Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew. He met Florence Nightingale on a bridge over a main road.
It rained overnight, and it was still raining gently when we woke up. It was warm and not too windy so I was anxious to go for a cycle ride but I waited for the rain to stop.
I killed time by doing the crossword and looking at the birds . . .
. . . and finally got going after coffee time. The rain had certainly brought out the colour in the larches and I found it hard not to stop every three minutes or so to get my camera out.
I had to stop taking pictures and start concentrating on the pedalling though as the wind turned out to be a bit stronger than I had expected. The meant a slow start to my outing, and the first fifteen miles took me an hour and twenty minutes.
It was not a great hardship to be out and about though, as the scenery was delightful all the way to Eaglesfield . . .
. . . and beyond.
I stopped at the bridge at the bottom of the hill in the picture above. It is in the village of Kirtlebridge where the road crosses the Kirtle Water. It is not a bridge that is easy to photograph from the side, so I took a picture looking downstream, which was blocked by trees . . .
. . . and then I leaned over the other side of the bridge to capture the bridge that I was standing on, and took a picture of the new bridge that carries both the old village bypass and the new motorway which bypasses the bypass over the river.
It is a tribute to the insatiable appetite for motor transport that there should be three successive roads built when there is also a main railway line just a few yards away.
My cycling life got easier because the headwind turned into a crosswind and then a tailwind as the ride went on.
I slipped into England where I stopped for a honey sandwich when I got to the Metal Bridge Inn . . .
. . . although I didn’t go into the inn but stood looking at it from the bridge which crosses the Esk.
There has been an otter seen in the river here recently, but it wasn’t on show today. I took my camera and pointed it at the railway bridge in the hope that a train might cross while I was eating my lunch. . .
. . . but that didn’t happen either.
I put my camera away, and almost immediately a train appeared and flashed across the bridge before I could get my camera out again. It was well past the bridge before I could focus in.
. . . I put my camera away again and almost burst into tears when another train appeared and crossed the bridge in the other direction. I didn’t even try to get my camera out this time.
Still, there was a lot of lovely autumn colour in England to console me as I pedalled along.
I zipped across country with the wind behind me until I got to the road from Brampton to Longtown. With three miles to go to Longtown, I was dismayed to come across a series of ROAD CLOSED AHEAD notices. As there was steady stream of cars coming the other way, I decided to risk it and pedalled on. When I got to Longtown, the road was indeed closed but as there was another perfectly good road through the town which was not closed, I took that.
I was soon back in Scotland, pushed by a very encouraging wind, and went up through Canonbie to avoid the traffic on the main road. The view of the Esk from Canonbie Bridge shows that there must have been quite a lot of rain last night.
The six miles back to Langholm were a pleasure with a helpful wind and plenty to look at.
I had hoped to cover between 40 and 50 miles and in the end, I split the difference perfectly and got home after 45 most enjoyable miles.
I took a look round the garden before going in and found that although the sun was out, the few remaining flowers still hadn’t dried their eyes after the overnight rain.
I had a look at the birds when I went in. The feeder was not very busy . . .
. . . though it did fill up with visitors once or twice.
Mrs Tootlepedal was out delivering information sheets about the second phase of the community moorland purchase, and when she came in, we had a well earned cup of tea. By the time that we had finished that and I had had a shower, it was dark, and we settled in for the evening.
A blue tit is the flying bird of the day.