Steady work

Tower of London

Today’s guest picture shows the Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London.  My sister Mary took the picture while going down the river by boat for a second visit to Greenwich earlier this month.

Tower of London

After yesterday’s picture  totally white font lawn, today was a different kettle of fish altogether.

front lawn in January

It was the kindest of winter days, with sunshine, light winds and not a drop of rain or snow.  This was very fortunate as I had a full day planned.

It started with a visit to the garage before breakfast to put the car in for its annual MOT test.  This led to me check on the mileage that we had done during the last year and I am pretty sure that I cycled more than I drove over the past twelve months.  In spite of the light mileage, the car needed some repairs before it could get its certificate.  This will lighten my wallet no doubt.

After breakfast, I had to go up to the town again, this time to collect the key for the Day Centre where the Camera Club holds its monthly meetings.

On my way back I noticed a splendid clump of snowdrops on the bank of the dam behind our house.

dam snowdrops

Encouraged by this, I took a walk round the garden.

A wallflower looking very promising
Rhubarb crumble in the making.

When I had done this, it was time for a quick coffee and the intake of some cycling fuel (two slices of bread and jam) and then I got the fairly speedy bike out, cleaned the rust off the chain and pedalled off into the unknown.

I have done very little cycling recently so I was unsure of how far I could go before my legs gave up but I set out full of optimism and caution combined.  I stopped fairly frequently early in the ride to make sure that I didn’t overcook things and this gave me the chance to take more shots of my favourite little cascades on the Wauchope, one at Bessie Bell’s…

Wauchope cascade

…and one near Wauchope School.

Wauchope cascade

Melting snow had added a little zip to the flow.

Because it was a beautiful day, more like autumn than winter….

The Bigholms

…and my legs were relatively cheerful, I was encouraged to aim for a decent distance so I decided to go to Lockerbie by way of Corrie Common.

Maybe because the sun was out at exactly the right angle, I was halted in my tracks by a tree literally dripping with fungus.

fungus tree near Dunnabie

I have cycled past this tree many, many times and have never taken a second look at it before.  I was amazed that I could have missed such a display.

My route up to Corrie Common involved some hill work so once again I was happy to stop for a breather, this time with the excuse of counting the windmills on the the new Ewe Hill windfarm.

I counted seventeen….

Ewe Hill windfarm

…but there may be one or two more as I was too far away to get an accurate picture.

When I got to the hill above Lockerbie, I looked over Annandale…..

Annandale at Lockerbie

… and paused to take a picture of Lockerbie golf course…

Lockerbie golf course

…which in spite of the good weather, seemed to have only a single player going round.

From Lockerbie down to Gretna, my route was not so scenic and I pressed on down the old main road, nose to the front wheel, until I came to the new windfarm at Gretna.  This is now full completed with nine turbines…

Gretna windfarm

…although the turbines are not turning yet.

I stopped to eat a banana on a bridge over the mainline railway near the village of Springfield and was happy to find a mainline train approaching the bridge at a very modest speed which let me take this picture.

Virgin train

Normally they go by in a flash.

While I was looking over the wall beside the bridge, I noticed this fine crop of moss on the top of it.

Moss at Gretna

I pottered into England and took this picture of this English tree near Englishtown….

English tree near Englishtown

…before pottering back into Scotland and heading for home.

I arrived in Langholm with 48 miles on the computer and was overcome by decimal mania and added a couple of miles  by going through the town and up to the rugby club and back again to bring up a satisfyingly neat fifty miles.

I celebrated by taking a picture  from the Town Bridge as I crossed it.

Kilngreen and Ewes for town bridge

Snow? What snow?

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy while I out, collecting the car and doing some gardening and as a result was resting and reading when I got in.

I didn’t have long to hang about recovering though because I had preparations to make for the Camera Club meeting in the evening and then my flute pupil Luke came and we played duets by Boismortier and Telemann.

After he had gone, there was time for a meal and then I went off to the Camera Club meeting.  We had twelve members (one for the first time) there, eleven of whom had brought pictures on flash drives for us to look at so we had an interesting evening with some very original images to look at.   There are some very skilled photographers in the group so I always have something to learn every month.

The new member told me how much he had enjoyed a camera club meeting where there was no discussion of how images were deficient and should have been improved but rather a full hearted appreciation of the good things in the pictures and a willingness to share experiences with the other members.  This was heartening, as this was precisely the principles on which the club was founded.

I took no pictures of birds today for the simple reason that whenever I had a moment to look out of the window, there were no birds in the garden at all.  Very strange.  I will have to see what tomorrow brings as far as the birds go.

For those of you interested, here is my cycle route.  You can see that I went very slowly.  You may find more details by clicking on the map.Garmin Route 16 Jan 2017

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Steady work

  1. 50 miles sounds a very respectable distance considering the number camera stops. You had a very pleasant day compared to here where it was drizzling with rain for most of the day.A splendid crop of snowdrops indeed, mine are still green buds.

  2. I looked for signs of snowdrops the other day and didn’t even see a bud. Yours make a welcome stand in.
    It’s amazing how we can travel a path many times and miss so much, though the fungi on the tree might not have been there long. They could be winter mushrooms that have just appeared. I don’t recognize them.
    The crown of the English tree makes it look like the prevailing wind might come from the left in that photo.

  3. I can’t believe that you have snowdrops and other plants starting to grow already, but I welcome the sight of them as that means that spring will arrive here eventually also.

    I know that you have your goals for distances and speed, but on such a glorious day, doesn’t the enjoyment of being out and seeing the sights trump your goals?

    1. I would like to be out enjoying the sights and not to feel quite so jiggered as soon as a hill came along. But you are right, I was very happy to be pedalling.

  4. I utterly appreciate the desire to add the extra 2 miles to your bike jaunt.
    Isn’t it interesting how criticism is seen as a useful tool – especially as the majority of folk I have met are well aware of their failings and often a little dismissive of their triumphs

  5. What a lovely ride out with great views, lovely cascades and crossing borders as well. I like seeing all the stats from your ride and following the map- think I’m turning into a geek!

    1. If you want to you, you can turn the map in terrain rather than just roads and that will give a better picture of the country that I pedal through. (You probably know that already 🙂 )

  6. Oh, too much to comment on in this one. 1. Your lawn is exquisite. But that perfect grass and squared boundaries provoke thoughts of badminton and croquet. I know, it would be an outrage, but still … 2. Snowdrops, already? No sign of them here in Maine, although we are much farther south than you. 3. The rhubarb and fungus are wonderful and a little bit similar. 4. Congratulations on having more miles cycling than in the car. 5. The Tower of London looks ridiculously ordinary for a place holding so much misery.

    1. Thank you for such a comprehensive comment. I will reply to just one point to make sure that you realise that the lovely f=green colour in the front lawn is mostly supplied by moss at this time of year and I will spend long weeks trying to get the grass to return in warmer weather.

  7. What a beautiful day you had yesterday! Thank-you for the photos of your wonderfully neat garden, the cascades, the view over Annandale and the snowdrops.

  8. The snowdrops are a welcome sight. Ours are just starting to show green shoots now. The daffodils have been in bud stage for over a month now, but no blooms. The weather has them thoroughly confused.

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