Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew and scores high points as it has two of my favourite things in it, a canal and a bridge. It is at Butterley.
It was a beautiful day with a hint of genuine warmth about it but still with enough bite in the light wind to keep you from shedding garments recklessly.
I had a walk round the garden and was very impressed by the force of this tulip.
The chief business of the morning was a trip to England to visit our friend Sue for lunch and an outing.
We got there safely and took a walk round her garden where there was a lot to see….
…and then we enjoyed an excellent lunch before setting off in the little white zingy thingy to see how it got on in narrow lanes with many steep ups and downs.
It went well and in no time at at all we found ourselves on the other side of the valley at Hadrian’s Wall and parked beside Banks East Turret, one of the mile castles that were built into the wall. You can see the remains of the wall itself in the centre of the picture below….
…and there is a fair bit left of the mile castle too…
…though it would have been more impressive when it was originally built.
This is the view looking south from the wall.
Sue then took us into the back country on the north side of the wall and we finally parked on open moorland next to a secretive RAF facility at Spadeadam. Curiously, we could see an old aeroplane resting among the heather near to the car park. It may be a used as a marker for virtual target practice.
We sensibly went in the opposite direction towards the River Irthing and after a short plod across some flat and boggy ground, found ourselves on the edge of a deep gorge where the River Irthing flows over the Crammel Linn waterfall.
It looked so smooth and regular at first sight that I almost took it for a sluice but a closer look shows that it is flowing over an impressive 10m rocky ledge.
Sue told us that it a popular bathing spot in summer and enterprising young people dive or jump off the central buttress into the pool below. The gorge was too steep to allow me to clamber down to river level so we admired the falls from a distance and headed back to the car.
The gorge narrows downstream from the waterfall and it is hidden from sight by this impressive river of birch trees.
The little white car took us back down into the valley and then up the other side to Sue’s house with no difficulty. Steep hills do not seem to pose the electric motor any problem and the simple controls make driving on narrow winding roads stress free.
After a cup of tea, we thanked Sue for taking us on such an interesting excursion and set off home.
We ended up having driven 80 miles but using less than half of the battery charge so it would seem that it would not be unreasonable in the summer months to expect to be able to drive 140 miles without having to worry about recharging. Of course this is achieved by driving steadily and without hurrying, but that is my preferred mode anyway these days so it is no hardship.
Once we got home, I cut a little mount for Mrs Tootlepedal’s latest embroidery, using the mount cutter which I share with Sandy, then conferred with my sister Mary about a very obscure clue in the day’s prize crossword and finally went off to stretch my tendon by cycling a gentle five miles.
I got distracted by carpets of bluebells on the open hillside beside the road.
This is quite an unusual sight as bluebells are woodland flowers and it doesn’t happen every year as vividly as this.
Unfortunately, the sun had slipped off down the valley by the time that I had climbed up the hillside…
…but I enjoyed the colour all the same.
There were bluebells on every side and I can only think that sheep don’t like the taste otherwise there would be none left.
These open hill bluebells were much shorter than the ones that I recently photographed among the trees.
I hoped that the sun might come out again but when it stayed behind the clouds, I went back to my bike and pedalled off up the road…
…closely supervised by the sheep.
Although the day’s two short walks were a bit uncomfortable, the cycling was pain free and if the good weather continues, I might try a longer ride next week.
In all this excitement, I didn’t have time to look for a flying bird and the crouching bird of the day is a partridge. It arrived very early in the morning and spent three hours perched on our outside windowsill.
You can’t see it in the picture but it has sustained some damage to the other side of its neck. It might have been attacked by a cat or caught its head in netting, I suppose. We wondered whether it would need help, but by the time we left to go to Sue, it had moved round the house to another windowsill in the sunshine, and by the time that we came home, it had disappeared. We hope it is OK.