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Posts Tagged ‘cycle outings’

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone and shows the roadside repair man fitting a new wheel to Dropscone’s car after he had inadvertently lost the original while driving along.

Dropscone's car

Dropscone arrived for coffee today with a tale of woe.  He had been driving back from a golf event up the borders at the weekend, when he suddenly found himself one wheel short of a full set.  He managed to get the car safely off the road and called for assistance.

Sadly, however hard he looked while the spare wheel was being put in place, he couldn’t find the errant wheel.  It had disappeared into the undergrowth, never to be seen again.

Still, the car (with Dropscone)  was brought back to Langholm on a trailer and it is currently receiving some TLC in a garage and will soon be back on the road.  Dropscone seemed very calm about the whole affair but it would make me lose a bit of confidence in my car if it happened to me.

While I was waiting for him to arrive, I had a walk round the garden.  It was pleasantly warm and still for once but it had rained overnight and there was an air of dampness all around.

Dahlia

A hint of sparkle caught my eye and when I looked closely, I saw that among the plants, there was a spider’s web suspended….

spider's web

…with the very diminutive manufacturer in residence at the heart of it.

I took a lot of shots, trying to capture the best general view of it….

spider's web

…and of the tiny spider itself….

spider's web

…which was suspended in an almost invisible filigree net.

spider's web

I even went to the length of getting a tripod out and setting the camera up on it but what I really needed was some sunshine to make everything sparkle.

Still, it was fun trying.

The bees were busy trying to find poppies that had survived the rain.  These two had found a rich seam of pollen…

bees on poppies

…but other poppies held no attraction.

poppy soaked

They are pretty but fragile.  Later in the day I dead headed over forty poppies.

Mrs Tootlepedal joined me and noticed a green fly and bee combination on the the dahlia…

bee and greenfly on Dahlia

…and was generally a bit discouraged by how wet things were.  She did think the raindrops on the crocosmia leaves were very pretty though.

crocosmia

Dropscone brought a large mound of drop scones with him and we ate our way through it as he related his adventures.

When he had gone, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre to help with the lunches and I got my bike out and went round my 20 mile Canonbie circle.  It was warm enough for me to expose my knees to the public and at 70°F or 20°C, it was hot enough to make me careful to drink sufficient water as I went round.  A novel experience this summer.

It was a day when I could have gone further but although my back is improving, my arm had a nasty swelling so I thought it wise to take things gently.  I did take one picture as I went round to show off a quietly green corner of the ride…

Old A7

….but the muggy conditions had steamed up the lens on my phone camera so it wasn’t very successful.  The old main road, now a cycle track, is being gradually narrowed by the encroaching greenery, year on year.

I gave my bike a good good wash and clean when I got back as I have been pedalling on damp roads lately and then had a late lunch and a shower.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back from the Buccleuch Centre and started work in the garden.   My arm was a bit sore so I wandered about taking a few photographs instead of mowing or sieving.  In spite of the warmth, it had not been a drying day.

spirea and sedum

Spirea and sedum

More sparkle attracted my attention.

raindrops

The yew bush was covered in small webs which had caught the raindrops.  I processed the picture so that the web on which the drops are suspended is visible too.

raindrops

I thought that it looked a bit like one of those neural network maps that scientists produce to show how your brain works.

It was lucky that I had taken the picture when I did because later in the afternoon, Attila the Gardener attacked the bush with loppers and secateurs and all the webs went off to the shredder along with the branches that held them.

Mrs Tootlepedal took great care of the tropaeolum which lives in the yew and it should thrive on the greatly reduced bush.  She found some of the bright blue berries which follow the red flowers.

tropaeolum berries

A garden colour like no other.

I noticed a new clematis in a philadelphus…

clematis

…and I took a couple of pictures of a poppy and a cornflower which brightened up a rather gloomy day.

poppy and cornflower

Then I took my sore arm, which had swollen up slightly alarmingly overnight,  off to visit the doctor.  He diagnosed a haematoma on my biceps caused, he suggested politely, by being a bit old and not having very good muscle tone.  However, as I had feared that I might have torn something serious, this minor injury diagnosis was quite a relief and the advice that it will take several weeks to heal itself was not too hard to bear.

