Going round in circles

Today’s picture is just to prove that there is a tiny bit of colour in the garden even it is rather biassed towards blue.

garden flowers

There was not much colour as Dropscone and I cycled round the morning run but it is slowly getting a bit warmer and today the wind was in a kinder direction so we didn’t mind too much.  Dropscone had noticed a good show of daffodils near Canonbie which had cheered him up.  I was feeling a lot better than in recent days and with the favourable wind, we zipped round the circular ride much faster than I have managed for ages.  We munched on our scones in mellow mood.

The garden bird scene has not altered yet and the feeder is as busy as ever.  The waiting room in the plum tree was busy too.


And the siskins were still in fighting mood.

chaffinch and siskin

I had to go to our corner shop for some bacon and on the way back, I checked up on our local ducks.

Duck pilates

A siskin was on the feeder when I came back into the garden and wasn’t going to let me interrupt his seed eating.


A blackbird equally stood its ground.


Siskins and blackbirds are the least likely of our garden birds to move off when I come near them.

I made myself a nourishing pot of lentil soup for my lunch and then I went and picked up Sandy and we set off on another circular tour, this time by car.  As usual, we were hoping to catch a photo opportunity or two as we went.  In spite of the fact that we drove through scenic countryside on quiet back roads for the most part, the weather was hazy, the sun remained behind the clouds and the country was washed out as far as colour goes so good shots were hard to find.

We took a picture or two of one of the prehistoric stone circles that we passed on our way to Eskdalemuir.

The Loupin Stanes
The Loupin Stanes, so called because brave young people leapt between the two biggest of them in more modern times.

This was the view of Eskdale vanishing into the haze from the same spot.

Upper Eskdale

We stopped the other side of Eskdalemuir to marvel at the striking juxtaposition of Scottish scenery and Tibetan religious architecture at the Samye Ling monastery.

This is a stupa I am told.
Front gate
This is the ornate front gate

And this is Buddha meditating under the protection of Mucalinda.


There is a very highly decorated temple on the site but we didn’t visit it today.  We drove on up into the hills and crossed the county boundary at 1000ft before descending to Ettrick.

Although the scenery is beautiful, the washed out colour didn’t tempt us to stop and we turned off at Tushielaw and continued on the road to Hawick before a small bridge caught our eye.

Bridge on B711

Now we were climbing again and this was the road behind us.

I love these unfenced hill roads.

Our main target was the Alemoor reservoir, where we were hoping for a good selection of bird life to watch.  Our first sight of the water was encouraging with a heron flying lazily off as we approached…


…but further inspection only provided us with a pair of coots and two swans…

One of the swans

…and two mallards which immediately flew off.


…and that was it.

The road crosses a bridge through the middle of the reservoir so we pressed on to see of the other half would be more productive…

looking south from the bridge
Looking south from the bridge.  Not a bird in sight.
Looking north from the bridge
Looking north from the bridge. Still nothing doing.

The weather was grey and the day wasn’t quite warm enough to tempt us to stay very long so we drove on down towards Hawick until we were stopped by a traffic lights at the bridge over the River Teviot just before we joined the main road back to Langholm.  A vast construction greeted us.

Bridge tunnel

They have built a tunnel over the bridge.  They are going to work on the bridge and the road that we were on will be closed for a time.  This will be massively inconvenient for the residents along the road so they are obviously ensuring that the work on the bridge won’t be interrupted by bad weather.

Once across the bridge, we headed for home having enjoyed our tour but rather disappointed that it hadn’t yielded better photographs.

In the evening, I went to the church where Mrs Tootlepedal and her choir were rehearsing for their concert tomorrow.  I was there to check that there would be room for our recorder group to play.  This was satisfactorily resolved and I went off to join Sandy in the Archive Centre.  Here we went round in circles again as we had the greatest difficulty in getting both computers connected to the internet and thus a good deal less work was done than should have been.  We went to console ourselves with a drink in the Eskdale only to find that our beer of choice was not available.  This rounded off a day that had started very well but which had gone gently downhill since then.

A chaffinch duly takes it place as flying bird of the day.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

15 thoughts on “Going round in circles

  1. It’s nice to see the pretty green on the chaffinch’s backside. I don’t think we have those in Virginia. Thank you for always providing beautiful pictures.

  2. Nice Stupa. And, from my experience at least, the Scottish landscape is not all that different from the places I’ve seen these things in Asia.

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