Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He sent me this picture of a fine East Wemyss fungus and then went back at my request to photograph the underside too.
The wind finally calmed down here and after a misty start, the skies cleared and we had a very acceptably warm but not too hot day. Mrs Tootlepedal had a Moorland business Zoom meeting after breakfast so I crept about trying to make as little noise as possible while getting ready to get out for the first cycle ride for six days.
After her virtual meeting, Mrs Tootlepedal went out for a real meeting with our socially distanced street coffee drinking neighbours, while I set off to get some easy miles in after my vigorous walk yesterday.
I headed down the A7, the main road out of the town, hoping that the easing of the lockdown wouldn’t lead to more traffic than was comfortable to ride among. There was more traffic but it wasn’t too bad and I pedalled along cheerfully enough until I came to Longtown where I stopped to admire the repaired parapet on the bridge.
I didn’t get the chance to see if they have repaired the hole in the other side of the bridge, but I am assuming that they haven’t done that yet because the traffic light one way system for crossing the bridge is still in place.
My next stop was at another bridge where I enjoyed a view of the peaceful River Lyne and the surrounding pastoral English countryside.
When I came to the bench at Newtown on the Roman Wall after 20 miles, I didn’t stop for a rest as usual but headed on to add a 10 mile loop to my trip.
This took me down over the River Irthing and into Brampton, up the hill out of the town…
…and back down to the River Irthing again, which I crossed by the new bridge. This gave me a view of the old bridge beside it.
It is called the Abbey Bridge because across the field from the bridge is Lanercost Priory…
The priory has an excellent tea room. It would normally have been hotching with visitors on a day like this. Today though, it was closed, so I had half a banana and a ginger biscuit beside the elegant abbey gate…
…and completed my loop back to Newtown by way of yet another bridge.
If there is a down side to a bridge, it is the fact that they tend to live at the bottom of hills. There were two substantial climbs for me to puff up before I got to Walton and headed back down to join the Newtown roa. There I crossed yet another bridge and had to climb back up to the village. In the course of five miles, I had crossed the line of the Roman Wall four times but I had seen no sign of it at all as all the stone must have disappeared into local buildings over the years before conservation became fashionable.
Just before I got to the main road, I passed this fine house set in its own grounds…
…and once again resolved to live in a house just like this when I grow up.
I was pleased to be back on the relatively flat main roads after my hilly loop, and happy to find that the cross wind was offering more help than hindrance as I headed back to Longtown, and even more help when I turned onto the A7 and pedalled home.
I made one stop before Longtown, my second of the day at the bridge over the River Lyne. Like Skippers Bridge, this bridge has been considerably widened to cope with modern traffic.
The farmers were mowing grass and collecting it up for silage all along my route and the recent rain must have helped them get a reasonable crop.
I saw two nice tree combinations on my ride.
It had been a perfect day for cycling but the traffic on the A7 as I headed home to Langholm sent me the message that peaceful days on main roads are probably over. A steady stream of cars and lorries was not dangerous but was enough to make cycling a noisy business. The almost complete lack of traffic has been good while it lasted but it would be selfish to hope that nobody ever went back to work.
I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden when I got home so I wandered about while she toiled.
She is still fighting the endless war against the depredations of the sparrows in her vegetable garden but her broad beans must not be to their taste as they are looking really healthy.
We will be full of beans soon.
The peonies are coming on all the time…
…and they are being joined by new roses.
The Moyesii (on the left in the panel above) has been badly damaged by the frost and many of the exposed flowers are dead, but those that were protected by foliage are doing well.
There was plenty to see both new and old.
Among the new, a rhododendron which fortunately started to come out after the frost…
…and a nectaroscordum, one of those flowers which require the cameraman to lie on his back to get a shot of the flower itself.
Among old friends, a dancing dicentra…
…a pink aquilegia…
…and my current favourite, a pink lupin.
I didn’t get a chance to catch a decent flying bird shot today so this poor effort is all I have to show.
Footnote: After the recent welcome rain, we are back to a dry spell and have had to start watering in the garden again.