Ups and downs

Today’s guest picture from my brother Andrew shows that we are not the only people getting a bit of rain.  He found the Dove Walkway running with water when he visited it yesterday.

The Dove Walkway after the stormAfter several weeks of very restless nights following my knee operation, the last few nights have gone a bit better and I thought this might offer me an opportunity to cut down on my pill intake.  Accordingly, last night I abandoned the alarming yellow pill that I have been taking and went to bed with some trepidation instead.

The result though was very satisfactory and I had the least disturbed night for weeks.  In fact it was so good that after coming down for breakfast in the morning, I went upstairs and went to sleep again.

I woke up feeling quite perky and since it wasn’t raining for once, I arranged to go for a walk with Sandy.  He has been suffering from a sore toe but felt that it was well enough for a test stroll.   I spotted a redpoll on the feeder just before we set off.

redpollOur route took us up to the Auld Stane Brig and just before we got to it, we noticed a tree looking rather ghostly in the sunlight, almost as if it had been whitewashed.

tree at wauchope castleCloser inspection revealed that it was covered in lichen.

tree at wauchope castleA little further on, Sandy took some interest in a fence pole.

Sandy photographingHe was looking at one of my favourite little lichen gardens.

lichen on fence postIt always has something to interest the eye when you go past it.

After crossing the bridge, we returned to the town by Gaskell’s walk.  Here we were in the shade and as it was a raw and chilly day, we didn’t linger too long.  The recent winds have done a bit of damage and this tree, snapped off exactly where a polypore was growing, caught our attention.

polyporeI have passed that tree many time and never noticed the fungus before.  It must have been hidden behind the trunk.

Although we were in the shade, the hills to our left and ahead were bathed in sunshine.

Meikleholm Hill
You can see the hardy hill cattle on Meikleholm Hill
Castle Hill
And there are some more on the right near the very top of Castle Hill too.

When we got up to the Stubholm, we got into the sunshine again…

Stubholm…but although it looks very cheery, it was still very chilly and we didn’t hang about as there was a real nip in the wind.

Going down the track to the park, we did stop for a moment to admire the fungus on a fallen branch.  It has survived the recent frosts and sleet very well.

fungusIt is noticeable that if anything stands still for long in our woods, it gets covered in moss.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether it gets some sunshine…

Marker stone…or not.

troughBoth Sandy and I were quite pleased that we hadn’t chosen a longer walk.

After lunch, I had another little walk up to the dentist and back and that was more than enough for me and I spent the rest of the day mainly resting, though I did manage a gentle pedal on the BtN in the garage at tea time.

The sleep in the morning and the rest after the visit to the dentist were a pity in one way because apart from one short and very sharp hail, shower, we had a dry and mostly sunny day and I should have made better use of it.  Mrs Tootlepedal made excellent use of it by doing some extensive clearing up in the garden.

We were very cheered to find that it was still light at four o’clock and it does seem that that we have started get the longer daylight at last. It always takes longer than you feel it should after the winter solstice for the days to wake up and pay attention.

The clouds were catching the last rays of the sun as Mrs Tootlepedal came in for a cup of tea.

Four o'clock cloudsFour o'clock cloudsAfter our cup of tea, I put a week of the newspaper index into the database while Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious cheese flan and some very tasty mini mince pies. In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see a film at the Buccleuch Centre but my get and go had gone and I lounged around idly at home.

The gardening activity meant that there were no birds to be seen in the afternoon but luckily I had caught a flying chaffinch before I went off for my walk with Sandy.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. A post full of interest, I loved the pictures of the clouds at sunset. So glad to read that you are sleeping better at last, it does one a power of good.

  2. A wholesome sleep is a mighty healer -“To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub” – even if the swan meant some kind of sleep that I’m definitely not talking of. A nice walk you and Sandy had and a fine collection of loot you were bringing home. Those evening clouds are admirable.

    1. It was a pretty dreamless sleep which was welcome as sometimes dreams can leave you more tired when you wake up than you were when you went to sleep.

  3. I’m always left longing for a walk in your world after seeing photos of yours. I love the polypore. We call them conks, and once dried, they can provide a great surface for painting. My mother has created many works of art on them.

  4. It certainly looked like a lovely day even if there was a nip in the air. The cloud pictures are wonderful and I’m always a sucker for that gorgeous green moss, but my favourite today is the flying chaffinch; it looks like it’s taking it’s Broadway musical curtain call!

  5. I have suddenly had a bit of a brainwave, Mr Tootlepedal. In my new role as lifestyle assistant at the nursing home, it is sometimes difficult to find activities that are suitable for advanced dementia, so I though maybe I could show your photos and read bits of your blog to the women. Is that okay with you? I will try this out during my shift tomorrow, using my iPad. So excited about this idea!

  6. What a pretty waterfall your brother found! I’m glad you found that going to bed with trepidation was better than going to bed with a large yellow pill, especially as the former seems quickly to have evaporated. It does sound as if (I refuse to use the all-pervasive American import ‘like’!) have turned a corner.

  7. I think that I would enjoy a walk in/near/along the Stubholm (is that an area? a building? a geographic feature?). It looks very beautiful. Glad your sleep is improving – the difference that several consecutive hours of sleep can make is astounding!

  8. It’s good when stopping taking medication makes you feel better. The pastel-coloured clouds, the mossy rocks in the shade and the flying bird were my favourites.

  9. Gorgeous clouds giving a gossamer glimpse of spring.

    I liked your use of the phrase “get and go” – my dad has always said “my get up and go, got up and went.” 🙂

  10. Sleeping without the pills is a great leap forward. As you got so much sleep I wonder if they may have actually keeping you awake? You had good weather for your walk too.

  11. Wonderful, interesting post. I think our shortest day is dark just after 5pm. I’ll have to take note tomorrow and see where we’re at now. I do remember the very short days when we lived in northern Germany, near Bremen. Those were early dark days for sure. Must look at a map… compare to where you’re at, and where we are here in Southern California.

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