According to plan

tony's dog

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my son Tony and shows one of his large pack of fierce  hounds.tony's dogAnother dry day, this time with added sunshine and light winds, made for a unmissable chance to go cycling and this time, I didn’t miss it.

There was a moment of distraction before I got going when I noticed a newcomer at the bird feeder.  It was early in the day and the light wasn’t good but this was the first sighting in the autumn of a brambling in the garden so I have put the picture in for the record.

bramblingThe feeder may have been in deep shadow but there was sunshine on the plum tree where a goldfinch was looking a bit put out by the newcomer.

goldfinchIn spite of the sunshine, it was a fairly nippy 6°C when I set off so I was well wrapped up.  I had judged the clothing level well though and I maintained a good temperature, not too hot, not too cold, for the whole ride.

I was helped by going at a very steady pace as I was in no hurry and kept an eye out for views which might show why pedalling up the Ewes valley is my favourite Sunday morning run.

On the way up, I stopped to look to my left….

Ewes valleyEwes valley…and to my right.

Ewes valleyThe valley is remarkable for the extreme flatness of the narrow strip of ground between the hills on both sides.

The flat ground comes to an abrupt end though and the head of the valley is surrounded by hills….

Ewes valley….I took a panorama too.

Ewes valleyInstead of going straight on up the main road to Mosspaul as I usually do, the fine weather persuaded me to turn right at Fiddleton Toll and head for the hills.  The road has been recently resurfaced and was a pleasure to ride along.

road to carretriggI turned round as I climbed gently to see the valley that I had left behind me.

ewes valleyI was headed for Carretrigg, a fine ridge at the top of  a steep hill.

carretriggI could have gone on and dropped into Liddesdale but I didn’t have time so after admiring the view to the south…..

carretrigg…and the north….

carretrigg…I pointed the bike back down the hill….

carretrigg…and headed for home.

Unlike the capricious wind of last week, the gentle wind in my face on the way up today had slightly strengthened but kept its direction so I was able to pedal back to Langholm with a light heart and twinkling legs.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal and I sawed off another limb of the apple tree and Mrs Tootlepedal did some excellent trimming and shredding so that everything was tided away by the time that I had had a shower.

I took a picture or two in the garden while I was out there.

clematis and nerine
The low temperature in the morning had not harmed the nerine or clematis.

The feeder was now in the sunshine but there were no bramblings to be seen, just sparrows…

sparrows…and contentious chaffinches.

chaffinchesIn the afternoon, we went to Carlisle to combine a little shopping with a choir practice.  We are singing at the switching on of the Christmas Lights in the city centre next month so we concentrated on some Christmas songs today which seemed a bit inappropriate for such a pleasant sunny day but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

When we got home, we found that a contentious refereeing decision had put the nail in the coffin of Scotland’s chances of going further in the Rugby World Cup so I was exceptionally glad that the choir practice had prevented me from watching the match.  I wasn’t very happy but I must have been the happiest rugby supporter in Scotland.  I would have been distraught if I had been watching.

We had some baked cod for our tea and then I watched a little uncontentious telly and pruned the pictures for tonight’s post before going to watch the recorded highlights of the game and cry a little.

Today’s flying bird is a chaffinch, cheerfully unconscious of the national disaster ahead.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “According to plan

  1. We had about 28ºF here this morning and that finished our growing season. We also had snow flurries, so your Christmas caroling would’ve fit right in.

    The views of the treeless hills are as beautiful as always. After growing up surrounded by tree covered hills seeing such naked hills is almost like seeing another world. I’m surprised that erosion isn’t a problem though.

  2. Not only was it a fine day for cycling, but also for shooting more great landscape photos of the gorgeous scenery in your area!
    I hope that your son keeps that vicious beast on a leash most of the time. 😉

  3. I can completely understand why you would want to pass a Sunday morning cycling in that beautiful valley.
    Commiserations over the rugby loss; I know very little about our national game but am well aware of those pesky Australian sports people and their ability to wheedle last moment victories 🙂

  4. An adorably fearsome hound he is!

    42 degrees is about what our mornings have been. The temperature can swing 40 degrees or more over the day in summer, less in winter.

    Beautiful photos of your countryside and wildlife, as always!

  5. Glad to see you got out for a ride, and what wonderful autumn views.
    I gather the rugby ref got off the pitch (or is it field?) smartish!

  6. What a fetching dog.
    Magnificent pictures of your ride – it must have been a great pleasure to bicyle through such a scenic area in the sunshine.

  7. You live amongst such beautiful scenery! I enjoyed the photos taken on your cycle ride. Our temperatures are quite mild here but we have a lot of cloud and rain.

  8. A gorgeous collection of landscapes, Tom. I love the shades of yellow, gold etc on the hillsides against the blue sky. So pretty! The panorama looked like fairy tale stuff. 🙂

  9. What a lovely ride. I can see why you enjoy it so much, Tom. I agree with Jane. The panorama does look “ fairy tale stuff.”

    The hills in the Pomona Valley, in SoCal used to look a quite a bit like this, but only in Winter. The rest of the time they were doe colored, and now they are covered in McMansions.

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