Windy matters

Today’s guest picture is another from Paul’s Lake District trips. Last month he visited these hands on the banks of Derwentwater, carved from solid blocks of wood he believes…his wife kindly stood by to give a sense of scale.

Our late summer continued with another fine and warm day here.

Mrs Tootlepedal, who was feeling a lot better today, was out in the garden early in the day. I finished a tricky crossword and went out to see what was new.

I found the first cosmos of the year had come out (not a great picture but it is in the post anyway to mark the occasion).

The border by the front lawn is looking lovely…

…as are the poppies, which arrived in front of the greenhouse without being planted. They have a sort of wild abandon about them, and keep on producing more flowers.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s new red rose keeps on flowering too. She planted that on purpose.

I found a butterfly but it was so busy drinking that it wouldn’t turn round to let me see its wings.

I love the way that its ‘headlights’ are glowing.

We had coffee in the garden with our neighbour Liz’s partner Ken. He is the same age and weight as me, but annoyingly he is a far better cyclist than me. He told us that he had done 70 hilly miles yesterday and at a very good speed. At least he had the grace to admit feeling slightly stiff today. Liz appeared at the end of the session, having done a vigorous and hilly walk herself. They are an active pair.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal got busy in the garden and I got my camera out to look for more butterflies. I found one and it too had its proboscis stuck into buddleia flowers, but I could see that it was a peacock.

There were a few peacocks and small tortoiseshells about, not many but enough to keep me busy darting about the garden hoping for an ‘open wing’ shot.

A small tortoiseshell obliged.

And a peacock, taking a rest from drinking, offered a contrast by perching on a leaf.

I am waiting for painted ladies and red admirals to arrive now.

I found time to mow the drying green and the greenhouse grass which badly needed cutting.

After lunch, I took a moment to check the feeder. It was moderately busy from time to time during the day and I caught it at an active moment….

…with the usual bad manners on display.

I didn’t spend long at the window though as I was anxious to get my bike out and visit the new Solwaybank windfarm to see if there had been any progress on erecting new turbine towers.

I was slightly delayed by having to pump up my tyres and re-affix my mirror to my handlebar, but I got going in the end. I was surprised, but not delighted, to find that the wind was much stronger than I expected and I had a bit of a battle to get up to the top of Callister. However, on my way up the hill past Wauchope Schoolhouse, I did get a sneak preview of developments at the windfarm…

…and it was apparent that blades had been fitted to the first tower.

I was a lot happier when I had got over Callister and turned to get onto the Solwaybank road with the wind first across and then behind me. This made life easier.

I could get occasional glimpses of the first turbine but it wasn’t until I had passed these handsome horses…

…that I could get a good look at its full height.

I looked to the left where the big crane was now standing…

…and I could see that a second tower was under construction with blades and other parts lying around ready to be added. When I say that I could see the blades, I am not strictly speaking the truth. The windfarm was a fair distance away and it is only thanks to the fine zoom lens on my little Lumix that I was able to see the details when I put the photos on my computer a home.

From the strength of the wind that was helping me pedal home, I felt that they had probably chosen a good site for their turbines.

I enjoyed the excellent new surface on the back road and also the fine view across the Solway plain to the Lake District and the Eden valley…

…which being on the very last hill in Scotland afforded me.

I looked for more immediate things too, and picked out these harebells on the Solwaybank road…

…and a good crowd of yellow flowers lining the Kerr road.

The heather there is getting better and better each time that I pass it.

As I came back down to Wauchope Schoolhouse, I could see the farmer cutting grass in a field on the hillside.

I can also see that I will need to clean my cycling camera’s lens before I go out with it again.

I got back to find Mrs Tootlepedal very busy making a banner to take up to a ‘Hen Harrier Day’ support event on the moor tomorrow morning. This is a national event but like everything else, it has been affected by the coronavirus restrictions. If you want to find out more about it, you can visit the live coverage which has been set up for tomorrow (8th Aug) at

I hosted today’s sibling Zoom meeting as my sister Susan, our usual host, had gone to Derby to visit my brother Andrew. She had done well to get out of London. My sister Mary was sweltering at home there in 36°C heat. We had a kindly 21°C in Langholm, just perfect for a gentle 20 mile cycle ride.

I cooked liver with new potatoes and runner beans from the garden for our tea.

The flying bird of the day is a rather ghostly siskin.

Footnote: I noticed that the autosave was working as I wrote today’s post. I don’t know what happened to it yesterday.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Windy matters

  1. Great views across the Solway Firth to the Cumbrian hills-mountains.
    KKerr road…more traffic free cycling ..your very lucky to have them on your doorstep.
    Not everybody’s taste,but thinly sliced lightly floured and quickly shallow fried liver is one my favourites.
    Unfortunately I’m the only family member who likes it,so it’s a rare treat.
    Those harebells make a simple,but most effective picture😊

  2. I’m reading backwards, so it is reassuring to read that Mrs T is feeling better before reading that she was feeling poorly…especially days. Wonderful butterflies today.

  3. Good to hear Mrs. Tootlepedal is feeling better, and will get to participate in Hen Harrier Day.

    The head on photo of the butterfly with his “headlights” is interesting! I mainly see the yellow tiger swallowtails here, and a few assorted moths.

    It seems quite a few wind turbines are going up in your area. From previous descriptions of walks, bike rides and pictures of trees, , it sound like you have some good prevailing winds for this kind of power generation. Our power company here has what they call their Blue Sky program,

    1. We have got quite a few local turbines but they are well situated and don’t cause us any great problems with our enjoyment of the landscape. A new a huge one is proposed which will be awful.

  4. Lovely to see butterflies appearing in your garden and look forward to seeing many more!
    The photos of the harebells and the horses are my favourite photos today- they are gentle and quiet!Good to read that autosave is working again…don’t trust it though!

  5. I liked your ghostly flying bird. Once again I’ve fallen behind, but I’m pleased that I didn’t miss a look at those butterflies. What cooperative beauties you have!

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