I got the worm

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Simon from Canonbie. His work has taken him to Athens where he found that they have got the builders in.

The forecast suggested that if I wanted to get any sort of bike ride in today, I would need to be up and about promptly. I was up and about fairly promptly but it was already drizzling. However, as things could only get worse, I put on my waterproof jacket and my waterproof overshoes, a very important part of the wet weather kit for cyclist as wet and cold feet make cycling unattractive. Then with the addition of a pair of waterproof gloves and a cap to keep the rain off my cycling specs, I set out to go round the Solwaybank windfarm route.

Needless to say, the drizzle soon fizzled out and I was able to stop and take a picture of the larches at Bigholms…

….looking like much a gloved hand coming out of a dark green sleeve to my way of thinking.

It soon started drizzling again and as it kept this up for the rest of the ride, I was very happy to be well protected against the elements.

There were a lot of quarry lorries on the Waterbeck road so I was glad when I turned off to Gair and headed up towards the windfarm.

I liked the way that this big beech hedge had been trimmed just far enough to let the traffic get a view round the corner ahead.

The cloud was so low that it wasn’t a great day for turbine watching…

To make up for the lack of exciting turbine views, I took in a gate a little bit further down the road…

…and then zoomed into the autumn colour beyond it.

The new forest track at the Kerr is coming along….

…and it looks as though some trees have been felled already. This is bad news, as it means that I might soon be meeting enormous timber lorries on the very narrow road back to Langholm, and the surface will get a bashing too so I will have to start looking out for potholes.

I noticed that fungus had appeared at a familiar fungus site along the road beside the Wauchope Water.

My waterproofs did their job very well, so in spite of going rather slowly thanks to an unhelpful cross wind in both directions, I enjoyed my outing. And I got back in time to have morning coffee. Mrs Tootlepedal had been doing more work on her slab project.

It was just as well that I did get up early as the the weather got steadily worse over the rest of the day. This siskin sums up the state of play quite well.

Not a lot of birds and a lot of rain.

The shortage of birds continued, perhaps because of another raid by the sparrowhawk which reduced the number of small birds in the garden again.

I spent some time finding a picture of one of our hills for the editor of our local paper. The hill is going to be heavily planted by a commercial forestry firm and she wanted a photo to illustrate how it is now. I sent her this one which I took earlier this month on a better day….

…and I shall be interested to see if it appears in the paper. The intention as I understand it is to plant almost all of the front of the hill with conifers but leave a clearing round the mast on the summit so that we will still be able to appreciate the views from the top of the hill.

The afternoon was spent comfortably watching the Vuelta with Mrs Tootlepedal. She combines watching the cycling with crochet work and has nearly finished her most recent blanket.

Although it was almost dark already by the time that the cycling finished, I sneaked out into the garden and took two flash photographs just to fill out today’s rather thin post.

I made a fruity malt loaf in the breadmaker and Mrs Tootlepedal produced potatoes and broccoli to go with a second helping of her slow cooked lamb stew, and that brought a quiet day to a close.

In the absence of any opportunity to catch a flying bird at all today, a resident robin is standing in.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “I got the worm

  1. Well done for getting out so early, most impressive. The rain drops on the leaf were really lovely and the robin made a perfect finish to the post.

  2. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, and thank you for a view of the larches changing color. Timber lorries and bicyclists do not mix well. Please be careful.

    You are getting our rain. It is still sunny and dry here so far this week, with a slightly warmer 28 degree morning today.

    The fruity malt loaf got my attention. I can smell it baking. 🙂

  3. I do not relish the thought of that hill being covered by conifers – glad you have a ‘before’ photograph of it.

  4. I’ve told you in the past that I enjoy being out and about in the early part of the day, but I certainly didn’t catch the worm this morning. I’m nights tonight so will pedal to work, this evening. Staying dry, as you say, is the key to riding in the wind and rain. I have, I believe, a couple of good “waterproof” jackets, which in current torrential downpours, leave me wet through in about an hour. What brand of jacket do you favour? As far as overshoes, I’ve bought a pair in the past but have never managed to get them on over my very good quality cycling shoes, so my feet end up wet as well. That requires a lot of drying out of my cycling gear through my 12 hour shift, which always works, but as the weather gets colder, it means I will become increasingly more uncomfortable while pedalling my Pioneer. Any recommendations or tips will be gratefully received. Your resident robin is a picture, we have one here in my garden, well his territory seems to cover both my neighbours, either side. He/she is very tame and comes up to us regularly, and seems to listen when we talk to it. Fortunately, Tipsy our cat, is old and not very well, so doesn’t bother this cheeky little robin. Poor old Tipsy was really frightened the other day when two magpies, very large fine specimens, landed on the path four or five feet away from him. He didn’t know what to do. I saw it all happening so opened the back door and shooed them away. I days gone by Tipsy was a hunter, robins, blackbirds, magpies and even squirrels had to be careful in Tipsy’s territory. Oops , off I go rambling of the writing kind. Cheers.

    1. My heavy rain jacket is by Endura. It is waterproof but not very breathable so if I do too much, it can make me sweaty. I sympathise with your problems with overshoes. I have a lot of difficulty pulling mine over the squash shoes that I cycle in. I have got a couple of pairs of waterproof socks and they do a good job if it is not too wet.
      I just don;t get on with other people’s cats in my garden. If my children had gone into other people’s gardens and had done what cats do, there would have been hell to pay. Cats literally get away with murder.

      You can ramble as much as you like but you won’t get me to approve pf cats.

      1. Fair enough wrt cats. Lol. I have some Endura gear, but not that brand of waterproof jacket . I have been looking at an Endura waterproof suit, but it’s very expensive. The reviews and testing results are good, and could be the answer for me, if I can do it on a discounted cycle to work scheme. We shall see. Anyway rather the rain than any snow and ice. Cheers.

      2. I stop cycling when there even a hint of ice. My last crash was a lucky escape and I don’t want to repeat the experience. A waterproof suit sounds good.

  5. There most certainly is a gloved hand at the end of a dark sleeve, the hand palm down and thumb towards the camera.
    Who knows what else might come to light up there in your wonderful border country?
    Alphie

  6. Full marks for getting up early and fitting in a cycle ride….I’m a morning person and enjoy getting up early too! The turbines look really eerie in the mist like something from War of the Worlds! I’m sure they’ll place your lovely photo in the paper and it will be very interesting to keep tabs on the hill and see the ‘after’ photos too. Love the perky robin photo.

    1. Often something more interesting turns up or they find a better picture so I am not getting too hopeful about getting famous through appearing in the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser. 🙂

  7. I think it is in tomorrow’s post that you mention Mrs T going in from the garden for cycling and crocheting and for a moment I thought she was going to crochet while riding a stationary bike!

    Deciduous woods are much more interesting than conifer woods….we have mostly the latter plus alders and it is not as pretty as yours.

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