Going far

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. The seals enjoy the sunshine there too.

The first picture in today’s post only just sneaked in as it was taken just after midnight last night. I missed the full moon a day or two ago.

The skies were still clear when we woke up, and it was a generally a very nice summer day. Surprisingly, considering the fearsome forecasts of heat, it wasn’t even too hot, being 64°F (18°C) when I set off at 10.30 for a cycle ride.

I took a quick look round the garden as I left.

I was feeling a lot better than I had been over the past two days, so I decided to take an easy route and see how far I could go before turning back. I headed south straight down the main road and found myself cycling into the wind so I didn’t set any speed records. As I was feeling quite sensible, I just maintained a steady pace and kept going.

I went along the road from Longtown to Brampton and noticed that malign forces have been moving the milestones . . .

. . . further apart. It takes me longer to get to each one than it used to.

After twenty miles, my bike and I took a well earned rest on a favourite bench beside the Hadrian’s Wall path at Newtown.

I would have another sit on that bench twenty miles later on my way home.

I didn’t go through the centre of Brampton but skirted the town and went past the Wilson Memorial Homes . . .

. . . built in 1930 by a local philanthropist as alms houses and still going today.

There was stiff climb to get me out of Brampton and over the railway to Newcastle at the Milton level crossing.

I stopped to look back at the crossing. The crossing box is still manned and the road takes an alarmingly abrupt downhill corner just as it crosses the lines.

Shortly after the level crossing, I saw some striking flowers in the verge which I thought might be chicory. I took pictures both on my way out, and again on my way back in an effort to get one good enough for Google to recognise.

Google thinks that they are some sort of scabious. I wonder if I took pictures of two different clumps.

The road up to the village of Hallbankgate is both steep and more bendy than a certain verbascum, so I was pleased stop to admire a big house which is now a hotel and restaurant with a fountain in a small lake in front of it.

I managed finally to get to through the village, and then I enjoyed a gentle run down a valley into an officially designated area of outstanding natural beauty. This is the North Pennines area, one of England’s most special places – a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty. Or so the official website tells me. It is probably true but . . .

. . . I was not in the most scenic part of this area today. It was pleasant enough country to cycle through and I persevered until I got to thirty miles from home, just past this little bridge . . .

. . . on which I stood while having my lunch and admiring the views in each direction.

My mind went back to the time that I pedalled along this road with Mrs Tootlepedal in 2005 on the first leg of a 400 mile cycle ride to visit her brother in Marlow. It must have been a good trip because we cycled 750 miles through France to see her sister in 2006. We normally did 50 miles each day.

On my way back to Brampton, I made a diversion to visit Brampton Station which is well outside the town. I have never visited it before but I have seen signs to it from main roads on both sides, so I thought that I would go past the station and come back to Brampton by a different road today.

When I got to the station, I was surprised to find that my road was a dead end. It tuned out that you can get to Brampton Station from both sides but you can’t get to the road on the other side unless you are prepared to carry your bike over a rather steep bridge.

Having stood on the platform and contemplated the bridge, and having stood on the bridge and contemplated the station, I decided to go back the way that I had come.

It was no great hardship, and I was soon on my way home. After my second stop on the bench at Newtown, I concentrated on pedalling and didn’t take any more pictures until I crossed the Esk in Canonbie. I thought that it looked very peaceful.

My final photographs were of the knapweed on the old A7 just before Langholm. I wasn’t happy with my efforts on previous rides.

When I got back to Langholm, I was a mile short of my target of 62.5 miles, so I cycled up to the High Mill Brig and back and ended up with 63 miles. The significance of the 62.5 miles is that it is equal to 100 kilometres, and I am trying to do at least one ride of that length each month.

When I got in, I finalised the details for the Langholm Initiative newsletter and got it ready for sending out.

I received a new camera in the post today and took it out into the garden to give it a first try while I was waiting to get official approval of the newsletter. I got the camera after seeing the excellent results which a fellow blogger is getting with his.

The garden is full of young blackbirds.

The camera looks very promising. I will have to read the handbook and try to make full use of its capabilities.

It likes yellow better than my old camera (and picked up the many little insects on the St John’s Wort).

It had no problem with blues . . .

. . . and purples . . .

I think that it is going to do very well.

It is a tough camera and I hope that it will last a lot longer than the little Lumix which I was using for my cycling pictures today. It is on its last legs, having already been repaired once.

When I went in, Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out that the first buddleia of the year was flowering. I went out again.

Perhaps we will see some butterflies now. There were certainly more bees about today.

I got the go ahead and sent out the newsletter, and that concluded the action for the day.

As I was rather busy during the day, the flying birds of the day had all stopped flying by the time that I looked at them. Sorry about that.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Going far

  1. Great ride today.
    100k is some achievement,with some lovely shots on the journey.
    The wild flowers are doing well this year,but will probably suffer a bit in next week’s extreme heat.
    It looks like you should just about escape the worst though.

    1. We are forecast for 30 degrees which is hot but not ridiculous so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

      I took care not to overdo things on the ride. The Van Nicholas is very comfortable to ride which helps.

  2. I find that the Olympus tends to overexpose a bit in bright light and sulks in the shade, but if you press the top of the round controller just above where it says OK on the back of the camera, you’ll see on the bottom of the LED screen a way to adjust it one way or the other. It’s very handy and I use it all the time but it took a while to find it. Maybe you already have. The photos are excellent so far.
    I don’t think either of those flowers is chicory. The one on the left leans towards scabiosa, I’d say.
    That’s a nice shot of the moon. I missed it entirely.

    1. They looked like chicory at first sight because of the dark glasses that I was wearing which made them a vivid blue.

      Thank you for the hint about the exposure control.

      Mrs T told me about the full moon a day after it had occurred.

  3. First of all, great shot of the moon 🙂 That was quite a cycling trip… 100 km. You were in good shape after some less active days. May I wish you lots of succes with your new camera, the first results look very promissing.

  4. The scabious on the right looks similar to the ones we have growing in the wild here. Well done on your excellent bicycle ride!

      1. One cannot pick animals or birds out from a distance very well whilst wearing dark glasses either.

    1. We did a Land;s End to John o’Groats of 950 miles (the very south to the very north of mainland Britain) in 2008 and after that we took to doing more gentle touring in France and the Netherlands for a few years before we stopped.

  5. Your new camera is working quite well. The shading and definition on the St. John’s Wort blooms are very good. My old camera does not do so well with yellow either.

    Your biking trips sound very interesting. 50 miles a day and no electric assist, I assume. That is a good workout. No wonder you both are in such good condition.

    1. No electric bikes in those days. We split the days up in general with a morning coffee, lunch and an afternoon break so we did four sections of roughly 12 miles at a time if there was a place to stop at the right time. In France we pedalled through some very quiet country so we often ate picnics for lunch.

  6. Glad your temperatures have improved. The young blackbird is beautiful. And the colors are stunning with the new camera. I am beginning to realize I never figured out the last camera I bought which could be why I don’t use it much…

      1. That’s my problem. I discovered I bought a huge handbook to go with the camera and I have never even cracked it open. My next life.

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