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.
As 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….
…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.
But couldn’t ignore the latest poppies.
There are two clematis entwined in a philadephus next to the pond…
…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…
I 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.
It was fairly dry after all the rain….
We hadn’t reckoned on just how wet the hillside would be and crossing the trackless waste was really hard work.
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…
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.
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.