Still going

wall on whita

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.

wall on whita

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.

moss and lichen

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.

Tarras Bridge

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.

Tarras road damage

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….

water spout

This was now under control….

tarras road water main

…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.

tarras road damage

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.

Tarras road

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.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Still going

  1. The closeups of the growths, in all their different colours and shapes, on the walls were an eye opener to me. You must take me for a walk the next time I visit only not too far please.

  2. You see so many interesting mosses; I love those pictures. My ivy has flower buds (I guess that’s what they are) but way up high in a tree; neat to see them close up. I love to walk/ bike on closed roads, checking out the reason for the closure and not having to worry about traffic.

  3. I tried without success to photograph a new honeysuckle leaf on Friday; I couldn’t get the camera to focus on it Thank-you for your picture. I found your photos of the damaged road very interesting and hope that you don’t get any more slips before the repairs can be done. My favourite photos are of the growths on the wall.

    1. As the road in question is one of the few roads out of town and our main bridge is showing a bit of damage, we are keeping our fingers crossed that things don’t get any worse

  4. I feel good knowing that you already put the world to rights this early in the year. The growth on the stones and the snowberry were interesting too.

  5. Life must be pretty good right now if all you have to moan about is the weather. 😉 Actually, I know exactly how you feel, we had 10% of possible sunshine for the month of December, and 70% of that came on three days. We had well over a week with peeks at the sun at all. But cheer up, the cloudy season for both of us is about half over, it only gets better from here on.

  6. Thanks for making the world right for 2016, someone needed to do it. I imagine the port helped a wee bit.

    Amazing how water and floods can damage so easily, hope things don’t get any worse through the winter’s harsh temps.

  7. I have to get caught up with the rest of your holidaze as I come to the sad end of mine, I feel quite the same way weather-wise. Beautiful photographs, I appreciate the Rook, and it’s good to know the water has not swept you away. I agree on forecasts, they must be tested to reality, no matter how scientific their basis. The days are getting ever so slightly longer…I keep telling myself.

  8. Lovely picture from Dropscone’s walk and great variety of colours from yours, .Two long walks shows benefits of that op.

  9. I had never heard of the snowberry either; what a nuisance they’re toxic but hopefully they’re doing a good job holding the hillsides together. That road looks like it’s only a matter of time…

  10. The moss on those walls is amazing. It looks like that road is going to disappear altogether if the powers that be don’t act soon, although I’m not sure what they can do.

  11. I do like the jackdaws on the arch very much…and everything else, of course, including the interesting following of the flood damage. If you don’t get more torrential rain, perhaps all the cracks will hold for another year.

  12. I do like all the variety of growth on those walls. I always have to stop when I come upon those sights. You’ve taken excellent close ups of the tiny plants and lichen. They are such interesting and delicate miniature living things.

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