When I’m 64

Bruce's view

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce.  He came across this fine view on the hill road to Roberton near Hawick a week or so ago.

Bruce's view

After a rather slack period for cycling recently, a dry and calm day today was an excellent opportunity to get the fairly speedy bike out and put in a few miles.  The tyres needed pumping up and the chain needed cleaning but I was soon ready to go.

My intention was to see how my legs felt and adjust the distance accordingly but I got a bit overcome by taking pictures as I pedalled along and lost a few potential miles on the way.  Still, I did 64 miles and took 50 pictures so that seems like a good balance.  Readers will be pleased to know that not all the pics made it into the post!

I started with a big surprise only a mile or so from the house when I saw the hillside above Bessie Bell’s covered in bluebells.

Bruce's view

Another visit on foot is on my to do list.

The verges were full of wild flowers and the first three that I met were these.

wild flowers
I have forgotten what the golden spikes are called but the other two are speedwell and geum

I started my ride among the hills and I hoped to get some good pictures of the 22 windmills on the new Ewe Hill windfarm by going up the hill towards Corrie Common.  I could see the windmills (just) but in the rather poor light, my camera couldn’t so i will have to try again on a brighter day.

I did get a splendid view down into the valley on the far side of Corrie Common though and even on a gloomy day, it is a very pleasing prospect.

 

view from Corrie Common
Click on the pic for a bigger picture

The only fly in the ointment is that very poor road surface takes the fun out of going down the hill into the valley.

The little stream at the bottom is very picturesque…

Corrie common

…and the bridge has the usual gate to stop any sheep making a break for freedom by swimming.

corrie common road

I pedalled on over the hill to Boreland, a very pretty road even on a rather grey day…

road to Boreland

…and then turned west and descended into Annandale.  On the way down, I was stopped several times by wild flowers crying out to be photographed.

red campion, cranesbill, hawthorn and more bluebells

Sometimes I couldn’t fail to notice them.

red campion
A bank of red campion

When I got to Lochmaben,  I had a stop for a banana and a little rest beside the Mill Loch, a very peaceful place for a sit down…

Mill Loch Lochmabe

Mill Loch Lochmaben

…and then I pedalled on down the valley to Dalton and Hoddom.

I passed several flourishing horse chestnut trees.  I was not the only one interested in the flowers.

horse chestnut

I like this rather Hansel and Gretel like lodge at Hoddom Castle…

Hoddom Lodge

…and I looked up at the Repentance Tower on the hill above the road.

Repentance Tower

I couldn’t cross my favourite bridge over the River Annan at Hoddom without taking a picture…

Hoddom Bridge

…and I noticed some more wild flowers beside the river bank path while I was there.

broom
Broom is arriving as the gorse begins to fade

dandelion and buttercup

From Hoddom, I headed to Ecclefechan and then went down the old main road to Gretna where I fortified the inner man with an excellent plate of egg and chips.

From Gretna, I took a direct route home as all my photo stops (and the egg and chips) had added a lot of time to my trip.

I did stop for a few more pictures.

My three favourite trees on the old A7 were looking well in the spring garb….

three canonbie trees

…and there were two rather delicately shaded flowers beside Canonbie Bridge…

comfrey and forget me not
Comfrey and Forget-me-not

…as well full spring clothing at Hollows Bridge…

Hollows Bridge

…and a great number of Pyrenean Valerian flowers once I got within thee miles of Langholm.

pyrenean valerian

Here is a map of the trip and those with time hanging heavy on their hands can click on the map as usual to get further details of the ride.

garmin route 17 May 2017 elevation

You can see that the route was well chosen for an old man with all the climbing at the start and the wind mostly behind on the way home.

The hilly start into the wind meant that my average speed was pretty low but it was a most enjoyable outing.  I mean to get as much pleasure as I can from the scenery and the surroundings and be less bothered by average speeds now that the better weather has arrived.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy while I was out and had completed her pea fortress.

pea fortress
Just let the sparrows try to get into that!

Our garden was full of flowers too….

garden flowers

…and it is always interesting to see the different ways that flowers set out to attract customers.

There are some very colourful aquilegias against the back wall of the house.

aquilegia
AKA Granny’s Bonnet or Columbine

After tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to be Front-of-House at the Buccleuch Centre for a very peppy jazz concert from the Scottish Youth Jazz Orchestra while I went to a Langholm Sings choir practice.  We both enjoyed ourselves.

It was a very cheerful day for one that had little or no actual sunshine in it.

The flower of the day is a tulip which is not showing any signs of being a shrinking violet.

tulip

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “When I’m 64

  1. You’ve made me wish I had tomorrow off so I could see things as beautiful as these, though I’d never see anything quite like the drifts of bluebells.
    I like that dark colored columbine.
    The view of the road and the stone wall is a great one, and so are the shots of the lake and all the spring green.

  2. I enjoyed your trip, all the pleasure, with no effort, or any of the benefits! I am seriously considering a bike.

  3. Well done for managing to ride such a long way and take so many colourful pictures as well. The forget-me-nots are beautiful.
    Impressed by Mrs T.s pea protection efforts.

  4. Lovely views on your ride, including that wonderful lodge – is it inhabited? Mrs. T. does tidy work – that wire is not easy to work with and her fortress is remarkably rectangular – very impressive (as usual)!

    1. It took her a long time and considering that you can but frozen peas readily in the shops, she sometimes downers if it was worth the effort. 🙂

  5. Why is it ‘Repentance’ Tower? Wonderful views and sights on your ride; I especially like the Hoddom Castle lodge. So many lovely flowers to admire as well, both wild and cultivated. I believe the yellow flower is Crosswort.

    1. My nature adviser Mike Tinker says it is a crosswort too so you must both be right. Thank you. As far as Repentance Tower goes, the name is carved into the lintel above the entrance but no one seems to know why. It is just a defensive tower of a fairly standard sort.

  6. Thank you for sharing your interesting cycle ride with so many beautiful scenes to enjoy on route and all those wild flowers especially the bluebell hillside. That pea fortress is a brilliant structure- I wonder what Mrs T was in a previous life?!

  7. These photos are beautiful, Tom. I always enjoy them even when I don’t make comment. 64 miles! I can’t even imagine riding half of that. You are amazing.

    Funny, I have had that song on my mind for several weeks, though not for the same reason. I just turned 64 last month. Thinking about it makes me realize how very long ago the tune came out! I love it all the more for it’s being applicable to my year.

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