Today’s guest picture comes from one of our neighbour Liz’s morning walks with her dog. They visited a lovely little waterfall on the Becks Burn. As this involves quite a bit of scrambling, she deserves great credit for getting the shot.
I started the active part of my day by cycling round to the shop to get some milk. I took the slightly longer route along the water side in the hope of seeing something interesting.
I though that a one legged oyster catcher counted as interesting…
…and the first riverside blossom of spring was actually exciting.
When I got back home, it wasn’t long before Dropscone arrived for morning coffee bringing his trademark Friday treacle scones with him.
He has recovered from his recent holiday and is back in the golfing groove again.
After Drospcone left, I walked up the hill to visit Sandy who has three more weeks to go before he is mobile again after his foot operation. He is suffering a bit from cabin fever but I think my visit must have done him good because he says he always feels more cheerful when I leave.
It was lunch time when I got back and I had a few moments after lunch to watch the birds. The chaffinches were in a twisty mood today.
It had been near zero first thing in the morning and in spite of some sunny weather, the temperature had only crept up to 6°C by this time. All the same, new crocuses were out in the garden….
…the silver pear is getting ready to flower….
…and a couple of frogs were relaxing in the pool…
…so things felt quite spring like. In spite of this, I had to wrap up warmly before I went out on my bike. I chose a different route today as I felt that my legs might be up to a few more small hills than usual.
I embarked on a “four dale” outing by starting out along the Esk, stopping to show how calm the river was at Skippers after a dry week.
I then went up and over and back down into the Tarras Valley, where I followed the route of the old railway.
In a better organised world, I would have been cycling on a beautifully maintained cycle path from Langholm to Carlisle using the disused trackbed instead of trying to get a shot of the old railway bridge at Mumbie through a mess of fallen trees.
I got a better view of the bridge from above.
At Claygate, I headed over to Liddesdale on a very undulating road which made me grateful for excuses to stop and admire trees….
…sunshine behind me over the hills round Langholm…
…a tall bridge over the Archer Beck…
…and a distant view of the Solway in sunshine behind the Gretna wind turbines.
Happily, the sunshine caught up with me and picked out a final tree for me to photograph…
…before I got to Harelaw and turned to follow the Liddle Water down Liddesdale to Canonbie and beyond.
After the Liddle had joined the Esk, I stopped to have a look at the railway bridge over the Glinger Burn.
I was standing on the main road bridge that Simon had been under when he took this guest picture that appeared in the blog two weeks ago.
Like today’s guest picture, he must have done some good scrambling to get down there.
Having gone down stream in general on my ride, I turned off soon afterwards and headed back across country towards home.
I stopped for a snack and a drink at this bridge….
…which spans the Beck Burn.
As a name for a stream, this lacks a little originality as it is like calling a stream, the Stream Stream as a beck and a burn are the same thing.
I had the light breeze behind me now and pedalling uphill towards Tarcoon was not as hard as it might have been with the wind against…
…and the clouds that had been there at the start of my ride had been blown away by the breeze so that the ride back to Langholm looked inviting.
I was hoping to do 30 miles and my bike computer said that I had done 30.08 miles as I entered our drive. I thought that my route planning had been pretty good.
I was glad to get inside as the temperature had dropped back to a chilly 3° in spite of the sunshine.
Mrs Tootlepedal had spent a very busy day on community land purchase business but she still had the energy to cook a very tasty toad in the hole for our tea, and I was sufficiently invigorated by that to be able to play duets with Alison when she and Mike came round for their usual Friday evening visit.
As Alison says, it is always fun to play duets but I think it would be even more fun if I played better so I am resolved to try to make time for some serious flute practice next week. The forecast is full of rain for the whole week, so it should be easier to find time than it has been in this past week of good weather.
I have made reasonable use of the good week and with a hundred miles of cycling, I have done almost as much already in March as I did in the whole of February.
A sunny chaffinch makes a suitable flying bird of the day to sum up five days without serious rain.