Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He was driving past the Silk Mill in Derby and thought that it might be the sort of picture that I would enjoy. On reflection, I think that he was right.
We were promised a cooler, cloudier day today but when we got up, it was as sunny as ever.
I was intending to go for a bike ride and once again found it hard to get going so I was happy to enjoy a stroll round the garden and admire the sunlit garden flowers after breakfast.
The strong light took some of the darkness away from the ‘black’ iris.
The sun didn’t last for long and by the time that I had had an early cup of coffee, the skies had clouded over. It was still pleasantly warm though and with a light wind, it looked like a perfect day for pedalling.
In the end, I ran out of excuses and got my new bike out and set off, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal toiling in the garden.
It was a perfect day for pedalling.
For some reason which is obscure to me the road verges seem to attract different wild plants in different spots even though the growing conditions look very similar. There is a section of the road just before the top of Callister that is perennially home to a very fine collection of curly dock (as always my naming of plants is open to correction).
It grows elsewhere of course, but this section of about fifty yards has the best collection by far.
I thought that you would be interested to know that.
Once over Callister, I set my course for the flatter lands of the Solway coast as my tin knee has been a bit creaky lately and I wanted to give it kindly treatment today.
I crossed the Kirtle Water for the third time as I got near Eaglesfield.
My route then took me past Chapelcross, a retired nuclear power station which is being (very) gradually dismantled. Each time that I pass it, a little more of it has disappeared.
The power station sits on a hill looking over the Solway and looking down, I thought that for once the sea might be on duty…
….and I was pleased to find when I got to Brow Houses, that I was right.
I paused and had my lunch and a little walk among the wild flowers on the grassy slope down to the water’s edge. There were plenty to enjoy.
This was my favourite.
The farms are cultivated as near to the edge of the Firth as possible and the cows were interested in what I was doing.
Refreshed by an egg roll and a banana, I pressed on to Gretna and then into England.
I had to stop and let a train go up the main line….
…before I could cross the level crossing and head down to Rockliffe and then by way of the new Carlisle by-pass start heading home through the lanes of North Cumbria.
One of the lanes had a wonderful hedge of roses….
…which were a delicate shade of pink.
As I was going up the main road from Longtown to Langholm, I took a break from the traffic and visited Kirkandrews-on_Esk, where there is a neat church and an old tower, still lived in as a family home today.
The church, as its names implies, sits on the bank of the River Esk and there is a bridge to allow the churchgoers on the other side of the river to get to the services and a sundial to tell them if they are on time.
I took the picture of the sundial at just about 3 o’clock BST which is two o’clock GMT so the sundial is still keeping pretty good time after 100 years.
It is a picturesque spot….
…and the river was looking beautiful in the little bit of sunshine which had come out to brighten the day.
The bridge is a delicate construction and sways alarmingly when you cross it.
It didn’t take me long to get home and by dint of sprinting through the town as fast as I could pedal, I just managed to keep my average speed for the 61 miles to 14 mph, a tribute to the warmth of the day, the flatness of the route and the kindness of the light winds.
Mike Tinker was taking a cup of tea in the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal when I arrived home and he remarked that he and his wife had seen plenty of lightning yesterday. This was very odd as Mrs Tootlepedal and I had looked hard and seen none and he only lives about 100 yards away. Maybe we just weren’t looking in the right direction.
I had another look round the garden when Mike went and was able to admire the very neat lawn edging which Mrs Tootlepedal had done while I was out. She had done quite a lot of other things too.
I had my camera in my hand of course and was spoilt for choice.
When we went inside, we could watch a small flock of wood pigeons being disagreeable.
In the evening my flute pupil Luke came and added weight to my suspicion that he has been secretly practising. We did a lot of good work.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetable garden is looking very healthy and she was able to pick more spinach to go with a second helping of the slow cooked sausage stew for our tea. Considering how much I disliked spinach when I was a child, it is amazing how much I like it now.
The flower of the day is the first look at my favourite peony, taken in the early evening.
Note: I received a message from our health centre while I was out cycling and I rang the doctor when I got home and was very happy to hear that my chest x-ray had come back clear of any problems.
27 thoughts on “What did I see?”
Yippee! (re. your p.s.) A lovely collection of photos from what must have been a very enjoyable ride. You have such lovely countryside available that it must be hard to decide where to cycle. Beautiful peony, as well – it seems that the minute ours blooms, a wind takes it down.
We have got wind and rain forecast unfortunately.
What a relief about the x-ray.
Absolutely. Especially as I only went along with a bad throat.
Yay! I have been thinking about you and hoping that all was well. And it is! Wonderful photos, but that shot of the peony is stunning.
It is a gorgeous flower and hopefully it will last quite well.
Curly dock seeds can be quite beautiful but they need to be seen through a macro lens to be fully appreciated.
The fragrance from that rose hedge must have been wonderful.
Nice to see the tide in for a change. Congratulations on the satisfactory lung exam.
I had a closer look at the dock but it didn’t come out well. I will have another go next time I pass them.
Glad to hear the chest x-ray came back negative for any problems.
I enjoyed Andrew’s photo as well as all the ones from your bike ride, the gardens and birds. Once again, that electric blue iris has caught my eye. What variety might it be?
Our one blooming peony lost all its petals in the recent rain and windstorms. Nice to see yours!
Our red peony has dropped all its petals. That is the downside of them, a little rain and splat! Mrs T doesn’t know what the iris variety is I am afraid.
Loved your opening play on words and all the flower pictures both wild and cultivated. Glad you found the tide in for a change.
A fine array of flowers, garden and wild. Glad you managed such a satisfactory ride and that the x-ray was fine.
Your photos are gorgeous (as always) and possibly? due to the flowers Mrs. Tootlepedal’s work in the garden. I do love your cycle tours as you live in a very beautiful area. Glad to hear the X-ray was a positive outcome.
The scenery certainly helps to while away the time on the longer rides.
There’s a lot going in the secret world of flowers. 🙂
I think that if I lived in an area that was as scenic as your part of the world that I would take up cycling also. It must be wonderful to see both the small flowers and the wide views while traveling at the relatively slow pace of cycling versus driving.
The peony as the flower of the day is even more beautiful than the other flowers in this post, and that’s saying a lot.
If I was younger, I would be cycling faster and seeing less so there are some consolations for the advance of the years.
Good news re the X-ray result. Love the peony and all the sights seen on your cycle ride.
The peony is a winner.
Great news re the x-ray. Apart from that, the idea that you can cross from one country to another amazes me. That kind of idea is obviously inconceivable if you live in Australia.
It amazes me too. I find it quite romantic.
There’s a lot to be said for cycling because I think you get to see so much more than you would if you were zooming by in a car. I think our hummingbirds would go a bit crazy in that fuchsia bush. It’s good to hear that your chest x-ray turned out well!
Cycling is a good balance between covering the ground but still being able to see things. Cars are too fast to see and walking tends to stick to one sort of terrain.
I am relieved to see that your X-ray showed no problems. That is a beautiful peony!
We have a good selection of peonies this year.
Your flowers are so beautiful, Tom. And I was glad to see that your x-ray showed nothing untoward. Good news indeed.
Yes, I am in good health whihc is a bonus at my age. 🙂