Today’s guest picture shows the sort of thing that you see if you live in the middle of a big city. Our daughter Annie took it in her London garden.
We had a lovely morning here, bright and sunny and not too much wind at all. We had a moorland morning as Mrs Tootlepedal went to a lecture on bryophytes, and I cycled up to the bird hide to help with planting more trees. About fifteen hundred have now been planted . . .
. . .and six volunteers were extending the area this morning.
Three of them were our friend Gavin and his grandchildren Hannah and Leo who were working as a team.
As we walked back when we had finished, we took a look in the tubes round the wild roses that Mrs Tootlepedal and I had planted in earlier weeks. It was very heartening to find that almost every one was showing good leaf development. Some of the rowans in the bigger tubes are already showing leaves coming out of their top of the tubes. While we were working, Kat, our leader, spotted a crow mobbing a raven which in turn was mobbing a buzzard. You don’t often see that.
After a rewarding cup of Vimto and a custard cream biscuit or two, I pedalled home and found Mrs Tootlepedal at work in the garden. She had enjoyed her lecture a lot, so we both had had a good morning. I made a cup of coffee, and joined Mrs Tootlepedal on a garden bench to enjoy the sunshine while I drank it. (She had her cup already made.)
There was plenty to look at in the garden . . .
. . .and a blackbird kept me company as I walked round looking.
After lunch, we trimmed the hedge along the road, as it had grown so much that pedestrians could not easily use the footpath. Then, although the sun had gone behind clouds, the weather seemed set fair enough for us to go for our twice delayed cycle ride to Eskdalemuir.
We folded our folding bikes, put them in the car and drove up to Enzieholm Bridge. There was a lot of traffic on the road . . .
. . . but we got to Enzieholm safely, and there we unpacked the bikes, unfolded them, and I looked around at the wild flowers beside the parked car (I added the wild garlic a little way up the road).
Our departure was delayed a little, as we had to let a cow walk by. It was following its calf which was travelling in a trailer pulled by a quad bike.
We had picked a thirteen mile route up one side of the Esk to Eskdalemuir and down the other side back to Enzieholm. We went up to Bailliehill, crossed the Black Esk . . .
. . .and went up the single track road beside the White Esk through Castle O’er. We came back on the B709, a wider road with room for two.
We didn’t see any traffic at all on the seven and half miles to Eskdalemuir, and not a great deal more as we came back down the busier road.
We stopped for a snack and a rest beside the graveyard at Eskdalemuir . . .
. . . where there is a convenient bench beside the bus shelter for an aged cyclist to sit on. I sat on it.
On our way down the far side of the White Esk, we could look across the valley and see a wood that had suffered a devastating blow from Storm Arwen back in November.
On a more cheerful note, there was also a small wood carpeted in white wild flowers . . .
. . .and some very bright broom beside the road.
Our electric bikes (combined with vigorous pedalling) whisked us up the 1 in 10 gradients of the Crurie Brae, and made the whole outing a complete pleasure from start to finish.
When we got back to Enzieholm Bridge . . .
. . . I popped down the banking and took a picture of the bridge from below.
When I was walking back across the bridge, I noticed an inscription on the parapet.
Although I have cycled and walked across this bridge dozens of times, I have never noticed this before. It shows what you don’t see if you don’t look.
We folded up the bikes, stowed them in the car and drove the seven and half miles back to Langholm.
While the evening meal was cooking, I took a picture of the clipped hedge . . .
. . . and enjoyed some more flourishing flowers . . .
. . .and checked on the birds. It had been a quiet day at the feeder but I was pleased to see a robin, if only for a moment or two.
While I was preparing the pictures for this post in the evening, I looked out of the window and saw that Langholm was playing its part in the Jubilee celebrations. A beacon was lit on the top of Whita bang on the appointed time . . .
. . .and it was soon blazing merrily, while lights played on the monument beside it.
It looked quite striking when red, white and blue lights were lit at the foot of the monument.
The flying bird of the day is a pigeon.