Today’s guest picture shows a hyacinth macaw which my Somerset correspondent Venetia met. She didn’t meet it in Somerset though. She is currently in the Pantanal, the Brazilian wetlands.
We had a first rate autumn morning here, with blue skies and a crisp temperature. At 6°C this gave me a problem. Cycling was on my mind but 6° is quite chilly and requires special clothing at my age. However, this would mean getting far too hot later in the ride so I delayed my start until the thermometer hit 10° and this took enough time to let me get the crossword finished and to eat a couple of slices of toast to fuel me up for the ride.
When I got going, I had an open mind about my route but as I pedalled along, the beautiful day and cheerful legs got me thinking of a few hills and fifty miles.
I had a couple of bananas and a few dates and raisins with me so I could choose any route that I wanted. I was heading west but I turned off just before Lockerbie and headed south. I picked up a new bridge for my collection when I crossed the Water of Milk at Kettleholm. (I don’t make these names up by the way).
…and a crop of Himalayan balsam, a beautiful flower but a pest.
My way home took me through Brydekirk, Ecclefechan, Middlebie and Chapelknowe and at Chapelknowe, I had the choice of a direct route home or adding a few more miles and a couple of modest climbs by going up to Kennedy’s Corner and back over Callister. I had enough puff left to choose the harder route and clocked up 54 miles and two and a half thousand feet of climb which was a satisfactory way of making use of a beautiful day. I cycled well within myself and my average speed of a modest 13mph reflected this.
Those with time hanging heavily on their hands can see the route and details here.
I had enough energy when I got home left to take a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker who had dropped in and then for a quick walk round the garden.
There are still several clematis doing well.
Of course I might have noticed a few poppies too.
I also had time to watch the birds for a few minutes.
The birds have got used to using the feeder hole with no perch as you can see in the picture above but I was very impressed by the smash and grab technique of the chaffing below.
Then there was time for a bath and my tea before Susan kindly came and picked me up for a trip to our recorder group in Carlisle. All five of us were present and we had a good play with some music which we had never played before mixed in with some old favourites.
For some reason, I am slightly tired and so will spare the reader any more rambling thoughts.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.