Cupboard love

Today’s picture shows Whita Hill at eleven o’clock this morning.  The long shadows show how low the sun sits in our sky at this time of year, even when it is nearly noon.

Whita in November

On the plus side, at least the sun was actually out.  It was a nearly windless day with the temperature well below freezing. Mrs Tootlepedal was just about to go to the Health Centre to do a little catching up with the files when the joiners arrived to start the final stage of work on the new kitchen.  We had a hurried breakfast to get out of their way and then I retired to sit as near to a radiator as I could as the house was rather cold because of the open doors that the joiners needed.

There was no chance of bird photos because their van was parked slap outside the kitchen window so in the end, I put on some warm clothes and went out for a walk.  I wasn’t sure where I would go as I wanted to see how icy the paths were but an early test showed that they were quite walkable in safety and I set off up the track to the top of Warbla.  As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, it was a sparkling day.

I was quite snug in woolly hat, scarf and cycling gloves but the sheep in the fields looked a bit chilly.

Sheep on Warbla
They were catching the sun as best they could

As I walked up the track, my eye was caught by the few solitary trees left on the bare hillside.

Tree on warbla

Tree on warbla

The hills have lost the green colouring of spring and summer and are now showing various shades of purple and brown.  Mrs Tootlepedal loves this colour as  much as any other time of year.


I ploughed up the track wondering if I had enough steam to get to the top but in the end found that I had.  I was very glad that I managed to reach the summit because the view on the other side was as breathtaking as it was surprising.  This was what I had been seeing so far.

Langholm and Ewes
Looking north, back the way I had come.

And this is what I saw from the top.

Lake District
Looking south across the Solway towards the Lake District

The whole of the Solway Firth between the hills on the opposite side of the water and me was filled with mist.

Solway mist

There could hardly have been a greater contrast between north….

Ewes hills

…and south.

Across the solway plain

To the south, a flat sea of mist with islands…

Solway mist
I like the little puff of man made smoke poking through the natural version on the right of the picture.

To the north, a rolling sea of hills.

Ewes hills

Looking down from the hill, I admired the huge new pond created by the incessant rain of summer in the field below.

Murtholm pond

I got ready to go back down the hill but I couldn’t resist one last look to the south.  This was an occasion when a wide angled lens would have helped to give a better picture of the scene

Solway mist

Beside me on the top of the hill stood the mast that brings TV to Langholm as well as providing mobile phone connections and who knows what else.  If function is beauty, this is beautiful.

Warbla mast

I am still learning about the best way to use my camera and before I left the top of the hill, I took a photo of the march fence disappearing into the distance.  It is not very striking in itself but it does have a better depth of field than I usually manage.

Warbla fence

In keeping with my love of mossy things, I took a picture of this old trough at the side of the track up to the Stubholm on my way home.  The running water shows that it was cold but not terribly cold.

Stubholm trough

Not long after I got home, the joiners went for their lunch and the birds got a good look at the feeder at last…and  I got a chance to look at a few birds.

They were soon queueing for places at the feast
A brambling toppling into action while a chaffinch waits
greenfinch and bramblings
Two bramblings hoping the the greenfinches in position will let them have a go.

I had to look twice at the next picture to work out what was odd about it.

reverse chaffinch
It looks curiously like an illustration out of a book.

The chaffinch in the centre has turned its head so far round that it seems to be flying towards us but this is not the case.  We are looking at the back of its body and wings as it is facing away from us.  You can see the difference by looking at the bird on the right which is facing towards us.

brambling and chaffinches
A brambling and a female chaffinch wait on the plum tree while a male chaffinch sets off in the hope of a seed.

When the joiners had finished for the day, Mrs Tootlepedal at last went to work and I went up to do a little housekeeping at the Archive Centre.  We cycled up and Mrs Tootlepedal said that she found the complete silence from my belt driven bike as we went along was rather creepy.  I liked it.

In the evening, I drove Susan down to Carlisle and we played with our recorder group.  One of our members was off at a jazz club so we played quintets with variable success.  The fact the two of our players had forgotten their music glasses may have had something to do with this.  It was very enjoyable none the less.

The flying bird of the day is a brambling.

Flying Brambling

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Cupboard love

    1. It was snow. The hills would have been forested at one time long ago and there is some doubt about whether it was man or climate change that made them disappear. They are kept down by the grazing sheep now but they would soon grow scrub if the sheep were taken off.

  1. There’s a certain color scheme to the light on the hills I think. It seems very specific to that landscape, and has a dreamlike quality. It’s a place that repays close attention.

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