In fluenza and out fluenza

Today’s guest picture comes from my Lancashire correspondent Paul. The shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers must be hitting home if beer from Blackburn needs to be delivered to Burnsall, 38 miles away, like this.

We had another dry, cool, grey morning here today. However, there was a welcome burst of sunshine in the afternoon.

I accidentally slept in this morning, but managed to rouse myself in time for a late breakfast. I applied myself to a little Archive Group activity on the computer after breakfast, correcting some mistakes in the database, and then adding a few more newspaper index entries, noting a cricket match against Hawick in 1902 with no less than three peers of the realm playing for Langholm.

I went out into the garden to find out what the gardener was up to.

She was watching a skein of geese flying over the garden . . .

. . . but it was nearly coffee time so we went back in. I checked on our more normal garden birds.

They were keeping an eye out in both directions today.

A goldfinch had a go at kicking a greenfinch off its perch . . .

. . . which led to some confusion . . .

. . . though the greenfinch and the goldfinch on the lower perches weren’t bothered at all.

Margaret joined us for coffee, and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I drove down to Canonbie Public Hall. Mrs Tootlepedal had received a letter with an appointment for both a booster Covid jab and an influenza jab. Although I am older than Mrs Tootlepedal, I had not got a letter, but we hoped that they might be able to squeeze me in. It was not to be, so while Mrs Tootlepedal had her jabs and sat for the required fifteen minutes recovery time, I took a short walk down the River Esk, starting at the bridge (river levels have dropped again after our recent rain) . . .

. . . and going down river . . .

. . . as far as the Dead Neuk, with its fine red sandstone cliff.

The sharp eyed may spot a heron beside the river. I didn’t see it at the time.

On my way back to the public hall, I enjoyed this well framed view across the rover.

As we were driving home, Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she had discovered in conversation with other patients in the hall that the powers that be haven’t been vaccinating the oldest people in the town. It is slightly depressing to find that I may now be numbered among these people.

Still, it is good to know that Mrs Tootlepedal is now well protected and I enjoyed my little walk.

After lunch, the sun came out, and while I cycled round to the shop, Mrs Tootlepedal set about transplanting one of the tall Michaelmas daisies, I lent a hand and took pictures of other flowers while I was doing it.

The bees hadn’t needed much encouragement and the sun brought them back onto the dahlias in force.

I had taken some other flower pictures earlier in the day and I have added the transplanted Michaelmas daisy to the panel. Mrs Tootlepedal is very pleased to see the Ginger Syllabub rose, which she transplanted earlier in the year has survived very well.

I got changed to go for a cycle ride and just as I was leaving, Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out that the sunshine had brought out butterflies as well as bees.

There were three red admirals about and I have made up the panel with an interesting fungus which is growing out of a crack in the old bench.

My cycle ride took me up the road to Bentpath, passing the Gates of Eden on my way.

Bentpath was looking at its best in the sunshine . . .

. . . and I thought that Westerkirk Church deserved a close up.

In fact, while I cycled cheerfully along, everywhere looked good as long as the sun shone.

As I went up the hill towards Bailliehill and the Crossdykes wind farm, I stopped to catch my breath at an old quarry, one of the dozens of little quarries that are scattered round our area.

When I got to the Crossdykes wind farm, I found that a plaque had been fixed to the cairn at the entrance.

Unfortunately for all concerned, there wasn’t enough wind today to turn the turbines so Mr Matheson, MSP, wasn’t getting the contribution to net zero that he was hoping for. I was happy though, and cycled down the valley of the Water of Milk . . .

. . . with a song in my heart.

Although there wasn’t enough wind to to turn the turbines, there was just enough to make cycling back to Langholm a whisker slower than I would have liked, and I missed my target of doing the 25.8 mile trip in under two hours by a minute.

There should be plenty of wind to turn the turbines over the next two days so I am pleased to have got a sunny and calm ride in while the going was good.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch, trying to sneak up on the feeder behind the feeder pole.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “In fluenza and out fluenza

  1. Not vaccinating the oldest people doesn’t make a lot of sense. They’re among the first on the list here.
    Your rivers rise and fall quickly. Always beautiful views along them though, no matter what the water level is.
    The person who named the gates of Eden must have had a deep love for the land.

  2. Lovely birds, butterflies and bees in your post, and hooray for including the Heron on the bank. The photos from your ride captivated me – such lush beautiful scenery you shared. Very calming and tranquil. The business about rationing vaccines is a bit concerning. Best, Babsje

      1. Thanks for clarifying. Btw I don’t read any comments from other people and so missed that point from you. Anyway I really enjoyed your photos in this post!

  3. I loved all these photos, though the views of the River Esk and the countryside were especially impressive. I looked up “Neuk”, and found it to be Scottish variant of “nook”.

    I agree the Gates of Eden were aptly named. I hope I will see your country someday.

  4. I’m pleased to report that in spite of aging eyes I did manage to spot your heron near the sandstone cliff (which is impressive as on both counts!)
    Oddly enough your bench fungus looks much like your butterflies seen with a squinty eye. What a lovely bucolic shot your Westerkirk Church is.
    ​I would have a song in my heart cycling down the valley of the Water of Milk. What an utterly delightful ​outing you had.

  5. Your immunisation outing was interesting; not immunizing the “oldest”?! And giving the Covid and flu jabs at the same time – we had to wait two weeks between. Interesting how things vary between countries. While our powers that be havent been without glaring errors (so Ive been told…Politics kind of passes over my head) your lot do appear as a tad heartless.

  6. Here they are also busy administering the 3th covid vaccination.
    It was indeed a beautiful day for a trip.
    Your photos are again to enjoy and the flowers in your garden are doing better than ever 🙂

  7. Great to see a cool grey morning turn into such a delightful afternoon bicycle ride. They didn’t hang about in building that cairn for the windfarm!

  8. I liked your river theme today.
    Some fantastic shots of the Bentpath area..and the water of milk..your region has some unusual place names I must say.
    Nice day for your bike ride..not unusually we didn’t see a glimpse of sun today
    I learnt the next day that the thwaithes brewers have recently bought the red lion in Burnsall.

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