Decimalisation

Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia’s Highland holiday where she saw two curlews in a field. I am envious because although I quite often hear curlews, I very rarely see one, let alone two.

Today’s post opens with a picture from yesterday, taken after the blog had been put to bed.

We had another cool, grey morning, but the wind was less boisterous than it has been, so I contemplated a morning cycle ride.

In the end, as I couldn’t decide on an optimum route, I did a lot of contemplating and not much cycling for a considerable amount if time. While I was pondering, I put out some mealworms and watched the young sparrows give them a try . . .

. . . noted a young blackbird looking rather put out about being left to find its own food . . .

. . . wandered around the garden and got excited by a new iris . . .

. . . and the developing orange hawkweed mini meadow . . .

. . . and some leaning lupins.

Then I breathed in the scent of two mock oranges . . .

. . . and went back inside to have a slice of bread and marmalade. It was now quite a time since breakfast.

I made a final check on the birds and found that there had been an invasion of jackdaws . . .

. . . with two discussing the declining quality of bird food these days . . .

. . . and finally I made up my mind on a route and set off just before coffee time.

The forecast had suggested a south west wind, getting stronger as they day went on, so my plan was to head south west for a time and then come back with this stronger wind now behind me.

I went off down the main road but there was a lot of traffic, some of it not too fussy about leaving a safe distance when passing a cyclist, so I took the bike path and the old road through Canonbie and joined the main road again at the bottom of the by-pass.

The flow of traffic had not reduced and the manners of the drivers had not, so I turned off the main road at the first opportunity and took to quieter back roads instead.

This gave me the chance to stop and look at the verges.

A garden escape caught my eye . . .

. . . and the grass has been growing vigorously.

There is a lot of red clover about. (The yellow flowers in the background are probably meadow vetchling.)

I wiggled my way across country until I found myself at the border with England on the old road from Gretna Green. I was not very impressed by the new Welcome to Scotland structure there. It looked somewhat cheap, especially with a unwelcoming message beside it. Still there was a fine bush of wild roses beside it.

The old bridge is now blocked off and I took a picture of it from the new and unattractive bridge which has been built beside it.

I headed down into England on the relief road beside the motorway. This is quite a new road and when they constructed it, they did not stint on the provision of shrubs and flowers. The road was lined with daisies . . .

. . . and there were lots more roses too.

I stopped when I got to the River Eden near Rockcliffe to have a honey sandwich and half a banana.

It was very peaceful beside the river, sheltered from the wind.

I could see, swans, ducks and goosanders.

I liked the way that the swans were trying not to get their feet wet.

I noticed a very pretty pink flower on the bank of the river. It may be sea thrift.

I got back on track and turned to go across country to the west, with the wind now helping me. I got to the Brampton-Longtown road without stopping for any more pictures and then checked my mileage. It appeared that if I went straight up the main roads, I would get back to Langholm exactly on 50 miles. This seemed like a good distance for a ride so I did that.

Stopping to take interesting pictures on fairly busy main roads is not easy and the only one that I took in my last 15 miles was of the buttercups lining the Canonbie by-pass.

My calculations proved to be pretty accurate and the bike computer rolled over the fifty mile mark just before I arrived at our house. And the wind had indeed helped me on my way back. This was very satisfactory all round.

Mrs Tootlepedal was working in the garden so I had a walk round.

We have pretty roses of our own out . . .

. . . and there is no shortage of bright red flowers.

I found two more hostas to add to the ones that I took yesterday . . .

. . . and reckoned that we are pretty lucky that the slugs are leaving them alone at the moment.

I filled the bird feeder and checked for visitors.

A greenfinch was one of the first to arrive.

We watched some entertaining horse racing from Ascot, and between races, I cooked a lamb stew.

The racing went for a long time and when it was finished, it was time to put a few potatoes on to go with the stew.

As thinking about cycling, actual cycling and recovering from cycling took up such a large part of the day, I didn’t have time to get a good flying bird and this evening sparrow was the best that I could manage.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Decimalisation

  1. That is a very sensible Welcome to Scotland sign – no whistles and bells but gets the message across😁 The iris was worthy of your excitement. Beautiful blue!

  2. As always, gorgeous photos! And what a ride!! I had to look you up because for some reason I’ve stopped getting notifications for your blog!?

  3. I love that blushing white rose. It reminds me of the white tradescantia in my last flower post.
    Nice closeup of the poppy too.
    It does look like they could have put a little more thought and effort into the welcome sign. Maybe they think cars will go by so fast they won’t pay any attention to it. That’s what happens here.

  4. I was intrigued with your lupin closeup in a previous post and see them here again, the colors are mesmerizing! I thoroughly enjoy your flower close-ups, each a piece of artwork.

  5. Usually I have no problem understanding the title of the daily blog. Somehow today, I cannot.

    But I’m reminded of the last few lines of a poem by an American poet…

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    1. The post title is a reference to my predilection for finishing cycle rides on a neat multiple of ten if possible, I enjoy a ride of fifty miles a lot more than a ride of forty nine miles for no reason other than that neat multiple of ten.

      I like your quotation. It was to the point.

  6. Another busy day with great photos from the garden and the countryside to enjoy. Love the iris and the loopy lupins! The jackdaws really do look as though they are discussing life and querying the shortage of food stock available. Riding along that main road looks to be tricky and somewhat dangerous!

    1. In general the drivers are very courteous and give me plenty of room. I meet less patient drivers on the quiet back roads who assume that I am going to stop and get out of their way and press on regardless.

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