The guest picture of the day comes courtesy of Mary Jo from Manitoba who asked her friend Lucie to send me this really stunning picture of a bison, with which Lucie had a close encounter in Riding Mountain National Park.
The forecast shows a lot of rain showers coming our way over the next week so it seemed like a really good idea to make the most of a very pleasant sunny day today by getting up early, putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database before breakfast and hitting the road on the fairly speedy bike while the morning was still young.
No one was more surprised than me when this splendid idea came to fruition.
There was a light wind in my face on the way out and at my back on the way home and nothing occurred during the stately pedalling along a mainly flat route that was worthy of recording so I will just say that I managed 80 miles and enjoyed all of it. I did stop quite a lot to take pictures.
There were many almost idyllic moments. Here are cows beside the Kirtle Water near Gretna…
…and here is the bank of the newly built M6 extension beside the service road which I use.
I passed many of the sort of umbellifers that always seem to have insects on them when you look. These four pictures are of the same plant.
My route took me down the bike path beside the northern Carlisle by-pass. The roundabouts as it crosses the railway line are a treat.
The bike path also had the first ragged robin that I have seen this year.
I left the by-pass and headed along the Solway shore. I was hoping to see the sea but sadly, the sea was not at home.
It looked as though it would be easy to walk across the the Scottish shore where I was doing a similar pedal last week. (It wouldn’t be)
Even if I couldn’t see the sea, there was plenty to please the eye as I travelled the coast road.
But I couldn’t spend all my time looking at the views while I went along the salt marsh as I had to keep my eye out for traffic too.
The cattle graze freely over the unfenced marsh.
I also passed a cute kid.
It was rather too hazy for good long shots but I took one anyway. This shows the Lake District hills, seen over the estuary of the River Whampool.
My ride took me round the very large masts of the radio transmitter at Anthorn which you can see in the background, behind a sturdy bull and a neat wooden bridge,
I didn’t come back along the shore since the sea was out and chose an inland route that was well surfaced and basically flat so I rolled along very cheerily but was stopped in my tracks by this very fine house in one of the villages that I passed through.
This is good farming country and there are a lot of well built fortified farmhouses around as well more modern country houses.
I went right round the by-pass on my way back and stopped at Gretna for a coffee and cake to fuel me up for the last few miles. Needless to say I met a couple from Langholm in the cafe as it is a popular destination for a short drive for many Langholmites.
I had a last look at a large English country house before I crossed the border back into Scotland.
This is Netherby Hall which features in the well known poem, Young Lochinvar. by Sir Walter Scott.
Unlike Young Lochinvar, I did no racing and chasing on Canonbie Lea but continued at a steady pace until I arrived home quite ready for a cup of tea.
Those interested in the details of the ride can click on the map below.
I would observe that although the chart says that the temperature was a cool 54°F, and it was probably quite right when I set out, it was a great deal warmer in the sunshine. A young lad to whom I talked while having a refreshment break said that his bike computer was claiming that it was 25° in the sun by mid morning. He was planning a 130 mile ride but had had to curtail as he had got up late. He had settled for 110 miles. Ah to be young again.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal went out into the garden to pick some spinach for our tea.
She is working on the usual ‘cut and come’ again principle with the spinach. It was delicious.
The garden is moving from the age of azaleas to the era of irises…
…which I enjoy because they are a challenge to photograph well as they tend to sway about in the wind.
I also found a new plant beside the pond which Mrs Tootlepedal tells me is musk.
After tea, I went off to the last ‘Langholm Sings’ practice of the season. We have a second concert this Friday and our conductor was busy tidying up one or two things which could have been done better in the first concert last Friday. As this took two hours, you can tell that we should be better this week than we were last week….though people who were at the concert In Newcastleton say that they enjoyed it thoroughly.
No time for any bird pictures today.
16 thoughts on “Another song cycle day”
You’re getting in a lot of impressive miles in, with great views along the way. A salt marsh is something I’ve never explored.
That’s good looking spinach. It’s been a while since I’ve had it fresh so I’ll have to look for some at the farmer’s market.
I’ve never seen the musk plant. Since true musk doesn’t come from a plant I wonder what it smells like.
I’ll check as far as my poor sense of smell will let me.
Well you finished up the month in fine cycling style with lots of interesting pictures en route. I liked the first house you photographed very much.
Whew! What a day. Very creditable to manage so many miles on the bike and take scenic pictures too.
The bison looks very alarming.
Wonderful shades of purple in your flower compilation. I’m very glad you were able to work on Lucie’s photo of the bison to make it workable.
It came in a very workable form and I just lightened a shadow or two.
What an excellent day and an excellent blog.
I was startled to see the bison, but then read it was from Manitoba. 🙂
Thank you for the link to the poem, Young Lochinvar, by Sir Walter Scott. Netherby Hall looks like a beautiful place. 🙂
One of may favourite poems as a lad.
well done on those miles. DS1 got the train to York and cycled back. DH left about he same time and met him 40 miles from home so he got an 80 miler in too. Me I did 5 miles and still feel tired.
I am not surprised. It looked very testing.
It was good to read ‘Young Lochinvar’ again, thank-you. Like Lavinia, I was interested to see Netherby Hall too.
I do love irises and I like the look of your spinach very much!
The spinach has recovered from being cut and is ready to provide another meal.
You cycled 80 miles, a distance few people half your age could manage, then complain That you’re no longer young. Maybe more of that yummy looking spinach will help you to increase your distances, like Popeye. 😉
I am afraid that the Popeye and spinach connection was just another of those crafty advertising placements – though spinach does have some good qualities increased cycling distance is not among them.
Impressive ride, and even more impressive to also have time for so many interesting photos.