were headed for the Buccleuch Centre and a concert.

There was a small but select audience to hear Jeff Barnhart, an excellent jazz pianist, give us an enjoyable selection of eclectic Americana with his wife Anne pitching in with some decidedly hot flute playing and good singing.  This is the third time I have heard Jeff and his infectious good humour, combined with a wide repertoire and some adventurous improvisation always makes him good value.  Anne displayed some ferociously impressive ‘blue’ flute technique and together they rounded off our day in fine style.

In all this, my opportunities for catching a flying bird of the day were limited and this chaffinch turned up after the light had gone.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “From bike to bog to boogie

  1. Your first flower is a Great Burnet – getting rarer. I saw some for the first time in the Peak District last week. The second is probably Common Hemp-nettle. I hope your legs aren’t suffering too much after struggling through the boggy ground. That is so exhausting, I know! I like the silvery, almost frosted look of the ferns in the woods.

  2. I’m glad Clare knew what your plants were. I didn’t recognize the first one and I was leaning towards one of the horehounds or bugle weeds for the second.
    It’s possible to have a different number of petals on flowers on the same plant, but doubtful. It’s certainly not something you’ll see every day. Also, clematis flowers have sepals rather than petals, but they’re still beautiful whatever you call them.
    And so are today’s landscape photos!

      1. Oh, I do. I am very ignorant about the natural world and am grateful for any help. It is only since I got a camera that I have slowed down enough to look about me.

  3. Your legs are going to be tired tomorrow for sure, after a longish bike ride and six miles of walking, especially through the bog! I’m happy that you were able to rescue Mrs. T from the bottomless bog, as I’d miss her beautiful flowers. I’m also glad that you weren’t sucked into it either, as I’d truly miss your landscape photos as well.

  4. Beautiful picture of dappled sunlight in the woods. Amazed at your energy – a long ride and very energetic walk indeed and a long one, and then out in the evening! Glad the concert was worth the effort.

  5. I can confirm Clares identification as the first one definitely is a Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) and the second belongs to the Galopsis family. Again beautiful flowers and landscapes! Take care not to get lost in the bog.

  6. The poppy layers are lovely and I am very fond of your purple heather. After reading a few hiking blogs in the past I had come to associate Scotland with tussocky, boggy country but upon discovering your blog I’ve been able to see much more about Scotland. This post was a reminder to me about the boggy aspects though. It must have been an exhausting walk. Your pictures of the scenery are very pretty though!

    1. That walk is always hard work but we just weren’t mentally prepared for how soggy it was going to be. We ought to have been because we know perfectly well how wet it has been.

  7. Your bike is awfully coy, taking a selfie whilst hiding behind a bench like that. My bike bucked me off a week ago in a very slow speed crash. The bruises and cuts are healing well though.

  8. What a tiring walk! Twenty years ago, I crossed a boggy dune grass area like that and the memory still lingers unpleasantly. Once I got halfway across, I was sorry I had begun but you know how it is when you are halfway.

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