Today’s guest picture is the town hall of Ripon. My brother, who was visiting, was much taken with the inscription.
We had a day of pleasantly cool but sunny weather today and if I hadn’t had quite a strenuous pedal yesterday, I would have been out on my bike. As it was, I spent a quiet morning in the garden checking out insects.
The bees have been joined by hoverflies.
Mrs Tootlepedal has some very pretty sunflowers coming out…
…and they are real insect magnets.
I was busy with a little dead heading when the garden was suddenly invaded by a team of expert rose clippers.
They attacked our ramblers with ready secateurs and in no time they had a crate filled with blooms. When they left, I followed them on my bike and trailed them to their lair. They were part of a gang which was hard at work in a shed.
The object of all this activity is the ceremonial crown which will be carried through the town among the other emblems as part of our Common Riding procession on Friday. It is an honour for our roses to be part of it.
Once the roses are trimmed and prepared, the crown maker Les binds each one individually to the framework which has been precovered with moist sphagnum moss to keep the roses fresh.
This is the most painstaking work, taking many man and woman hours and I shall look at the crown with new respect when it is paraded round the town on Friday.
When I got back home, Attila the gardener was starting the job of taking down a small tree which is steadily dying and I helped out by shredding the branches.
After lunch, I printed out some more pictures to go on cards which will go on sale in the town. They raise funds for the Archive Group and the last lot sold quickly which was pleasing.
Then Mrs Tootlepedal headed off to Carlisle for some shopping and I took advantage of the continuing sunshine to go for a walk.
My plan was to walk along the ridge between Castle Hill and Potholm Hill and then descend to the road for the return journey.
It had rained quite a lot last night and I wondered whether the going might be a bit too soggy for fun but the hill was in very good condition and I followed my plan to the letter (well almost).
There was no chance of waving at Mr Grumpy on my way as the Kilngreen is given over to the shows for the next few days so I went straight up the hill.
The hill was covered with wild flowers…
…and the walking was delightful.
The views weren’t bad either.
I soon got to the summit of Castle Hill and the ridge stretched out in front of me.
I walked along the ridge…
…looking to the left….
…and the right…
…and sticking to the wall as I went.
As well as the views, there were things of interest closer to hand.
I got to the end of the wall and there was a handy stile to get me onto the next part of my route.
All was going well until I got to the top of the next summit and spotted a group of cattle grazing further along on my route. I don’t like to get too close to hill cattle so I cunningly dropped down the side of the hill and contoured along with a view to reaching the fence and then walking up it to the next gate, having bypassed the cattle.
My plan was not very successful. I dropped down out of sight of the cattle quite successfully but the cunning beasts knew what I was up to and when I looked up the hill, they were cantering along the ridge and soon formed up in front of the gate I was hoping to get to unobserved.
I wasn’t going to argue with them so I changed tack and followed the fence downhill until I came to a second gate which gave me access to the track which I would have joined in the first place so all was well. I took a look at the very picturesque cottage at Henwell…
…and then went down to Potholm Bridge and walked home along the road.
I ate wild raspberries from the hedgerows and clicked away as I went but there have been too many pictures already so I will just put in a sign of the times that I passed.
…and a chaffinch that was hopefully looking for seed in the garden when I got home…
…and that will wrap up the day nicely.
It was a walk of just under 6 miles and it is a tribute to both my new knee and the exercises which the physio gave me for my troublesome hip that I could do it at all. Two or three years ago I was quite certain that I would never be able to walk over the hills again so I count this a great blessing.
The chaffinch wouldn’t fly to order so there is no flying bird of the day but Rosa Wren more than makes up for this deficiency in my opinion as it appears as flower of the day.