I didn’t take many bird pictures today so it is lucky that my brother saw some web footed friends on his visit to Ely. He remarks that they weren’t enjoying the wet weather.
I had a quiet but generally pleasant day today. It started with a visit to the Archive Centre to pick up a bill from our power company. The bill was still incomprehensible in its make up, with estimated readings appearing on it in spite of having the meter read several times recently but at least it no longer claims that we owe them any money. This is good.
The trip to the town gave me the chance to enjoy a misty view of the river and church as I crossed the suspension bridge.
It had rained heavily during the night and there was a bit of water in the river for once.
Less pleasing was the forlorn sight of the boarded up bank on the High Street.
It was much warmer than it has been lately so the rather grey weather was not as dispiriting as it might have been.
I was also cheered up by the arrival of Sandy for a cup of coffee. He has been visiting Las Vegas and Mexico for a couple of weeks with two friends and had many stories to tell. It had been very warm in Mexico so he didn’t think much of our temperature today.
He hadn’t been surprised by the result of the election as nearly everyone that they had met had been intending to vote for Trump but unlike the president to be, he had found the Mexicans very warm and friendly and with a great sense of humour. He had thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
When he left, I took a couple of moments to look at the birds. I only had a glimpse because I am trying to let my camera holding hand get better.
The main business of the day was to take advantage of the 7°C temperature and go for a longer cycle ride. I was held back by the need to repair my front mudguard but I got going just after midday.
I was hoping to get 40 miles in before darkness fell but my legs had other ideas and in the end I had to settle for 31 miles at a very sedate pace. I get days when my system lets me pedal as far as I like at a gentle pace but just packs in if I try to press. If I listen to it and go along quietly, I can have a pleasant time and I did exactly that today and enjoyed myself.
I stopped to take a few pictures on the way as I wasn’t in a hurry.
Larches are looking gorgeous at the moment.
There were occasional bits of sunshine as I pedalled but my route choice was dictated by some very rainy clouds to my left as I went along the road towards Lockerbie. I thought of going to Lockerbie and back but when I had got to the top of the hill at Corrie Common, I stopped and contented myself with a look at the view to the north…
I had checked on the progress of the Ewe Hill wind farm as I went up the hill. There are quite a few new windmills on the horizon.
One thing that people who are not keen on windmills complain about is the amount of disturbance to the local ecology which erecting the turbines causes. You can see what they mean…
…but it doesn’t seem to be a great deal more than would be caused by planting, clear felling and then replanting a commercial spruce plantation which is very common in our area.
I like to think that the blades on the turbine at the rear are the very ones which Mrs Tootlepedal and I saw being transported by road a few weeks ago.
Having stopped at the top of the hill, I turned back and went back down again, crossing the bridge at Paddockhole…
…and making a small diversion to Waterbeck before heading home back over Callister.
My last stop was to note a fine crop of fungus beside the road a few miles from Langholm.
I foolishly got home before the rugby union match between Scotland and Australia had finished and was thus able to watch our boys losing the match by the narrowest of margins in the final minutes of the game. They played well but if Scotland have a particular skill at rugby, it is in losing matches which they should have won, usually in the final minutes so the result didn’t come as a great shock to me. Great sorrow yes, great shock no.
There was just enough light before I went in to watch the rugby to go out into the garden to see if there were any leaves about which might be suitable for leaf of the day. The walnut tree was very obliging.
In the end, I didn’t need to use a leaf though as there was still a poppy (just) hanging on and it is the flower of the day…
…while the flying bird is a chaffinch getting a dusty welcome.