Four out of four

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce’s recent tour of the north of England and shows a very uncharacteristic yellow telephone box.  It is part of Hull Telecoms, the only place in Britain which doesn’t bow the knee to British Telecom.

yellow phone boxWe had another day without the fierce winds of late which was very welcome.  Less welcome was some persistent morning rain which did not encourage cycling.

Just as welcome as the light winds was the arrival of Dropscone at coffee time carrying traditional Friday treacle scones and a gift of leeks which he had purchased at a very advantageous price on an early morning  shopping trip to Carlisle.

The treacle scones were disposed of with coffee and the leeks were later turned into leek and potato soup for lunch.

While we were drinking our coffee, we had the first visit for some time from some starlings.

starlingsAnd during the morning at least one blue tit paid several visits.  I am not a great blue tit observer but I think one at least of the pictures may show a second bird.

blue titsDuring the day. Mrs Tootlepedal was in full decorating mode, filling, painting, stripping and painting again.  I spent a good deal of time perfecting the art of not getting under her feet.  I have had a good deal of practice at this and am pretty good at it.

I did get asked to one little bit of helping and I added getting the key for Monday’s camera club meeting, doing the crossword, chopping some of the neighbour’s ex cherry tree up and rehearsing the tenor part for Mozart’s requiem to my morning activities before making the soup so it wasn’t an entirely wasted time.

After lunch, it stopped raining and the prospects looked reasonable enough to tempt me out for a walk.  I am trying to get a mix between cycling and walking now that I have got a walkable knee in place.

Over the last three weeks I have been up three of Langholm’s four hills so I thought that I would round the quartet off with a walk up Castle Hill today.

I cheated by driving round to the Lodge Walks before starting to walk.

There are lambs all around now…

sheep and lambs…and I passed these in the field before I came to the open hill.

As I may have remarked before, our hills are tightly packed round the town and are quite steep so it doesn’t take you long to get excellent views.  I was soon in a position to look back at the other three hills.

Langholm's hillsCastle Hill gives you the best view of the three parts of the town…

LangholmThe old town is on the left, the new town in the centre and Holmwood and Meikleholm on the right,  I like the way that the town seems to lap up against the surrounding hills.

Other views were available from the top of the hill.

Potholm and Milnholm
Potholm and Milnholm
The B709
The road to Bentpath
The road to Hawick
The patchwork of fields on the lower slopes of Whita
Esk and langholm
The vehicle and pedestrian bridges over the Esk joining the old and new towns.

The are some lovely ridges to walk along and I am hoping to get some use out of them in the months to come.

castle hill ridgeThe ground on Castle Hill was made difficult for a walker by having been heavily trampled by cattle but luckily they have been temporarily taken off the hill so I was able to pick my way up and down in peace.

Instead of going straight back down to the car, I wandered through two woods…

two woods on castle Hill…until I joined the track to Holmhead and the North Lodge.

It wasn’t a peaceful part of my walk as something was making the most horrendous din up a tree.  To my surprise, upon examination it turned out to be robin giving it six bells from a bough.

It was so busy shouting that it didn’t mind me snapping away underneath it at all.

On my way through the coniferous wood, my eye was caught by a patch of silver.  I thought it was some sort wet grass and took a picture of it because it looked a little strange.  When I looked at it on my computer, I was delighted by the picture that I had taken but baffled as to what it is.

silver in the woodI rely on some knowledgeable reader to help me out here.  I have never knowingly seen this before.

I walked down to the road at the pheasant hatchery and was able to see that the wind had taken one more victim.

willowThis willow has fallen exactly on the spot where Sandy and I have often stood to watch the nuthatches at their nest.  It has brought down one of the branches of that tree too.  It is a lesson not to go bird watching in a gale.

Just as I got to the car, I saw a large patch of fungus on a mound.

fungusIt seemed unseasonal.

When I got home, the feeder was busy….

siskins…and then the sun came out for a few minutes and brightened up the day.

primula and daffodilBut it soon went in again.

Mrs Tootlepedal finally stopped decorating for the day and I cycled up to the chip shop to get her a well deserved fish supper as a reward for hard work.

I have been looking at my cycle stats and found that I had cycled 278 miles in March.  This is about half of what I did in February last year but it is a start on the road to full recovery.  A few warm days in April would be most welcome.

Between the rain in the morning and sun from the wrong direction in the late afternoon, flying birds were hard to come by so this rather grainy one will have to do.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Four out of four

  1. Not only are the surrounding hills beautiful, they have some strange plant life growing on them. I’ve never seen anything like the plants that you had never seen before either.

  2. For such a damp murky day, you had a very interesting and productive outcome. I cannot wait to read the answer to this week’s photo conundrum. I am sure I have never seen anything like either.

  3. I think your unknown growth is a “Zygomycota” fungus, which is essentially the same fungus that causes mold on bread but which also grows on soil and helps plants take up nutrients from it. They’re fascinating things and quite a find. I’d love to see one in person. You can see a decent photo here:

    Sorry about such a long link!

    That fallen tree is a good reminder to us all. I was off climbing the other day and the trees were creaking and groaning all around. Not wise to be in a forest in a strong wind.

  4. The unusual one does look like some sort of fungal spore-forming bodies. I have never seen one of these myself, but they are beautiful, almost greenish glassine-like structures in your photo there. Quite a nice find!

    I like the telphone booth. Being an old Dr. Who fan from way back when, I could imagine Tom Baker or one of the other incarnations of The Doctor stepping out of it in a following photo.

  5. I love that fungus, looks like glass noodles. Do the blue tits still tap a hole through the cap of the milk bottle and get the cream? Or have they changed the milk bottles? When I was a kid living on the Isle of Wight with my grandparents, my grandmother used to get furious with the blue tits because they were always attacking the milk bottles. Lovely photos and post!!!!!

  6. I read the comments to see what that mysterious plant was. Very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that one. The other patch of fungi is also strange to me. Beautiful countryside! I’d love to walk there.

  7. Glad you feel that your knee is solid enough to go hill walking with all those lovely views as a result. I thought the flying bird was a pretty good image.

  8. A feast of interesting photographs. Particularly liked the robin of course, and the glass-like grass. Fine views of the hills.

  9. Looks as if the guy walking past the telephone box doesn’t bow the knee to either Hull Telecoms or British Telecom.

  10. My husband is also very adept at getting out from under my feet. He exhibited these skills today while I cooked a large lunch. Glorious views from your hills and the mould fungus is beautiful.

  11. Wonderful, wonderful landscapes! I enjoyed all the views of your hills and town(s). The “glass fungus” is fascinating! Great job on getting that shot! And, of course, I adored the robin. I wonder if phone booths get used much anymore? I don’t know if you can even find one in the U.S. these days. I will have to keep my eye out. British ones are far better looking than the glass boxes we had in the states. Potato and Leek soup sounds delish!

  12. The fungus was quite a find, if accidental. Lovely to see the lambs and the views of the town too. I hope we will also see the decorating when it’s done.

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