Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who visited Melbourne Hall in south Derbyshire today. He was rightly very pleased to get both sky and water properly exposed on a very sunny day.
We woke to a very sunny morning here too today, which disguised the fact that it was still rather cold (7°C) after breakfast. Our local weather station says that it got as low as 3° in the early morning. It was a calm day again, so it looked as though a morning pedal would be a good idea. I waited until it got a bit warmer before I set off, but I got going eventually, and enjoyed a sunny 26 mile ride round the Crossdykes windfarm.
I stopped for a picture or two on my way to the windfarm, just to show what a lovely day it was, first at Crawthat . . .
. . . then at Paddockhole Bridge (again)
. . . and finally at Pearsby Hall.
The road past the windfarm is one of my favourites.
Unfenced roads like this seem to give you a greater connection to the land that you are cycling across.
Today’s curious cows were brown.
When I had just passed the windfarm, I stopped at the entrance to a forest road, leaned my bike against the gate, and went for a little explore. It was strange world in the wood as everything was covered in a sparkling web.
And I do mean everything.
I left the woodland and followed a short track down to a man made pond. I was expecting it to be very low in our dry spell, but it had plenty of water in it.
I walked down to the pond . . .
. . . and found that it wasn’t plants but fallen leaves which were floating on its surface.
The water was very clear all the same, and there were dragonflies flitting about. They were hard to catch on camera though, and I got a poor picture of one to add to a lone fungus beside the pond and a tiny butterfly, possibly a small copper, nearby.
It would have been nice to while away some time beside the pond, but I had to be back in time for lunch, so I left the shadows of the webby wood for the sunlight of the open road . . .
. . . and cycled down the hill to Enzieholm Bridge.
I have always found the road from Enzieholm Bridge back to Langholm a bit of a struggle as it is quite undulating. However, when we drove down it the other day on our way back from our walk round the Black Esk reservoir, our electric car found it so much to its liking that it only recorded three miles of energy usage while driving seven and a half miles. This showed me that whatever I thought of the trip, it really was mostly downhill. As a result, I found myself going along much more happily today, and at a good speed. The power of suggestion is a wonderful thing.
Mrs Tootlepedal had had coffee in the garden with our neighbours Liz and Margaret while I had been out pedalling . . .
. . . and she told me that a butterfly had settled on Margaret’s sleeve and had stayed there for five minutes while they talked.
I had a quick look round the garden before going in for lunch. There is a lot of talk of autumn flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show, which is being held much later than usual this year. If we can have flowers up here, they should have no problems down there.
Most unusually, the Lilian Austin rose had several visitors today . . .
. . . while our favourite dahlia had none.
After lunch, I was summoned over to Liz’s garden to see an enormous spider which she had trapped under a bucket. It was indeed a big beast. I got a picture of it in the grass, and Liz sent me one later which she took when it visited the bucket again.
We think that it is a giant house spider, probably out and about looking for a mate at this time of year.
After a most enjoyable Zoom meeting with our granddaughter Matilda and her parents. I got busy in the garden.
I mowed the greenhouse grass and the vegetable paths with the hover mower, turned all the compost from Bin A into Bin B, took a little rest, and then mowed the middle and front lawns with the push mower.
While I was turning the compost, our neighbour Ken came across to tell me about a 52 miles ride that he had just completed. He had been out in the same hilly area that I visited last week, and he had felt the climbing in his legs quite a lot.
While we talked, I noticed a tiny ladybird on a leaf.
In between the composting and the mowing, I had another check on Lilian Austin and found her visitor free, but as the sun had gone in, her head was beginning to drop.
More nerines are appearing all the time. It is good to have a new flower at this time of year.
We had another Zoom meeting in the evening, this time with my brother and sisters, and that brought an end to the active part of the day. I felt that we had made good use of the fine weather.
There were very few birds at the feeder today and the seed hardly went down at all. Under the circumstances, I didn’t get a chance to see a flying bird, so four non flying birds are standing in for the flying bird of the day.