An early start

Today’s guest picture comes from my Lancashire correspondent, Paul. He came across this artistic bridge on a walk not long ago.

We had a day of fine weather here today, ideal for entertaining Annie and Evie. I needed a cycle ride as I hadn’t been out on my bike for several days so I broke with my lockdown tradition and got up early enough to have had my porridge and left the house well before the time when I would normally still be getting up.

The down side of this was that it was quite cool and I had to wear my autumn jacket and gloves to keep warm. With the temperature at 9°C (49°F), even some morning sunshine didn’t do a lot to get my muscles moving. A shot back down the hill as I went up Callister…

…showed that the sun was no more keen to get up than I usually am.

It didn’t take too long until I was going better and the sun was high enough to warm me and the circumadjacent countryside….

…and although it never got very warm, the light winds made it a pleasant day for a pedal.

I was on well cycled flat roads so I didn’t stop again to take a picture and got home after 36 miles in good time to join the garden coffee morning with neighbours Margaret and Liz coming across to chat to Evie.

We had a great time with Evie showing off her new found walking skills.

We were also visited by several butterflies in the course of the morning…

…with the buddleia earning its keep as a source of nectar.

I took a moment to look around at the garden flowers…

…and enjoy a colourful corner (the phlox is doing really well this year)…

…before going in for an early lunch.

After lunch, I had time to mow the front and middle lawn (with a diagonal stripe)..

…before we packed Evie, her mother and her grandmother, as well as a pushchair into the Zoe and set off to follow in Sandy’s footsteps and visit Irvine House and the river by the path he and I had discovered the other day.

There had been some anxious enquiries as to whether the path was suitable for pushchairs and I had rather airily claimed that it was perfect, so there was a bit of an anxious moment when it became plain that I had forgotten that the first part of the track was narrow and bumpy. Annie negotiated it safely though, and we were soon on the broader path which I had remembered.

Walking along above the river among the trees in the dappled sunshine proved very acceptable, and the views across the river were enjoyed too. We liked this meeting of walls…

…the many fine trees which we passed…

…and this bright flower among the rhododendrons when we got to the house.

We walked past the house and along the river bank. There was a sign of things to come in some turning leaves…

…but it was a lovely afternoon so we enjoyed the good weather while we could.

We came to the remains of the machinery that used to pull anglers across the river in a boat…

…where there is a convenient bench.

Annie and I left Mrs Tootlepedal and Evie there…

…while we went down to the edge of the river to enjoy the sights and sounds.

A man looking for a fisherman came and we chatted for a while. As we talked, several grey wagtails flew up and down the river, stopping for a few moments on handy rocks.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen a fish or two jump while she waited for us but there was no fisherman about to take advantage of this, so the man went to look elsewhere for his client and we walked back to the car.

We decided that before going home, we would go up to the moor to see the heather. However, as we drove back to Langholm, dark clouds gathered and not only did we have to stop to take the washing in ‘just in case’ on our way to the moor, but when we finally got there, the light had got very dull and the heather wasn’t showing its colour at all brightly. We came home and had tea and cake as a consolation.

The light did prove suitable for taking a picture of a flower on the Roseraie de l’Hay which is having a late flourish behind the new bench.

It got sunnier again later and we could have left the washing out anyway so it was just one of those days as far as the heather outing went.

The tea and cake went down well after the walk, and then I took a moment to watch the birds. I took a picture to show how the blue tits have to hold the sunflowers seeds with their feet while they peck at them as the seeds are too biog to swallow directly.

Normally they fly off to do this on a nearby branch but the feeder was quiet today so they could use a perch.

Flying birds were being deliberately awkward today.

Evie (and Annie) took part in our regular sibling Zoom meeting. Her great aunts were very pleased to see her.

Mrs Tootlepedal cooked another delicious evening meal and that rounded off a very busy day for everyone.

I did manage to spot one flying bird of the day that wasn’t hiding behind the feeder.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “An early start

    1. The lawn is lasting quite well but soon the moss will be rising up again. It is draining surprisingly well so Evie won’t get too wet playing on it.

  1. That shows real determination to get up early and get your ride in.

    I enjoyed all the photos of the lovely walk, especially the ones of water. The guest photo shows one of the nicest little bridges ever!

  2. The morning temperatures around Langholm sound much like ours. It was 47 degrees here this morning, but it does warm up fast.

    I enjoyed going along on your walk. Such a beautiful day there, and the water does look lovely. Trees here are showing a hint of autumn, as well. My favorite from today is the panel of butterflies on buddleia. It’s been hot and dry here, and our buddleia have shut down.

  3. A lovely walk with decent difficulty value to make it even more worth while. Lots of wonderful memories being created! I can clearly remember playing on my grandfathers lovingly tended lawn as a child…and he didnt do the funky diagonals

    1. Mother and daughter coped with the challenge well. Funky diagonals are born of the necessity not to mow the same stripes into the lawn every time.

  4. A lovely family walk with lots to see and enjoy. Good to see all the summer flowers and butterflies in your garden and trying not to look at that autumn tinted horse chestnut tree too much…it feels more like winter here today!

    1. I am afraid I can’t identify the flower. I had a look on the internet and found an example but it was just called ‘fluffy pink wildflower’.

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