The doctor was not my regular physician and he called for a second opinion just to confirm his opinion that there was no serious damage and this doctor, knowing me well, advised me not to fall off my bike for a bit.  I am going to try to pay very good attention to that helpful instruction.

Once back in the garden, I was able to put the ex yew bush trimmings through the strimmer and so heartily had Mrs Tootlepedal approached her task, that we had to empty the box three times.  It all went back on the garden as a weed suppressing mulch.

Now I know that I won’t do any harm to my arm, I hope to get out for a longer ride before the end of the month as soon the days will be shorter and colder.

No flying bird of the day today but another welcome butterfly visitor stands in.

red admiral butterfly

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my flute pupil Luke’s mother.  They were having a family day out in Durham before the start of the new school term and found the cathedral looking at its best in the sunshine.

durham cathedral

I had a Utopian plan for the day which involved getting up early and being out on my bike by about seven o’clock.  I would be back in plenty of time to allow Mrs Tootlepedal to go to Edinburgh to see Matilda while I waited for the plumber to come. He would finish his work in plenty of time for me to get out for a walk before having my tea and going off to Carlisle with Susan to enjoy an evening of recorder quintets….and the sun would shine all day.

And it all came true.

Almost.

I did get up early and get out on the bike.

misty morning

The mist was just lifting as I cycled across the town bridge.

Esk with mist

The river was still shrouded with mist as I cycled south

Esk at Longtown

But by the time that I had got to Longtown, the mist had cleared. It had been raining heavily overnight as you can see.

I headed a bit further south and then turned west to Rockcliffe before heading back up to Langholm.

Trees in Cumbria

It was beautiful day and I passed many trees…

arch and bridge

…and arches both natural and man made…

Kirtle Water house

…and a fine house too.

But the most interesting thing that I saw was a flock of starlings on a farm silo near Rigg.

starlings

I pedalled 48 miles at a steady speed and got home in plenty of time to have a walk round the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a flock of butterflies on the buddleia.

peacock and red admiral butterfly

There were peacock and red admiral butterflies….

white and peacock butterflies

…and I saw a white butterfly on a Michaelmas daisy and took a close look at one of the peacocks.

I admired the poppies as usual and had a first look at Mrs Tootlepedal’s new pink Japanese anemone.

pink Japanese anemone.

The sun continued to shine.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was away, I cut down the orange hawkweed which had finished flowering  but some new flowers have appeared as if by magic….

orange hawkweed

What looks like shadows are buds waiting to open

…and once again I was thwarted in an attempt to take a picture of a cornflower, this time by a positive crowd of visitors.

orange hawkweed

Bumble bee, honey bee and a fly

Mrs Tootlepedal went and the plumber came, finished his task and went off as well.

I went for a walk.

I was trying to take yet another picture of the Auld Stane Bridge but a procession of cars kept driving across it…

auld stane bridge

…and when I looked, it turned out to be a rally of convertible beetles.

vw at the auld stane bridge

They had a good day for it.

I walked past the Hallcrofts, down through the woods and back along the track to Holmwood.

The forest floor was carpeted with these.

wood sorrel

I saw fruits…..

Rose hip, crab apple and blackberry

Rose hip, crab apple and blackberry… the blackberry was delicious

…a snail….

snail

…and a brand new bridge taking the path across a dangerous bit of banking that is being undermined by the Becks Burn.

new bridge by Becks Burn

It is good to see that our popular paths are being looked after.

There were of course many views to enjoy on such a good day.

view of Whita from Hallcrofts

I ended my walk by visiting Sandy in his new house and enjoying a cup of tea as I sat on his new suite.  He has been very busy tiling.

Sandy's tiles

Very neat work.

