From East to West

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Bill J, shows a sparrowhawk outside his kitchen window.  Bill tells me that the hawk left after killing the pigeon and that he was just going out to pick it up to cook for himself, when the hawk came back and claimed it.


The weather forecasters seem to be enjoying making our flesh creep with horrendous visions of floods and gales but our day dawned in very different mode today.  There was a glorious sunrise behind the house….


…and a rainbow on Meikleholm Hill to the front.


The low sun caught a neighbour’s window and proved beyond any doubt that making perfectly flat glass is a tricky job.

Cruden's window
Nice and symmetrical though.

As it was Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in church and as the temperature was high enough at 37°F to avoid any danger of ice, I got the speedy bike out and took a spin down the main road to the south.

The sun had gone in by the time that I set out and a few drops of rain as I left the town made me worry about the wisdom of going for a pedal but soon the rain stopped and in the light wind, cycling was quite comfortable.

I didn’t want to go too far as my daughter is staying with us, so I turned for home after 10 miles, stopping to take a picture of the church and tower at Kirkandrews as a memento of the trip.


When  got home, the ladies of the house were full of excitement about the possibility of another trip to the seaside so I had my shower and after a slice of burnt toast and a mouthful of tangy Italian goat’s cheese, donned my chauffeur’s cap and set off on a trip to the Solway shore.

Somehow I found a moment in all the bustle to look out of the kitchen window.

An appreciative audience enjoy some stunt flying by a chaffinch.

After yesterday’s trip to the North Sea on the east coast, it seemed only fair to visit the west coast today.

Our destination was Powfoot and we arrived shortly before high tide.  The Solway was full and turbulent.

Solway at Powfoot

The play of the light as clouds scooted past overhead made for interesting challenges.  The English shore is almost completely masked by a curtain of rain in the the shot above.

Looking the other way, the village of Powfoot looked quite serene.


It was very windy.  It is not often that you see breakers off the shore at Powfoot.

Solway waves

As we drove along the road beside the sea, we had passed heaps of debris left by Friday’s high tide and gales.  The sea wasn’t so fearsome today so we parked the car and went for a short walk along the beach.    Great heaps of gravel and seashells had been left by the flood.


And the shore had a battered air about it.

The rain was now covering the Nith estuary and hiding Criffel from our view.

There were birds about in the high winds.

A gull heading into the wind.
A crow finding something interesting at the water’s edge.

Several flocks of sea birds flew past but as they were going downwind at speed, they were out of sight before I could get a focus on them.  One small group headed back upwind.    I would appreciate a knowledgeable identification.

Solway birds

Mrs Tootlepedal had a worthy go at being a latter day King Knut (Canute)….

King Canute

…but time and tide wait for no one and so we went back to the car which was parked only a few feet from the water by the time we got to it.

Feeling more prudent than brave, we drove back down the road, hoping to get a cup of tea in the Golf Hotel but it was closed.  We drove on towards Annan.  The river there had just burst its banks again at the height of the tide.

River Annan

It was raining so we didn’t dally but drove on towards Gretna.  On our way, we took a short diversion to Brow Houses to have a last look at the Solway.  It had stopped raining when we got there but the clouds were heavier overhead.  In contrast, some rare sunlight was falling on the English shore.

Caldbeck from Brow Houses

It made for a dramatic sea and cloudscape.


I got Pocketcam out and it took an altogether more peaceful view of the scene.


The road where we parked the car showed just how high Friday’s flood tide had been.


We considered stopping to look at the Gretna starlings but the light had got very poor and the rain had started again so we went home and enjoyed some warm crumpets with a reviving cup of tea.

We were feeling very healthy after two bracing seaside walks in two days beside two different seas.  Healthy but tired.

Once again, we arrived home just as the light completely faded so the rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in eating and knitting and editing photos by the various parties involved.

I have put too many pictures in today but there may be not much opportunity tomorrow so things should balance out.

There is a feast of flying birds of the day today.

Busy feeder















Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “From East to West

  1. Your required ID for that flock of birds – I’m going for peewits/peesweeps/lapwings, or any other name that they have that people can think of.
    Great shots. An interesting contrast of the same scene with Pocketcam and it’s friend. The power of nature was starkly demonstrated along the Solway last Friday. Scary stuff, but one can’t hold nature back!

  2. Your captions for the bird photos are often as good as the photos themselves, although it would be hard to top the shot of the crow in this post..

    An interesting, but useless fact about glass, it is still considered a liquid even in its solid state. I read an interesting article about that once, given enough time, all panes of glass flow downhill, so that the top of the pane becomes thinner as the bottom gets thicker.

    The land/seascape photos were stunning!

  3. You’ve been having some beautiful sunrises and sunsets there lately.The photos at the seaside were excellent. I especially liked the crow and the shells and gravel. Both things I don’t see much of.

  4. The crow is especially fine–looks exactly like a crow should look, which is somehow exactly like a Sioux fancy dancer in full regalia. I was astonished to see that you’ve apparently managed to train a Synchronized Flying Team of goldfinches.

  5. Hi Mr TootlePedal,

    Just to wish and your dearest all the best for 2014 and to say how much I enjoy reading of your stress-filled days, keeping the world going round and just wish I could aspire to the same level of fulfilment!

    It’s a great read at the end of the day and puts lots of other stuff into perspective.

    Best wishes,


    1. Hi David,

      Thank you for taking the time to put on a comment as I know that compared with my relaxation filled days, yours are stacked full of stuff to do. Best wishes to you Alix and Bowman for 2014.

  6. Lovely sea and sky scapes. My day today was very similar, heaps of shingle, crows and gulls and a very high tide line along with a little flooding. How odd.

  7. P.S. What excellent shells you have there. I do remember that from a trip round various seashore villages. Here, we have sand, a few broken dull shells, interesting driftwood sometimes.

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