Grand Old Duke of York-ish

Ducks at Ely

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.

Ducks at Ely

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.

Misty view of church

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.

Royal Bank

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.

Larches at Pool Corner

Larches at Bigholms

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…

View from Corrie
Sadly the sun wasn’t out when I got there

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.

Ewe Hill
I think that there are six new ones and six original ones. Ten more to come.

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…

Ewe Hill

…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…

Paddockhole bridge

…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.

Walnut leaves

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.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Grand Old Duke of York-ish

  1. That looks like an enjoyable ride, with some fine views. The windmills do seem to be no worse than planting with commercial trees and clear-cutting, not to mention all the herbicide and insecticide spray that goes along with tree farming. I don’t know how much spraying goes on in your area, but that is what they do over here.

    The Poppy of the Day looks a bit wet but still radiant, and beaming a pleasant “good afternoon” to readers.

      1. Pesticide and herbicide get used a bit too freely over here. I have to periodically file for a permit to have the county NOT spray the road frontage of our property. In days of yore, people were hired to trim and mow along county roads.

      2. Our road verges get trimmed pretty regularly but they take a bit more care not to smash the whole roadside these days after complaints about habitat destruction.

  2. I don’t mind the windmills but I wonder if I would if they were in my back yard. I’ve heard that they make quite a lot of whooshing noises.
    The larches are beautiful and so are the views after.
    The mushrooms might be blewits but there are imposters.

    1. The windmills do make a whooshing noise when you get near them but they are far away enough from us to be quite silent.

      I am not entirely convinced by the suggestion of blewits as they seem to be a bit too big but the place that I found them in seems right enough.

  3. Lovely views on your ride especially that one of the bridge, a winner in my view. Glad you listened to your system and enjoyed your ride as a result.

  4. Pleased you managed to fit in a bike ride as the photos are lovely especially the pretty bridge- the names of the places you pass through tell a story of their own! Sad about the Scotland result ….happens lots to the Welsh team!

  5. I always enjoy your bridge photos. The church in the fog is beautiful. I hope your hand recovers well real soon, I miss you birds. 🙂 Prayers for your legs to strengthen soon too!

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