Today’s guest picture comes from my Welsh correspondent Keiron. Injury is keeping him off his bike at the moment, but he still managed to get out and enjoy this nice waterfall at Ynysarwed.
We had another warm night here, followed by another warm day, and this time there was no rain to spoil the morning. There was however, a brisk wind and my original plan to jump on my bike shortly after breakfast and go for a long pedal was put on hold. My knee is still not quite up to full function, and pedalling into a brisk wind for some miles is not recommended as part of the cure.
I opted for going to the shop for supplies and being useful in the garden. I dug a hole for a flower that Mrs Tootlepedal was transplanting, did some shredding and deposited the shreddings under a hedge as mulch, and finally used the mower to clean up all the moss that had been left on the lawns by the pecking jackdaws.
In between times, we had coffee in the garden (without Margaret today), and I wandered about taking pictures.
We are in a bit of a gap between the tulips and what comes next. There are signs of what is coming and there are even one or two tulips still waiting to come fully out…
…but there are other flowers about. The trillium is terrific this year and an ajuga that our neighbour Liz gave us is doing well too. It is an unassuming flower at first glance but it repays a closer look.
And I always enjoy the strangeness that is a euphorbia.
It is hard to tell what exactly is going on with this variety but a hoverfly…
…was happy to visit.
The feeding frenzy of the small birds has calmed down a bit as the better weather has arrived, but the feeder was still quite busy today, with a greenfinch soon shifting a siskin off its perch…
…and then ignoring cheek from another siskin.
The forecast was for the wind to drop during the day but for rain to arrive later on. It was a matter of trying to get out late enough on my bicycle to take advantage of the falling wind speeds, but early enough to avoid the incoming rain.
In the end, after lunch and another look at the birds…
…I got out in the afternoon and set off to see how far my legs would take me.
I went over Callister and down to Waterbeck from whence I took the direct route to Eaglesfield. I looked back from the hill out of the village and got a fine view over a small racing stable.
I haven’t used this road much in past months as it has been in a poor state of repair, but the road menders have been at work and it was in much better condition today. There was even a gang of workers improving a section near Eaglesfield village today.
I stopped on the way to admire a stand of trees beside the road.
It was reasonably warm at just under 15°C (60 °F) in the middle of the ride, and I was made even happier when I turned on to the old main road south having gone through Eaglesfield and found the wind that had been against me for 13 miles was now helping a bit.
The old main road which has been overtaken by the opening of a motorway running along the same line, is now a quiet route with a cycle lane along most of it. It also has a good number of wild flowers in its verges. There was a fine show of dandelions under a bridge at Kirtlebridge…
…although they are starting to go over and the clock is ticking for them.
I saw my first red campions today…
…and some cowslips too…
…which were quite easy to spot.
I had thought of going down to Gretna and even visiting England to extend my ride, but as I got near to Kirkpatrick Fleming, it seemed to get a little colder and it looked rather grey to the south. I didn’t want to get rained on, so I turned off at the village and headed straight over towards Langholm.
I passed more colourful flowers in the verge on this road, but I think that they were garden escapes as these were Spanish bluebells and not the native variety…
…and this was not familiar to me at all.
But it was good to have colour in the verges so I was quite happy to see them.
Having looked at the noble fir in the park on my last walk, I stopped to look at its relative, the Korean Pines, in the churchyard at Half Morton. They form a boundary between the older and new parts of the graveyard.
The first developing cones that I met were still green…
…but round the corner, there were older ones to be found as well as more early developers.
They are amazing little trees with every inch absolutely covered with needles, flowers and cones.
Helped by the favouring wind, I made good speed on my way back to Langholm and didn’t stop again for pictures. I covered thirty two miles, not as much as I had hoped for at the start of the day, but as it was 32 miles at just over 13 mph in light winds and for the greater part in warm sunshine, I was quite content when I got home.
I hadn’t been home long when Mrs Tootlepedal emerged from the greenhouse with a very rare visitor in her hand.
Some research suggested that it is ruby tiger moth, which is described as fairly common although we have never seen one before.
I just managed to get the picture as Mrs Tootlepedal opened her hand and the moth flew off.
The threatened rain took its time and arrived much later in the evening so I was able to have another garden wander where the berberis flowers caught my eye.
A cup of tea and a slice of toast, followed by a shower, and then an evening meal of corned beef hash seemed to fill up the rest of the day. I did have time to make a first effort at recording my contribution to the Carlisle Community Choir’s new virtual performance. Could do better, will try again.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch which is having words with a siskin.
Footnote: the jackdaws were back and have pecked up the front lawn again.