Song cycle day

Today’s guest picture is a beautiful Jute brooch (625 AD) seen in Liverpool’s World Museum by my brother on his recent visit to the city.

The Kingston Down BroocThe Kingston Down Brooch 625 ADThe Kingston Down Brooch 625 AD 2

Dropscone and I braved a forecast of strong winds and went for a spin round the morning run after breakfast.  The best thing about the morning run is that the first eight miles are fairly well sheltered from the westerly winds and it wasn’t until we were out in the exposed country that we felt the full force of the blast.  We didn’t have to put up with it for too long before we turned enough to get it behind us for the last few miles. When we got home, we felt that we had got off quite lightly.

This feeling was enhanced as the wind got steadily stronger through the rest of the day and as we are promised 55mph gusts tomorrow, it was just as well that we got a ride in today.

The day was grey and gloomy and no interesting new birds showed up when I was at the window so I didn’t waste much time on bird watching and went out to look for flowers instead.  Thanks to the strong wind, it was hard to get them to stand still for a photo but a new sort of daffodil obliged…


…and a flowering currant showed promise.


We could do with a couple of warm sunny days to bring things on but instead the forecast is for colder weather to come.  Ah well, at least it isn’t snowing.

After lunch, Sandy arrived and as Mrs Tootlepedal was going off to the Buccleuch Centre to help with the preparations for the show she is in next week, he and I decided that a sheltered walk would be a good idea.

We drove to the edge of the town to save a bit of time and then did the circular walk by track to Broomholmshiels and back by the road.  The walls at both ends of our journey repaid our interest.  As we walked up Hallpath, the wall to our left was plastered with black lichen.  I think it is peltigera horizontalis.  It seems to have enjoyed our relatively mild winter because there were sheets of it about.


Soon we were out of the town and on the track above the old railway.  Fortunately there are seats beside the way so that old people can have a much needed rest as they totter along.

Sandy seated on a bench
Sandy seated on a bench

We have had little rain recently and the track was in quite good condition for a walk.  It soon led us up on to a little knowe with a fine view down to Skippers Bridge…

Skippers Bridge
Dropscone and I had pedalled over this bridge in the morning

…and another view back over the town.

Langholm from Round House

As we walked on, we passed many fine old trees.


The track is well lined with trees both old and new and I thought that it might lend itself to a black and white interpretation.

black and white path

On reflection, I thought that colour suited it better.

Note the handy bench.
Note the handy bench.

It wasn’t a great day for scenery photography with the clouds above and the wind rocking the trees so I was pleased to be able to take a few close ups on the way.

lichen on a branch
A lichen branch office

The wall beside the road at Broomholm is home to a positive jungle of moss and lichen.  There was a lot more peltigera….


…a small jungle of moss sprouts…


…a carpet of mixed moss….

mixed moss

…and a forest of spindly shoots.

moss shoots

It was hard to stop snapping but the siren call of a cup of tea and a biscuit lured us onwards.  We passed a fallen tree which had neatly framed an old gate.

fallen tree and gate
It is difficult to see how the wall had survived.

I took the chance to take another shot of Skippers Bridge, this time from below.

Skippers Bridge in March

I had one last look back down the Esk…

Esk in March

…before heading back to the car first and then to tea and a biscuit.

After Sandy had gone home, I returned to the struggle with my computing situation.  After footling about doing things that didn’t help, I used my brain and found a handy program that would migrate my mail box – contacts, old emails, settings and all at a stroke.  It worked a treat.  I felt better.

A good sort of day would start with a pedal, then have a walk and finish with some music.  This was a good sort of day.  I had already had a pedal and a walk and I finished it off with a Langholm Sings choir practice.  Mrs Tootlepedal was at a rehearsal for her show and other members of the choir were there with her too but we still had a good turnout and with a retired primary school teacher taking the practice (not me), we had a well organised and productive evening.

The wind is already howling round the chimney as I write this so I hope that we still have power tomorrow.

I did catch one flying bird.

flying chaffinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Song cycle day

  1. My experience of Windows 8 (or Windows hate) brings the words ‘avoid’ and ‘plague’ to mind! Fantastic close-ups, and really interesting results with the lens add-on to the J1.

    1. That seems to be the general experience with Windows 8. I am very happy with windos 7 on my laptop. I am hoping for some sunshine to give the J1 a go with my bigger zoom on it.

  2. I think I like the tree in color best and the shot of the flowering currant is excellent. I think your lichen identification for the dog lichen (peltigera horizontalisis) perfect.
    The gray ones that look like antlers growing on the branch are oak moss (Evernia prunastri), I think. They are valuable lichens that are gathered from all over Europe and shipped to France to be used in the perfume industry.
    Great macros of the mosses too.Those spore capsules are very small.

  3. I hate to mention it, but I can’t get the first two guest photos to open. I do want to mention, though, that the black and white tree photo is very scary, almost the setting for a movie. I’m so surprised by the atmosphere change when it’s in color! ~SueBee

    1. I don’t know what’s happened to the two photos as they worked all right when I looked just before I posted this reply. Sorry about that. Black and white certainly transforms a scene but I need to do quite a bit more work on my photo editing skills before I get the B&W effect that I am looking for.

  4. Such lovely scenery you enjoyed on your walk. Thank you for sharing with us! And I don’t imagine you “totter along” if you can bike so many miles in a morning! You must be in tip-top shape!

  5. Your local lichens are impressively voluminous – I’ve only taken note of the flat, rock-hugging sorts. I’ll have to take a look about to see what’s lurking in our river valley.

    At another time of year I would be more receptive to the b&w photo, but right now I much prefer the sight of mossy green.

    The stonework pics of gate and bridge are, as always, much appreciated.

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