A new walk

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. He asks whether we think the picture was taken in sunny East Wemyss or on a Greek Island. We know the answer.

Our run of cool weather continued here today, and once again infrequent and short rain showers made it hard to plan when to hang the washing out.

And once again, our garden coffee morning was ended by a little shower. Fortunately it stopped almost as soon as our neighbours had left the garden so we were able to continue with gardening (and hang more washing out).

I looked at a couple of handsome flowers before coffee, a day lily…

…and just one of the many blooms on the Bobbie James rose.

I also used my shopping bike for its proper purpose and went shopping on it.

The main business of the morning for Mrs Tootlepedal, before and after coffee, was removing half of a Virginia Creeper, badly affected by frost, from the fence and making a space for the Golden Syllabub rose to take its place. My contribution was a great deal of moral support and taking away stuff for shredding. The rose was finally moved to its new home and its sole flower was snipped off and taken indoors.

We hope for many more of these lovely flowers next year.

While I was taking shreddings to the compost bin, I noticed a jackdaw in the garden. It was taking an interest in the goings on.

I was very pleased to see that a small tortoiseshell butterfly had discovered that the buddleia is out.

I hope that many more will follow its lead.

The clematis that lives in the Philadelphus beside the plum tree is doing its best to climb up into some free air.

It is quite tricky to get a picture that does justice to the white phlox as it is so white that it tends to upset the camera. However, I think that this effort, with the purple phlox as a contrast does go some way to showing how rich the white phlox is.

I had filled the feeder in the morning and I had a look at the birds after lunch. The feeder was doing brisk business….

…and a dunnock foraged below.

I had intended to go cycling in the afternoon but the changeable weather and a gusty wind made a walk more attractive, especially as Mrs Tootlepedal was keen for a stroll too. She likes pedestrian novelty so we took the car five miles up the road to the little village of Bentpath and walked up one side of the Esk to Enzieholm Bridge and then back down the other side. We have cycled this route before as part of longer rides, but we have never walked it.

To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting a four and a half mile walk on familiar roads to be very interesting but I was wrong. Walking is not the same as cycling and there was hardly a minute on the walk when there wasn’t a fine view to appreciate or something interesting closer to hand to enjoy.

Here is a selection of both.

Our starting point:

A selection of roadside interest as we walked up to Enzieholm.

Two outstanding plants, a scabious…

…and a deep red rose from a hedge.

The traffic on the road tended to come at quite a speed but luckily, there were not too many vehicles about and Mrs Tootlepedal was able to tear along the dotted line with impunity.

We crossed the Esk by the handsome Enzieholm Bridge…

…and walked back to Bentpath on the very quiet minor road on the other side of the river.

Here was saw what we think is a fine chicory plant…

…and passed verges full of great burnet, thistles both melancholy and cheerful, and all sorts of interesting grasses.

And these were only a fraction of the wild flowers that we saw.

My final picture was taken from the Bentpath Bridge looking back up the Esk.

The car thermometer said the temperature was 14°C as we drove up to Bentpath, it was cloudy as we set off and we had had to shelter under trees at Enzieholm bridge while a sharp shower threatened to soak us.

But once again, the rain only lasted for a few minutes, and as you can see, our walk ended in warm sunshine. The thermometer claimed it was 18° as we drove home but the car had been standing in the sun for a bit.

We got back in plenty of time for a cup of tea before the customary sibling Zoom. An evening meal of fishcakes followed by a dish of the last raspberries from the garden (with whipped cream) rounded off a day that had turned out very well. I hadn’t slept well and was a bit grumpy in the morning but the walk with Mrs Tootlepedal at my side thoroughly perked me up and left me feeling much more cheerful.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow with full landing gear down.

Footnote: The challenge of the day at the sibling zoom meeting was a sonnet. My sister Susan and I were the only takers. She wrote an entertaining number on the stress of the current situation and I reflected on a recent cycle ride to the Solway coast. Here is my effort (with apologies as it is the first sonnet I have ever written.)

When once I cycled on the Solway plain
And watched quiet cattle grazing on the shore.
The peaceful scene filled me with joy, before
I looked on high to check the threat of rain.

For weather prospects fill a cyclist’s mind,
Wind, sunshine, rain alike can all do harm.
It’s always far too cold or far too warm
And rare the day when wind is not unkind.

But I was pedalling at my chosen speed
Quite free, with no black care pursuing me
And so I put these gloomy thoughts aside

And vowed to pay potential rain no heed
To love the scenes of meadows, hills and sea
Those restful cattle taught me how to ride.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A new walk

  1. I wonder if there was mortar used in the arched bridge. We have some fine Scottish built stonework here and it’s all built with no mortar. I don’t know why they did it that was since even the Romans used mortar.
    That does look like chicory and that’s a great shot of the white phlox. Not an easy one.
    I don’t know a sonnet from an Easter bonnet but I think yours says just what you’ve said in these posts and I enjoyed it.

      1. A striking photograph . . . what do your sibling think you use on your blog every day? Sheesh – siblings are a very tough audience!

  2. I enjoyed your poem, and the beautiful and varied photos from your day, especially the panel with the lichen covered rock in the upper left. What an interesting, artistic pattern to the lichens!

    The purple phlox amid the white makes for a nice contrast. I have white phlox here, which seems to be doing well in the shade on the north side of the house, sheltered from the worst of the sun’s heat. It was 90 degrees F the last I looked at the porch thermometer. Not a cloud in the sky yesterday or today. Wednesday we may get a break, if the forecast is correct.

  3. Well done on entering the sonnet competition! Are all you thoughts now thumping through your head in iambic pentameter?

  4. What a floriferous walk. I enjoyed it very much.

    I left Bobbie James behind and my old house and keep forgetting to go back for a cutting, if she is still there. I used to have a Ginger Syllabub, which I bought because I like ginger and my mom’s name was Ginger. It did not thrive because I put it in a spot too shady. I’d like to get that one again, too, and treat it better.

  5. I’m full of envy for your phlox. Since a garden with no phlox is nearly wasteland, I can counter with one violet plant only but I’m on the hunt for more varieties. Your walk was as spectacular as we are wont by now. I’m not into sonnets as I dont like to be cast into a too tight corset.

  6. A lovely walk with pretty views and all those beautiful wild flowers to enjoy and good to see a bright butterfly on the buddleia. Splendid sonnet … may I suggest a poem about the comet next!

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