Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He is visiting Hull and met these Roman bakers.
We had another sunny day today although it was markedly cooler in the morning, thanks perhaps to the north wind.
The fine weather persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a cycle outing would be a good idea and after some early work in the greenhouse before breakfast and a quick look round after breakfast she left the garden to look after itself for a day and we set out.
I had a quick look round before we left and saw a frog in the pond…
…was happy to see the lupins standing up straight as they had wilted in the heat a few days ago…
…and was impressed by the great show of poached eggs plants beside the pond.
We put our two bikes in the back of the Kangoo, a great car for transporting bikes as you can get two in the back standing up side by side with the wheels on, and drove down to the English shore of the Solway Firth.
We parked at Port Carlisle and had a coffee in the pub there before getting the bikes out and setting off to round round the coast.
If the tide is in, the sea fills the Firth and comes right to the edge of the green bit on the map. Today, the sea was not at home….
…and the gap between England and Scotland was almost all filled with sand. I have been very unfortunate with my timing lately and every time that I visit the Solway shore, on either side of the firth, the tide seems to be out.
Still, you can see from the elevation profile on the map that our route was extremely flat and with the wind behind us, it was unalloyed pleasure to cycle along the shore in beautiful sunshine, past ruminative cattle…
…and sand wandering sheep….
…round the great radio transmitter at Anthorn….
….and past this little Congregational chapel built in 1869…
…until we found a well sited bench on the bank of the River Whampool, where we paused and ate our lunch.
We were screened from inquisitive sea birds by this elegant grass.
We had a little walk and saw thrift, wild iris and hawkweed…
…before cycling on to cross the River Whampool by this delightful bridge.
I took a view from the bridge…
…but when Mrs Tootlepedal went up to take a look, more traffic than we had met in the whole ride crossed the narrow bridge in a steady stream. We think it must have been lunch time traffic returning to work.
We had a a few miles on a normally busy road to follow but it was fortunately very quiet and then we turned off onto a back road….
…which took us back over the Carlisle Canal (disused)….
….from which Port Carlisle gets its name and cycled back to the car past more cattle grazing on the marsh.
The tide showed no sign at all of coming in.
By this time the sun was getting quite hot and we were grateful for the light breeze which had kept us cool as we pedalled.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day and more beautiful surroundings for a gentle bike ride.
We managed to visit a bird food shop and a garden centre with a cafe on our way home so the whole outing was a treat from start to finish.
When we got back, the temperature was above 20°C and quite a lot of things needed watering. After I had done a bit of watering, I took the camera out and looked at the clematis round the back door with wonder.
The orange hawkweed is often known as the fox and cubs and the cubs are just coming out to join the foxes.
The roses are enjoying the sunshine (and the watering).
I put the camera away and mowed the middle lawn which was showing good growth and then sat down and contemplated the sweet rocket while I got my breath back.
I had a moment to look at the birds and noticed a sparrow with a bit of white on it.
I hope that our weather will let Mrs Tootlepedal and me go out for other rides this summer as it is very enjoyable to go out at a gentle speed with added conversation and company and we tend to go to other places than my usual rides.
I didn’t have much luck with a flying bird today as time was limited so this siskin leaving at speed was the best that I could do.