Four good things

Today’s guest picture is that very rare thing, a picture from Mrs Tootlepedal’s camera.  It shows the world’s finest baby in the arms of her paternal grandfather yesterday.


After a short spell of rain yesterday, the weather returned to being kind and the sun was shining again today.  We hung around until we had got some news of Clare’s progress which was ‘good but not out of the woods yet’ and then we set out for a short pedal.

Before we left, I took a short tour of the garden…


…and stared out of the kitchen window.

A redpoll trying to compete with the tulips for colour.

As far as the cycling went, the strain of being a grandmother was too much for Mrs Tootlepedal and she turned for home after three miles.  The wind may have had something to do with it too.  She made up for the brief nature of the ride by picking up some more of the never ending litter on her way home.

I pedalled on another three miles to the top of Callister and enjoyed a wind assisted return, stopping from time to time to take pictures of wild flowers at the roadside…l



…and moss and lichen on the field walls.


There is a wonderful variety to be seen.
red lichen
I don’t know what this vivid orange  stuff is.  It was so bright that I thought that it was paint at first.

When I got home, Dropscone dropped in to report that he had been for an extended and hillier version of the morning run and  he very kindly presented me with a cauliflower which he had purchased at a very reasonable price.  I ate it for my tea later in the day.

After lunch, Sandy came round and following a suggestion from my friend Bruce, we went off with Mrs Tootlepedal for a walk along the Liddel Water.  This required a drive across the hill to Newcastleton and then a short extension to Kershopefoot.

Kershopefoot is the spot where the border between England and Scotland comes down from the hills, following the course of the Kershope Burn and joins the Liddle Water.

Kershope Burn
The Kershope Burn is a small stream to carry such a large responsibility.

We crossed the border on this new bridge.

Kershopefoot bridge

Our route took us along the English side of the Liddel Water.  It was a warm day but not sunny and the walking was very pleasant.  We had many things to look at as we went along.  There were signs of spring.





River views.



Views across the river of the Scottish side.

Liddel view
The sun was shining in Scotland but not in England



We didn’t get a very close view of this bird and wondered if it was some sort of sandpiper.  Information gratefully received if any reader can help us.

For the photographically interested, I took all the pictures on the walk with my Nikon J1 compact camera but used an F1 mount with a 300mm lens to take the bird above.  It gives a lot of zoom power but because it doesn’t have a view finder it is hard to hold the camera steady and look at the screen.  I will have to carry a tripod if I want to use it seriously.

Bruce had tempted us into taking the walk by sending me a picture of a rustic bench on the riverside.  A reader had thought it looked uncomfortable so Mrs Tootlepedal and Sandy tried it out when we came to it.

Sandy and Mrs T on the bench

They look pretty relaxed.

It was only a short walk but Bruce had been quite right, it was well worth doing and I think it is a walk that we will revisit later in the year.

We called in to fill the Moorland feeders on the way home as it was Sandy’s day to do this and we got back to Langholm just as it started to rain which made us feel extra pleased with our outing.

It must have been a good outing because I had to discard a tremendous number of pictures to get down to the meagre ration that I allow myself for a post.

In the evening, we went to the final Langholm Sings choir practice for our concert on Sunday and had a hard working, well organised session.  We have a dress rehearsal with the Langholm Concert Orchestra on Sunday afternoon and then the performance is in the evening.   If we can sing as well as we did this evening, all should be well.

The flying bird of the day is another siskin.

flying siskin



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Four good things

  1. Common sandpiper is the bird, I reckon. That amazing orange lichen – it may be Caloplaca ignea, however, I’m not certain of that by any means. I do hope that Clare recovers quickly – she has a superb daughter.

    1. Thank you for the bird identification. Two experts is a bonus. I am not sure about your lichen identification though but I can’t find anything better.

  2. The orange growth must be some type of lichen if it’s on stone, but I’ve never seen it. I love the landscapes but the lighting in that shot across the river to the sheep pasture is really beautiful.
    Sleep seems to come easily to your granddaughter. That’s a good thing.

  3. Glad to see what the blackthorn looks like. My kid’s Irish Dance teacher used to threaten all the students with her blackthorn stick if they misbehaved during class! ~SueBee

  4. I’m officially jealous! Not only do you have birds to photograph, Mrs. T provides you with beautiful flowers as subjects, the countryside lends itself to great landscapes, and even your lichens are more colorful and interesting than ours.

  5. Glad they are continuing to keep an eye on Clare, you and your granddaughter make a great couple. Loved all those lichens and following you on your walk.

  6. I’m glad Claire seems to be on the mend. What a lovely day you had border hopping. I wonder if there will be guards if Scotland decides to become independent? You might have to take your passport with you 🙂

  7. indeed common sandpiper.. all the way from their wintering grounds in Africa.. not bad for such a delicate little bird..

  8. What a lovely baby. Hope Clare continues to progress steadily.
    Very nice pictures of your spring colours walk.

  9. Love the sheep! (Can you tell I grew up on a farm, always loving the livestock!) Continued good wishes for Clare’s recovery. The three photo tiles of the tulips – gorgeous!

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