Saturday 17 November 2012

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

A later than normal start this morning, off at about 9:30am. I'm keen to keep to quiet roads, one of the reasons I like to set off early is to avoid what little traffic there is. I follow a favourite route out the village and soon join the country lanes.

I always forget how lovely the countryside looks at this time of year, till it comes round again. I (almost) never tire of admiring the patterns bare branches make against the sky - by April I'm very keen to see leaves again!

Most of the leaves are now gone from the trees.

Favourite views take on a new look with the trees now bare.

A crow on a branch. I like the little sihouetted dots of berries.

Another view across more fields. Rain is falling on the hilltops.

Hmmm, now which way to go. I decide to follow a "private" farm road which will take me to the woods.

Past the remains of the 500 year old chapel.

Oak leaves  stick to my tyres.

Scarlet berries glow in the hedges..

The lane twists beautifully.

Another striking tree, at the end of the lane I reach the woods.

And discover a new sculpture. I like it! Toadstools, a badger, mice, birds, squirrels and... top it all an owl. I'm glad I came this way today, I notice a sign on the gate as I leave to say the woodland will now be closed till the New Year to allow for path construction and maintenance.

Now along past the loch.

Oak trees are the last trees here to hold on to their leaves.

The morning is turning out most pleasant, I decide to keep going a little further despite only originally intending to go a short ride.

I'm glad I do keep going as when I reach the castle the clouds are looking very dramatic and I get my favourite photo of the ride.

Tyre tracks in the grass. I like the bright copper hedges in the distance and how they match the colour of the gate.

Sheep with enormous red spots.

Bike shot.

Now I've left the cycle path and am on a new-to-me road. I'm heading north, away from the sunshine. More flaming beech hedges, very neatly clipped.

Great hedge and tree shapes on the horizon.

Shortly after this I get stuck behind some very slow horses and then take a wrong turning which results in me joining an A road, though it's for a very short distance and is not busy at all. I don't stop for any more photos...

...except this one of the teasel back down at the loch. It's quite a big clump of teasel, two seed heads find their way into my rack bag to come home with me and are now in a little vase.

So, it's been a little while - I didn't make it out for a bike ride the previous two weekends. There's no ominous reason, I have just been busy and haven't managed to get the housework done during the week and considered a couple of weekend catch-up sessions necessary. I will share more on what I've been up to soon....

Enjoy what's left of the weekend, I'm hoping to get some bulbs planted tomorrow. Gardening! It's been a while...

Friday 2 November 2012

Satruday morning Bike Ride

Last Saturday - a morning of frozen puddles, long shadows and many autumnal trees with backgrounds of beautiful blue skies.

 A view from the shed, the windows in the house aren't quite this dirty.

The leaf colours this year have been wonderful.

A sheep is watching. I like the tree silhouettes on the brow of the hill.

 Dry stane dykes criss cross the land.

 The first of many branches against blue.

Looking back over a long bike shadow. I had to stop several times for breath (and photos) while cycling up this hill. More exercise and less cake consumption in order methinks.

 Farm and trees.

 Little ponies and little loch.

Numerous tree and sky shots coming up now. The conditions were just perfect. As you will see, I'm heading towards the avenue, the first time I've managed to visit at this time of year on a good day...


 Another bit of bike shadow, this time over a frozen puddle. A couple of times I got off the bike and walked as the ice stretched right across the road. In general the roads were dry and clear though, as was the weather - just gorgeous!

Even some of the sheep are autumn coloured.

I probably only did about 10-12 miles. I got cold while stopping to take so many photos up on top of the hills and as I'd reached my objective of seeing the tree avenue I was happy to come home, my camera full of lovely autumn pictures like some kind of harvest to be savoured over the dark winter days to come.

Even the garden was looking good in the clear golden sunlight.

Rowan (I'll need to check which variety, it's late to leaf and has quite big leaves which turn a beautiful firey orange in Autumn, I planted it about 5 years ago)

A robin amongst the holly berries.

Garden view from the shed.

 View across chimney pots as I'm heading down the garden.

Garden view looking back up to the shed.

We've had quite a few windy and wet days since I took these photos and a lot of the leaves are now blown from the trees. I'm glad to have been able to capture a little of the glory of Autumn while it lasted.


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