An eponymous day with cheerful legs

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who started a nine mile walk today by crossing the River Manifold over this handsome bridge.

Manifold Bridge

We had a lovely day here as well but it was decidedly chilly at first so it took me some time to get going on my bike.

I checked on the buddleia after breakfast….

Three butterflies
Mixed sunbathing for two peacocks and a small tortoiseshell

…and I was just in time to take a gift of eggs from Scott, the minister (but not offer him coffee in return) just before I set off.

I was slightly nervous about how my legs would be feeling after the slow and arduous effort on Wednesday but a day visiting Matilda had worked wonders and they were in a cooperative mood today.  I took care not to upset them by going up any steep hills.

I hadn’t gone far before I noticed two buzzards which were very agitated about something and circled around above my head crying out loudly.

One hovered long enough for me to take a picture.


I rode past banks of rosebay willowherb seed heads as I went along…

rosebay seeds

…and was impressed by the fact that the wind hadn’t dislodged them yet.

I rolled down out of the hills and into Gretna where I saw a wedding party get ready to attend their ceremony at the ‘Famous Blacksmith’s Shop’.

Gretna wedding

They avoided getting run over.

I continued down into England, passing churches with steeples and square towers.

Rockcliffe Church
Scaleby Church

The church at Scaleby had a shiny new padlock on the door and warning notices from the police.  Not the most welcoming of sights.

I turned off at Scaleby and followed this unassuming road.

new road to Smithfield

It was a moment to note for me though, as it was one of the few roads in the area that I had never cycled along before.

Thanks to my perky legs, I didn’t need to stop for many breathers so there are fewer pictures today and  this picture of the welcoming sight of the monument on Whita Hill is the only one that I took in the last fifteen miles.


The jaunt was almost exactly 50 miles and this took me over 3000 miles for the year so it was a satisfactory ride both for itself and statistically.  It also brought up 565 miles for the month, my biggest monthly tally for four years.  It is amazing what some good weather will do.

When I got home, I did a bit of bird watching….


The single goldfinch soon got swept away by an incoming tide of sparrows.

sparrow melee

…and then I had a look around the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal.

She spotted a ladybird…


…and I spotted a small tortoiseshell stretching its wings….

small tortoiseshell butterfly

…and then I spotted it again!

small tortoiseshell butterfly 2

Among the more flashy flowers, the feverfew sparkles away quite modestly…


…but persistently.

And Mrs Tootlepedal’s new cosmos, which is improbably called ‘Double Click Cranberries’ raised its head to the sun.


I cut down the head of the giant sunflower and put it out for the birds…

sunflower head

…and picked up one of the fallen flower heads and rested it on my knee.

sunflower flower

My neighbour Liz was trimming her cherry tree and the job seemed to call for a tall person so I went across to give her a hand and ended up with a good collection of branches for shredding and adding to our compost heap.

I had a relaxing bath and came downstairs to a delicious evening meal prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal, the highlight of which was an enormous courgette fritter.

It took some time to recover from this but I was back in good order by the time that Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday evening visit.  Alison and I were playing early music in the French style and had  a hard working and enjoyable time getting to grips with some tricky pieces.

It was a good way to spend the last day of summer.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow, putting down the landing gear.

flying sparrow


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “An eponymous day with cheerful legs

  1. I’m glad your legs are feeling good and that you were able to get out. Thanks for the Famous Blacksmith’s Shop photo–it’s good and funny that it is still there and making a good business still, these couple of hundred and more years on. That Double Click must be a bit abashed, but it is an attractive flower. What a lovely big seedhead!

      1. It may hold an appeal similar to those who go to runaway weddings in Las Vegas, where the officiant often dresses like Elvis or other strange novelty performance presentation, but all legal. Those can be quite cheap too, with few regulations as far as waiting time or blood tests, which we used to have to have.

  2. My grandfather was a blacksmith. I’ll have to Google that blacksmith shop and see if there are any photos of the interior.
    I’ve never seen a cosmos like that one. The plant breeders have been busy.
    I’m glad the legs are holding up. That was a nice scenic ride. Congratulations on reaching 3000 miles. You could have gone from New Hampshire to California.

  3. You never cease to amaze me. 50 miles in one day! And then the tree trim and having enough energy after dinner to play music. I would still be asleep after the bike ride. Love the giant sunflower.

  4. Congratulations on reaching the cycling milestones! I don’t know how you do it either, cycle as far as you do, then do chores in the garden, when I’d be stretched out on the floor resting my legs and probably snoozing while doing so. Great photos of the butterflies lately, your really capturing their colors very well!

  5. I’m just amazed at your beautiful butterflies. I think I have to plant a buddleia as well. Congratulations on achieving your pedalling record.

    1. If I could pedal a bit faster, I would get more miles in for the same amount of time but I have to settle for what I can do and not mourn the passing of the years too much.

  6. Congrats on all the cycling miles.

    Does your summer officially end at the last day of august? Because that is as it should be. I disapprove that our autumn officially starts Sept 22. To me, it starts Sept 1st and that’s that.

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