Not the usual musical evening

Today’s guest picture is another of Paul’s Lake District studies. It shows a relatively new bridge over the River Derwent.

The forecast said it would be raining here when we woke up, and the forecast was quite right. After two days without rain, it was a bit sad to be back in what has been typical July weather here.

It was a morning for looking at birds from the comfort of the sitting room while the birds discussed the ins and outs of climate change.

There was a good bit of traffic and the seed in the feeder was in demand.

Whenever a perch became free, there were birds ready to take their place at the table.

A redpoll kept a check on what was going on.

To be fair it wasn’t relentless rain and it came and went, allowing me to get to the shop and back in a dry moment, and to have a quick walk round the garden…

……where things were unsurprisingly a bit wet.

After lunch, I had another look at the birds.

I watched a young blue tit waiting for an opportunity, getting on to the feeder pole, snatching a seed and going off to peck at it in privacy.

As you can see from the bird pictures, it had stopped raining and in spite of a rather gloomy forecast that said it hadn’t stopped raining, I preferred the evidence of my own eyes, got my bicycle out and set off in a hopeful way to go as far as I could without getting soaked. I might have been encouraged to take a chance by the fact that this was that rare thing, a day without any wind.

I had gone about couple of miles when it started to rain! Quite heavily. So much for my decision to ignore the forecast. I got my rain jacket out but before I could even put it on, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started and I had the rest of my ride in good conditions.

It was such a pleasure to be pedalling in peaceful conditions that after I had had a look at the heather on the hill….

….I didn’t stop to take any other pictures for the first fifteen miles. When I did stop to capture the charm of Kirkpatrick Fleming church, a car driver also stopped in the middle of my picture while he answered a call on his mobile phone. Such is life.

I passed up a lot of opportunities to take pictures of wild flowers but I did notice a fine hedge with bindweed and that the prospects for the bramble picking season look good.

I headed out to Eastriggs, and once again enjoyed the trees there that show the normal wind direction quite clearly…..

…even when there is no wind blowing.

I leaned my bike against the wall of the Devil’s Porridge museum in the village and ate a banana beside the fireless locomotive Sir James.

Refreshed by the banana, I took a trip to the seaside, but unfortunately the sea was out, so far out indeed that it wasn’t really visible and all that could be seen was just the channel of the River Esk running along the shore. The plus side was a very calm shot of the Lake District hills on the English coast opposite.

There may not have been any sea to see but there was a wonderfully large and confident flower on the edge of the shore.

Standing nearly a metre high and with flowers the size of a small saucer, it needed some research when I got home. Mrs Tootlepedal and I think it might be a rough hawksbeard. As always, I am open to correction from knowledgeable readers.

Leaving the absent sea behind, I pedalled on through Gretna and into England and then back through Longtown and into Scotland. My last picture, taken from a bridge, shows the road to Old Irving which now runs under the new Auchenrivock diversion.

I had two motivations to take this picture, firstly it is quite a pretty corner and secondly the warning lights on my legs’ control console were flashing “LOW ENERGY LEVELS – STOP NOW”.

The brief stop for the picture was enough to let them recharge and get me home after 51 very enjoyable miles.

Mrs Tootlepedal had got some useful gardening done while I was out but she had been sent indoors by more rain, so I had had the best of the weather. We went out to pick some courgettes for our tea and while I was out, I had a look around.

Two perfect flowers appealed to me.

And for once the light was sympathetic to my effort to take a picture of St John’s Wort which my camera finds hard to cope with usually.

The day had ended a lot more satisfactorily than it had begun.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Footnote: Today’s blog title refers to the fact this this is Summer Fair Night, the evening before Langholm’s greatest day of the year, the Langholm Common Riding. The streets this evening should have been full of the music of the town’s brass and pipe bands, and the once a year appearance of the flute band should have been heard welcoming back exiled Langholmites returning for Langholm’s great day.

Tomorrow, the flute band should awaken the town at 5 o’clock to start the ceremonies off but all this has fallen victim to the coronavirus, and the Common Riding with its cornet bearing the town standard, the bands, the train of over a hundred mounted followers, the streets lined with spectators, the athletics, the dancing, the wrestling and the horse racing will not happen. There may be muted and secret celebrations but for many townspeople, tomorrow will be a day of great sorrow.

To get a flavour of what we will be missing, you can look here.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Not the usual musical evening

  1. Like your legs warning idea..I get the same warnings on every ride too,and they’re becoming more frequent.
    Your getting in the miles this week alright.
    Great shot of the Lake District hills,a bit clearer than they were on Monday.

    1. Apparently Garmin have been the victim of a ransomeware hack and closed downsince last Friday,so no rides appeared on strava from any of their devices.
      It’s back up and running now,..so did garmin pay the ransome demand ?

      1. Good question. One would hope not but I suspect that they did. Companies can probably buy insurance for these events nowadays.

  2. The poppy, dahlia and that amazing St. John’s wort were a treat to see. I thought our St. John’s wort was from there but yours is very different.
    The Devils Porridge Museum sounds like an interesting place.
    It’s too bad some way couldn’t have been found to do the Common Riding, even in a limited capacity. I hope everyone still gets the day off, at least.

  3. So sorry about the absence of all the usual ceremonies though thanks for the link. Well done for cycling all those miles,no wonder your legs complained.

  4. That museum looks well worth a visit.
    Well done for such a long ride.
    Commiserations on the lack of all the activities of Langholm’s special day.

  5. I am envious of your rain drenched flowers. It peaked at 95 degrees here yesterday, and today will be in the 90s again. I am doing a lot of watering.

  6. Super dahlia, poppy and St John’s Wort photos. Thanks for the link to the museum it has some really interesting exhibits and a cafe too! It is sad that the Common Riding has been postponed but there will be next year to look forward to now. Aren’t your roses usually picked for the occasion?

    1. They are and they were again this year which was a surprise. They made the crown anyway even if it wasn’t paraded through the streets. Dedication!

  7. We could use a bit of that rain. We haven’t had a drop since early June. Sad that you won’t be having your celebration. I do remember the event from last year. So many things we’ve missed out on. A beautiful capture of the St John’s Wort. My camera often struggles with yellows and sometimes reds, too.

    1. It should be possible for me to turn down the red and yellow settings on my camera and get better results with these colours but I have never got round to trying.

  8. I like that sort of very symmetrical dahlia. And that last scenic photo is just gorgeous.

    I empathize with how you feel about the Common Riding. We live in an area of one tourist festival after another, all cancelled. It is much sadder when it is one very special festival that is lost to the virus.

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