Mist out

Today’s picture, ruthlessly plundered from the NZ blog of Maisie’s mother, shows a fashion parade by her new chooks.


We had another calm, sunny day today.  To make up for this, it was even colder than yesterday and the temperature hardly got above zero even in the middle of the day.

It was the day for the annual general meeting of the Archive Group so I was able to put the chilly morning to use by preparing the necessary papers for the meeting.  I was also able to take some time for constructive staring as well.  There’s a surprise.  First before coffee…


A chaffinch looks appalled at the sight of a wood pigeon coming to eat all the fallen seed.

There were chaffinches perching on frosty plants all over the place.

frosty chaffinches

One chaffinch made an unsuccessful bid for the flying bird of the day spot.


While a goldfinch kept warm by fighting.


…and then after  coffee, I looked at perching birds.

chaffinch and goldfinch
The sun was picking their colours out brilliantly

Sometimes the birds perched in pairs.


After lunch, I wrapped up well and put the little sandycam in my pocket and set off for a walk.  I was amazed to see several birds splashing about in the dam behind the house.  They seemed to include blackbirds, starlings and chaffinches.   It made me shiver just to watch them.  You can see from this picture of our front hedge just how chilly it was where the sun didn’t reach.


I didn’t take my big camera with me as I was going to walk up a steepish hill and I felt that I could do without any extra weight.  I also felt that I would not meet anything as good as the misty scenes from yesterday.

I headed up Jimmy’s Brae and onto the Meikleholm hill.  It doesn’t take long before you begin to get splendid views behind but I plugged on without taking any pictures until I reached the summit of Meikleholm Hill and I could see my final target in front of me.

Timpen or Mid Hill
The trig point can just be seen.

As I neared the top, I turned and looked back.

Looking back at Meikleholm Hill

To my surprise, the mist was present  to the south once again.  I got to the trig point on the top of the hill and was rewarded for my little climb by some spectacular views. First I looked north.

You can see a faint line of snow capped hills in the distance
The Esk valley
There is a faint wisp of mist showing the course of the River Esk

There are some lovely ridges to walk along round Langholm.  They offer an ever changing set of prospects as they are not big hills and the ridges give you views to both sides.  These pictures were taken only a mile from the centre of town.

I looked to the east.  You can see the road winding up the side of Whita Hill to the spot where Annie took her splendid rainbow picture on Tuesday.  The prominent hill in the background is Tinnis.  Beyond Tinnis you can catch a glimpse of the hills of Liddesdale.


Then I turned to the south.  The mist was magical.

solway mist again
I was looking over the shoulder of the hill that I stood on yesterday.

There were few people in the world who were more content than I was at this moment.

I was able to look down at the town of Langholm, tucked under its four hills, 750 feet below.

The Muckle Toon

The hills are not high (I was at 326 metres, about 1000ft) but they are very steep sided even though the ridges are gentle.

I could look almost straight down to the Castleholm. It looked very chilly in the shadows.

I spent a while admiring the views before setting off back down the hill again.  I trod with great care as there was a lot of icy patches so I couldn’t look around as much as I would have liked.  I did pause at the wall before Meikleholm Hill.

stileA fine stile has been provided for walkers.

Sadly I couldn’t use it because the steps were covered in ice and I had to make do with the gate.

As I crossed the wall, I spotted a kenspeckle local figure, also out walking.  He wrote articles in the local paper for many years under the soubriquet of ‘Wanderer’ and this is his natural habitat.

Wanderer wandering

While I was talking to him, I looked up and got a lesson in perspective.  The walking guidepost in the foreground is two foot high, the monument in the background is 100 feet high.

Langholm Walks guidepost
The post is for one of the Langholm Walks

From then on it was all downhill and I was soon home and sitting down to tea and toast.  My walking is not very good but when you can get such a reward for a two mile stroll, it is worth a little twinge in the knees.

In my absence, the joiners had returned with more cupboard doors.  Mrs Tootlepedal is now in the process of painting these and when they are hung, we will be finished.  Oh bliss.

The AGM of the Archive Group was well attended and the business was dispatched in good time without fuss.  The group is a pleasure to work with.

An already excellent day was finished by a most enjoyable session of baroque recorder sonatas with Mrs Tinker, mother in law of the chook owner,  at the electric harpsichord.  We were both in good form and some of the pieces might even have sounded recognizable to their composers.

This brambling just beat the chaffinch for the coveted post of flying bird of the day.

flying brambling

(As always, some of the pictures may be worth a quick click)

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Mist out

  1. When you said, “There were few people in the world who were more content than I was at this moment” I realised why I value your blog so much.

    1. They are all owned by one large landlord and the lack of development that his family have permitted over the years has been a blessing and a curse simultaneously.

  2. Well, you have excelled yourself again, wonderful views in every direction. It gives me great pleasure to start my day by reading your blog over my porridge.

  3. More great hill pictures. There is great satisfaction from regarding beautiful vistas that one earns by walking to a height. I am going to have to dust the electrons off a few of the pictures in my computer from my last trip home to my own hills.

    Thank you for adding a word to my vocabulary: kenspeckle. I look forward to using it.

  4. That was an exceptionally beautiful walk. The photo of Wanderer will stay with me for a long time.

    I was very taken with the hens, too.

  5. I love the picture of the hens. Is chooks the term for hens, or is it specific to one strain of chickens. It’s a fun word and I think I’ll adopt it. We will hope to have a brood of them in the fall next year.

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