A little excursion

Golden-ringed dragonfly

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Ada and shows a golden-ringed dragonfly which she spotted on the road outside her house.  One of those green eyed monsters.

Golden-ringed dragonfly

I was still remarkably creaky this morning so when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in church, I wondered if Dr Velo could work his magic on my joints and went out for a gentle short ride on the fairly speedy bike.

To make things easy, I went due south to start with, giving me a mildly downhill route which was protected fro the most part from a crosswind.   This did mean of course that the return part of the trip was mostly uphill and into the wind but you can’t have everything.

Although I was using roads which were familiar, I chose a route combination which I have never cycled round before and this added interest to my trip.    I really like the quiet back roads with occasional large trees in the hedges.

The road to Chapelknowe
The road to Chapelknowe

One of the reasons for choosing my route was to check up on a road that used to have the worst surface in the district.  I had been reliably informed that it had been repaired and my informant turned out to be quite correct.

Solwaybank road
The Solwaybank road, now a thing of beauty

There are wide views after you come out of the woods.

Solway Plain
Looking over the Solway to England

In spite of the green verges of the Solwaybank road, on the whole the countryside is gradually turning browner and patches of colour in the verges are getting scarcer.  These ‘small yellow dandelion shaped flowers’ among the grasses were an exception.


Possibly common hawkweed.


Mrs Tootlepedal and I had thought of cycling to Westerkirk with our neighbour Liz for a cream tea at the village hall in the afternoon but when Liz turned out to be unable to come with us and then it started to rain a bit, we decided that the sofa had more allure than a soaking and sat down to watch the Ride London cycle race instead of pedalling ourselves.

When it finished, I walked round the garden.  The poppies are doing everything that the gardener hoped.


The recent rain and a brisk breeze made them hard to photogrpah close up and some of them ended up looking more like exotic butterflies than anything else.


In the vegetable garden, the cardoon is getting ever bigger…


…and I am worried that when the flower finally blossoms, we won’t be able to see it.

The various clematis on the fence are looking very fine.



And that was about that for the day.

After tea, I added my day’s cycling into my cycle stats and see that I have have now done  just over 2500 miles for the year.  Considering that the very bad weather early in the year meant that I only did 350 miles in January and February combined, I am mildly pleased with the total.

The flower of the day brings mixed emotions.  It is the first sight of the Japanese Anemones for the year.  I really like these flowers but they are definitely associated with the end of the summer months and once again, the summer will soon have slipped away before I have done half the things that I meant to do.  As I get slower with age, the days seem to pass more quickly.

Japanese Anemone

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “A little excursion

  1. It’s like cycling in the green tunnel, how nice. I’ve seen the cardoon flowering this week in the walled garden in Fulham Palace. Beautiful clematises and Japanese anemone, I like them too.

  2. My mother and I were lamenting the passing of the year too, this morning and saying how little we’ve managed to get done. The clematis flowers are looking wonderful!

  3. You’re right about the summer speeding by – the school supplies have been out in the stores here for a while, and if I were still teaching I’d be in a lather about getting the summer’s house repair projects done before getting prepped for the new school year. Luckily, retirement gives one a more leisurely approach to things! The Solwaybank Road looks like a dream of a road for a cycle ride.

  4. Yes, this summer is racing by at breakneck speed, I’m already seeing signs of the approach of autumn here also.

    The newly resurfaced road looked great, and you had some nice views while cycling.

  5. I particularly love those narrow country roads with no traffic. You are correct, the years seem to pass with increasing frequency, and I am noting the daylight hours quietly slipping away now. A little over 2 months until equinox.

  6. Loved the views on your cycle ride and what a staggering number of miles you have cycled this year. The flower of the day was really beautiful even if it denoted the approaching end of summer.

  7. The newly paved road looks like it would be fun to ride on.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what that cardoon blossom looks like.
    I saw red leaves on some Virginia creeper yesterday, so summer is indeed passing quickly.

  8. Yellow dandelion type flowers… spent quite a while at Bowness on Solway working out the difference between a cats ear and an autumn hawkbit … I will tell you about it next time I see you !!

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