Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal. She cycled up to the tree nursery today and took a picture just to show that she had got there. The seedlings are in winter mode now.
We had a much better day of weather here today, with no clouds sitting on the town. It didn’t go so far as to be sunny, but conditions were good as I drove down to Longtown after breakfast with my electric bike folded up in the back of the car. I was taking the bike to the bike shop to get them to mend the puncture in the back tyre and give me a new inner tube if necessary.
While the mechanic was working, I took a walk along the river and down to the ponds. There is a bit more colour left in Longtown than we have in Langholm . . .
. . . and I was pleased to see Longtown’s answer to Mr Grumpy.
The ponds that I was heading for are remnants of old gravel works as far as I know. They are very peaceful now . . .
. . . and they are home to quite a few birds. I watched a swan, hoping that it would pose for a picture but it kept its head well down for a long time . . .
. . . until it finally relented.
I walked past this fine gorse bush . . .
. . . and down to the river in the hope of seeing some interesting birds. There were none to be seen though except a few mallards too far away for a photo.
I continued round the ponds . . .
. . . while most water birds flew away before I could get a good view of them. More swans and a lone duck were more co-operative, though they were quite far away.
Across the fields, I could see Arthuret Church looking much like a castle on the top of its mound.
I got back to the bike shop to find my bike ready to go. The mechanic had taken an enormous thorn out of the tyre and as there are still a lot of thorns about as hedges continue to be cut, he filled the new tube with slime for additional protection in the case of another puncture. As changing the tyre is beyond me, I will get a Tannus reinforced insert put into both tyres when the bike shop gets some in early next year.
I drove home and had lunch with Mrs Tootlepedal. Then we both went out on our electric bikes but in different directions. She rode up to the tree nursery at Cronksbank, and I took my repaired tyre round the Canonbie circuit to see how it felt with slime in it. I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t been told that it was there.
It still wasn’t very warm (about 7°C), but the very light wind and better visibility made it a good day for a cycle outing. Cows were clearly visible behind hedges . . .
. . . and trees were not hidden by the mist . . .
. . . and I could see the monument on Whita Hill from seven miles away.
I stopped at the pond at Tarcoon . . .
. . . in the hope of seeing the mallards there, but they were feeling shy and hid behind the reeds . . .
. . . so I photographed the reeds instead.
From the top of the hill above the pond, I could look over the Solway to the English hills on the far side. This is the first time that we have been able to see further than a few hundred yards for several days.
The Wauchope valley was clear of mist when I got to it . . .
. . . but the light was fading so I stopped to put my bike lights on.
It was dark enough when I got home a for a flash to be needed to record two plucky roses soldiering on in the garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal was still not back so after a while, I stepped out to see if I could meet her coming home.
I was glad that I did so because it let me enjoy a lovely sunset . . .
. . . and I met her a little way down the road. She had done a bit of shopping and had had a meeting in the Langholm Initiative on her way home which accounted for her late arrival.
She made one of her delicious fish pies for our evening meal and we ate it after Zooming with my brother and sisters.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow. (I refilled the feeder after I took the photograph.)