Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Liz. She went for a walk in the woods today and got a big surprise. The wood carver has been at work again.
We had another lovely day today, but in spite of the sunshine it was still a bit autumnal as far as the temperature went. I walked up to the town to do some errands in the morning because just as I was cycling out of the gate, I met Mike Tinker so I pushed my bike beside me as we walked companionably up to the paper shop.
I had a couple more things to do while Mike walked back, and I cycled back a little later, deciding that any more serious cycle outing could well wait until the sun had warmed things up a bit.
Between drinking coffee and not finishing the crossword, I walked round the garden. The pale yellow dahlia looked rather chilly in the shadow of the house….
…but elsewhere the sun made everything look very cheerful…
…especially the poppies.
I have been dead heading the Icelandic poppies and they have repaid me with several new flowers.
I liked this leaf of a variegated dogwood which looks as though nature has been out and about doing some hand quilting.
Once again, the most conspicuous element in the garden was the flitting about of butterflies. There were lots about, including this white on a spirea…
…and all four of our regular coloured types – the peacock…
…the small tortoiseshell…
…the red admiral…
…and the painted lady.
It wasn’t hard to find two or three together, jostling for space on the same flower.
There weren’t as many blackbirds about as there have been, probably because the rowan berries have nearly all been eaten. This blackbird was reduced to foraging for fallen berries on the ground.
A pale astrantia reached up to the sun.
After lunch, with the thermometer at a heady 12°C, I got my bike out, spoke severely to my legs and set off to see how far I could go.
For once, the wind had dropped and although there was still a very light breeze, it wasn’t a great help or a great inconvenience.
The good forecast had encouraged farmers to cut more grass.
I cycled down to Longtown by back roads and dropped in at the bike shop there. My bike has had a squeaking problem which had baffled the best brains among the bike shop boffins and although they hadn’t cured it when it was last in the workshop, they had made the bike ride-able again. When the problem reappeared on a recent ride, I followed up on the mechanic’s suggestion and applied a little WD40 to a crucial point. This had cured it, so I went to thank the mechanic.
He was very pleased to find the cause of the problem and undertook to provide a more permanent fix next time my bike comes to the workshop. As it was, I was lucky that I was carrying the WD40 with me because when I went over a very dirty section of the road a few miles further on, the problem raised its ugly head again. A good squirt cleared things up though, and I was able to pedal on without a problem.
From Longtown, I went past Arthuret Church…
…and enjoyed this little carving on a gravestone.
I then took a short off road section of National Bike Route 7. It follows an old railway line across the River Lyne on a new bridge which they plunked down on top of the old piers..
Although I had to duck to avoid brambles hanging over the path, and the final section was both muddy and very narrow, I reached the artistic signpost at the far end of the track safely and rejoined the road gratefully.
I wound my way round the flat roads of North Cumbria, and then headed home past Gretna and through Canonbie
I paused for a drink as I crossed the main railway line near Gretna. I love the geometry of railway lines.
I didn’t stop a lot to take pictures on my way but there were wild flowers to enjoy when I did stop.
I was hoping to manage 50 miles but I came to a compromise agreement with my legs and settled for 43 miles instead. The forecast is still good for tomorrow so I didn’t want to discourage my legs by doing too much today.
I had a cup of tea and some toast with plum jam when I got home and then had a last walk round the garden. The calendulas are hanging on well.
I am off to see the podiatrist tomorrow to see if I can do something about getting walking comfortably again. Cycling is all very well but you don’t see anything like as much detail as you do when you are walking.
The non flying bird of the day is a starling, standing fearlessly among the mess of wires on the top of our new electricity pole.