Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who took it while flashing past Stonehenge on a double decker bus. There was no time to stop as she was off to London for a march to demand a second referendum. One of my sisters, my brother and his two sons also attended the march so it was an important affair.
It was a bright and calm morning here today but it was also decidedly chilly and I was in no hurry to get my bike out until the temperature reached at least 7°C. This gave me time for coffee and the crossword as as it was after eleven o’clock before the target was reached.
Mrs Tootlepedal advised me that blackbirds were bathing in the dam behind the house and there might be a photo opportunity. I went to check but found a blackbird that was waiting on the edge but not willing to take the plunge.
I put on a great many layers of cycling clothing and finally got going. When I got to ten miles and stopped for a drink of water, I noticed that a tree which had had leaves last Friday but which had lost them now.
But it was a fine day and as you can see there was so little wind that the turbines at Minsca were not turning at all.
I had a lot of clothes on and just turning my legs over was quite a task in spite of the still conditions but I plugged away and passed trees with leaves on near Eaglesfield….
…and stopped for a buttered roll with honey under the cavernous motorway bridge near Kirkpatrick Fleming (my bike ignored the no parking sign)…
…and paused for a smaller bridge near Gretna.
The bridge’s arch was framed with bright red berries.
As I got back on my bike and was just getting going, another fairly elderly cyclist passed me without stopping for some civil conversation. Just to annoy him, I caught him up and pedalled along silently a few yards behind him. He knew I was there and occasionally pushed a bit harder to try to shake me off but he couldn’t and in the end I passed him …with a few civil words about the lovely weather. I could see him in my mirror, hanging on about twenty or thirty yards behind me even when I pushed a bit to try to shake him off. Mercifully we took different routes at the first junction we came to, and we could both relax.
I had taken my route in the hope of seeing migrating geese near the border and a loud honking directed my attention to a big flock foraging in a field.
There were a lot of them. I think that they are greylag geese
I waited for a while, hoping that they might take off and give me a flying shot but they remained firmly on the ground. Resisting the temptation to say boo to a goose, I pedalled on home.
The wind had got up enough to make the wind turbines at Gretna turn very slowly but it was mostly behind me by this time so I was able to do my 40 miles with two minutes in hand before the three hour mark arrived.
I had put a mixture into the bread maker earlier in the morning and Mrs Tootlepedal had taken it out while I was pedalling. The bread maker had done a fine job and some vintage plum jam was on hand if needed.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy gardening so I heated up a mug of celery and Stilton soup and went out to see what was going on while i drank it.
In spite of the chilly morning, the roses were going on very well.
A rudbeckia was looking a little part worn but as it has been looking like that since it first started flowering several weeks ago, I think it deserves credit for trying.
I saw a dunnock…
…and nearly caught a flying dunnock of the day but it was too sharp for me.
Honeysuckle berries and nasturtiums caught my eye…
…and the perennial wallflower and the lamium look as though they will never go over.
My flute pupil, Luke turned up and mindful of the truth that if a pupil is having difficulty with something, it is the fault of the teacher, I upped my game a bit and we made some serious progress in counting.
After tea, I went off to the camera club meeting where Sandy helped me to set the projector and screen up.
Once again we had a rather small but very select group of keen photographers and once again we had some most enjoyable images to look at. With pictures from a royal palace in St Petersburg and raptors from a park in Keswick, local wild life and memories of our trip to Beamish in the summer, we were well supplied with things to enjoy. One of our members had been having a very creative time with his photo editor and he produced results which defied belief. All in all, it was a satisfactory meeting and we agreed to meet again next month, with the hope of a few more members turning up.
The flying bird of the day is that reluctant swimmer.