Today’s guest picture was taken by camera club member Mairi on our Beamish outing last weekend, and shows that there isn’t just light a the end of the tunnel, there is a Tootlepedal too.
Our spell of excellent weather continued today. We had a sunny day but it wasn’t too hot so that was the best of both worlds.
After breakfast, I wandered round the garden.
There are plenty more poppies to come.
I took a few general shots of colourful corners as the garden is looking quite bright.
Amongst all the colour, there is plenty of whiteness about.
And a steady supply of red admiral butterflies.
We had coffee and then we went down to Longtown to collect Mrs Tootlepedal’s shopping bike from the bike shop. It has had its granny gear fixed so Mrs Tootlepedal can laugh at hills now.
While we were pottering around the garden when we got back, loud cries made us look up and a small flock of swifts could be seen circling above our heads. They are very nippy so I was pleased to get this shot even though it is not of the highest quality.
As lunchtime approached, I ran out of excuses to justify any more dawdling, so I had a cheese and tomato sandwich and set out to do some pedalling.
There was enough wind in my face to make the first twenty odd miles hard work and I took care to give myself plenty of short breaks for a rest and a drink. Although I wasn’t looking for wild flowers on my way round, sometimes my stops coincided with something interesting.
This vivid buttercup meadow just out of Langholm was worth an unscheduled stop for itself.
I came to the Hoddam Bridge across the River Annan at the twenty mile mark…
…but I couldn’t get a good picture of the bridge as the sun was straight above it and both sides of the bridge were in shadow.
I crossed the river and headed uphill on the other side towards the Repentance Tower.
The tower, built in 1565, is perched on the very top of the hill but the climb was worth it for the splendid view down over the Solway.
The masts are the radio station at Anthorn on the English side.
Once I had dropped down the hill towards the coast, I could see the triangular peak of Skiddaw, one of the northern Lake District fells, across the neatly mowed fields.
It was a beautiful day to be out cycling and after the hard work of the first twenty miles followed by the climb up past the tower, a bit of downhill, some very flat roads and a following wind for the next twenty was very welcome.
I stopped for my 30 mile snack in Eastriggs, outside the Devil’s Porridge museum just next to Sir James, a ‘fireless’ engine. The firelessness was necessary as it worked in an enormous explosive factory where a spark from a fire could have spelled disaster.
(A fireless locomotive is a type of locomotive which uses reciprocating engines powered from a reservoir of compressed air or steam, which is filled at intervals from an external source.)
From Eastriggs I headed on to Gretna and crossed the river Sark by the (fairly) mighty border bridge between England and Scotland…
…and from there it was not far to get home. Since I was now going uphill and the wind wasn’t helping so much, I was happy to stop to admire the orange hawkweed at the Hollows bus stop…
…and some very bright knapweed beside the bike route near Langholm.
I had hoped to do 50 miles and I actually did 51 so I was very content as I had a cup of tea at home with Mrs Tootlepedal. She had spent more time collecting signatures.
After my refreshing cup of tea, I had enough energy left to mow the middle lawn and set the sprinkler on the front lawn…
…and have a last look at the flowers.
There was a lot of yellow (and some dancing feet) to see…
…and the Rozeira de L’Hay had a curiously wriggling centre which turned out to be a bee.
I can’t get over Mrs Tootlepedal’s new salvia. It is the flower with everything.
I retired indoors for a cool shower and and a nourishing meal of mince and tatties provided by Mrs Tootlepedal. With Wimbledon and world cup football on the telly, finding an excuse for a quiet sit down after the meal was not hard.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch taking a good look to see of there was a spare perch about.