Going to churches

Today’s guest picture comes from Natasha, Marianne’s daughter. It speaks for itself.

We had a dry day, mostly sunny, fairly warm and very welcome.

After my customary leisurely start to the day, I left Mrs Tootlepedal to have a sunny cup of coffee with Margaret in the garden, and went off to make the most of the good weather and light winds by looking for things to photograph while cycling.

I made a honey sandwich and then started my ride by visiting the shop to get two bananas and a KitKat biscuit bar. Armed with these and a few dates, I took the Solwaybank road to get me going, a wise choice when it looks like this…

…and this…

…and this…

…and there was a peacock butterfly waiting to be photographed by the side of the road as a bonus.

After such a good start, the ride could only go downhill. I was very grateful for this as the Solwaybank road is quite undulating. The local lady who told me that they were only going to build nine turbines at the new windfarm seems to have got her information wrong as I counted ten as I went past with at least one more tower to complete. I have spared the patient reader yet another turbine picture as it has to be admitted that one turbine looks very like another.

Once I had gone downhill as far as Gretna, I crossed into England and took the road to Rockcliffe. Once again, this proved to be a good choice because at the corner near Rockliffe Cross there was a fine display of autumn colour.

Another elderly cyclist had stopped and was snapping away with his phone camera but we managed to keep out of each other’s shots.

There were many possible shots to choose from.

It was hard to tear myself away. Indeed I met the other cyclist, who had left before me, coming back to take a few more shots.

I had a last look round, including a very fine yellow wild flower in the verge…

…and rather reluctantly pedalled onward. As the sun was behind clouds while I was there, I was tempted to wait until the sun came out, but I had miles to cover and other things to see.

I had thought of going down to the seaside on the English shore of the Solway but a look round at Gretna had showed that once again the tide was so far out that i could probably have walked to Ireland. Instead, I made a circle round inland and followed a route that took me past three English churches.

I stopped for a snack at Blackford Church (built in 1870) as it has a handy wall, just right for leaning on, paused for a glance at Scaleby Church (possibly 13th century, major restoration in 1861) and got off my bike for a look around at Kirkandrews-on-Esk (built in 1776).

They appear in reverse order in the panel below.

Kirkandrews is one of my favourite churches, sitting in a park beside the river and overlooked by a old peel tower.

I met a lady who was painting the gate to the churchyard and she told me the she and her brother used to cycle to the church from Gretna in the 1950s, crossing the suspension bridge over the river on their way there.

The church is very plain and rectangular but attractive all the same.

The sun clock on the tower was put there in gratitude for the survival of two sons who returned safely from World War 1. The inscription on the face says: After darkness light, and and around the perimeter: For our two dear sons FFG & RPG who lived to come home from the great war. Thanks be to God alone.

And remarkably, after 100 years, the clock is still working and telling the correct time. I took the picture at 2.40 and allowing for BST, the correct time was 1.40.

I pedalled home up the main road and arrived back after 53 miles feeling that I had had a good day out.

Mrs Tootlepedal was away doing some shopping, so I had a wander round the garden before she got back.

The first thing that caught my eye was a red admiral butterfly on the sedum outside the back door.

And when I looked around some more, I discovered two more on the new tall Michaelmas daisy which was very satisfactory.

Dahlias are still going well, although the more elaborate ones have lost a bit of their colour. One was even attracting a bee.

The Crown Princess Margareta and Lillian Austin are still showing that when it comes to roses, ladies are tough customers…

…and the little red poppies and the orange hawkweed continue to delight.

More colour was supplied by elderly hostas and Icelandic poppies.

Mrs Tootlepedal arrived back and we had a cup of tea. I had the last of a batch of Garibaldi biscuits which I made a few days ago with mine.

There was time to watch the birds for a while.

It was a peaceful scene at the feeder, with goldfinch, greenfinch and sparrow nibbling in harmony…

…until the siskins arrived and the shouting started.

It was a day when the action was often going on behind the feeder just to annoy the photographer.

But I did get a good view of a coal tit and a great tit.

I went off for a shower and then it was time for tea. Mrs Tootlepedal produced a tasty ‘spag bol’ which provided a satisfactory end for an enjoyable day.

The flying, or rather diving bird of the day is a siskin which got such a shock that it dropped its supper.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Going to churches

  1. What gorgeous fall colors. I can’t believe you still have butterflies. The peacocks never cease to amaze me. Great diving bird of the day, too.

  2. That’s a great shot of the church with its amazing color. Great depth of field too.
    You’re getting some really good fall color this year. It seems better than in previous years but that could just be my imagination.
    I don’t think I’d dare to ride a bike over that suspension bridge. I might have a hard time just walking over it.

  3. The Solwaybank road looks a fantastic road for cyclists..traffic free and lined by trees in their autumn colours.
    The tower sun clock is quite interesting ,one I haven’t seen before.
    Your birds get quite aggressivel when foods involved,I’m surprised there are never any casualties.
    A first for me today was seeing a magpie on molehill with a poor mole in its enormous beak. The much maligned magpie may be doing us a service as we have literally hundreds of molehills around here.
    Apart from man do magpies have any natural enemies?

  4. Another very beautiful cycling route – both ways at the corner near Rockcliffe Cross look inviting. The fall colours are lovely, as were ours until recently – winds seem to haunt colourful trees around here. The exception seems to be lilacs – the leaves not only stay green forever, but they must be attached with superglue.

  5. An enjoyable selection of photos, including those trees decked in fine autumn foliage. The sun clock with its inscriptions was interesting and thought provoking. A family grateful for the return of their sons from war.

    You have quite a few butterflies going into the fall season. I have not seen any here on the farm since all the smoke and fires.

  6. The flowers in your header are delightful and I love the horns on that beast (Natasha’s? or just in passing?)

    How very clever some folks are to have figured out how to create a sun clock.

  7. The gentle classical lines of Kirkandrews are indeed very appealing compared with the more assertive style of the true and mock gothic churches.

  8. I’d never seen a vertical sun clock before… but I shouldn’t be surprised to have seen my first one on your blog as I’m always learning something new from you. Looks like you had a really wonderful day. Love those fall colors!

  9. Great post with so many interesting facts thanks for sharing with your faithful blog followers. Cheers.

      1. Thank you Tom, I’m pleased to say we are all well. Unfortunately, my twin sister Kay, has been exposed to the virus in hospital, but the doctors are not too concerned, because of social distancing in force on her ward. We hope and pray she will be able to go to a very nice nursing home tomorrow. The only proviso is she tests negative before she can go. Even then she will have to remain in isolation for 14 days in her new “home”. It is heartbreaking, no one can visit her, and despite her having a mobile phone she cannot handle it, because of her condition, plus the staff are too busy to help her, no matter what time of day I try to ring her. Hope you and all your family stay safe in these, as I say, very strange times. Cheers.

  10. A bountiful post with many interesting facts and photos! Love the sun clock…never seen one like that before …and all the churches and the autumn colours on the trees, bright colours in your garden and a diving siskin to end the show! Great!

  11. The inscription on the church clock brought tears to my eyes. I’ve read quite a bit about the great losses of that war so I’m glad those two young men made it home. I hope they had long and happy lives.

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