I got home in time to look over my photos for the day and have my tea and at this stage, the only part of my Utopian that didn’t fully work out came into play.  It started to pour with rain. It lashed down as Susan fearlessly drove through the storm and happily, by the time that we got to Carlisle, the clouds had cleared and the sun was out again.

The recorder playing was most enjoyable and as always the tea and biscuits afterwards were of the highest quality.  The rain stayed away as we drove home and that rounded off a day that could hardly have gone better….

….except that I had no time for a flying bird of any sort so I will put in the map of my cycle ride instead.  Click on the map for details of the ride.  Note the light wind.

garmin route 17 Aug 2017

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who was visiting the Derby Silk Mill when he found that it was an absolutely windless day.

Derby Silk Mill

It was a pretty good day here today too and after I had made a lamb stew for the slow cooker, I went out to see the poppies.

poppies

Not a drop of rain to be seen on them!  Mrs Tootlepedal has got a very good variety of specimens from her packet of mixed seeds.

The bees were exceedingly happy…

poppy with bees

…and were lining up to visit this well stocked larder.

poppy with bees

This poppy was just as beautiful but was less popular, having less to offer.

Poppy with insect

A late Fuchsia is waiting to deliver.

fuchsiaIt was difficult to walk round the garden without being buffeted by white butterflies.  They were everywhere.

white butterflies

As were sparrows.

sparrow

I went upsatirs to get my cycling gear on and when I looked out of the window, blackbirds were taking in the rays down below…

blackbirds

…in a rather anguished way.

I got on my bike fairly gingerly as I didn’t know how things would go but in spite of the odd twinge, I was able to pedal at a gentle pace without any great trouble.

John, the purveyor of all things useful from his corner shop, had suggested that I should look at an arboreal dog near Hagg-on-Esk so I did.

dog tree

I have cycled past this spot many times without seeing the poodle in the trees before.

I chose a very flat route (650 ft of elevation in 27 miles) so I was able to turn my legs over gently without putting any pressure on my back and thanks to a gentle wind, I managed a reasonable speed.

I didn’t want to get off and on the bike more than necessary but it was such a nice day that I stopped for a few photo ops.

Woodhouselees

I lied the sheep marching along below the ha-ha at Woodhouselees.

Penton road

The trees near Longtown definitely seem to be getting an autumn tinge

Monkey Puzzle

A monkey puzzle tree commands the view over the Knottyholm

Hollows Tower

The roof of Hollows Tower rising above the trees

I took another look at the ‘poodle tree’ on my way back.

prancing horse

More like a prancing horse with rider perhaps from this angle

I got home in time for a late lunch.  I looked at a poppy before I went in.

poppy with crocosmia

The crocosmia is trying its hardest join in.

I had made some more baps yesterday with the help of the breadmaker and they were just as good as the first lot.  I had one with lettuce and marmite for my meal.

After that, it was back out into the garden for an afternoon of useful, gently paced work.

I strimmed the clippings of the rambler rose which Attila the Gardener was attacking with her new secateurs, I mowed the green house grass, I sieved a couple of buckets of compost, I mowed the green house grass and I emptied the strimming receptacle into compost bin A twice.   In all, this was about half to three quarters of an hour’s work spread over three hours so it wasn’t quite the hard labour that it might seem.

Then I had a last walk round with a camera.

Michaelmas daisies

Michaelmas daisies arriving well before Michaelmas

The evening sun was catching the poppies…

poppies in the sun

…but it caught this one the best, I thought.

poppies in the sun

The lamb stew turned out very well after Mrs Tootlepedal had worked a little magic on some last minute flavouring.

The breadmaker makes dough for more baps than we can eat at one go so I had saved half the dough from yesterday and kept it in the fridge  over night.   I knocked it back and made another set today and we were pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out.  They went very well with the stew in place of potatoes.

Sadly, the very good weather of the day had clouded over by the time that I wrote this so our chance to watch the meteor shower had gone.  I did wake up at three o’clock last night when there was a clear sky but I couldn’t make myself get up and go out and just rolled over and went back to sleep.  I am sorry about that now.

