Another fine day

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew in Derby. He spotted a local heron having a day on the tiles.

We could hardly believe our luck here when we had a second dry day in succession. We made good use of it.

Mrs Tootlepedal drove up to the Langholm Moor, where she and other members of her group were interviewed by a man from the John Muir trust for an article in the trust’s magazine. The trust are giving a substantial donation towards the buy out and were interested to visit the moor to talk about the moor and listen to the hopes and plans of the buy out group.

I had a walk round the garden and doffed my hat to the Queen of Denmark who was looking regal…

….saluted the first sweet pea, safe from the depredations of the sparrows in its cage…

….noticed that the zinnias are still building their starry internal garden fences…

…enjoyed some familiar colour…

…nodded at a dunnock on the lawn…

…and went out for a bicycle ride in spite of a quite boisterous breeze.

Soon after I left the town, I was caught up by another local cyclist who politely pedalled along with me for a while. He had whizzed past me while I was on my walk yesterday, and he told me that before he met me, he had been blown clean off the road into the verge by one of the gusts, luckily without coming to any harm. I was more glad than ever that I had been walking and not cycling.

There are mysteries about when you pedal. Why does great burnet grow so richly…

…in just one spot on my ride. You can find it elsewhere but not in these quantities.

I battled into the wind for 15 miles, turned so that it was now a crosswind for the next ten miles, and finally got a good push home. Perfect route planning though I say so myself.

The middle section of my route took me roughly down the course of the Kirtle Water, which I crossed by this bridge before Eaglesfield.

The water is still very brown after the recent rain, but the river was quite peaceful and reflective.

On the other other side of the village, they were gathering the harvest in.

I crossed the Kirtle Water again at the aptly name village of Kirtlebridge. Looking up stream from the bridge that I was on…

…I could see a potted history of the subservience of transport planners to the might of the motor vehicle.

I was standing on the ‘old main road’ which bypassed the even older road behind me which runs through the village itself. My main road has in turn been bypassed by a newer dual carriageway which in turn has been overtaken by a motorway crossing the new bridge which you can see, leaving the dual carriageway as a service road. So, four roads within a hundred yards of each other, all going in the same direction, all needing maintenance and a perfectly good railway running parallel to them all.

I didn’t stop a lot but I had to pause to record this wonderful bed of calendulas at Gretna…

…and I ate a banana beside the old gravel pond at Longtown…

…now looking quite picturesque and complete with both swans and geese.

I had to add an extra mile through the town when I got to Langholm to make my ride come to a neat forty miles. However hard I tried over the last few miles though, I couldn’t quite get my average speed up to 13mph after a very slow start into the breeze.

It would be nice to get a reasonably still day before the end of the month to let me add to my monthly mileage in peace.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work on her computer when I got back, but she told me that she had had a most enjoyable meeting on the moor.

I had a walk round the garden where I enjoyed Sweet William, hand painted by nature using the splatter technique…

…and a perennial wallflower looking a bit more subdued.

On the back wall of the house, the fuchsia branches are loaded with flowers.

I mowed the middle lawn, and took another look around in the very welcome sunshine…

…and went in to have a shower and a shave, ready to look my best for the sibling Zoom.

After the shower, I watched the birds for a while. A siskin wondered what a greenfinch was up to.

Although there were some busy moments…

…traffic was generally light and I found myself looking at a hosta below the feeder instead of birds.

The sibling Zoom went well with a good selection of shared pictures and riddles helping to add variety to our conversation. (The solution to my riddle was ‘cheese’. Now there’s a surprise.)

Mrs Tootlepedal dug up some very tasty carrots from her vegetable garden and we had them with liver and onions for our evening meal.

The flying bird of the day technically isn’t actually flying but it was certainly fleeing.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Another fine day

  1. Great shots of the bridge and river near Eaglesffield.
    I ventured out on the bike today and also battled head and crosswinds,quite a tough ride.
    You did well to manage forty miles👍

      1. I hope to be looking more closely next year when half retired. And maybe get my photos to be as crisp as yours! Those garden fences are wonderful and what a good description.

  2. Nice to see the artsy shot of the sweet Williams. I haven’t grown any for quite a long time.
    The calendulas look like they grow wild there, or maybe they’re a garden escapee.
    It looks like there was a lot of soil washed into the river. It’s about the same here. We’ve finally had some real rain.

    1. The rivers get a lot of peat in them from the uplands when it rains but as this was in pastoral country, I agree that there must have been quite a bit of soil in there too.

  3. Bridges and beautiful scenery. Sadly, our railways are hardly used anymore – the national roads bear the brunt of heavy vehicles that require patience before they can be passed.

  4. That is an angry-looking bird behind the fleeing one…. Those flower panels always delight to see so much color in one visual swoop.

    I enjoy seeing all the photos of the seasons as they come and go in your area, and comparing it to our own climate. I am watching the wheat fields across the valley turn from golden brown to whitish tan, ready for harvest for grain and wheat straw. Grass seed harvesting has started in places, with dust devils soon to follow as stubble in fields are plowed under and the soil pulverized in the dry heat by incredibly large machines that remind me of the sandworms of Dune.

  5. Thank you for opening my eyes to the pretty inside wall in the zinnia! Love the description and photo of the Sweet Williams and your historical account of the development of roads in your area! That’s an evil looking bird with its claws over the fleeing goldfinch…such behaviour!

  6. How unusual to see a Heron on a rooftop. I was pleased that you featured the starry internal garden fences of the zinnias. Something I had never noticed before. Pity you don’t have some hummingbirds to enjoy those luscious fuchsia blossoms. The fuchsia I planted from a cutting is just filling out with blossoms this year and the hummingbirds are regular visitors.

  7. I look at your garden flowers and wonder if I’ve missed a season of your blogs as many of the flowers we had are gone long ago and we’re cleaning those beds up. Our cornflower/bachelor buttons are demolished by the goldfinches and poppies are finished by the end of May or earlier. Here we are in just now August, and I’m planting chrysanthemums and the garden stores are seriously depleted. Okay, it’s hot here, and we’ve plenty of summer flowers, but we must be heading into the harvest and darker times. Funny how the world turns and seasons change depending on where you are. So enjoying your beautiful gardens and treks.

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