On the trail of the lonesome pine (again)

Today’s guest picture is another of my sister Mary’s delightful studies of Regents Park in London. She goes there to play tennis and always looks about on her way.

We woke to rather grey and windy weather with a forecast of some rain to come in the middle of the day. We were in no hurry to get up and rush about, though I did manage to get to the corner shop for supplies before Margaret came round for coffee.

After coffee, we expected rain but it didn’t come, so Mrs Tootlepedal cycled off to do some shopping and I wandered round the garden. We have got quite a lot of wildish flowers in the garden these days.

The yellow rattle in the top right corner of the panel above is there to discourage the grass on the drying green from growing so that Mrs Tootlepedal can develop a small mini meadow of wild flowers. It is doing a really good job and the grass has been much discouraged. The ajuga (bottom right) is providing excellent ground cover with the bonus of pretty colour.

Chives and gooseberries are looking very promising.

I went in to cook some soup for lunch, and while it was simmering, I looked at the birds.

Business at the feeder was a bit slow, so I took my bird camera outside just at a moment when a lot of rooks obligingly flew overhead.

While I was outside, I checked to see if another oriental poppy had come, but there is still only one in flower. It is a good one though.

I went back in and looked out again. The willows were providing a perch for a goldfinch.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned, and we had lunch, but not before I had noticed a young starling paying a very brief visit to the feeder.

The forecast rain amounted to no more than a few drops, and the afternoon looked to be set fair, so I ignored the brisk wind and went for a cycle ride.

However, I found that I couldn’t ignore the brisk wind when I got going, and I was very happy to stop from time to time to take pictures and rest my legs. There was a good variety of wild flowers to stop for. The Pyrenean Valerian (top left and bottom right) is out in force in places. It is spreading its footprint every year.

I noticed two hawthorns, one pink and one white, standing side by side near Canonbie.

A field had been cut for silage since I last went past.

I extended my usual Canonbie circuit by five miles today, and went further down the main road before turning off to start the journey home. I had been cycling into the wind, so as I turned off, the wind became a fierce cross wind. Luckily I had some good hedges and woods to protect me from the worst.

I passed the farms of Batenbush and Cubbyhill, before taking the road to Englishtown and Glenzier (called Evertown on the signpost) . . .

The signpost has an ingenious design which would let another direction pointer to be added if this had been a crossroads and not merely a trivial junction. As the Cumberland County council was abolished in 1974, the signpost has lasted and been maintained well.

Once I had gone through Glenzier, I took the road over the hill rather than the main road back to Langholm. This took me past my second favourite breed of cattle . . .

. . . and let me stop to take some more pictures of the pine tree that I had noticed yesterday.

It has got a lot going on.

Any thoughts of rain had disappeared as I cycled along, and by the time that I was five miles from home, it was a glorious afternoon . . .

I had a quick tour of the garden azaleas and rhododendrons when I got back . . .

. . . before going in to join Mrs Tootlepedal to have our afternoon cup of tea. ( I was going to write that I joined Mrs Tootlepedal in a cup of tea but that might have been open to misinterpretation.)

As it was such a nice day by now, although still quite windy, Mrs Tootlepedal and I got out our electric bikes and we pedalled up to see the interesting pine tree. The helpful electric motors make light work of pedalling into a brisk breeze, and we got up the hill to the pine without any great difficulty.

We didn’t get any closer to identifying the tree but we thoroughly enjoyed our outing anyway. The light was wonderful, and the trip back home, downhill and downwind, was fun. We did the ten miles in just under an hour, and had worked up a good appetite for our evening meal.

I took three pictures on the way home, showing Mrs Tootlepedal on the road with points of interest to the right and left of her.

We rounded off the day by watching the highlights of a very exciting stage of the Giro d’Italia.

The flying bird of the day is one of the rooks. It had flown a bit lower than the others.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “On the trail of the lonesome pine (again)

  1. That’s a nice shot of the chive blossoms.
    The views were excellent. I like the lone oak tree.
    I think I see two needles per bundle in your photos of the pine and if true that means red pine (here) or Scots pine (there). There could be others but that what a simple search shows.

    1. I think that thanks to a local comment on Facebook, your help and more research, the Scots Pine answer is the correct one. Thank you for taking an interest.

      1. I’m glad you were able to figure it out. I’ve never seen a Scots pine growing naturally. Here they’re sold as Christmas trees.
        I’ve also never seen pine pollen cones before they started shedding pollen. These were beautiful, like jewels.

      2. I have never seen them before either even though there are lots of Scots pines about. It is unusual to find one with branches so close to the ground.

  2. The panel of rooks is fabulous!

    The Belted Galloway was certainly giving you a hard stare and looks like it should be taken through a car wash. I guess I haven’t been paying attention – what is your favourite breed of cow? Perhaps the very hairy Highland?

      1. Having learned Latin and Greek in my young life gives me much now as I’m old and physically disabled.

      2. I like the love of language that studying the classic gave me but I would like to have much more knowledge of how the actual rather than the literary world works than I have.

  3. I enjoyed the selection of flowers, animals, birds and views. Are the lamiums flowering yet?

    We are having a beautiful partly cloudy and breezy day in the mid 60s here.

  4. Great colours on your azaleas and rhododendrons – they really do like showing off. The signposts are lovely hope they are protected and never to be replaced with modern monstrosities ! I like all the photos from your cycle rides especially the one with Mrs T on her bike heading off towards the mountains on that lovely winding road.

  5. A glorious day,and an excellent report. Since you suggested yellow rattle to me a few days ago I have become something of an expert and actually understood when you talked about it and meadows. See how educational WP can be! πŸ™‚

      1. I’m approaching 80 myself and have looked longingly at that sort of bike, but our narrow, crooked and busy roads keeps me from it. Sigh. πŸ˜”

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