A very binary ride….100000 miles

crab apple

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, my Somerset correspondent, and shows her very fruitful crab apple tree in all its glory.  Her answer to the question, “How do you like them apples?” is “A lot.”

crab appleIt was a chilly 3°C this morning when we got up, in spite of it being an hour later than it would have been yesterday as our clocks went back during the night.

I was hoping for a cycle ride but 3° is right on the limit of what is safe on a road bike as far as possible icy conditions go so I was pleased to have the legitimate excuse of preparing a lamb stew for the slow cooker to help me pass the time until it got a bit warmer.

A little early sun looked promising….

goldfinch…but it didn’t last.

It was still pretty chilly when the stew was ready so I was happy to let a few more minutes float past the kitchen window while I tried unavailingly to bank a flying bird of the day.

flying bird errorsI was either too soon or too late though.

In the end, Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to sing in the church choir before the thermometer finally hit 6° and I was brave enough to go out.  Luckily, the wind was very light and although it was in my face as I headed down the A7 towards Longtown, it wasn’t brisk enough to provide any noticeable wind chill factor.

I was heading for Smithfield, 16 fairly flat miles away and I was hoping that the light wind, by then behind me, would compensate for having to go uphill for the last few miles to get home.

My hopes were perfectly realised and my outward and return trips differed by less than a minute. With the trip being 32 miles (100000 in binary) and the times being almost equal, I was pleased by the mathematical precision of the ride.

On a less satisfactory note, I was hoping for some sunshine as the colour on the trees was the best yet but the skies remained obstinately cloudy and I didn’t much feel like stopping and getting colder than I was already

I did stop once on my way out though to take a few pictures of and from the bridge over the River Lyne, south of Longtown.

Lyne BridgeI scrambled down the bank to try to get the reflections in the water under an arch.

Lyne BridgeThe water was running very dark indeed but a tree by the bridge was bright enough.

Lyne BridgeWhen I got home, I had time to have a shower, look at some white flowers trying very hard to brighten a dull day….

Japanese anemones and cosmos
Japanese anemones and cosmos in need of dead heading

…and the fine display in front of the kitchen window….

sedum, nerines and lobelia…before having some lentil soup for lunch and getting ready to go to Carlisle for our Carlisle Community Choir practice.

I did spend a moment or two trying to get a decent  image of a pair of coal tits that were flitting about….

coal tits…but they were more interested in eating than posing.  A blue tit was equally disobliging and turned its back on me.

blue titOur choir practice was very enjoyable as we concentrated on two tuneful songs with good tenor parts which were not too difficult.

With clocks going back, it was dark when we left Carlisle to drive home and that certainly brought the shortening of the afternoons very much into focus.  I will have to remember that if I want to get about outdoors, then an early start is essential.

When we got back, Mrs Tootlepedal made dumplings to go with the lamb stew and the whole thing was so tasty that we had to be quite restrained so as not to eat tomorrow’s meal as well as today’s at one sitting.

I did find one flying bird but it was only a rather blurry standard chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A very binary ride….100000 miles

  1. I loved the reflections both on the river and under the bridge, thanks for the scramble you did to take the second picture. The rest of your day seems to have gone very well, am glad about that.

  2. Don’t want to gloat, but we’ve had glorious sunshine all day here, a welcome contrast to many recent days of gloom and drizzle. Mowing the grass (can’t call it a lawn) and raking up leaves was almost a pleasure.

    1. Quiet roads for cycling on are probably the best thing…..maybe the strong sense of community…..or perhaps the scenery….or just about everything.

  3. Glad the stew turned out so well. Great reflections and a fine bridge picture in spite of not as much sun as you would have liked.

  4. Lamb stew, a cycle and beautiful shots of river reflections…I’d like that combination. You can keep the chilly conditions though! 🙂

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