Sunday, 5 August 2012

Saturday Morning Bike Ride.

I woke up early and it didn't seem worth trying to get back to sleep. On peeking out the window I could see it looked a nice morning, so I'm up and on the road for just after 6am.

The strong scent of himalayan balsam fills the air. The balsam grows profusley in the waterlogged ditches along this road as it climbs out the village.

I think the flowers look prettier en masse than they do close-up.

Ragwort shines out brightly against the wall and field.

Morning sky.

A little view from the top, over a pond and through pylon wires.

Swallows. I took loads of photos of them perched on the wires, taking off, darting after flies and returning. I find them fascinating. I wish we had them closer to home so I could watch them from the house.

The road below the swallows' perch.

Young cows on a hillside.

Here the countryside opens out.

The same view, taken just past the big tree in the previous photo. I wasn't sure which photo I preferred so included them both.

The "glacial erratic"...

...and the field to its right. The cut grass makes it look almost golden. I'm approaching a crossroads, I decide to turn right.

This week's thistle photo.

The ditches all around are chock full of wildfowers, a wonderful sight. I'll need to check my cycling posts from previous Augusts as I don't remember there being such an abundance before, perhaps this is just the first time I've been along these particular roads at this time of year.

Sheep dotted field. thistles and grasses.

Umbellifer from below.


And a different one from above (I'll need to figure out how to identify some of the more common umbellifers one day)

The foxgloves are still holding on to their last few bells.

Sheep on a slope, knapweed in front.

Meadowsweet (thank you to all who identified it from my last cycling post!) fronting another pretty view. I did find another mystery wildfower for this week which kept popping up all over the place but sadly I didn't take any photos good enough for indentification purposes.

Rosebay willowherb, distant tree mounds.

A few miles further on this is how the tree mound looks when viewed from the other side, silhouetted against the sun. I've decided to take the road up to a nearby reservoir, a different one to last week - this one lies at the end of a dead-end road up a steep hill.

Past an old abandoned cottage.
A hare! See bottom right of the photo. There are actually two of them but the second one is lying in a dip further left and is harder to see.

Interesting fence post halfway up the steep hill (I had to stop to get my breath back!)

Made it. I park the bike at the bottom of the steps...

...and this is the view once you reach the top of the steps.

The water is very still and smooth.

It's beautiful. Unfortunately there are also clegs (horseflies) around and I can feel one trying to nibble my leg so I don't hang around for too long.

Long enough though to find another interesting fence post.

Right, that's enough! Back on the bike and downhill for 2 - 3 miles (wheee!) till I reach the loch.

Gulls on the pontoon.

Colourful canoes.

Pretty views through the wildflowers

It's still only about 9am and is turning out to be a beautiful morning.

Under the cyclepath.

According to their tags the largest one is called Frisky.

A last view across the fields, then home.

Little red rowan leaf on the slab at the back gate.

As I put my bike away I spot the first non white butterflies we've seen in the garden this year. This one is a small tortoiseshell, but I only managed a photo of it with its wings closed.

As it's such a nice morning we make plans for a nice evening. We collect little branches for a camp fire later and put the tent up so that N and hubby can have a night under canvas. Marshmallows and sausages are bought. Two washing loads go out on the whirligig. And then it starts to rain. Heavily. For a long time. It's still raining today. Hubby ended up spending the night in the tent on his own as N didn't like it once it was dark. No marshmallows toasted, no sausages sizzled as no camp fire lit. Och well, another night, perhaps...

10 comments:

Louise said...

Such lovely photos, as always!

I've been thinking the same thing looking at all the lanes etc. here in central England - there so seem to be more wild flowers than I've ever seen before lining the lanes this year. Everywhere looks so pretty! I wondered if it was due to all the rain but have also wondered if I just failed to notice this in previous years, though I'm sure such lovely sights wouldn't go unnoticed!

I'm not a fan of himalayan balsam, the smell makes me feel queasy!

Toffeeapple said...

Shame about the tent, the marshmallows and the sausages but your bike ride was smashing. I've not seen Himalayan Balsam, it has an interesting flower.

itsjustperi said...

Another amazing ride, I think all the flowers are due to all the rain we had as I've been thinking the same thing. Pity about the camping, we've had thunder and lightning for most of the afternoon.

June said...

Lovely photos of your early morning bike ride. Like the silhouetted trees, canoes, Frisky and the butterly in particular!
Have a good week.
June

Julie said...

What a shame about the camping. Glad you got a good cycle in early though. I got soaked when I went out today and spotted loads of wildflowers too, seems to be a good year for them. Juliex

Faith said...

Wow, that trek up the steps was definitely worth it, what a spectacular view! I love the big sky in the one after the tree, skies as I like them.

Those calves look lovely, my hubby even stirred from his kip to pass comment on them!

Shame about the camping, we've had very heavy downpours today, my oldest is on a four night camp with the cubs I felt so sorry for them this morning, but they've not slung in the towel yet.

Lyn said...

lovely photos as usual, I think there are more wildflowers in the hedgerows this summer. I love your fence post shots too!
I have really bad reactions to horsefly bites so I am glad I wasn't with you on this ride!
xxx

Claire said...

Hey ANne, it must be so enjoyable out on the road so early enjoying the peace and quiet.....

Those calves are just gorgeous as are all your pis.....

Hope the day stayed fine so you could all get out and enjoy it.....

Claire :}

Mrs. Micawber said...

You've beat me on wildflower identification this week (I'm about 1 for 4 today). I've never heard of Himalayan balsam - sounds very exotic! It's also very pretty.

I took loads of swallow pics too - they're hard to resist. Your pink umbellifer is fascinating - we don't have any that colour here. Love the silhouette shot, the bunny photo (I can just see the other pair of ears sticking up), and the grass-topped post. AND the view from the top of your hill, and the canoes, and the calves - they look like prim little misses all in a row, wearing large yellow earrings.

Hope your weather improves!

Gillian said...

I love your bike ride photos. But seriously, what time were you up?? Those gorgeous morning light shots look like dawn is breaking! I would've gone downstairs and made a pot of tea and put the telly on. Bad me. ;-) x

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