A pedal and a tootle

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He was in East Anglia when he spotted a rare instance of an Evergreeen container ship actually floating.

The house was very quiet when I woke up, and it stayed quiet until Dropscone arrived for coffee and scones. He has just come back from travelling to the far north of Scotland on golfing business, and as he is soon going to the other end of the country to visit his oldest son in Devon, he will have done almost as many miles in two weeks as I have cycled in the last six months. He certainly gets about.

When he had gone, I had a walk round the garden to enjoy the flowers. The sun had come out.

For once, I didn’t hang about wasting time, and it wasn’t long before I found myself in the middle of a cycle ride. This was quite a surprise to me, as it was a vigorously windy day. However, I am not proud and I was on my electric bike so that I could at least make some progress into the face of the brisk breeze without crying. Even with electrical assistance, it was hard work, but at least I could keep a reasonable speed going as I passed a lonely tree in a field at the Bigholms.

I found that I had forgotten to bring my camera with me so I had to rely on my phone for illustrations of the ride.

I had decided to go round the Solwaybank windfarm route, and stopped to look at a fine clump of bistort on the verge opposite a cottage.

The Solwaybank green tunnel looked very inviting . . .

. . . as did buttercup lined roads later on.

In fact, I was enjoying myself so much that I decided to join my two regular routes together and come back from Solwaybank by way of Canonbie. This took me past an impressive display of water dropwort in a ditch . . .

. . . beside the road down to the bottom of the bypass.

My phone took a rather artistic view of the road.

I stopped to enjoy the general greenness of the view from Hollows Bridge . . .

. . . and made a final stop when some lesser stitchwort and bird’s-foot trefoil beside the old road caught my eye.

The stitchwort flowers were tiny, smaller than a fingernail, but they made a fine show with the trefoil.

I had a late lunch when I got home after thirty very satisfying miles.

After lunch I went out for another look round the garden and a lot of frantic tweeting drew my attention to a hungry baby blue tit in the plum tree.

Among a potential clematis, a rose and a developing orange hawkweed, I was particularly pleased to see some very healthy flowers appearing on the bramble that Mrs Tootlepedal is growing against the fence.

Bramble and apple pie beckons.

The spirea behind the greenhouse is doing very well.

Today’s blackbird in attendance was a youngster.

I went in to change out of my cycling clothes and have a shower, and took the opportunity to look out of two windows at a busy feeder.

An adult blue tit looking very much the worse for wear appeared. They can’t eat a whole seed so they trap a seed between their feet and nibble on it. You can see the seed in the picture below.

I had time for one more walk in the garden to see what the bees were up to. The yellow rattle was still working its magic, and philadelphus was a popular destination too . . .

. . . and I could see both red and white tailed bumble bees on the chives.

In the evening, I had an excellent meal of steak and mushrooms to get my strength up, and then my friend Susan arrived and we drove to Carlisle in her car to play with our recorder quartet. It was a most enjoyable session, taken seriously but with enjoyment throughout. We played a varied selection of pieces from J C Bach to Scott Joplin. And there were excellent biscuits afterwards.

The flying away bird of the day is a siskin getting a blast from a fellow siskin to help him on his way.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A pedal and a tootle

  1. The phone did a great job. I have trouble with mine on small flowers like stitchwort. I like the shot of them and the trefoil.
    It did fine with landscapes too.
    I found a part time job so I’m hoping I can save enough for a foldable electric bike. I’ve read that they average around 1,500 dollars here, but you can get less expensive ones.

    1. In my view you should go for the most expensive one that you can afford as it is the case that the more you pay, the better the bike is in my experience. (Within reason of course).

      1. I met a lady today who had one that she paid $2,000 dollars for and she raved about it. She also pointed out exactly what she got for the money as opposed to what se would have gotten with the less expensive models, so she agrees with you.

  2. The flower on the bistort looks a bit like a dust mop!

    Lots of lovely roads today, but the undulating one near the bypass looked to be the most fun to ride on – although the potholes would require close attention. Very pretty header photo.

    1. I do have to keep my eyes open for potholes but in general the back roads are not too bad at the moment. We didn’t have a very cold winter which has helped. I know what you mean about the bistort.

  3. That is a scary-looking bit of road, seemingly full of potholes. I wonder if you ride with a tire repair kit of some sort – especially with your emergency service currently unavailable.

    Since you did not report a piano playing with your recorder quartet, I wonder which Scott Joplin pieces you played and how they were arranged. At first I thought that most of his rags have too many notes being played at the same time, but I just grabbed my Joplin book to check, and I think I can see how many of them might work with four recorders. I imagine Solace might be especially nice with a recorder group.

    1. I don’t ride with a puncture repair kit as my fingers are too feeble to get the tyre off my wheel. I rely on really good strong tyres with excellent puncture resistance.

      There are several Joplin pieces arranged for recorder groups and they go very well. I have never come across Solace.

  4. More lovely flowers blooming in your garden and a fine array of wild flowers on the verges too. Must try to remember ‘dropwort’ – I lump all those umbellifers under one umbrella…cow parsley! Love the lupin header.

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