The picture of the day was taken from my bedroom window when I woke up this morning.
This was more serious snow and it was settling. In a well organised way, it stooped shortly after I had finished my breakfast and the sun came out. As Mrs Tootlepedal was going to work and I had no tasks to do, I put on an amusing winter hat, packed up the cameras and set off to walk up the nearest hill. I had got as far as our gate end when I returned to put my Yaktrax on as the roads were rather icy under the new snow.
Now stepping put with confidence, I headed for the Meikleholm Hill.
As I left the track and headed onto the rough hillside, it was apparent that I was the only walker out and I had the great pleasure of putting my footprints into untrodden snow. This is always a treat and immediately takes you back to being ten years old and seeing your self as a great explorer. Luckily I did know where I was going.
The ground under the snow was well frozen and walking was generally good since the deep boggy patches could be skated over. The snow was knee deep in parts but light and fluffy so I made the top of Timpen without too much difficulty but with a good deal of heavy breathing.
The view from the top made the effort well worthwhile. The conditions were not ideal for photography as the hills were set against grey cloud behind them so you will have to take my word for the general niceness of being on top of Timpen just then.
I spent quite a bit of time on the top just enjoying being there and then I set about the task of going back down the hill. This is always a bit trickier for an old man than walking up.
By the time I got back to the house, the snow at that level had almost disappeared. I was pleasantly tired and just as I was sitting down to have lunch with Mrs Tootlepedal, who had come home from work, the phone rang. It was Sandy. He should have been at work but the bus to take him there hadn’t been able to get through because a lorry load of chickens had crashed north of the town and blocked the road for several hours.
He was keen to make use of the good day so instead of having a sit and a snooze after lunch, I found myself up at the moorland feeders with Sandy. We kept the cameras in hand and had plenty of birds to focus on.
A fluffy robin obligingly perched near the screen…
…and then popped onto the seed feeder.
There was a constant procession of members of the tit family to the nut feeder in front of us.
We were hoping that a woodpecker would come to this feeder but having checked it out briefly, the far feeder was the woodpecker’s choice today.
We left the feeders as it was getting quite chilly sitting still with the thermometer only just above zero and took the car down to the Hollows where we had a short moss fanciers’ walk along the old A7. Considering we were in the depths of winter, everything looked very green.
There was a bit of value left in the day when we got back into the car so we headed up to Ewes Hall, hoping to see some well snow covered hills.
We were rather disappointed as the south facing hills had obviously been getting the benefit of the sun shine. Still, it is always a pleasure to stop and look at the charming little church at Ewes.
We stopped just before we got to Langholm on the way home and caught the last of the sunshine.
We didn’t linger as a brisk wind was making us feel that a cup of tea would be a good idea. The little windmill which powers a mini weather station at the lay-by was whistling round.
The sun sank behind the hills…
…and we headed for tea and biscuits.
A quick check on my two cameras revealed that I had taken well over a hundred pictures so you have got off relatively lightly but congratulations if you have stayed the course thus far.
After our tea and biscuits, Sandy went off home and Mrs Tootlepedal arrived back, having spent all of this lovely day tied to her desk.
In the evening, Susan drove to Carlisle where we enjoyed our recorder playing as ever. We were a were a quintet today as one of our number who lives in the country had had to dig her car out of the snow to get to work in the morning and didn’t fancy doing it again to join us.
I did find time somewhere in the busy day to catch a glimpse of a flying chaffinch.