Today’s guest picture shows a popular pair of pelicans in St James Park. My sister Mary enjoyed their company.
We had another in our very welcome spell of dry days today. We didn’t go as far as getting any sunshine but the wind was reasonably calm so mustn’t grumble. You can’t have everything.
After a warm day at the weekend, the temperature has dropped back again and I was well wrapped up when I went out on the fairly speedy bike after serial procrastinating with the aid of a cup of coffee and a slice of toast.
My aim was to get going and see what sort of a mood my legs were in. As it turned out, they were quite perky and I ended up doing 50 miles. This was quite satisfactory. I wasn’t in a hurry and stopped for many photo opportunities as I went along.
The sky above me was generally cloudy….
…so the light wasn’t all that it might have been from a photographic point of view. Annoyingly, there was constant blue sky to my west and occasional stray sunbeams to make me all to aware of what I was missing.
As a result of the light, I left landscapes alone and looked at bridges instead. There are three within a hundred yards as the Kirtle Water gets near the Solway shore.
Since I was near the Solway shore, I went down to Brow Houses…
…to see where the tide was today.
It was out.
This was the furthest west that I got on my ride and I turned south and then east for the next section.
I found a more modest railway bridge near Rigg.
At 10ft 9in this really is a low bridge.
My next bridge was the undistinguished one that constitutes the border between Scotland and England as it crosses the Sark river at Gretna.
I pottered around on the flat lands of the Solway plain and stopped at Blackford church…
…for a banana and a healthy energy bar.
Buoyed up by this energy intake, I left the flat lands and wound up into the low hills above Easton for a more interesting route home. There is quite a bit of gorse showing in the hedges now…
…and there is no doubt that spring is on the go.
The lambs were luckier than me because the milk bar was open for them…
…but the Bridge Inn at Penton was shut for me.
Still, I wasn’t that far from home so I had my last banana and shot down the hill to the bridge over the Liddle water which marked my return from England into Scotland. The bridge is one of my favourites.
So much so that I took two pictures of it…
…and couldn’t decide which I liked best so I have put them both in.
The downside of stopping to take a picture (or two) of the bridge is that I had to face the steep hill up to Harlaw from a standing start. My legs were very calm about this and I got to the top in good order. I could have chosen more hills to go home over at this point but I didn’t want to spoil my enjoyment of the day so I took the easy way out and went home by way of Canonbie and the old A7.
There was a north easterly wind so I was expecting a hard ride on the way home from the southern extent of my journey but in the event, the wind didn’t seem very strong and the route was often well sheltered and the whole thing was a lot easier than I had feared. It is not often that the breeze eases off when you want it too so it was all the more welcome for that.
Those interested may click on the map for more details of the ride.
Mrs Tootlepedal had finished her painting when I got home and we had a nice cup of tea together.
The garden was once again full of birds at the feeder…
…but a few quick visits from a sparrowhawk tended to clear the birds off. I don’t think it caught anything today.
I am glad that it didn’t get this charming robin.
There are definite signs that the plants are waking up in the garden at last.
I had to wake up after a shower and a nourishing plate of fish cakes because it was our Langholm choir night. We are getting plenty of new songs to sing at the moment so it was an evening of hard work…but fun.
The flying bird(s) of the day are an immense flock of gulls which I saw rising from a farmer’s field at Harlaw on my ride.