The calm before the storm

Today’s guest picture is an absolute stonker from my sister Susan who was on the south bank of the Thames a couple of days ago.  She liked the working river but i have cropped it to emphasise the sky.

A working river

The radio and TV have been full of warnings about the coming storm.  It will be the worst since…..keep away from trees…..don’t travel unless necessary…and so on but the Met Office local  forecast promised me a dry morning  with little wind and the forecast was absolutely right.  In fact I got up so early in a bid to get the best of the day that it was still dark and I had to go back to bed again.  Still I managed to have a reasonably early breakfast and I was out on the bike before nine o’clock.

garmin route 26 Oct 13I didn’t have a set route in mind, fearing that I might have to run for home if the rain came so I just pootled along at a steady speed admiring the views as I went.  In the end I was able to add little extras onto the distance as the weather stayed very benign and managed 34 miles.

The only defect of the trip was the fact that I hadn’t eaten enough at breakfast to deal with the slightly longer than expected distance and I found myself quite a bit short of fuel with a few miles still to go. Luckily the legs stuck to the task well and I filled up with some specialist recovery protein when I got back home.

I stopped to take a lot of pictures on my way round and here are just a few of them.

near Paddockhole
A nice selection of greens and browns near Paddockhole
Canonbie bridge
Plenty of water flowing under Canonbie bridge
Canonbie bridge
The view upstream from Canonbie bridge
The old A7
The old main road, closed to through traffic by a landslip since the early 1980s and now part of the Morning Run

After lunch, Sandy came round and we were expecting to be shut indoors by the rain but it held off so we went for a short expedition over the White Yett and onto the Langholm Moor.  Looking south we even caught a glimpse of sun on the fields at Cronksbank…


…but it didn’t come to anything.

Looking  east, the view across to Tinnis was definitely autumnal.


We encountered an unaccustomed amount of cars beside the road.

Hound trail

They had gathered for a hound trail and we were tempted to stop and watch the hounds but instead we edged our way past them and continued down to the Tarras Water, stopping to admire a dramatic sky on the way.

Langholm Moor

We got to Tarras Lodge where  we parked and took a few pictures.  It was rather gloomy but we did the best that we could.  I was trying out a tripod that Dr Tinker is considering selling.  It was very good, being light and adaptable, and if the price is right and he still wants to sell it, I shall buy it.

Tarras Bridge

Tarras Lodge

The road up the valley

It was blowing a brisk wind by this time and that made the air pretty chilly so we didn’t linger at the picnic table but after taking some pictures of the various fungi about…

Tarras fungi

…and evidence of the recent wet weather….


…we headed for home and warmth.

We stopped on the way back to admire this view of trees and hill as we approached the town.

Meikleholm Hill

Once home, we had a cup of tea.  After that Sandy showed me a few useful buttons on my new photo editor (of which he already has a copy) and then we put  a week of the newspaper index into the database.

After Sandy went off to look at the pictures which he had taken, I spent quite a bit of time playing on the new editor and trying to remember which buttons Sandy had shown me..  It is Photoshop CS6 and is probably certainly better than my pictures deserve but it will be fun to get to know it.

It can change this….


…to this…


… in the twinkling of an eye.  I was impressed.

Our clocks go back tonight, which means that it will get dark so soon that cycling in the afternoon will  be unattractive.  As cycling in the morning can be very chilly, I for one wish that they would leave us on BST all the year round.

I didn’t have much time to look at the birds so I was pleased to catch this chaffinch looking mean, moody and magnificent with the long grass stems in the background.

flying chaffinch








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “The calm before the storm

  1. The countryside is beautiful there! I can’t wait to see what you’ll be able to come up with using a tripod and Photoshop. One thing though, if you use the tripod often, you’ll have less use for Photoshop. 😉

  2. More excellent pictures. Cronksbank. Where in the 1950s and 60s I had holidays with my grandparents Jack and Lizzie Mitchell. There must be some muckle tooners who can remember them.

      1. Apologies if this is a repeat.

        Cronksbank. I visited in July of this year. The house was unoccupied but looked in good condition. Sadly, the outbuildings were in poor repair. In the dilapidation, there were signs of my grandparents’ presence 40 and more years ago. Echoes of their voices came to me out of the silence otherwise broken only by the sounds of grazing sheep and skylarks.

        I ventured down to the Tarras but the once clear grass path was now overgrown with chest-high bracken. Concealment of what lay at ground level was intimidating.

        The expression “never go back” is well made yet the lure to do so is beguiling. In irrational moments it is possible to imagine that the dearly loved but long since departed await a returning family member.

        I have returned several times and each time I have departed with a heavy heart. Will I go back? Well, the beguilement is difficult to counter.

  3. The landscape shots are excellent, especially the sun rays on the fields. Until you mentioned a tripod I thought you might have taken it with your cell phone. It has that very wide angle look.

  4. Thinking you were home, I saw the sign for pain and wondered … what kind of hurting is that ad selling, what’s that about. Then I saw glaces, and thought no,no. He’s in France. Your photos remain just beautiful, and your hills might be similar to mine, hard to tell.

  5. It is surprising that an ordinary phone camera can take such a good picture as the one I sent you. I loved your local autumnal photographs but my favourite was the one showing grass reflected in left over pools of water. Water always makes a picture look better in my view and reflections improve them even more!

  6. I liked your reflective tussocks among many other attractive views. Glad you have found a suitable tripod via Dr Tinker. Photoshop- CS6 looks useful

  7. The sky in the London photo is wonderful. I’m a great fan of a good sky. It sounds like your bad weather didn’t quite come to anything, at least not while you were out, and you got some lovely pictures. The sun on the fields below is my favourite 🙂

  8. We were living in Sussex and well remember the horrific storm of October 1987 – unbelievable sights all around us of utter chaos – no electricity, trees down, fences blown away, salt all over our windows although we were at least 15 miles from the sea, houses and cars damaged. Let us hope it veers into the English Channel instead of hitting the west and south coast. Lovely Autumn shots Tom – thank you.

  9. Great autumn scenes here, and love the shot of St Pauls and the moody sky. Even here in CT we’re picking up your impending storm…. breaking Monday rush hour?? Batten down the hatches…..

  10. Lovely grass reflection, rays of light, splash of sun.

    Around here storm warnings are often overblown. Until they aren’t.

    Wish I had someone to come show me some of the buttons on photoshop. I found even photoshop elements to be daunting.

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