Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our friend Gavin. Last week when we were enjoying wet and grey conditions here, he was over on the east coast basking in the sun on Tynemouth beach, a mere 80 miles away. But it was chilly there too in the brisk wind in spite of the sun.
We enjoyed a pleasant day of warm spring weather here today. The shock was so great that I nearly had to go back to bed for a lie down to recover. In the end though, I pulled myself together, turned down an offer of treacle scones, nodded at the goldfinches on the feeder…
…and set off for a pedal. I didn’t rush out as it was only 5°C after breakfast and I didn’t want to have to put on a lot of cold weather gear only to have to take it off again as the day warmed up. I compromised and waited until it hit 8° and only had to shed a few garments as I went round. (I have a handy pannier to store them in.)
As I was hoping for a longer ride than usual, I stopped from time to time to have a drink and a snack and make sure that my legs got a rest.
I enjoyed this bank of snowdrops near Gair at my first stop.
I didn’t enjoy having to take my front wheel off and clear a lot of mud from my front mudguard which I had picked up when I cycled past the new windfarm site entrance on the top of Callister. The potholes there have been mended but the mud is a continuing problem for cyclists.
The wind was not strong but it was in my face for most of the outward journey so I made slow progress down to the village of Rockcliffe, which sits on the bank of the River Eden.
I parked my bike just before I got to the village and walked down a short track to the riverside and enjoyed the peaceful scene.
I had just turned away from the river when a loud noise made me look back.
I was amazed to see a tidal bore rolling up the river towards me and struggled to get my phone out to record the scene as my camera was having one of those Lumix moments when the zoom won’t extend.
I have seen bores on the news before but I have never seen one in real life so this was a treat. It was surprisingly loud and although it was only about a foot high, it looked very powerful as it swept past me…
…with the front of the bore not being a straight line as I expected but an elegant curve.
My camera started working again at this point and I used it to record the contrast between the calm water ahead of the wave and the turbulent movement behind it.
Three canoeists were paddling along behind the bore. Whether they had been riding it earlier and had got left behind, I don’t know.
I reclaimed my bike and went on my way very cheerfully, having seen a sight that I had never expected to see.
As I got back on the road, I enjoyed a black and white view of horses.
The direct route that I wanted to take from Rockcliffe was closed for resurfacing so I had to go round by the cycle lane along the new northern by-pass. This led me past a newly constructed pond and I was pleased to see that what could just have been a utilitarian run off pool had been carefully sculpted and planted with reeds.
I turned for home and crossed the A7 at Blackdyke, and on my way, I passed this, the first dandelion of spring.
From there I headed onto the Brampton Road, joining it opposite this fine row of trees..
…and then I stopped for a sit on a bench below the Longtown bridge for a final snack and drink.
I was hoping for some waterside bird life but there was none, so I took a shot through one of the arches…
…and, with the wind now behind me, I cycled home up the hill a good deal faster than I had come down.
The day was so well adjusted for cycling that I might well have gone further but my legs, which are a bit out of practice, objected so I settled for 53 miles at a modest pace and was very pleased to have had the opportunity to do that.
I said a day or two ago that the flowers in the garden were just waiting for a bit of sun to come out. They got a bit of sun today and they came out.
Mrs Tootlepedal reported that she had seen a bee early in the afternoon but it had left before I arrived. We are going to refer to it as Bee A as it is the first that we have seen this year.
She did some gardening while I checked on the frogs….
…and then I went in to make a cup of tea and watch the birds. There were not many about.
A second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie round off a good day very well. We had some marrow on the side. We have had a big marrow on the go for several weeks and it has provided many side dishes for meals and shows no sign of going over at all. It is the only one of our own vegetables left as the fish pie had used the last of our home grown potatoes. Still, we have been eating our own potatoes since August so we can’t complain. They kept very well thanks to the good summer.
Birds were very few and far between when I was watching today but I did find a flying chaffinch of the day.
A final note: the traction on my back seems to have helped my foot problem a lot and it is much less painful than it has been. I hope that this progress continues.