Today’s guest picture, in the absence of any up to date contributions, is a charming bridge near Buttermere, which was crossed when he came to it in August by my brother.
In spite of beautifully sunny and calm conditions, or perhaps because of the beautifully sunny and calm conditions, the temperature stayed resolutely below three degrees Celsius all day and a large ice covered puddle outside the back door persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal and myself that cycling might be a bit risky on roads that had been quite wet last night.
She went off to church to sing in the choir and I was about to settle down for some superior quality idling when I was mugged by my camera and dragged out for a walk. Having already been up Warbla and Whita, the camera was hungry for change and took me up the third of the four hills of Langholm, Meikleholm.
It was worth the walk.
Unaccountably, the hill had got a bit steeper since I last climbed it and I was forced to stop to admire the view quite often but I made it to the top (265m) and looked at Timpen (326m) in front of me.
The legs said stop and the camera said go on. I went on. The frosty conditions made for good walking on the boggy ground and I was (fairly) soon at the top, looking back over the Ordnance Survey trig point at the mist covered Solway plain to the south.
To the far north, I could just make out the first snow covered hills of the year on the horizon.
Because of the steep climb and the still conditions, it was positively balmy on the top of the hill. There were good views to be had as a reward for climbing.
I was enjoying the views so much that I took many more shots but when I went through them later on, they all looked much the same. I walked back down the hill by the way that I had come up and stopped for a couple more pictures on my way down.
As usual, the direction of shooting compared with the position of the sun produced some very different colours.
Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from church by the time that I had got back. I offered her the chance of a pedal but the ice was still on the puddle outside the back door and her needle calls her as insistently as my camera calls me. She is making herself a jacket.
The sun wouldn’t shine on the feeder but the plum tree was glowing gently.
It was too good a day to sit inside so I rang Sandy to see what he was up to and it turned out that he was up for the short drive north that we meant to take yesterday. He had been for a walk in the morning too and had seen a shot which he liked so we drove into the centre of town first.
He is busy preparing prints for a stall at a forthcoming craft fair so he may not have time to put them on his blog as well but I hope to see some of the pictures he has been taking soon.
We left the town and drove to Milnholm, the very spot which I had photographed earlier on the day from the top of Timpen. The farmers were hard at work in the fields.
All around them, the trees were glorious.
We crossed the river and parked the car before walking along the track to Staplegordon. This gave me a view of my favourite picturesque cottage at Henwell.
Even the barns at Potholm farm looked good in the light of the low sun.
Although a single house and a graveyard are all that is left of Staplegordon now, this used to be the centre of the district and I took a photo of the motte, all that remains of the motte and bailey Barntalloch castle which once guarded the spot. There are no traces now of the wooden Norman castle that stood there first or of the stone tower that succeeded it.
When we got home and had enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea, I noticed that somewhere along the line, I had left a pair of gloves behind. I might possibly have left them beside the river in the town or more probably up at Staplegordon but as the river in the town was nearer, I decided that I must have left them there so after finishing my cup of tea, I walked down to find them. As I got nearer, I was more and more convinced that I must have left them at Staplegordon and I was only looking at the riverside because it was nearer. However, it had been a good day so far and my luck held as I found my gloves lying beside a wall where I had dropped them.
I had my phone in my pocket and took another picture of the bridge to show the same view in the fading light.
Our days really are getting shorter. This was taken at twenty past three.
I walked back over the bridge in the picture and took this picture from it looking upstream.
Mrs Tootlepedal rounded off a top notch day by cooking a feast for our tea and then we settled down to watch the worst two dancers in Strictly meeting in the dance off. Sometimes even the thought of the gas bill can’t spoil a good mood.
In between all the rushing about, I found a moment to catch a flying chaffinch.