A ride, a walk and a song

Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo in Manitoba.  Her hostas have been frozen but still offer some golden colour to brighten up her garden.

Mary Jo's hosta

It was another mercifully dry day here, but it was grey and chilly with the temperature well in single figures at breakfast.

I was in no hurry to get up and rush about as I was expecting Sandy for a cup of coffee and a biscuit.  He arrived on cue and we considered the camera club meeting and electric cycling.  It turns out that strong cross winds are as unwelcome to an e-biker as they are to an old fashioned pedal pushing pensioner.

We walked out into the garden and picked up a good number of walnuts for him to take with him when he went on his way.

When he had gone, I polished off the crossword and went out for a pedal.  If I had gone out earlier instead of socialising, it would have been colder but stiller.  As it was, the temperature was creeping up but so was the wind and I had a familiar battle up hill and into the wind to start my ride.

I didn’t rush things and went steadily round my usual Canonbie 20 mile circuit, safe in the knowledge that I would get a good push home from the wind.

I was pleased to see the Canonbie coos back in the field,  They come in black…

canonbie cow 1


canonbie cow 3

…and reddish.

canonbie cow 2

It felt rather cold in the wind and as it was too grey for cheerful views, I didn’t stop until I came across this telephone pole.  Mrs Tootlepedal is a great telephone pole enthusiast so I thought that she would like the significant runes on this one, not to mention the curious attachment to the side of the pole.

telephone pole

In the field nearby, there was littler sign of autumn leaves drifting anywhere.trees at irvine House

When I got back, I added another rose to the late October in the Garden collection…

small red rose

…ate the last of the celery and Stilton soup for a late lunch, had a shower and then took the car down to the garage to obey a helpful injunction from the dashboard to do something about my tyre pressures.

Mrs Tootlepedal came in the car too and having inflated, we drove eight miles down the road to the old coal mining village at Rowanburn.  Here we parked the car beside this tribute to the village’s past…

Rowanburn monument

…and walked off down the old railway line towards the border with England.

railway at rowanburn

The was the first time that Mrs Tootlepedal had been on this walk for some time.  It used to be heavily wooded so she was surprised when we came out of the first section of the walk….

out of the woods rowanburn

…and she found that the trees had been cleared.  It is a transformation….


valley rowanburn railway

…and a lot of broom has taken advantage of the light to spring up beside the track.


We walked along until we came to the last farmhouse in Scotland and we could see the far bank of the Liddle Water which marks the border at this point.  Those are English trees that we were looking at.

last house in Scotland

We could have walked across the old railway viaduct to England…

Liddle viaduct 1

…if it hadn’t been for the stout fence barring our way.

Liddle viaduct 2

The little notice on the fence tells those interested that in accordance with the Highways Act of 1980, The British Railways Board hereby gives notice that this way is not dedicated to the public.

As I have a rotten head for heights and the viaduct is quite high…

Riddings Viaduct
Picture taken on a visit in 2013

…I was grateful to the Board.

There are a great many piles of timber beside the track at one point and on the way back, I stopped to note the fungi on the ends of some of the logs.

fungus rowanburn railway

There was a good deal less than I had expected.

I had hoped for some fine autumn colour but there was very little, apart from occasional patches….

autumn leaves

…and one good beech hedge near the village.

beech hedge roawnburn

A sheep found us very interesting.

roanburn sheep

There was more colour to be seen near the road where the car was parked.

rowanburn plants

We got back to the car after a very enjoyable two mile stroll along a flat and generally dry path, Mrs Tootlepedal’s idea of a perfect walk these days.  It was chilly though and a little sun would have been welcome.

Our newly inflated tyres carried us home safely but such was the general gloom of the weather, I was too late to catch a flying bird of the day.  There were still a lot of birds about but they had finished flying and were sitting in the holly tree, chattering loudly to each other.

While they were chattering away, Mrs Tootlepedal and I put in some practice on some of the songs that we are going to sing at a concert in Glasgow on Saturday.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “A ride, a walk and a song

  1. I like the recording of the chattering starlings and the coos that come in three different colours. We haven’t got much autumn colour (yet?) either.

  2. That was a nice walk. I drive by a farm on my way home and yesterday I had a herd of about 20 cows coming right down the road at me. Thankfully they didn’t have horns like these ones. I thought they were going to climb right over my car.
    I would have been happy to see the bars on that viaduct too.
    It sounds like there were hundreds of birds in the tree.

  3. That rose looks beautiful, especially at this time of year. We had a warm, mostly cloudy day today and a gorgeous sunset with fiery clouds. I was able to scrape up the last bits of the neighbor’s alpaca manure pile and transfer them to our garden, along with a lot of leaves from the persimmon trees. Trees are shedding their leaves slowly here this year, and I should still get a good haul.

    1. Leaves take too long to rot down and we haven’t enough storage space for them so although I have a secrete heap of leaves, I don’t have a leaf compost bin.

  4. Love your tweets of the day. Wish I could distinguish birds from their songs- are these starlings? Magnificent horns on those cows- hope there was a high fence between you and them. That’s a very fine viaduct.

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