The guest picture of day comes from my brother Andrew, who looked up when he was visiting York Minster.
Once again, we woke to a gloomy, damp day but it had the goodness to stop raining while I visited the dentist for a check up. It was pleasantly warm as I walked home having been given the all clear but the garden was still looking fairly damp when I got there.
However, it was still and dry enough to tempt some insects out…
…and if you look closely, you can see three beasties collecting pollen from the poppy above at the same time.
I can’t make up my mind whether these rather fluffy yellow things are bumble bees or not. I don’t think that the ones on the poppy are but I am less sure about the one on the dahlia. Once again, I hoped to be helped out by knowledgeable readers.
My daughter has been in Portugal for a short break and very kindly sent me a tin of genuine Portuguese sardines so we had some very tasty sardine pâté for our lunch. She knows that my brain needs all the help it can get from oily fish.
After lunch, the weather brightened up a lot and we walked to our church in glorious sunshine to celebrate the life of Charlie Edgar, a member of Mrs Tootlepedal’s Church Choir who died recently. Mrs Tootlepedal has had a long association with Charlie, both through the choir and the local amateur operatic society of which he was a mainstay for many years. We sang two cheerful hymns and heard a very fine eulogy written and read by a friend so although memorial services are by their nature not something that you look forward to going to, this one was a very fitting tribute to a good man.
In spite of the sunshine, it was still a bit too soggy to contemplate some mowing when we got home so after a pause to catch up on the highlights of yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta on the telly, I got the fairly speedy bike out and did a very modest vuelta of my own.
It was perfect cycling weather – warm, sunny but not too hot and with a light wind to provide a little cooling when needed.
I went out of town up the Esk Valley and enjoyed the views as I went.
As I pedalled up the road towards Bailliehill, I stopped to admire the heather..
…and looked back at the Esk in the valley below.
Soon, I had climbed out of the Esk valley and had dropped gently down to the start of the Water of Milk…
Whereas farmers get very basic bridges, I got a fine stone bridge to cross a small tributary a bit further along.
The road rose up from beside the stream and as I pedalled along, I could look across and see the tops of all six of the new windmills on Ewe Hill on the other side of the valley.
I was very pleased to see that they were indicating that I would have what wind there was at my back for the last ten miles of my journey.
As I rode up the hill at Callister, I passed some birds who are planning a trip of their own quite soon.
While I pedalled along, I reflected that the bicycle really is a wonderful invention. A day or two ago, we watched the finest runners in the world run the Olympic marathon on flat roads. Today, I went about the same distance over much hillier terrain and under my own steam in a time some ten minutes quicker than they had managed. Running is a very pedestrian way of getting about, as they say.
Those interested in the route can click on the map below.
I was hoping to go for a little flying bird walk when I got back but the clouds had returned and the light was not promising enough to make it worthwhile so I wandered round the garden instead for a few minutes….
…and then went in to have a shower and make baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for our tea. I had some very tasty cheese to hand so this rounded off the day very well.
After tea, we watched the highlights of today’s stage of the Vuelta so we had a double helping of cycling to enjoy. It looks as though it will be an interesting race.
We are promised a day of sunshine tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to that.
The flower of the day is another in the long line of poppies. I find them very hard to resist.