An eponymous day

Today’s guest picture, especially for people of a certain age, shows the Ferry across the Mersey.  It was taken by my brother Andrew.

The ferry crossing the Mersey

The gales of yesterday had abated by this morning and there was some welcome sunshine too.  In spite of dire warnings of icy conditions, it was a mellow 6°C so Dropscone and I set out on the road to Waterbeck  for our morning pedal.  The gales may have abated but there was still considerable strength left in the wind.

The run to Waterbeck is roughly split into five miles uphill followed by five miles downhill and of course the return journey has the same shape.  The five miles downhill into the wind on the way out were accomplished at a painfully slow 12.8 mph and the five miles up the hill on the way back were accomplished at a speed of 12.3mph which gives a fair reflection of the strength of the breeze.

The rate for the last five miles, downhill and with the wind, was 23mph and that was with us not even trying very hard.  I won’t say what the speed for the first five miles uphill and into the wind was but it only required a single figure to record it.

Still, the effort gave us a sense of achievement and the traditional Friday treacle scones were consumed with quiet satisfaction all round.

The light was good after coffee and I enjoyed watching the birds for a while.  The chaffinches had taken over the siskin’s role as chief troublemakers of the day.

chaffinch shouting
And you!
chaffinches pecking
Not kissing but fighting.

The goldfinches and siskins were just flying about.

goldfinch and siskin

The wind was strong enough to ruffle a few feathers and birds had to hang on tight when perching.

chaffinch ruffled

goldfinch ruffled

Mrs Tootlepedal had been working in the morning and after a short break, she was going back for more in the afternoon so I opted for a walk.

I went by car to the Whitshiels, stopping at the Kilngreen on my way out and my way back.  This gave me the opportunity to exchange a speaking glance with a mallard…

Mallard

…spot two sort of wagtails in the distance….

wagtails

…and watch an oyster catcher on land and in the air.

oyster catcher

When I started out, the sun was shining but shortly afterwards, a terrific hailstorm enveloped the town.  Luckily I was sitting in the car on the Kilngreen at the time and it soon passed over and I was able to start my walk.

I took a familiar route up through the wood, across the fields, onto the open hill and back by the road.  This gives me several different environments in the space of a couple of miles or less.

Among the delights of walking round Langholm are the many little chattering streams that flow off the hillsides that surround the town.  I crossed one of them at the start of my walk.

Stream at Whitshiels

Soon I was out of the woods and the sun was out from behind the clouds.

Castle Hill
Looking at Castle Hill across the Ewes valley

Looking in the other direction, I could see that the sun hadn’t reached the monument in spite of some blue sky.

Monument

But I was in the sun and enjoying myself.

I passed a tree of which almost  every inch was covered by a feast of lichen.

lichen tree

Other trees were less encumbered.

Tree and Ewes

After a quick look back at the view up the Ewes Valley….

Ewes valley

…I left the open country and took the road back down the hill.

The first part of the road is full of interest with a quarry on one side….

lichen art
Lichen art in the quarry
tadpoles
Next generation frogs in the making in a puddle the quarry

…and a wall full of exciting things on the other.

crevice in wall
A crevice in the wall with a Garden of Eden within.

After the wall runs out, there is a neatly cut but rather boring beech hedge…

beech hedge

…which soon led me back to the car.

As a varied short walk it must be hard to beat and I certainly enjoyed it enough to make sure that when I got home, I had to spend quite a lot of time deleting pictures from my camera card.  A little bit of sunshine certainly stimulates the shutter finger.

In the evening, we were visited by Mike and Alison and a day that had started with a pedal, ended with a tootle (Hook, Woodcock, Handel and Finger among others).  Considering that there had been a walk in between, what more needs to be said?

The only downside is that the temperature is dropping and the rain is dropping too as I write this.

A swooping goldfinch not in the usual hovering mode makes flying bird of the day today.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “An eponymous day

  1. I remember that song well but it was only several years later that I realized it was about a real ferry on a real river.
    The landscape shots are beautiful. I’ve never seen the orange brown crustose lichen but the one beside it might be a tile lichen (Lecidea tesselata).

  2. Some of us of a certain age (growing up half a world away) didn’t realize it wasn’t Ferry across the Mercy… and had no clue about a river! Thanks for the lesson and that I’m now humming that song. 🙂 ~SueBee

  3. Oh no! I remember that song well, does that mean that I’ve reached that certain age?

    The photo of the mixed moss and lichens is my favorite today, that’s a terrific photo!

  4. Yea! I must not be of a “certain age” yet since I did not get the song reference! Actually, it just means I didn’t listen to that type of music. I grew up on country music and my husband and I joke that we know we are old because when we are out and about we like to listen to “oldies” on the radio. 🙂 Being an avid walker/hiker I love being able to go on your rambles and see all the lovely things you get to enjoy! That “garden in the wall” photo is amazing!

    1. I would like to be a hiker but my rambles tend to be on the short side owing to various niggles. They more like strolls and can’t be dignified by being called hikes.

      1. I would love to amble or stroll but normally when we are hiking we have our three beagles so it is more like a strenuous pursuit of good sniffs than a relaxing walk. 🙂 We have a second home (a rustic cabin in the woods) in northern Michigan and spend a lot of time up there. I blog about it and all our “adventures”, but it’s a bit inaccessible in the winter. A leisurely ramble sounds delightful!

  5. You have such beautiful a countryside to stroll about – I particularly like the chattering stream.

    The oyster catchers beak seems comically large, a real Cyrano amongst water fowl.

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