A straightforward but circular day

hyacinth macaw

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.

hyacinth macawWe 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.

It could hardly have been a better day

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).

Kettleholm bridgeThe views were very good today.

Looking to CriffelAnd I stopped at Hoddom where I saw that rarity this year, a ripe blackberry beside the River Annan….

bramble at Hoddom
Very tasty it was too

…and a crop of Himalayan balsam, a beautiful flower but a pest.

himalayan balsamThere was a fisherman on the far side of the bridge.

Hoddom BridgeI had another view of him as I crossed the bridge.  He had a companion a bit further along.

Hoddom BridgeI expect that the fisherman thinks that sitting on a bike for hours on end is as odd as I think standing up to your middle in a river is.

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.

clematisAnd the sedum was playing host to a great number of this sort of bee today.

bee on sedum
I would think that there might have been as many as twenty bees on the plants.

Of course I might have noticed a few poppies too.

poppiespoppies…and the star of the day.

poppyThe better weather had got them to lift their heads up well.

I also had time to watch the birds for a few minutes.

busy feeder
There were plenty to watch.

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.

chaffinchThen 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.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A straightforward but circular day

  1. After 54 miles and two and a half thousand feet of climb on a bike I wouldn’t doubt that you’re tired.
    Photographically it was worth every mile as the beautiful landscape show. I especially like the clouds in that first shot and the fishermen. My father fished and those two photos reminded me of all the times I went along.

  2. I know that I would miss the birds and flowers if you did so, but you could do a post or two of nothing but landscape photos from around your home, and I for one would love those posts. I’ve said it before, but it’s a beautiful part of the world where you live.

  3. Interesting to see a handsome macaw atop your blog.
    What a splendid ride, no wonder you were a bit tired in the evening!

  4. The clouds in your first photo were unbelievable; absolutely gorgeous! No wonder you are a little weary, but I can imagine cycling through that wonderful scenery felt fantastic 🙂

  5. The weather looks fantastic over there. Guess what? We have gone from freeeeezing cold to boiling hot in two days. I suppose it isn’t that boiling hot but for me it is and I already have a sweat band on my head, sigh.

  6. What a glorious sky! The landscapes are very appealing, Tom. What pretty countryside you have. Those stone bridges are lovely – not like many of our our concrete and metal monstrosities. Your autumn is equal to a very “cold” mid-winter’s morning here. I enjoyed the fluffy-ness of the bee and I once again those poppies are stunning. Well done on the long ride. I’d be needing a lie down after that. 🙂

  7. Your scenery shots are spectacular! While your 6 degrees C is way too chilly, it sounds better than what is in store for us again this weekend… between 37 and 40C. When will it ever cool down?!

  8. An impressive ride and some lovely pictures, I feel much the same about fishermen. I see them everywhere along the river but can’t understand the draw of sitting watching the water in the same spot all day somehow.

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