Tomorrow, it says, it is going to rain all day so I am glad that I made good use of today.

No flying bird but I did catch a flying butterfly as it passed a nasturtium.

flying butterfly

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony, who took this view of the old and the new Forth road bridges.  The new one, in the background, opens at the end of this month.

Forth bridges

Thanks to our visitors we had a untypical breakfast today as the vote went for bacon and egg baps instead of our normal porridge.  It was a good decision and our visitors, after an inspection of the garden with the gardener….

sara janet and ally

A completely spontaneous unposed shot

…went on their way in good spirits.  They had two more gardens to visit on their schedule and it was fortunate that the weather forecast was better than it has been lately.

After they left, we had a cup of coffee and a look round the garden…

the moss roses are the last of our roses still in flower

The moss roses are the last of our roses still in flower

…and then I got the fairly speedy bike out, armed myself with a couple of bananas and some raisins and set off to see where my legs would go.

After some pretty breezy days, it was good to find that the winds were much lighter today but I still took the precaution of heading down to the flat lands of the Solway plain to give myself an easy ride.

To make sure that I was eating and drinking properly (refuelling as the real athletes say), I stopped every ten miles for a minute or two to take on half a banana, some raisins, a morsel of guava jelly and a drink of water.  I also took a picture.

The Esk at Longtown

This is the Esk near Longtown

I circled round the quiet lanes of North Cumbria and my second stop was at Scaleby.  It has impressive bull rushes…

bull rushes

…a church with a tower….

Scaleby Church

…and some very fine lichen on the churchyard wall.

lichen

My next stop was at a church with a spire at Blackdyke.

Blackdyke church

It is a very small spire, I agree.

Keeping to the flat lands, I headed across to Rockliffe and as I left the village, there was willowherb on my left and Himalayan balsam on my right…

willowherb and balsam

…which made for a very pretty stretch of road.

Rockcliffe

The forecast had said that there might be some rain at three o’clock and it was bang on.  As three o’clock arrived so did a sharp rain shower.  Luckily I was protected by nature…

tree tunnel

…and by the fact that I had prudently packed a rain jacket for the trip.  The rain didn’t last for long and after a few miles, I was able to pack the rain jacket away again.  While I was doing this this, I noticed a small bridge nearby.

old railway bridge

This is an old railway bridge on the abandoned line between Longtown and Carlisle and in a better ordered world, I might have been cycling under it on a well constructed bike track rather than over it on a narrow road.

Still, the narrow road took me to my third church of the trip, the fine building of the parish church at Arthuret.

Arthuret Church

It has to be said that if you go round to the front of the church, it doesn’t look quite so impressive.

Arthuret Church

It is certainly not as wide as it is long.

Across the road from the church,  the corn was high…

corn

It is grown for animal feed.

…though perhaps not as high as an elephant’s eye.

As I pedalled back up the hill towards Langholm, I left the cereal fields behind and found myself among the heather on the hills.

cereal and heather

Thanks to the benign conditions and the flat route, I managed to keep my average speed up to 15 mph for the first 45 miles and only just slipped back to 14.8 mph in the last eight miles, where I was heading into what wind there was.

My knees were feeling a bit creaky when I stopped so before going in for a cup of tea, I walked round the garden to ease them off and enjoyed the first stargazer lily of the season which has come out to brighten things up. It’s a very handsome flower…

stargazer lily

…whichever way you look at it.

stargazer lily

The flying bird of the day is a little squirrel which held me up as it decided which way to go this afternoon.

squirrel

Those interested can find details of the bike ride by clicking on the map below.  You can see how flat the route was.

garrmin route 8 Aug 2017

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Today’s guest picture is the second from my brother’s visit to churches in Hull. I liked this colourful ceiling in Hull’s cathedral.

