Sunday, 28 April 2013

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

A sunny day as promised. Off and away just before 8am.

We have lots of daffodils still blooming here. This was one of many brightening up a nearby farm lane.

 Farm sign with daffodils. Look at how blue the sky is!

 And how green the fields are becoming, at last.


A favourite little view, this time with a black cow grazing in the distance and a pheasant strolling along the top right of the very green field in the foreground.

 Looking past pylon wires to the pond.

One of many favourite trees, frequently photographed.

 Another farm sign with daffodils.

Looking down the road towards the rock.

 Now past the rock and looking back up to where I took the previous photo.

 The tree mound and red gate post, this week with added bike.

 Bare branches and blue sky. The buds on most of the trees are just about ready to burst open.

 Wonky fence and barn with two crows flying in between.

 Loch in the distance, cows to the right and a patch of celandines on the verge.

Lets have a closer look at the celandines first, so pretty and somehow much more noticeable this year than in previous years, perhaps because Spring is being a little teasing in it's arrival.

 Now the cows, posing beautifully.

 Leaf buds ready to pop.

 A lovely line of trees sweeping up the hill.

 Speaking of hills... I have to say it felt steeper than it looks.

 I pause near the top to catch my breath, and to take a photo of the trees perfectly positioned at the bend.

 More trees, hedges and celandines. Sheep and lambs dot the adjoining fields.

 These sheep were being particularly noisy, what a racket they were making.

A view over a nearby hill.

 A face in the road.

Soon after this point I reach the cycle path. If heading vaguely west at the beginning of a ride, I often like to cycle out along the roads, taking my time to admire the views and following various and numerous different routes along the vast network of country lanes we are lucky to have. However, when it's time to turn home I like to "zoom" along the cycle path, enjoying the feeling of exercising at a steady pace. I don't usually stop for many photos once homeward bound along the cycle path, though today I did, four times...

 The first time was to admire the clouds over the loch.

The second time was to photograph this gate and tracks.

The third time was to look at the castle. I took lots of photos of the castle but this was my favourite. I like the balance of the castle on the left and the large tree on the right and the backdrop of white clouds and blue sky.

The fourth and last time was to photograph one of the many pussy willows brightening up the branches along the cycle path.

So, a slightly longer ride then most recent ones have been. I did just over 20 miles, up till now this year I've been doing about 15. It's still not especially far, and I don't go fast (I was overtaken several times on the cycle path) but it feels good to be out enjoying the fresh air and taking some exercise. I get such a lot of pleasure from seeing the beautiful landscapes and nature that surrounds us, even here in a part of the country not famed for it's beauty and ignored by visitors keen to reach the more dramatic Scottish landscapes and prettier towns elsewhere. For some reason capturing it all "on film" gives me the most satisfaction, even with my slightly defective little compact camera. I like that I have this personal record of the world around me as it changes over the years. Very satisfying.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The End of the Ends is Nigh...

I was at craft night at a friend's last night. Homemade cheesecake & brownies, yum!

You can see my granny blanket bottom left, I've been diligently sewing in the ends for a while now. I keep the blanket rolled up as I'm working on it and hadn't checked my overall progress for a while, till today...

...and I'm almost done! Just a few more squares (see top left), should have them finished very soon.

Four legged blanket monster. Notice the finger poking through, and the wellies.

I like this effect, there'll be more photos like this when it's properly finished I'm sure!

A couple of peeks at the front.

There it is on the washing line. Next I need to decide what kind of border to finish with...

But look, our grass is now green, hurrah! We've still not had any warm weather as such, but we've had lots of sunny spells and it's not too bad once you're out the wind.

Sunny (but not warm!) weather is forecast again for tomorrow, hmmm, where'll I go on my bike this week...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

A sunny morning, though cold. Off at about 7am...

Some blossom spotted whilst passing a tree in the garden on the way to the shed. This tree (some kind of copper leafed ornamental thingmy) is usually early to flower, I guess it still is in that there is no sign of blossom on any other flowering tree yet...

Past the stone circle...

...a fairly recent creation, not at all ancient.

Heading up the hill towards the electricity sub station, hence the abundance of pylons.

Sheep fleece.


I do still like bare branches against blue sky very much...

...but some leaves would be nice!


Looking back. Larks are singing.

Cows on the horizon.

The smudge in the middle is a lark. I was suddenly aware of louder than normal lark song so I quickly looked up and spotted the lark doing his vertical climb. "Male skylarks can be spotted rising almost vertically from farmland, grassland, salt marshes and moorland and effortlessly hovering and singing from a great height before parachuting back down to earth. Long complicated, beautiful song-flights can last for up to an hour and the birds can reach 300m before descending." (read more here) It was something I'd never seen before, I felt very lucky to be able to watch it.

I took this photo of the view where I'd stopped. By the time I looked back at the lark he was so high I could no longer see him, though I could still hear his beautiful song.



A look up at the canopy of...

 ...the avenue.

 A nice reflection of the tree in the puddle.

They came over to say hello. Another new experience for today, usually they run off when I stop for a photo.

I like the line of trees om the horizon and the puddle and wall in the foreground.

 The road ahead.

 Solitary tree, wispy clouds.

I think the grass is looking a little greener than last time I was here?

More lovely cirrus clouds. I also like the landrover tracks up the hill.


The top of a hill. It's effectively downhill from here till the cycle path. Towards the bottom of the hill there is a blackthorn patch; I had wondered if I might find some blossom there, but there was none. Instead I enjoyed the free-wheeling and didn't stop for any more photos. I was glad of my gloves! It's still cold here. Spring?


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