10 February 2008

Very little to report tonight...

The weather has turned on its head again since last weekend. From Tuesday afternoon onwards there has been a distinct feeling of Spring in the air! The birds have started to sing much more - we have a Blackbird and a Robin that are even singing in the middle of the night! - the sun has been out for long periods of time and is starting to have a lot more warmth to it, trees and bushes are starting to bud. On Wednesday and Thursday evening I even saw a couple of bats flying around as I cycled home!

Yesterday afternoon the new car was given its second wash - the novelty obviously hasn't worn off just yet! If the weather stays as it is I may well go for three washes in three weeks next weekend! A trip over to Nottingham in the evening gave the car its first out of town run and also gave me the chance to play with the trip computer. Its surprising just how carefully you can drive when trying - successfully - to get an average of over 45 MPG! I'm not so sure I'll be keeping an eye on the MPG reading on a motorway trip to Scotland though!

This morning started rather early for a Sunday. I was up, dressed and eating breakfast by 7:00AM. By 7:40AM I was on my bike and heading off into the now rising sun on a two hour, 26 mile, cycle ride around South Derbyshire. The first few miles were a little tricky due to the overnight frost leaving some of the roads and paths icy and also because I was riding straight into a very bright, and very low sunrise!

Sunrise over the Trent & Mersey Canal near Swarkestone.

My route took me out to Swarkestone, then Kings Newton, on to Melbourne, along side Staunton Harold Reservoir and then into Ticknall. From there I rode through Calke Park, which looked beautiful covered in a heavy frost, over to Breedon on the Hill and finally joined the Cloud Trail at Worthington in Leicestershire. From there it was a quick 10 mile sprint back home!

Route of the ride - plotted on Google Earth!

Wildlife highlights along the route included 8 Hares chasing each other around a frost covered field, 3 Jays, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, a male Yellowhammer, numerous Fieldfare and Redwing, and dozens of Blackbirds, Robins and Song Thrush singing their hearts out. It may well have been cold (minus 2c when I set off) but it was one of the best mornings I've spent locally in a long time.

1 comment:

  1. Aahhh boys and their toys :o) glad you are enjoying all the fancy gadgets on your new car. The bike ride sounds fun. That is a beautiful sunrise. You have some of the nicest places for riding. You can keep the cold air though, I'm ready for spring.