Hull ceiling

It took me some time to really believe that it wasn’t going to rain today.  I had a bit of Archive business after breakfast to take my mind off the question and then a crossword and a cup of coffee and a walk round the garden.

The dahlias are doing their best but something has been eating them…

dahlias

…and they are looking a little ragged.  The bees don’t mind though.

bee on dahlia

I found some blue berries on the tropaeolum.  They always look slightly improbable to me, as though someone has been out and painted them.

tropaeolum berries

The buddleias are going to be over before any butterfly arrives to enjoy them.  The bees are having fun meanwhile.

bees on buddleia

The poppies continue to delight me.

poppy

In the end, I became convinced about the weather and got my fairly speedy bike out and gave it a good wash and brush up, cleaned and oiled the chain and set off for a ride.

It was still breezy so I kept the distance down to a gentle 34 mile circle with no big hills and a good tailwind to blow me home.  There has been a lot of resurfacing and patching lately and with many less potholes to look out for, it was a relaxing ride.  I stopped for pictures from time to time.

hawkbit and clover

A cheery combination of hawkbit and clover on the Wauchope road

great burnet

Another pleasing combination on the Gair road, great burnet and what I think is willowherb

I think the the pink plant is willowherb but it is not the common sort.  I took a picture of another bunch of it nearby.

willowherb

The pattern of the plant growth doesn’t look quite right.  It might be something else entirely.

My new mirror has settled in and is working well.

bike mirror

It needs a tweak every now and again after a bumpy piece of road but the old one did too so that is no surprise.

I always enjoy the wild flowers on the banks of the Canonbie by-pass.  I still tend to think of this as a new road as one of my pupils cut the tape when it was officially opened but it has been here for about thirty five years now and has bedded in.

Canonbie by-pass

Not the busiest of main roads. The ‘snow’ on the far bank is a big bunch of daisies.

And of course there were cows.

cows at Irvine House

The ride did perk me up and I was full of energy when I got home so I trimmed a hedge and mowed both lawns and edged them too.  Considering how soggy it has been, they lawns are holding up well  I will give them a last feed soon and hope for a dry autumn to leave them in good condition to survive the winter.

I did some garden tidying up and took a few pictures while I was at it.

There are a lot of large white butterflies about at the moment and one stopped for a while.

white butterfly

Large White butterfly

I discovered a little poppy hiding behind some leaves.  I had not noticed it before….

poppy

…and it was obviously attractive to that hovering bee as well.

bee on poppy

I have said it before but I will say it again, it is really encouraging to see bees in the garden when there has been so much worry about bee numbers.

There are poppies all over the garden from the veg patch to the front hedge.  These four are beside the middle lawn.

poppies

Beside the front lawn, phlox is the main attraction.

phlox

…with added astilbe

I slowed down in the end, picked some beetroot and went inside for tea and toast and a shower.

I have been picking the sweet peas regularly and they brighten up the kitchen windowsill.

sweet peas

This is the fourth batch since Mrs Tootlepedal went away.

I cooked the beetroot and had it with my tea.  Fresh beetroot is so sweet that it is probably taking me well over my sugar limit for the day but I don’t care.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I enjoyed some music making where quite often we were both playing the right notes at the right time.  This had a very pleasing affect on the ear and we were easily able to ignore the moments when things didn’t go quite so harmoniously.

When we finished playing, we joined Mike in front of the telly and watched Mo Farah do what he does so well for one last time in the 10,000m at the World Athletic Championships.

The flying bird of the day is a frog which I disturbed while trying unavailing to get a good picture of a water lily.

frog

 

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Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Mary Jo from Manitoba, is entitled “Alcatraz on the Assiniboine” and shows the lengths she has to go to keep the deer off her vegetables.  It makes Mrs Tootlepedal’s anti-sparrow pea fortress look a little small.

deer fence for veg

I was woken several times during the night by rain pounding on our Velux windows and was not surprised to see two large puddles on the lawns when I got up.  It was still raining after breakfast when I walked up to the Welcome to Langholm office to do my tour of duty.

