Over the hill and not very far away

Today’s picture is another from my sister Mary’s morning walks round Kenwood.

Kenwood Mar 23rd 2012 023

Fine weather greeted us again this morning and Mrs Tootlepedal was up early as she was going to an event at Newcastle Racecourse with some friends.  It was a trade fair of house and garden stuff with food and plants on the side.  She went off after breakfast and left me to stare forlornly out of the window in search of birds.  In the space of a week we have gone from about a hundred every day to around ten to twenty and those mostly chaffinches.

Other birds appear from time to time.  I caught this rather unsettling picture of an apparently faceless blue tit.

headless blue tit

female sparrow
A female sparrow on the fat balls.
hopeful jackdaw
A jackdaw watches them wistfully.
roof top sparrow
A sparrow sings lustily from the very top of our house.
Two blackbirds
A pair of blackbirds run the gauntlet of some wire netting on the compost heap.

Even the chaffinches were few and far between.

chaffinches
I didn't have to refill the feeders today.

I couldn’t find a new flower in the garden today but the scillas are thriving.

scillas

Over the past few days, even though the distances have been short, I have done quite a lot of cycling compared with recent weeks and I felt rather tired this morning.  I felt it would be a pity to waste such a fine cycling day though and finally, after lunch, I managed to haul myself into my cycling gear and get the speedy bike out.  Although it was a bit hazy, it was very warm by March standards and I was able to don a pair of natty shorts for the first time this year.

Thus stylishly clad, I set out up the Wauchope road with a flexible plan of action.  It soon became clear that I wasn’t up to a long ride so I settled down to a modest pace and stopped from time to time to take pictures.  The first was at the wood at the Bigholms which the forest men have left in a terrible mess.

Bigholms wood
Mrs Tootlepedal was shocked when we drove past this a day or two ago.

It is certainly not a pretty sight and is in stark contrast to the view on the other side of the road.

Bigholms

I went on over Callister to Dunnabie and then turned south to Eaglesfield.  I saw a field covered in strange white dots and stopped to look more closely.

seagulls with strong stomachs
These are seagulls with strong stomachs. There must be a lot of worms about as they were all on the ground.

There was a more tasteful spring scene in the next field.

sheep with twin lambs

At Eaglesfield I turned back towards Gair and once past the old schoolhouse, I stopped again to admire a fine show of yellow gorse by the roadside.

gorse

The hazy weather made it a bad day for taking in the lovely views on this ride…

hazy hills

…but it was very pleasant being out in the warm with only a light wind to ruffle my exposed knees.

I stopped once again to add to my collection of bridges.

Hotts bridge
This is the bridge over the Hotts burn near the aptly named Hottsbridge School.

My final stop was to admire a wall of daffodils just outside Langholm.

Old manse

The trip worked out at 27 miles and took me two hours as I was trying hard not to hurry but I was still pretty tired when I finished.  I made myself a cup of tea and some toast and went out to rest my weary bones in the garden and enjoy the late afternoon warmth.  It is not often that you can do that round here in March.

And that was enough for me for the rest of the day.  I had a bath and then welcomed Mrs Tootlepedal back from Newcastle.  The welcome was even more enthusiastic when I found that she had brought me home some prize winning cheese from the show.

After tea, I dispensed telephone sympathy to my younger son and my oldest sister who are both subject to joint pains.  The conversations were along the lines of, “Oh dear…of dear…oh I know…oh dear…oh that sounds bad…etc…etc.”  I felt quite a lot better when I had finished and I hope they felt well sympathised too.

Today’s chaffinch is a female chaffinch.

female chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “Over the hill and not very far away

  1. I really enjoy these little excursions out into the countryside, especially the rambles through farmland. I’m surprised at the clear-cutting just there, but then I don’t know how your forestland is managed. Anyway, that looks more like the beginnings of turning that property to a different use altogether. I’ll be interested to learn what happens.

  2. I felt that your blog was particularly well written today despite the lack of birds.

    Well done for hauling yourself out on the road and thanks for another charming bridge.

    Your sympathy re aching joints was well received thank you, I hope yours are easing a bit today.

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