Saddle up

Today’s guest picture shows a bridge on the Trent and Mersey Canal which was visited today by my brother Andrew.

Looking back at the same bridgeI started my day with a visit to the doctor to discuss statins.  After stopping taking them a few months ago, I was persuaded back onto them and I was hoping that a recent test would show that they were having no effect so that I could stop taking them again.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which  way you look at it, they have proved to be very effective and my cholesterol is now in a happy place. A bit of negotiation has got me onto a reduced intake so both the doctor and I were reasonable content with the outcome.

I took a picture of some of the decorative cobwebs which festoon the suspension bridge on my way to the health centre.

suspension bridgeWhen I got home, I celebrated by knocking out a batch of eight drop scones to share with Sandy when he came round for coffee after filling the Moorland bird feeders.  Although they were obviously not up to the standard of the great Dropscone himself, they can’t have been too bad, because we ate them all between us.

When Sandy left, I wandered round the garden for a while.  Butterflies were sunning themselves.

butterfliesFlowers were looking quite cheerful.

poppy and nasturtiumAnd a starling was doing some heavy grooming on the wire at the end of the house.

starlingThen I went in and put a week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database and as a result found myself pretty well on schedule to keep up with the data miners.  Things were going well so I settled down to the crossword and an early lunch.

After lunch I got the fairly speedy bike out.

When I went to get it back from the bike shop yesterday, I purchased a new saddle while I was there.  This is always a tricky business as the saddle is a thing that can bring misery to a cycle ride if it doesn’t fit.  I had hoped to go for a long ride today as the weather was fine and the wind light but the bike mechanic had impressed upon me the importance of running the new saddle in gently.

I mentally whittled my proposed 60 mile ride down to 40….and then to 30…and finally a bit of good sense kicked in and I went for a modest 20 mile ride up and down the fairly flat road to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back three times.

I started off very gingerly for the first lap but gradually my confidence grew as the saddle gave me no trouble and by the third lap, I was going at a good speed.  These are early days though and it will take a second and third ride to find out if the saddle really will suit.

Here is a portrait of the saddle on the fairly speedy bike.

new saddleThe man in the bike shop was rather shocked that I should consider having a white saddle on a black bike and I agree that it isn’t very stylish.  However there are two points to consider – one, he didn’t have a black saddle in this model and two, I will now be able to recognise my bike quite easily in a crowd….and as a bonus, no discerning bike thief would be seen dead on such a mismatch.

When I got off the bike, I rang Sandy and suggested a walk and when he came down, he said he would like to find some fungi.  I told him that I knew just the place and we set off to walk the couple of miles to the Becks road and back by Gaskells.

There were fungi.

fungiThe track along the fields was a delight.

Meikleholm trackWhen we got to the woods, we could hardly move for fungi.

fungiOf every sort.

fungiEven deep in the darkest spots, there was still fungus and mould to be seen.

fungiWe didn’t neglect the lichens.

lichenWe came out of the other side of the woods into the sunshine…

Hallcrofts…and enjoyed the view of Whita.

WhitaWe couldn’t pass the Auld Stane Brig without a snap.

Auld Stane BrigAnd there was still more fungus to admire as we came home along gaskells.

fungusWe ate a few blackberries to keep our strength up as we walked along and got home in very good spirits, having enjoyed a short autumn walk in perfect weather.

Sandy went off and I had another walk round the garden. My favourite poppy had looked a bit head down and depressed in the morning but the sunny afternoon had perked it up a lot.

poppyThe main question though was what would happen when  30 starlings….

starlings…noticed that I had put some pellets in the new feeder.

The answer was starling frenzy….

starling frenzy…followed by a starling shouting match.

starling sandwichMrs Tootlepedal was away in Edinburgh visiting Matilda so I cooked myself a fillet of haddock for my tea in her absence.  When she returned, she had to go out again almost immediately, this time to a WRI meeting and I waited for a short while before Sandy reappeared and we went off to the Archive Centre.

Sandy did some painstaking searching through microfiches for the year 1930 to answer a query from a correspondent while I put another week and a half of the index into the database.  After a suitable refreshment in the Eskdale, it was finally time for a little rest.

The flying bird of the day is a horizontal chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Saddle up

  1. Thank you for the wonderful collection of fungal treats and lichen and the delightful landscape shots.Such pretty countryside. Sorry to hear about you are having to take the statins again. I understand why you would want to avoid them as I know the side effects can be frustrating. I have an inherited high cholesterol problem like my mother and grandma. It doesn’t matter what natural methods I use, my levels are higher than normal without medication. Best wishes. 🙂

  2. Glad there was a satisfactory outcome re statins.
    The new saddle adds a touch of je ne sais quois!

  3. I agree, the new saddle is very dapper; black with white accents never goes out of style! The statin outcome is a good compromise. I too am on them and view them as a necessary evil.
    I think word may have got out about your flashy pink pellets!

  4. While it’s fun to admire a riderless bike, nobody ever notices the saddle when you are pedaling which is what it’s all about. I think the white looks fine and comfort is king.

  5. Nice photos of a variety of fungi, but once again, my favorites were the landscape photos!

    You have to wonder about birds that flock in such large numbers as starlings. Yes, there’s probably safety in numbers, but on the other hand, fighting for every morsel of food isn’t very efficient.

  6. I can see the color changes starting over there. Beautiful photos, as always. I love the spider webs! We don’t get the brilliant colors of my native New England in my part of Oregon, but I still love the changing of the seasons, and return to cooler weather.

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