Today’s guest picture was taken by Dropscone who was enjoying a quiet new year walk up a hill yesterday until he came to this wall which he found very hard to cross.
I was a bit deceived by the weather forecast which had suggested that it might be too windy for comfortable pedalling so I went for a walk in the morning instead. It wasn’t very windy at all.
It was dry and cloudy and birds were few and far between in the garden. A lone rook perched on the very top of the walnut tree…
…and two jackdaws shared an arch below.
Since there was not much else to be seen, I put on my boots and got ready to go. Then I had to take my boots off again because one of them was hurting my foot after yesterday’s ramble.
I abandoned thoughts of high hills and settled for another walk up the same road as we had travelled along yesterday.
There was still plenty to look at. The ivy is flourishing at the moment.
The walls were full of interest too. It is a mystery to me why they have such a variety of growths on them so close together.
The stones were only yards apart both in the picture above and the picture below.
Still, it makes for an interesting stroll.
The most hopeful thing that I saw was an early honeysuckle bud full of the promise of spring.
Today, I didn’t turn off at the top of the hill but walked on down the other side until I came to the bridge over the Tarras Water.
The coppery brown colour in the water was gorgeous.
To get to the bridge, I had had to go over the section of the road which had been damaged by the floods in early December.
The cyclists were struck not only by the steepness of the hill but by the extent of the damage.
When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had visited last month, there was water spurting from a hastily effected repair to the water main which had been carried away by the landslip….
This was now under control….
…and the main had been sent under the road and safely across a neighbouring field.
The scrubby trees on the banking below the road had been cleared and this revealed a possible cause for the disaster.
This is the view immediately below the slip and the large light brown patch is a smooth expanse of solid rock. The gradient is steeper than the picture makes it look and the soft ground on top of the slab might easily have slipped away in the rainstorm. We await developments with interest.
As I walked back up the hill from the bridge towards the damaged section of road, I passed a sign that showed that the present landslip may not be the last problem that the road engineers encounter.
I just walked back the way I had come so there was no further opportunity to take pictures apart from this last snowberry beside the Esk.
As I was walking back, I reflected that it had really been an ideal morning for cycling as the wind had turned out to be light and the temperature at 8°C was comfortably warm. All the same I was pleased to have done a five mile walk two days in a row as before I got my new knee, that would have been impossible.
When I got home, I had time for a little sit down before our neighbours Liz and Ken came over to enjoy a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. We followed this up with a small glass or two of port to toast the new year and those of you who are worried about the state of things in 2016 can rest a little more easily now as we certainly put the world to rights between us as we talked.
The short and gloomy days are doing nothing to lift me out of my holidaze and I happily spent the rest of the day doing nothing apart from a little flute practice and catching up on my correspondence. Life should get back to normal next week as music and choirs restart and I am looking forward to that a lot.
It wasn’t a day for flying birds but here is the best that I could do.