Today’s picture shows a small flock of chaffinches waiting to say goodbye to Mrs Tootlepedal and me as we left them to fend for themselves for a day.
They had to wait a bit because before we left, I went round the morning run with Dropscone. Having completed 1000 miles on his slower winter bike, he got out the speedy bike today and I had to pedal hard to keep up with him. I just managed.
While we were having our coffee afterwards, I asked his professional opinion (Dropscone was a baker to trade) on the results of my sourdough efforts….
…and he replied that he thought that it wouldn’t win many prizes for beauty. He left too early for it to cool down enough to try it but I can report that in spite of being far from perfect, it tasted good and I will certainly have another go.
We were visited by a jackdaw during our coffee break.
After coffee and a shower, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for Penrith to visit the wildlife photographic exhibition at the Rheged Centre nearby which Sandy had recommended to us. The drive down was uneventful and the exhibition turned out to be well worth a visit. It had a very wide selection of shots from the everyday to the fantastic and it took us some to time to look at them all.
The Rheged centre, built in the heart of an old lime stone works, is an upmarket retail opportunity for locally produced goods, combined with several eateries and a gallery so we were able to find sustenance for both the mind and the body while we were there.
It lies just on the northern edge of the Lake District so it seemed only sensible to combine the trip to the gallery with a trip to a lake. We chose Ullswater. It is a lake with one end in gentle country…
…and the other end in the mountains.
Needless to say, while we were there, the sun went in so I couldn’t get quite the sparkling pictures that I had hoped for. It was still very beautiful and there is a convenient path along the eastern edge of the lake which we followed for a short distance.
There were very few people about, no doubt due to the cold and the recent heavy snow, but the little lake steamer chugged busily up and down regardless.
This was where it started from.
This is the pier at Pooley Bridge. We parked the car nearby and walked along the lake. The first thing of note that we passed was this very small building.
I think that if there were more visitors about, it would probably offer a spending opportunity of some sort but it was lifeless today.
We walked on. The shore had many little bays and promontories.
We got some shelter from the wind thanks to this ridge on our left and the walk was very pleasant.
We passed a couple of nearly empty camping and caravanning sites. Business must be terrible at the moment. Certainly there were very few people about which made it better for us on a peaceful walk but a lot worse for the local businesses.
Just before we turned to go back to the car, there was almost an outbreak of sunshine at the bottom end of the lake but it didn’t come to anything.
We walked pack to Pooley Bridge by the road and a bullfinch in a roadside tree caught our eye.
There are bullfinches in and around Langholm but we have never had one in our garden.
Pooley Bridge is a neat little village but in the high season, it must be swamped with tourists. I thought that their parish church merited a picture.
As soon as we got into to the car to head north, the sun came out and it stayed with us until we got home. We made a diversion through Hesket Newmarket and Caldbeck to take in the scenery and stopped on top of the fell just south of Caldbeck to enjoy the view in both directions.
Looking south, I could see the northernmost fells of the lakes District…
And looking north, I could see the whole spread of the Solway plain with the snowcapped hills of southern Scotland in the distance.
The prominent wind farm is at Minsca, twelve miles from Langholm.
The view is huge and I would need to have a very fancy camera to convey it fully but I would happily go there just to enjoy it even if I didn’t have a camera with me.
I took another shot, trying to find Warbla, the hill from which yesterday I took of a photo of where I was standing today but although this one is in the general direction, the light wasn’t quite good enough for me to pick out the monument and make sure.
We drove home, avoiding Carlisle by using the new north western by pass and arrived back in Langholm thoroughly satisfied by a good afternoon out.
While we were making our tea, we were visited once again by the missel (mistle) thrush which has obviously found the garden a congenial place.
In the evening, I went to the Archive Centre with Jean and Sandy where our internet connection worked perfectly this week and we got a lot of useful work done. We retired to the Eskdale Hotel for our refreshment afterwards.
For today’s flying chaffinch, you get two for the price of one.