Today’s guest picture from our son Tony really does show that East Wemyss has everything.
After a soggy patch, we had a much better day here as promised by the forecast, with hardly a drop of rain. Unfortunately, there was a considerable amount of wind to be found if you left the shelter of the town, and I found myself in no mood to rush out and find it, even though I had got up into my cycling clothes.
As usual, crosswords, coffee, conversation, and chaffinches provided me with possibilities of procrastination which I eagerly accepted.
And there was a frog too which needed to be photographed. It was lurking under the bridge in our little pond.
At the start, birds at the feeder were few and far between and there were more chaffinches on the plum tree pretending to be plums than eating at the feeder.
Later on, there was a steady stream of birds…
…and I liked the way that this chaffinch looked when confronted by rude words from another. “I have never been spoken to like that before!”
I ended up with just two goldfinches looking as though something had made them quite cross.
It wasn’t as warm as it has been recently and I put a lot of layers on before getting my bicycle out. When I looked in the garden before I left, the crocuses were keeping well covered up too and this pair were the only ones open.
We are getting quite excited about the daffodils.
It was just about midday when I did finally get pedalling, and it took me a long time to cover the five miles to Callister, straight into the brisk breeze. I resolved to stop every five miles or so when cycling into the wind on this trip to give myself a chance to stretch and recover, but I was rather embarrassed when I stopped half way up Callister and found myself passed by two cyclists steaming up the hill at a good pace….
…and disappearing into the distance in no time.
I took a picture back down the hill to show the mixture of cloud and blue sky which would be a feature of my trip.
When the clouds were over the sun, it was a ‘feels like’ two degrees C day, so I was much happier when the sun was out.
One advantage of the brisk wind is that it dries the roads out so the cycling surface was good, but puddles in the fields reflected the recent rain.
I passed this fine tree in a field near Eaglesfield. It had a less successful tree standing in its shadow.
After fifteen miles, I finally got rid of the head winds, and it was much more fun cycling down the old main road to Gretna with the wind now across and slightly behind. The tourist and wedding centre at Gretna Green was totally deserted which was sad to see.
I took the back road out of the village and cruised along beside the River Sark, looking across to English fields on the far bank of this mighty border boundary.
With the wind now helping me in a very friendly way, I was able to make much better speed on my way back to Langholm, but I got a bit worried when spots of rain began to appear as I went along the Canonbie by-pass, with five miles still to go. However, a look ahead was reassuring, with the sun shining on Whita Hill and Langholm, and only thin cloud overhead.
The rain soon gave up and another fine tree stopped me at Hagg-on-Esk.
By the time that I got back to Langholm my bike computer showed 37 miles and the sun was out, so I headed up the road north for a mile and a bit just to bring up a round 40 miles for the jaunt.
I liked the layers of hedge, field, wood, hill, cloud and blue sky that I could see from my turning point at the lay-by at the top of the hill past the High Mill bridge.
While I had been out cycling, Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy with her spirit level, sieve, rake and fork preparing the ground for the next slab in her drive project. I was able to give her hand in dropping the slab into place…
…and we are finally beginning to get the feeling that the end of the project is in sight. More than two thirds of the slabs have been laid.
I had a check on the pond and found several frogs were enjoying the sunshine.
We can only hope that there won’t be a severe late frost this year like the one that did so much damage to frogs and flowers last year.
I went inside for a shower and a cup of tea and noticed a blue tit having a good go at the peanut butter jar when I looked out of the window.
I did think of going for a late walk as it was a lovely evening, but I gave it so much thought that the light was fading by the time that I finally decided to go so I didn’t go.
The fading light didn’t stop me taking one more picture before the day ended. A really clear night gave me a good look at a nearly full moon. I was two days too early but clear nights have been rare so I took a photograph regardless.
If the skies permit, I will try to catch the absolutely full moon on Saturday.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.