As usual, I settled down to do some Archive Group work on the computer when I got in but unusually, I was constantly interrupted by people coming in to buy DVDs and booklets.  Mike Tinker also came in to look at the Camera Club exhibition and Archive Group treasurer Nancy dropped into to compare grandparenting fun over the Common Riding so I was not short of things to do and people to talk to.  I will finish off the Archive Group work later.

It had stopped raining shortly after I had got to the Welcome to Langholm office and with one or two brief exceptions, it stayed dry for the rest of the day without ever looking as though it might not rain at any time.

I had a walk round the garden when I got back but the very brisk wind made taking pictures hard.  Once again, it was pleasing to see that the miserable weather had not discouraged the bees from visiting.

bees on poppies

I like to think that some of the local honey that I bought at the producers’ market may have come from our garden.  There are other hives about though so it may not be true.

Thanks to the chilly weather, the garden is at a bit of a standstill at the moment, though a few dahlias are battling the elements.

Dahlias

A new and blue hosta has come to join the others.

hosta

I had lunch and decided to risk a heavy shower and go for a cycle ride.  In the event, the roads were running with water in places but it stayed dry.  It was blowing very briskly so I did one of my valley bottom hugging three lap runs to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back to get my twenty miles in.

It was hard work going uphill and against the wind.  Even on the flat in the more exposed sections, I was struggling to go at 10 mph. Conversely of course, the trip back down was a breeze!

My eye was caught on the way up the hill by a very pretty pink flower in the verge.

yarrow

I think it is yarrow and I found it hard to say whether the white flower next to it was the same plant or not.

yarrow

Nearby, there was some interesting lichen….

lichen

…which deserved a closer look.

lichen

You can’t get anything much more interesting than that, I am sure you will agree.

Although the river level in the Esk was not as high as I thought that it might have been after the heavy rain overnight, there was plenty of water flowing over one of my favourite cascades on the Wauchope.

Wauchope cascadeWauchope cascadeWauchope cascade

The power of the water, even in a small river like the Wauchope, is awesome.  I took good care not to get too close to the edge of the bank.

My bicycle was glad of a moment’s rest in the battle against the breeze.

Bloch field gate with bike

The field has been mowed for silage

As I came to Langholm for the last time, I whizzed past my South African correspondent, Tom, who was pedalling up the hill in the opposite direction with his niece.

I have fitted my new wing mirror to the bike….

wing mirror

It is held on by a velcro strap

…but it might need refitting as it was fine at low speeds going up hill but when I was going at speed back down the hill over the bumpy road, it dropped out of position a lot.  (If you have straight handlebars, getting one that fits into the bar end is the best solution.)

Almost as soon as I had got home, I went out again.  This time I was picking up Sandy in the car.  It was the first time that I have been to his new house.  It is very neat and well decorated but he has a few things still to come before it is completely done.

He has an interesting shed in his garden.

Sandy's shed

A piece of living history: ideal for a bicycle and a lawn mower.

Our plan was to drive a little bit up the road and pick wild raspberries.  As a plan, it worked out very well and we did just what we had meant to do.

My haul looked like this….

Sandy's shed

…almost exactly a pound of fruit and it quickly became three small pots of wild raspberry jam.  They will not last long.

As well as the raspberries, which were unusually good in quality, we saw a butterfly and it is doing duty as the flying bird of the day today.  It flew off soon after I took this picture.

ringlet butterfly

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows Justin half way up the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District  yesterday.  He was accompanying my brother Andrew to the summit and had paused to admire the view.  My brother took the picture.

Old Man of Coniston

I am going to break with habit and start today’s post with a picture that I took last night after I had posted yesterday’s offering.  Clear nights have been  a rarity lately so this view of the moon just breaking free of a layer of thin cloud was very welcome.

Moon

I have not been sleeping as well as I would like recently so it took me some time to get up and have a late breakfast this morning and Mrs Tootlepedal had long departed to sing with the church choir before I managed to get the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a traditional Sunday morning 40 mile run down the flat roads to Newtown and back.

