Up bright and early this morning I wait till the rain stops before starting out at about 8am. As you will see, we have none of your blue sky heatwave nonsense hereabouts. Big sigh...
I pedal up the long hill out the village through the dripping tunnel of trees. It's always a pleasure to reach the top, it seems a different world up here - so peaceful and with a wonderful sense of spaciousness.
Behind this pretty young cow you can just make out the clouds lying along the strath. I was looking forward to photographing these not too far along from here, but I stop to collect some more brambles and by the time I've filled my tub the clouds are all around and it's raining gently.
I am aware of the folklore warning about picking blackberries after Michaelmas Day. It is claimed that any unpicked berries after Michelmas belong to the Devil. Allegedly, when Lucifer fell from Heaven he landed in a bramble bush and was so angry that "he then cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, spat and stamped on them and made them unfit for consumption". In reality this story stems from the fact that as Autumn progresses maggots and early frosts will likely have spoiled many of the berries. In actual fact this lore relates to Old Michelmas Day which is the 10th Oct (as opposed to the 29th Sept), so I'm fine and the berries looked much the same as when I picked my first tubfull two weeks ago.
Rain soaked fields.
Beautiful twisty bare trees.
I like the contrast of the long yellowing grass in the foreground against the emerald greens of the rest of the landscape.
These sheep were trying to avoid getting their photograph taken.
Hawthorn berries, each adorned with a gleaming raindrop.
Tree mounds arched by silhouetted branches.
Another lovely tree silhouette. The red gate post is now visible again, in the summer it is hidden under a leafy blanket.
A solitary thistle.
I'm heading up a steep hill (so steep I actually walk a little of the way, the shame...). I've not been this way since just over a year ago, I'm sure I was able to cycle all the way up the hill back then.
Pylons descend into the mists.
Nearly at the top...
...made it! I'm at Kaims Reservoir (here is a link to how it looked last Sept)
A moss topped stone wall...
...curves round the edge of the reservoir.
...and wet. It starts to rain quite heavily and the ground is already waterlogged so I decide not to follow the track round on this visit.
Back down the steps to the bike.
A last soggy view before heading for home. The rain becomes torrential. I make sure my camera is tucked away safely in my bar bag and take the most direct route which is along the cycle path. I end up soaked to the skin. Each time I press a foot down on the pedals I can feel water squelching up through my toes. Water is dripping from my elbows inside my jacket. What a pleasure it is to reach home and get dry again.
I check the bramble haul. There are fewer millipedes and no spiders this time but there are quite a few of these teeny tiny snails, now removed.