Paying the price

Today’s picture comes from my Canonbie friend Simon. His work takes him across Europe, and he found the River Rhine under a cloud when he went out for his walk yesterday. It took me a moment to work out that he was above the cloud.

Yesterday ended unusually late for us, or to put it another way, today started unusually early as it was past midnight when Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her outing to the D&G Life awards ceremony. Sad to relate, the Langholm Initiative had not carried off the prize for their hard work on the community buyout of the moor, but the buy out group will always be winners in our minds.

Not unexpectedly we got up a bit late, and by the time that I had got the Langholm Initiative newsletter finished and published, it was past coffee time.

On my way through to the kitchen, I checked on the birds and only saw a single goldfinch.

. . . though there was another bird hiding behind the feeder. The seeds are going down, if a bit slowly, so there are birds about, but they have mastered the art of coming to the feeder when I am not looking. Bird pictures are rare at the moment.

It was a lovely sunny day with light winds, so at midday I got my bicycle out and set off to cycle the 25 miles up to Bailliehill, round the Crossdykes windfarm and back home by Paddockhole and Callister.

I avoided taking yet another picture of the Gates of Eden, and took some sheep in the valley bottom instead.

The fields are still green but the hills are brown and colour elsewhere is fading fast, with only a few colourful trees remaining . . .

. . . and many being completely leafless.

The sun struggles to get up high enough to really warm things up, and every bump in a hillside casts deep shadows even in the middle of the day.

It was all the more surprising then to come upon this radiant vision in the middle of Bentpath village . . .

. . . and I saw nothing to match it further up the valley.

With the low sun to the south west, most views have to be taken looking north or east at this time of year and I had to stop and look backwards or sideways for the rest of the views from my ride.

A curious sheep wondered what I was doing with my camera.

As you can see, it was a lovely day. This was just as well, as the cycling was extremely hard work and I needed distraction from the fact that my knees were very conscious of the amount of hacking and hauling that I had done on the moor yesterday. They were so conscious of it indeed that I had to be extra nice to them to persuade them to get me up the hills. As a result, I recorded my slowest ever time on this route.

Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I were quite tired in the afternoon, so we left the sun to shine outside while we had a quiet sit down inside and the day meandered to a close.

I did check on the birds from time to time, but once again I only saw a lone goldfinch. As a result, it is the sitting bird of the day.

Footnote: I see that I will have to make sure tomorrow that that perch is properly screwed into the feeder before it falls off.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Paying the price

  1. Slower times are, I’m afraid, an unavoidable part of life. This is a worry, as I have always been famous for my lack of pace. Much slower and I will start going backwards.

    1. You are right about the inevitability of slowing down. I haven’t quite reached the stage of two speeds – dead slow and stop – but I am getting there.

  2. I’ve given up bothering about times now, to the point of sometimes keeping my garmin out of sight in my back pocket .I find my limited rides more enjoyable that way.
    You on the other hand set yourself targets,and reach them which is highly commendable but way out of my league.
    Each to his own as they say.
    The weather was kind today allowing some fantastic landscape shots.
    Great header page to.

    1. I was pleased to see that you got out for a good ride yourself lately. I have come to terms with getting slower now though I got a bit cross with myself two or three years ago when the slowing down first became really noticeable. I used to be able to go a bit faster if I really tried but nowadays, it doesn’t matter how hard I try, I still go slowly if any climbing at all is involved.

      1. It is hard to let go of what one used to be able to do…I hope it gets mentally easier for me so I can stop feeling cross.

        Your photos of tapestries of green are refreshing.

  3. The river of clouds is really an amazing photo. I’ve never seen anything like it.
    The radiant vision in the middle of Bentpath village was also excellent. I love coming upon things like that.
    The smiling sheep made me smile.

  4. Sorry the Langholm Initiative did not carry off the prize. They certainly deserve one.
    Liked the picture of the sheep wondering what you were up to.

  5. Simon’s cloud covered river effect made a beautiful guest photo. I’ve seen the cloud effect from mountaintops here, with fog concentrated in the low areas making it look like a lake below.

    I enjoyed all these photos from the day. The forested and clear cut areas remind me very much of my own area, though the tree farm plantings seem more extensive here.

    The perch on the left does seem like it might surprise some poor bird if left out much longer. 🙂

    1. Luckily I remembered to screw the perch back in before anyone fell off. We get mist covered valleys here too and some of them have appeared in the blog over the years. Simon’s picture was exceptional though.

  6. Your photographs are breath taking, the air and light, obviously enhanced your skill as a photographer. In my mind all nominees are winners, as it recognises the hard work done by Mrs T and her colleagues. Sorry to hear about those complaining knees. If I even potter around for an hour or so, my left new knee complains also. I seek out flat non slippery surfaces at all times. Keeping moving is the answer which you do so admirably. Mind you, I am hoping my Swytchbike conversion will help me acclimatise back to pedalling up the hills hereabouts. Cheers.

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