I was very pleased to see that although Genghis the Grasscutter…

Canonbie by pass

…had slaughtered most of the orchids along the Canonbie by-pass, a few….

orchids

…had escaped his vengeful blades.

There was a westerly wind blowing with quite a bit of bite in it so I had to pay attention to my bicycling and didn’t stop to take any pictures until I paused for a breather and a banana on the bridge at Longtown on my way home.

The River Esk at Longtown

The River Esk at Longtown

When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had driven to Carlisle yesterday, we had noticed that the knapweed on the banks of Aucherivock diversion were beginning to make a show so I stopped just before I got to Langholm today to show the knapweed in action.

knapweed

Auchenrivock diversion wild flowers

Thanks to the hedges on the Brampton road sheltering me from the worst of the crosswind and the kindly wind helping me up the hill on my way home, I managed to knock a few minutes off last Sunday’s time for the same journey and averaged just under 16 mph for the trip, a very good speed for me these days.

When I got home, I took a look round the garden.

blackbird

It seemed to be full of blackbirds.

The roses were as gorgeous as ever…

roses

…and they have been joined by a buddleia…

buddleia

…which I am hoping will attract hordes of butterflies into the garden.

The poppies come and go quickly…

poppy seed head

…but I think that this new pretty little Fuchsia will last a bit longer.

Fuchsia

I went in to have a cup of tea and watch some of a very exciting stage of the Tour de France.  It got a bit too exciting and the strain of watching it got too much for me so I went back out into the garden for another look round and to pick some more blackcurrants.  I am hoping to make blackcurrant jelly if I have the patience to pick enough of them.

Mrs Tootlepedal has a red flowering potentilla which has been a bit disappointing after some early promise but it has just started to flower again.

potentilla

I hope that it continues to make progress.

The nasturtiums need no encouragement.

nasturtiums

More roses caught my eye.

roses

Lilian Austin and the revived Ginger Syllabub

I went back inside just in time to watch a most horrendous crash in the tour as the leaders whizzed down a hill.   They were going down a narrow and twisty road at 70 kph.  On my own ride earlier on I had gone down a wide and straight road at 50 kph and I thought that that was quite scary enough.  These tour cyclists are  very brave men.

I append a quote from Cycling News that gives you an idea of just how hard these fellows are.

 

“X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”

While the crash was dramatic and the injuries fairly serious, the team remains hopeful that Porte can be back in action before the season is over. If all things go to plan, then they say that he could be racing again by August.

The other person involved in the crash, got back on his bike and finished the race.  When he was asked if he was hurting at all, he replied that he couldn’t tell yet.

I take my hat off to them.

After the stage was over, I went back out to pick a few more blackcurrants and have a last look round the garden.

new white flowers

Two new white flowers

clematis

A clematis with a big smile

astrantia

A fly turning its back on the beautiful centre of an astrantia

bee on ligularia

A bee among the twists and turns of the ligularia

I didn’t have long to look around as it was soon time to get showered and changed, ready to go out for a meal with the ‘old man’ of the Coniston climb, my brother Andrew.  He is on a touring holiday with his wife’s nephew Justin who comes from New Zealand and he kindly took the three of us out to the Douglas Hotel for an excellent meal.    We enjoyed good food and stimulating conversation.  It was interesting to get a New Zealand perspective on our present political situation in the UK.

The non flying bird of the day is one of our resident blackbirds, taking a dim view of life this afternoon.

blackbird

Note: I wish that I had had my flying bird camera to hand during the afternoon when I saw a sparrowhawk arrive in the garden, do a handbrake turn and disappear into the middle of our neighbour’s holly tree.  A very large number of starlings made a hasty exit from the tree in short order.  It was an unusual sight as mostly the sparrowhawks swoop down and pluck their prey  off a feeder, a branch or the ground.  I have never seen one fly into the middle of a thickly leaved tree before.

 

 

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