Muck and more

Today’s picture from my sister Susan is not of some Asian temple but the bar at a revamped hotel at St Pancras in London.

St Pancras Bar2

It is splendid but no more splendid than today’s weather was here. Dropscone and I had to shield our eyes from the brilliant sunshine as we pedalled round the morning route (very slowly).   After coffee and scones, I had no trouble in photographing birds to day.

siskin and goldfinch
Regular customers drop in

The light was so good that I actually left the kitchen window and walked down to the Church to see if I could catch a shot of the dipper.  Of course, with the light good and the right camera in my hand, there was no sign of the bird.  I took a couple of sunny pictures while I was there instead.

the suspension bridge

church butresses
If this is perilously close to an arty shot. I apologise.. but it did look very pretty.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I wondered if a visitor to our flat feeder was an immigrant northern blackbird.

curious blackbird

It doesn’t look like a local.  Can any bird wizard help us out?  (Dr Barlow, I am talking to you here.)

The chaffinches came and went as usual.

chaffinch arriving

Mrs Tootlepedal was at work during the morning and when she returned, we agreed that the day was worth a walk.  We decided to combine collecting a couple of buckets of manure with a trip to the top of Warbla.  There is a convenient track right to the top of the hill as our town television aerial is up there and needs regular servicing.

We dropped the buckets off on our way up the hill and we were struck by a canine role reversal when a collie became a retreiver and begged us to throw a stick for fetching…

collie retrieving

… while a labrador rather sniffily watched such childish pranks and stood guard at the door.


Just above the stables, we turned to look back at Castle Hill looming over us.

Castle Hill

It didn’t take long until we were able to look back down the track at it  with the town tucked in beneath.

Down the track

One of the best things about walking round Langholm is how quickly you can gain a bit of height and get an excellent view.   It wasn’t long before we were near the top of the hill.

Mrs Tootlepedal on Warbla

On the way up, I was able to look down to the valley bottom and see the road alongside the Wauchope which is part of our morning route.

Morning route

If you had been very lucky, you could have seen Dropscone and me whizzing down that hill this morning.

Once at the top of the hill, we could see Castle Hill in its proper place as a little island in a surrounding sea of bigger hills.

Castle Hill from Warbla

I took a picture just for Dropscone.  It shows Langholm Golf course in its entirety.

Golf course

You start playing in the bottom left corner and zigzag your way up the hill to the top right corner.  Then you come straight down the hill at the right hand side of the course and play back to the clubhouse along the bottom edge.  I know readers will find that very interesting.  (The green fees are very reasonable too.)

The town was spread out below us.

Langholm Bridge

Across the valley, I could see the wall up which I had walked a day or two agao.

wall on Whita

With the aid of my zoom lens, I could just pick out the bench on the top of the spoil heap which I had photographed then.

bench on Whita

It is just visible at the top of the brown patch of heather on the left hand side of the wall.

Then it was time to drop down the hillside, avoiding the track, on our way home.  Part of the ground here shows extensive workings.  I have often wondered what they are.

workings on Warbla

Nearby is a recently dug out quarry.  The stone was used for the timber haulage road which they built when they felled Gaskells Wood.

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it shows where the ice planed the top off the underlying strata during the ice age.

Mrs Tootlepedal examining her quarry

It has some curiously polished rock in the bank.

polished rock

Mrs Tootlepedal collected her muck, watched by an enthusiastic audience of sheep.

muck collecting

Here she is walking home along the very nice new path the Council have made along the park wall beside the Wauchope.

new path

As we crossed the Park Bridge, a rider forded the river behind us.

fording the Wauchope

In the evening I went to the Archive Centre with Jean and Sandy and we worked away as usual.  However, we were very disappointed when we got to the Douglas to find that our favourite beer was off.  It was a savage blow but we recovered well and sipped on other, inferior beverages instead.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

13 thoughts on “Muck and more

  1. Great pictures of a lovely place on a fine day in January….. thank you.
    The artsy one of the side of the Kirk is worth an honourable mention!

  2. I often think you are piling up days’ worth of photos and calling it one day, you get so much done! It’s a comforting theory, but since you blog every single day, I think there’s a flaw in it…

    1. I am sorry that I put so many pictures on but once I take them, I find it very hard to be so rude to them as to put them in the trash. I took about a hundred pictures today but only about 20 made the cut. It’s being old that gives me the time to footle about with a camera in hand.

  3. Wow, what a lot of pictures, I am glad that you had such a nice day, it gave me to oportunity to look at some excellent pictures of birds, scenery and the outside of a church.

  4. the blackbird.. well I can tell you that the difference in brown and black in the wing of the bird suggests it is a young bird (hatched last year) which is consistent with its blackish bill.. (birds with bright yellow bill and eye ring are older birds) the scandanavian visitors tend to arrive when the weather is very cold on the continent and suddenly instead of the regular visitors you see in the garden you will see three or four times as many birds (for example my parents in Durham have 4 regular blackbird visitors, last christmas, 2011 – the very cold patch, one day there were 12.. suggesting that the extras could be visitors from abroad). Given the mild weather of late, I would guess this is a resident young male blackbird.. but do let me know fi you have had a influx of blackbirds as this could suggest otherwise..
    the only way to know for sure is to have me and my nets to visit and ring your resident birds.. then you’ll know which are visitors!

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