Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Irving, shows the Black Esk reservoir which provides us with our drinking water. I have often meant to visit it but never have so perhaps this will spur me into action.
We had another frosty morning heralding another beautifully calm and sunny day and we tried to make good use of it. For some mysterious reason, I was feeling a little tired in the morning so I needed a leisurely breakfast which morphed into a leisurely cup of coffee and a look out of the window…
…before I went off for a little walk while Mrs Tootlepedal put a second coat of paint on the bathroom door. (It is looking very smart.)
There are no new flowers on the go as the frosty mornings are delaying things a bit but the drumstick primulas are looking finer every day.
Taking my walking poles in hand, I left the garden and walked up onto Meikleholm Hill and then, having found that my legs were in working order, I went through the gate at the top of the hill…
… and continued to the top of Timpen at which at 326m offers fine views.
I was in windmill country and I could see not only the long established Craig turbines but some of the new ones on the Ewe Hill wind farm peeping over the horizon behind.
To the north I could see the Ettrick Hills….
…and to the south, the same Lake District hills that I had enjoyed on my bike ride yesterday.
Down below, on one side of the hill, the Esk river wound through the valley.
…and on the other, the town lay peacefully in the sun.
As I stood there, I was delighted to be serenaded by the constant singing of larks. It was a privilege to be alive.
On my way down, I noticed a tree which was doing its best to get a little shelter in the lee of a slope….
…and a bright dandelion beside the track into the town.
When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal had finished her painting and was going three rounds with a overgrown rose that needed pruning.
We retired indoors for lunch and then put her fairly speedy bike and my slow bike into the back of the car and drove off to Longtown.
Our aim was an eleven mile circular drive up the hill behind the town and then back down again.
We hoped for quiet cycling and great views and got both……as a nice little bridge too.
We had a bit of work to do to get our views….
…but it was worth it.
My camera has many virtues but taking pictures of extensive views is not among them so you will have to take my word for it. This is the view looking back towards Langholm.
The view towards the Lake District and the Pennines was magnificent to the eye but rather hazy from a camera’s point of view…
…but the prospect to the south and west was enough to take the breath away (though cycling up the hill may have contributed to this).
Once we had enjoyed the views, we were able to scoot back down to Longtown in a very relaxed way.
We were cycling along without gloves and an indication of just how pleasant the day was can be gained from the fact that Mrs Tootlepedal suddenly exclaimed, “I can smell coconut.”
As we don’t have any palm trees around, it meant that the sunshine was warm enough to get the gorse to release its very coconutty aroma. Sure enough, there was the gorse in the hedge beside the road.
It was almost like a summer day by this time and the temperature was in the mid teens.
We thoroughly enjoyed our outing and and I hope that we get many more cycle rides together as the year goes on. The cup of tea and a biscuit when we got home went down very well too.
I had enough energy left to do a little lawn mowing (or moss pressing as we call it at this time of the year) and some compost sieving. Mrs Tootlepedal’s gardening had left the stock of sieved compost rather low so I will need to get some more done soon.
During the day we had two less common bird visitors, a greenfinch in the bright morning and a coal tit as the light went down in the evening.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to the local operatic society’s performance of Sweet Charity and I had a quiet sit down.
Rather annoyingly, instead of the clear blue sky which we should have enjoyed, the atmospheric conditions revealed just how many aeroplanes fly over us and the the sky was full of drifting con trails all day. At least the passing pilots had the good manners to sign off in style as the sun went down.
I took a closer look.
The flower of the day is a daffodil…
…and the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.